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Why do my photos look faded when I upload them to websites?

Mar 16, 2013 5:59 PM

Tags: #help #color #extended #faded

Relatively new to photoshop, please be kind.



I've come to the conclusion that something must be wrong with my color setting/profile?


My photos look great in CS6 but once I save them and upload them to a website like Facebook, Shutterfly, my personal website or anywhere really, they end up looking washed out and faded. 


What do I need to change?


RGB is set to: Adobe RGB (1998) CMYK, Gray & Spot are all in their default settings.  What am I doing wrong?


Thanks for your help!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 7:28 PM   in reply to violinbunny

    you need to CONVERT to sRGB and profile your monitor to 2.2 gamma


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 7:32 PM   in reply to violinbunny

    There may or may not be something wrong with your colour settings or monitor calibration and profile. Quite possibly there isn't. You say you work in Adobe RGB space in Photoshop. If you're viewing Adobe RGB images which have no embedded profile in a browser then the images are extremely likely to look "washed out and faded". And if you're viewing images in a browser that's not fully colour managed then your images will look wrong there anyway, regardless of profiles.


    I suspect you're putting Adobe RGB profile images on the Web and not embedding that profile in the images.


    It's generally best practice to put sRGB images on the Web. You can work in Adobe RGB space in Photoshop but if you don't work in sRGB space then ensure images destined for the Web are converted to sRGB so there is the best chance of most viewers seeing a somewhat close approximation to what you see in Photoshop.


    Photoshop's Save For Web dialog has an option to convert to sRGB. Note that SFW has an option to embed the profile in JPEG but not PNG files. There is some debate over whether the profile should be embedded in images for the Web but my personal choice is to embed. So if I export sRGB PNG via SFW, I use Apple Preview to embed the sRGB profile.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 7:55 PM   in reply to violinbunny

    sRGB is the correct color space (profile) to use on the Internet because the Web is mostly un-color managed and engineered for sRGB compliant monitors (and 2.2 monitor gamma)


    thumbnails generally are not color managed


    only color managed applications like Photoshop display proper (Source Space> Monitor Profile)


    try opening your Adobe RGB document, then View> Proof Setup: Monitor RGB

    there's the problem

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 8:08 PM   in reply to violinbunny

    violinbunny wrote:


    SO should I be saving two copies of each file?


    A sRGB file to put on the web & a ADOBE RGB file to print from?


    Keep a master document with its original profile, which is Adobe RGB in your case. Generate files for various uses and with appropriate profiles, such as for print or Web, from that master document.


    Put sRGB-profiled images on the Web. Make sure you convert non-sRGB to sRGB, and do not simply assign the sRGB profile without doing the actual conversion.

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  • Noel Carboni
    23,526 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 8:25 PM   in reply to violinbunny

    Conroy is right on.


    I can imagine that you might want to publish to the web and print from images with vastly different resolutions as well, not just differences in the color spaces.


    Note that there is no requirement that you save your document as a master file (e.g., PSD) at all, assuming you can re-create it easily.  For example, I usually don't save PSD files for raw images I've taken that require very little editing, since Photoshop re-opens raw files using the same parameters you chose last time.  Master files can be very large and take a lot of disk space.



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  • JJMack
    6,017 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 8:50 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    You could also use a script like Photoshop's Image Processor to batch convert and resize your print image files for the web.


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