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Color problems in Vista - Help needed

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carrollphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:51PM

Greetings everyone,


Ever since I upgraded to Windows Vista, I've been noticing a very strange color related problem.  In a nut-shell, when I view photos (RAW or JPG) in Photoshop or Windows Photo Gallery they appear generally warm.  However, when I view the same photos in any other viewer such as Internet Explorer, Paint, or Microsoft Office Picture Manager, they appear cool.  This happens when I view any images at all, not just the ones I've shot.  Here's an example.


Today I imported the following RAW image into Photoshop Camera RAW.  Here's how it looked.  Nice, warm and happy.


l_86feb41fc787bcb31045aea8bccb0d3a


Once I saved the image to JPG and view it with the default Vista viewer (Windows Photo Gallery) it looks exactly as it does above.  Everything is great right?  Wrong.


Here is how the same JPG looks when i view it in IE.  Notice how much cooler it is now.


l_7b6fd17ad0f7c2dde626bcfc5dedfe7c


Has anyone else noticed this while working in Windows Vista?  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Christian
carrollphoto
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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:29PM
Ah, I seem to have answered my own question.  Further investigation has yielded evidence pointing to my display driver as the culprit.  Disabling my ATI Radeon X600 driver, rolling back to the inbox VGA driver and rebooting solves the problem.  Now I just need to find better drivers or a new video card.  Ugh...
carrollphoto
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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:12PM

I tried switching over to my PCs integrated Intel 92945G Express display chip.  Sadly, it too has the same problem when I use either the inbox WDDM drivers or the newest Intel display drivers.  The only scenario in which I don't encounter this problem is when using the Vista inbox VGA driver.  It's a very limited driver, but at least the colors are displayed accurately.  If anyone has found a solution to this problem, please let me know.
itsskin
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:27AM
Try to calibrate your monitor using something like Colorvision Spyder 2 or Pantone Huey. It will create a color profile for your monitor, so the generic driver from manufacturer of your video card will be able to display the correct colors.
Sirimo
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerThis user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:30AM

IE isn't colour compliant, it doesn't recognise embedded colour profiles. As itsskin mentions you need to calibrate your monitor to see colour accurately, but this isn't the whole solution. Your images in photoshop are in adobe RGB colour space (bottom left of top image). It looks like Windows Photo Gallery is capable of displaying this correctly, but IE will not.

In Photoshop try converting the image to sRGB and then viewing it in Windows Photo Gallery and IE. They should all apear very similar.
Sirimo
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerThis user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:31AM
Also reinstall your proper graphics drivers
carrollphoto
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:22PM
Thanks guys. I'll get the monitor calibration package. I didn't know that actually affected the way the display driver displays color. I've been meaning to pick up Spyder 2 anyhow, so now I have extra motivation.



So IE is capable of displaying JPG colors correctly if they are saved using the sRGB color space as opposed to Adobe RGB? I'll give that a try. For iStock purposes, does that mean that I should start saving my stock images as sRGB to optimize compliance? I've always used Adobe RGB because it's a larger color space.



Thanks again for the help!

(Edited on 2007-09-25 13:37:16 by carrollphoto)
Taysh
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:40PM

There are arguments as to which colour space you should use - sRGB or Adobe RGB, in other forums. Check these out. As a designer for the print industry I'd prefer Adobe RGB for its wider gamut, for web I'd say the sRGB is sufficient.

My first reaction to your initial post is monitor colour calibration and I think you'll do well to have a device to do this. You'll notice the difference right away. Whichever graphics card and driver you use it will use the colour profile the device generates. 

Good luck 
animatephotographic
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:32PM

Oddly my experience with Vista is the reverse - Windows Photo Gallery looks naff and I proof images for upload in IE if I haven't got PS running. Same reason as described above, it's the handling of the colour spaces. The joys of using Vista, eh?


Having said that - my technician got caught out today when running good old XP. I uploaded a couple of portraits destined for a website onto his machine and asked him to balance, crop and downsample ready for incorporation into the site from a RAW file. He previews in IE and complains that it looks "washed out and has no contrast". What did he forget?! He was still working with a Adobe 1998 colour space, even on the final JPEG. I dare say this wouldn't have caught him out had he done what was asked and "saved for web"!
carrollphoto
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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:20PM

I'm still a bit confused here.  Mabye someone can set me straight.


A few weeks ago I did a DVD menu design project for a friend of mine.  Yes, Mr. Photographer actually dabbled in a bit of design.  Quite the experience!  Anyhow, I downloaded a few photos from iStock which looked very blue and cool when I was viewing them in the iStock web page (using IE).  However, when I imported the photos into Photoshop, they suddenly looked much warmer and almost purple.  I edited the images and then imported them into my DVD architecting software, at which point they appeared blue and cool again.


So is the above a potential result of my monitor not being calibrated?  Or would it rather be the result of the photographer having saved those images as Adobe RGB, which would cause them to look one way in IE and my DVD software and another way in Photoshop?
Taysh
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:48PM
/
/This has nothing to do with operating systems, rather it's the colour profile that the system uses. There isn't an awful lot of difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB that you can see. Forget that. It's how your system views the colours using its current installed profile.

Do some calibration with Spyder or whatever, and you will then see your pics as they really are and can adjust accordingly. All graphics capability programs will then use that colour profile and give you an accurate view of your pic on your monitor.

Believe me, you will keep getting a lot of huge anomalies in colour if you don't.


http://www.digitalphotopro.com/tech/an-argument-for-color-management.html

Perhaps this link might help...

Look, put it this way. I bought a new lcd monitor a few months ago. Before calibration, everything looked different depending on what program, browser, etc., I used. My system was calibrated according to the previous monitor.

I re-calibrated, and everything is perfect again. My iStock images both on the site and off, look the same in Firefox or IE, in Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom, the Windows pic viewer thingy, Flash, Acrobat, etc., etc. Plus, more importantly, I know my images will look close to the same on anyone else's calibrated system, whether it's my editor, or the printers who print my artwork. No guarantees how they will look on an un-calibrated system.

An image adjusted on an uncalibrated system may look great to you. However, it may not look at all like that on someone else's system (whether theirs is calibrated or not). Bear that in mind when adjusting your images.

 

(Edited on 2007-09-26 18:22:44 by Taysh)
carrollphoto
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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:31PM

Thanks Taysh.  Good to hear from someone in beautiful Kiwi-land!  I'm definitely going to invest in a monitor calibrator.  It sounds like that is the root of my problem here.


Thanks again to everyone,


Christian
Taysh
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:01PM
Let me know how you get on.
carrollphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:41AM

Tonight I went to the store and picked up Spyder2 Pro.  Wow!  Problem instantly solved!  Woooohooooo!!  That program is worth the money.  Thanks again to everyone for the help.


Now I just need to decide whether or not to save my stock images as Adobe RGB or sVGA.  Most of the designers on the forums here seem to be mentioning that Adobe RBG is their preference.  So I think I'll go with that for now.  If anyone has an opinion on that, please weigh in.  However, that may be a topic for a new thread altogether, and one that I'm sure has been discussed many times before.  For now, my "Color Problems" are solved. 


Thanks to all, 


Christian
Taysh
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:50PM

Hi Christian, glad it worked. Having a calibrated system makes all the difference.

You'll probably notice on some of your previous photos that you were slightly out with your adjustments at the time! I know I did when I first calibrated my system.

As for which colour space to save your images for stock, I think you'll find plenty on this subject in the forums, just do a search. Personally I prefer Adobe RGB, but I'm happy to accept sRGB.

Best wishes. 
BMPix
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:03AM

Posted By carrollphoto:

I'm still a bit confused here.  Mabye someone can set me straight.


A few weeks ago I did a DVD menu design project for a friend of mine.  Yes, Mr. Photographer actually dabbled in a bit of design.  Quite the experience!  Anyhow, I downloaded a few photos from iStock which looked very blue and cool when I was viewing them in the iStock web page (using IE).  However, when I imported the photos into Photoshop, they suddenly looked much warmer and almost purple.  I edited the images and then imported them into my DVD architecting software, at which point they appeared blue and cool again.


So is the above a potential result of my monitor not being calibrated?  Or would it rather be the result of the photographer having saved those images as Adobe RGB, which would cause them to look one way in IE and my DVD software and another way in Photoshop?


DVDs are video. Video should use only sRGB, never any other profile. sRGB is not so much a profile as an absence of one - it uses as its colour space the characteristics of an "average" monitor without any profile applied. IE does not apply any profile, and neither does a DVD player playing onto a video monitor, so sRGB should be nearest, if not absolutely correct for these. Using Adobe RGB for video or for display on a website with IE will result in desaturated images, which give the impression of coldness.
carrollphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:59AM
Thanks BMPix.  That's really good information to know.  During the course of the DVD project, I definitely figured out that video displays Adobe RBG files differently than Photoshop does.  Now I know why. 
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