All of a sudden, when I open any image in Photoshop, the colors appear to be desaturated...In Photoshop only. When I open that same image in Window Picture Viewer, or Quicktimer, or even if I drag the image into a brower window, the colors appear fine. But in Photoshop, something is clearly wrong. Now, I can make color adjustments to the image, but when I save and reopen reopen it in another application, I can see that color changes have been made, but they still don't match what Photoshop is displaying.
The images are RGB image...I've checked the color space setings in Photoshop, and they are the default (Edit > Color Settings: North American General Purpose 2 / RGB: sRGB IEC61966-2.1 / CMYK: US Web Coated (SWOP) V2, etc, etc). I also made sure View > Proof Setup was set to: Working CMYK. I even reset Photoshop to it's default settings (by holding down CTRL-ALT-SHIFT on launching Photoshop)...But the images still appear desaturated when I open them in Photoshop...So, I don't understand how this is still a Photoshop problem...But then again, they look fine when I use any other application on my computer to open them, so it's clearly not an issue with my monitor.
The frustrating thing is, I haven't made any changes to Photoshop OR my monitor (that I know about)...Photoshop has worked perfectly for me for years, and now there's this SNAFU that I just can not figure out.
I've included a screenshot below to show the disparity between an image opened in Photoshop (on left) and Windows Picture Viewer (on right):
Photoshop image on left, with desaturated colors...Same image in Windows Picture Viewer on right, where colors appear normal.
Any and all help is much appreciated : )
Your display profile does not match your display (or settings on the display). Fix the display profiile in the system color settings -- pick one that matches the display, or let the OS read the calibration from the display itself.
... I also made sure View > Proof Setup was set to: Working CMYK. ...
May be that's your problem, have you been working like that all the time before? The rgb color space of your monitor is much wider than a CMYK space, so you should expect to see a difference when displaying the same image in the two color spaces if the colors are outside the CMYK color space.
If you want to make Photoshop display the image like non-color managed programs on your monitor you have to choose View > Proof Setup > Monitor RGB. However that doesn't affect the image (file) itself but only how it is displayed and may not be the true colors that will be reproduced at a final destination other than your monitor.
the system color settings are in the Color Management Control panel assessable from Windows Start menu > Control panel
... I also made sure View > Proof Setup was set to: Working CMYK. ...
May be that's your problem, have you been working like that all the time before?"
I haven't knowingly changed any settings, which is why this is all so confusing.
"choose View > Proof Setup > Monitor RGB"
OK, I did that, and the photos look much better...It still doesn't exactly match the original photo when it is opened in Windows Picture Viewer, but it's very close. But do I have to select that every time, for every photo I open? It seems like that is what's happening.
Which begs the question: Is changing the Proff Setup a work-around that is not going to address the problem? I want to figure out what happened, and how to get my Photoshop working the way it normally was!
It's difficult to provide help without knowing your level of color-management expertise, but I think you've helped us some with that in post number 2.
Color management is basically this: Images and devices have certain color characteristics, and these are described by color profiles, sometimes also called color spaces.
1. You should not need to use the Proof Setup at all to view your images on your monitor. When things are set up properly Photoshop shows you accurate color without your choosing View - Proof Colors.
2. A color-managed application like Photoshop will try to show you accurate color on your display by interpreting both the image profile and your monitor profile and transforming the colors accordingly. BY DEFINITION this will look different than other applications which don't do color-management as these just pump the image RGB values directly out to the display.
It sounds as though the first case applies in your case here.
You can check to see what monitor profile is associated with your monitor through OS settings. I'm thinking, based on the caption buttons in your screen grab, that you've got Windows XP, but rather than go further with that assumption, I'll ask you to verify it first.
Yes Noel, I am using Windows XP.
I don't know a ton about color managment...I know the difference between working in CMYK and RGB, and I also know enough to know not to mess with/change any of those color default settings! And I really don't think I had changed anything (unless I hit a strange combinaton of buttons that changed something).
Also, in response to your comment :"BY DEFINITION this will look different than other applications which don't do color-management"...That actually has not been the case, for the years that I've been working in Photoshop, on many differernt computers. My experience has been that what I have open in Photoshop looked the same as (or at least very, very similar to) how the image was displayed in Windows Photo Viewer...Up until this recent change.
So, to get back to your first point...I don't want to have to use Proof Setup, especially since it seem as though I hae to engage that every time I open up a photo. I just want my Photoshop to work properly! I've already reset the default settings...Do you think I need to uninstall/reinstall Photoshop?
The colors on my monitor in pretty much every other program looks fine (although Adobe Bridge matched the desaturated color shift that I'm seeing in Photoshop)...This is a color problem that only appears to be happening within Photoshop, and it is something that has previously never happened before, on this computer, or any other. So, what do you think my next step is in trying to troubleshoot this? You mentioned something with the OS settings, but if something was wrong there, wouldn't that have an effect on colors universally throughout my computer, and not just in Photoshop?
It's possible some code/data was released through Microsoft's Windows Update facility that caused your computer to now "know" your monitor better, and load a profile from the manufacturer.
You can actually make things match more often between color-managed and non-color-managed applications by setting your monitor to use the sRGB color profile, which is the Windows default. This way, if you're looking at a document with the sRGB profile embedded, and the monitor is using the same profile, then there is no transform, and voila: Photoshop matches your non-color-managed apps. I suspect this is how you've had it set in the past.
In Windows XP, right-click on your desktop, choose Properties, then look for the Settings tab (this is from memory...). I believe in the dialog that opens when you click the [Advanced] you should find a Color tab or something like that. In there, if you have a profile OTHER than sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (aka sRGB Color Profile.icm) associated with your monitor, make note of it and change it to the sRGB color profile. This will likely return your system to operating the way you remember it (more things matching more often), though it may not be colorimetrically accurate.
> Do you think I need to uninstall/reinstall Photoshop?
How would that do anything to affect your display profile (a system setting)?
No, you don't need to reinstall, you just need to fix the display profile.
If that happened (Windows Update), wouldn't it have affected many people's computers? At any rate,I did what you suggested...The color profile that I was defaulted to was 2408WFP (whatever that is.)...I reselected sRGB COlor Space Profle (clesoest choice to what you mentioned), but didn't see any change : (
FYI, these are the color profiles that I had to choose from...Is there something else I should have selected?:
Try the AdobeRGB profile and see if that helps (it should be similar to your display gamut).
You may also want to check the display and see if you set to to "sRGB emulation" or anything else that would change it away from it's default state.
"Try the AdobeRGB profile" - I set it to that, and while it doesn't match perfectly, it is almost the same, and definitely a lot more usable that what it has been! So, thanks vey much for that!
"You may also want to check the display and see if you set to to "sRGB emulation" " - Where would I be checking this?
Thanks again : )
I suspect that if you'd set it to sRGB instead of Adobe RGB it would have matched perfectly. But Adobe RGB may well be giving you more accurate color with your monitor, so if you like it keep that setting.
I think Chris was thinking you might find an "emulate sRGB gamut" setting on the monitor, using the on-monitor controls themselves.
Out of nowhere, never saw this before- years working in PS v.4.0 to CS5, I am having this exact problem as clearly stated by Austin in the original post.
No changes to my system or Photoshop CS5.
Images that I edited before this happened still look great on my compuer outside of Photoshop, but now, when opened in Photoshop they have very flat, open shadows.
Also images that I now edit to look correct in PS, look dark and contrasty when viewed in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or other viewer - so this is a Photoshop issue.
Please, there must be someone that can offer a solution other than "try altering system setting to mask the issue".
Happy New Year!
I early posted that I had the exact issue as in the original post and lamenting that no answer was provided; In fact rereading your relpy I see that you very clearly explained the issue and provided the solution.
I am new to this forum and not sure how to give you credit - please advise - you really saved my butt here!!