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BeachDragonfly
Currently Being Moderated

Why do my images look washed out...

Aug 27, 2013 8:56 AM

Why do my images look washed out after I have worked in Photoshop CS6 and saved them in Finder? I have been a Photoshop user for a while now and have never experienced this problem. It started 2 months ago and no one can seem to tell me why or how to fix it. I am a professional photographer and I have clients waiting on their images but I can't send them looking as horrible as they do. My workflow is: drag and drop an image from iPhoto or Finder to Photoshop. I change things like levels, contrast, image size and use the healing too. Then I save to Finder so I can upload to dropbox or to website or burn to a DVD. Now when I save the image the thumbnail looks washed out, without color and looks horrible!!! I don't know if my photo files are corrupted or ? If I open the image in Photoshop or Bridge it looks fine. I would be grateful for any suggestions or explanation. Things were working just fine, but not now.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 9:02 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    My workflow is: drag and drop an image from iPhoto or Finder to Photoshop.

    I doubt that a professional photographer should use iPhoto as part of their workflow.

    Edit: But as I do not work as a photographer I am not really qualified to judge this issue …

     

    Now when I save the image the thumbnail looks washed out, without color and looks horrible!!!

    Why do you care about the thumbnails?

     

    What are your Edit > Color Settings in Photoshop?

    Do you embed the profile when saving?

    What color space are the images?

    How do you process your RAW files?

    What is your OS?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 9:06 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    I would eliminate iPhoto from your workflow. It does some odd things, regarding all files run through it.

     

    There are several threads on how iPhoto behaves, and what it does, to one's Images.

     

    Here are but a few:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/5494894#5494894

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/5449992#5449992

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/5357310#5357310

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 10:29 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    I suggest you use Bridge instead of iPhoto for image management.

     

    I'd also change the work color space from sRGB to ProPhoto or AdobeRGB, and make sure you are working on 16bit images.

     

    Washed out colors are often a problem of incorrectly tagged image (they have a different color space than the viewing environment requires).

     

    Also: did you say the thumbnails are washed out, but not the images?

     

    If you have to use iPhoto (I have never used it, so I can't give any info here) check what color space it is using (if there's a setting like this at all).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 11:14 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Don't know if you read the links given in post #2, but essentially iPhoto and Adobe do not play well together.  iPhoto puts the image in a hidden packet and what you get if you try to open in Bridge or PS is just the thumbnail, as I understand it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 11:23 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Hi BeachDragonFly,

     

     

    1. How to see the color space of your file:

     

    a. In the Mac folder: Highlight thumbnail, use Command + I to see the info panel of the image

     

    b. In Adobe Bridge: select the image, and you can see it on one of the info panels.

     

    I suggested the work color space of ProPhoto or Adobe RGB (16bit) for work in Photoshop, not for image delivery. Image delivery to clients is best in sRGB.

     

    I'm not sure if I remember well, but if you, e.g. have an image in Adobe RGB but view it under sRGB conditions, it may appear washed out.

     

    Just saw you are working on jpegs - did I understand this right? You are editing jpegs in Photoshop? No TIFF, PSD, no adjustment layers?

     

    Stop working on JPEGs now.

     

    Your washed out colors could come from image detoriation, as each save recompresses the jpeg and further reduces the image quality. Do that often enough on an 8bit jpeg, and you have one big blur left.

     

    Work in TIFF or PSD 16bit, use adjustment layers (and do no work directly on the image ).

     

    I suggest you get a comprehensive book on Photoshop, e.g. Martin Evening's book. It will tell you all the basics on how to process an image to have maximum technical image quality.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 2:04 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    That image is washed out to start with, or don't you realize that?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 3:02 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    The image does not look washed out to me.

     

    Can you post a screenshot of your washed out thumbnail, next to the file opened in Phothsop.  Is the washed out thumbnail coming from the finder?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 3:30 PM   in reply to Mike Gondek

    Can you provide a pair of original JPGs rather than screenshots, one as the JPG is before being opened and saved from PS and then the copy after being saved from PS so others can compare them?

     

    One way to do this would be to upload the two images to dropbox.com and provide a public download link in a reply.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 4:23 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Don't believe what the forum says for the maximum size.  You should be able to upload a screenshot without having to resize it. The forum will reize it down, itself, for display in the message but clicking should bring back the full-size.  

     

    The dropbox link you've provided is for your own user not the general public.  Please provide a public download link for each image, indicating which is the before-PS and which is the after-PS version.  There should be something in the dropbox interface that specifically has Public in the phrase.  Maybe you have to right-click. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2013 10:29 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    You have a few too many https there, ace. Anyway there is no difference between the washed out images you uploaded.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 8:39 AM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    There is no difference between the pairs of photos on DropBox other than their pixel dimensions, and they look the same as the Saved-From-Photoshop one in Finder.

     

    Can you upload a JPG directly from the camera's memory card to DropBox, before viewing in Finder or putting into iPhoto?  And also upload the JPG after it does into Finder and after it is saved from PS? 

     

    A theory about what is going wrong is the thumbnail in the JPG is wrong, somewhere, and what you see on DropBox and after saving from PS is correct because those are recomputing the thumbnail from the JPG data.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 6:18 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Examining the image direct from the camera of the child on the beach, using http://regex.info/exif.cgi  there is a small embedded thumbnail (with black bars top-and-bottom to letterbox it to the LCD aspect ratio), and a small preview probably used for zooming in on the camera LCD screen, and the fullsize jpg image all contained in the one JPG file.  All three of these seem to have identical histograms other than the black-bars causing a dark peak on the thumbnail image, but otherwise the shapes of the histograms and the position of the peaks from light to dark are the same. 

     

    In other words the full-size JPG and the embedded preview and thumbnail all seem the same other than size so the darkened version seen in Finder is not coming from the camera.  The one issue the above website reports is that the camera JPG has a color-profile tag (name of the profile) but does not actually contain the color profile, itself.  All other versions of the image have an actual embedded profile not just the name in a tag.  It is possible that this is confusing Finder into assuming a different profile or gamma curve for the image that sRGB warrants, but most all camera images have this issue so I wouldn't expect a Mac to show images from all cameras as too dark.

     

    It is a mystery to me why the Finder preview looks darker, but at least in the one side-by-side provided, it does, and is different-looking than all other representations of the image from what I can see.

     

    At the beginning of this thread you said you were worried the photos coming out of Photoshop were washed out and had bad colors.  From my perspective, what comes out of Photoshop looks the same as what comes out of the camera, so only Finder has it wrong.  Are you seeing the darker image anywhere else besides Finder (and perhaps iPhoto which we don't have a screenshot of)?

     

    Most importantly does the image you see on screen in Photoshop, while you're making adjustments, look dark like the pre-PS Finder thumbnail or does it look lighter, like the post-PS Finder thumbnail and all the images on DropBox? 

     

    If more than just the pre-PS Finder thumbnail is darker then you may have a monitor calibration issue that needs to be addressed, otherwise just ignore the pre-PS Finder thumbnail when evaluating if the image needs any adjustments and assume they are all ligher than the Finder image.

     

    BTW, I tested for a sRGB vs AdobeRGB mismatch, and if an sRGB image is assigned an Adobe profile then the colors become more intense but the whole image does not become darker so that can't explain what is happening. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 9:03 PM   in reply to ssprengel

    Maybe this will help you take better pictures:

    http://www.lightstalking.com/photo-hacks-launch

     

    You have some sort of calibration issue. Photoshop is truth, all else wrong.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 8:55 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Twelve fifty but worth it for you, I believe, if you're doing serious work.You should at the very least drop your exposure a half stop or more and then increase brightness, to recover highlights. Then punch up the contrast.

    Your images are not ready for web.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 1:43 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    They're all blown out. Isn't that obvious? 

    You seem to be overcompensating for whatever problem you're having that makes you think the camera is wrong.  You would need to explain in detail exactly what you're doing. Your camera, shooting conditions, what apps you are using, how you open your RAW, your computer and operating system, etc etc. There's something your lack of knowlege is causing here.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 2:45 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    No, you need to explain your complete workflow. No one can help you without that. You can find a good image anywhere.

    It sounds and looks to me like you have a monitor gamma problem because you have never calbrated it. Have you? What with? How long ago?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2013 11:42 PM   in reply to Lundberg02

    I assume this thread is near death, and i can only hope that the OP has calibrated his monitor so that he is seeing what his camera is taking and not destroying the images before sending them to the web.is+it+web+ready+800X600_6603.jpg

    Above is the first image he posted.  This  is its histogram.Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 12.19.25 AM.jpg

    I used a few adjustments in Preview Tools and Autotone in PS to punch it up.

    is+it+web+ready+800X600_6603toolsautotone.jpg

    There wasn't much there to work with. When you start with an image that is blown out, soft, low contrast, unsaturated, and shot at the wtrong angle.  It's hard to figure why the table is the star of the show.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2013 2:37 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    Yes it is, correctly. You have proved my point.  You don't understand color management at all.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2013 10:47 PM   in reply to BeachDragonfly

    You have never provided any information about your camera, the app you open its images with, the type of file(RAW or jpg).  your operating system, or the app you use to edit images.

    What did you use to calibrate your monitor? Are you sure your system is actually using the calibrated profile?

    If your images appear dark after importing from camera, you didn't shoot them correctly, or your monitor isn't right, or you're looking at a RAW without a color space, or your viewer app doesn't honor profiles.

    Let's try to bring a little sanity to this discussion if you actually want help.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2013 1:01 AM   in reply to Lundberg02

    Ok, I sincerely hope that you have now achieved a color managed workflow and that you have solved your problem, which existed because you did not have a color managed workflow.

    This support request is closed.

     
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