29 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2015 10:56 AM by D Fosse

    Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop

    Vincent RJ Level 1

      I bought an expensive monitor some time ago which claims to produce the color gamut of Adobe RGB, the NEC PA271W. I also bought an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter, with software, to calibrate my monitor.

       

      After calibration, the images appear right when displayed in Photoshop, and such images print okay on my professional printer with professional profiles, but such images don't appear okay outside of Photoshop, when displayed on my calibrated monitor. They appear far too saturated and contrasty.

       

      When I check what profile is listed under the Color Management tab of my monitor, the default profile is the same as that listed among all the other profiles under Windows/system32/spool/drivers/color.

       

      What's going on, I wonder. Is my video card not compatible with the X-rite calibration process? The video card is the AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series.

       

      Any help would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
          Level 5

          Let's refresh your understanding of color management, which appears to be pretty good.

           

          The result of the calibration process, once saved as a profile, should be set as your MONITOR profile, always.  This is a device-dependent profile.

           

          NEVER set your Monitor Profile as a Working Color Space in Photoshop.  Your Working Color Space should always be a standard, device-independent color profile like ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB or sRGB.

           

          So far you seem to be doing well.

           

          Your document profile can be any device-independent color profile like ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB or sRGB you need it to be.  If it goes to a printing outfit that requires it, you may convert the document to their own TARGET profile, or they may be knowledgeable enough to work with the device-independent color you used as a working space.  Always ask them.

           

          Now, a TARGET profile is a device generated for a specific combination of ink, paper and printer model, such as the professional profiles.

           

          Again, you're doing fine so far.

           

          The last thing to clarify is the appearance of the image on your calibrated monitor.

           

          Adobe Photoshop is a totally color-managed application that uses your MONITOR PROFILE (the one you saved and set after calibration) to convert your image files before sending the colors to the monitor.

           

          They should look fine, and they do in your case.

           

           

          Now we come to how other applications show your files:  Since other applications are most likely non-color-managed, they send your files WITHOUT using your monitor profile to convert them, so it's inevitable that they will look awful—just as you describe them.  The effect will be a lot more pronounced on a wide-gamut monitor like yours.

           

          For example: the only completely, 100% color managed web browser happens to be Firefox for the Mac, and even there you have to set it to that behavior in its preferences,

           

          There's absolutely nothing you can do about the clueless behavior of non-color-managed applications,  What you see is, therefore, 100% normal, expected behavior.

           

          Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

          • 2. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
            Vincent RJ Level 1

            Thanks for the reply.

            Perhaps I have not explained the problem clearly, or perhaps I do not understand the situation myself and am not calibrating my monitor properly.

             

            I am aware that the appearance of all images on uncalibrated monitors can vary considerably. The purpose of calibration is to standardise the appearance.

             

            After calibrating my PA271W, I get the impression that the calibration results only apply within the Photoshop program, and the X-rite program where the calibration was made. For example, when opening a folder in ACR, that contains lots of images, I sometimes notice a delay before the thumbnails show their true calibrated color. Initially, they look too saturated and contrasty for just a few seconds, then one by one they quickly convert to a 'correct' color.

             

            My first reaction to this was that perhaps the profile I had created was confined to the Photoshop program, and was not generally associated with my monitor, so I right-clicked on the desktop, went to 'screen resolution', 'advanced settings', 'color management', and there I found the profile that I had created, listed as the default ICC profile for my monitor and video card, which I assume is as it should be.

             

            Now, this is the confusing part. I can remove then reinsert that profile (right-clicking on the desktop) yet nothing changes. My desktop theme images, and any images I display in email programs such as Google's Gmail, or Hotmail, remain the same. They are still too saturated.

             

            At the end of the calibration process with X-rite's i1 Display, I get a screen showing 'before/after'. The differences, initially, at the time of the first calibration were pronounced. 'Before' was unnaturally saturated. "After' looked right, just as the images look right in Photoshop. However, these 'before/after' results are within the X-rite software.

             

            I don't understand why I do not get a 'Before/After' effect (in relation to my desktop theme images) when I remove the ICC profile associated with my monitor and video card.

             

            Is there something obvious that I've overlooked, or is there some bug in the system? Or is this perhaps the penalty one pays for having a monitor with an unusually wide color gamut?

            • 3. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
              Level 5

              You have a whole bunch of reading on Color Management to do, Vincent.

               

              Explaining and clarifying all your misconceptions would vastly exceed the scope of this forum, or that of any forum anywhere.  It's tantamount to teaching you Color Management from scratch.

               

              Start by reading the thick, copious volumes on the subject by Bruce Frasier, Andrew Rodney an other such luminaries.  Google searches on the subject will yield more hits than you can possible investigate in a lifetime.

               

              I'll just address one of the most glaring errors and misconceptions in your post:

               

              Vincent RJ wrote:

               

              …The purpose of calibration is to standardise the appearance…

               

               

              Ouch!    Total fallacy!

               

              The purpose of calibration is to bring your monitor to a known state.  The purpose of the whole process of calibration and profiling is to create a monitor profile which the application (in this case Photoshop) can use to convert the color numbers in your image so that your now-calibrated monitor can show their actual, true colors the way they are—regardless of how good or ugly-to-you they may look!


              The notion that you should look for a way to "standardize (my American way of spelling your "standardise") the appearance" is just about the most preposterous, clueless and wrong statement I have ever met anywhere.

               

              That denotes such a massive lack of knowledge and understanding of the subject on your part, that I can't think how I could ever make you understand how color management works.

               

              The Google search indicated above will present you with more learning possibilities than you can shake a stick at.

               

              For a quick, but thorough explanation in layman terms, you can start learning here:

               

              COLOR MANAGEMENT PHOTOSHOP CC CS6 Basic ColorManagement Theory ICC Profiles Color Spaces Calibrated Monitor Professional…

               

              Though it's Mac oriented, the basics of course apply to PCs.

               

              Maybe you'll be lucky enough that the pro contributors here like Andrew Rodney, Gernot Hoffmann, etc., will chime in and tackle some of your other confusing paragraphs.  Your terminology regarding your testing and experiments is at best just wrong but most times simply incomprehensible.

               

              If I have enough energy ad time I might comment on some of those, one a time later, but most likely not.

               

              It will help you remember that converting one image from one color profile to another CHANGES the numbers to preserve the colors as much as possible; while assigning a profile PRESERVES the numbers and substantially CHANGES the colors of the image.

               

              Finally, yes, of course there are tradeoffs and "punishments" (good one!) with a wide-color monitor.

               

              Don't forget, start here:

               

              COLOR MANAGEMENT PHOTOSHOP CC CS6 Basic ColorManagement Theory ICC Profiles Color Spaces Calibrated Monitor Professional…

              • 4. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                Level 5

                Incidentally, the now discontinued NEC MultiSync PA271W Widescreen LCD Monitor with SpectraViewII Color Calibration Solution was a very good value (just under $,1200), but not among the "very expensive" monitors of the day. 

                 

                I only wish I had one of those right now instead the under $100 refurbished Dell monotor I was forced to get as a secondary monitor in a pinch and in a hurry when one of my dual 22" CRT high-end monitors finally died after a bunch of years of distinguished service.

                • 5. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                  Vincent RJ Level 1

                   

                  Ouch! Total fallacy!

                  The purpose of calibration is to bring your monitor to a known state. The purpose of the whole process of calibration and profiling is to create a monitor profile which the application (in this case Photoshop) can use to convert the color numbers in your image so that your now-calibrated monitor can show their actual, true colors the way they are—regardless of how good or ugly-to-you they may look!

                   

                  I think we're either talking at cross purposes, or you are misinterpreting my words. I've always understood that the purpose of calibration is to standardise the appearance of the image on all monitors that are correctly calibrated. I'm not referring to any conversion of numbers or RGB values, which is always required when converting the embedded profile of an image, from ProPhoto RGB to sRGB for example. I'm referring only to the appearance of the image on the monitor.

                  I'll give you a specific example. Let's consider an image with an embedded sRGB profile, which has a color gamut which most monitors can handle. Having processed that image, good or bad, the appearance of that image should be approximately the same on all monitors that have been correctly calibrated. That's what I mean by standardisation. A monitor which has been correctly calibrated, is also a monitor which has been brought to a known state, of course, ie. the state of being correctly calibrated.

                  • 6. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                    Level 5

                    Vincent RJ wrote:

                     

                    I think we're either talking at cross purposes, or you are misinterpreting my words. I've always understood that the purpose of calibration is to standardise the appearance of the image on all monitors that are correctly calibrated.

                     

                    You are indeed MASSIVELY WRONG there.  Trust me, you're not even close to beginning to understand color management. What you are describing is a simplistic, deficient personal idea of Color Management, not "calibration".

                     

                    STEP ONE in Color Management:

                    Calibrating and profiling are only a start of the whole Color Management process.  Calibrating and profiling your monitor does nothing, absolutely nothing for the appearance of any image on other monitors.  Trust me:  ZILCH !

                     

                    When you leave out the term "profiling" and refer to calibration alone you are talking sheer nonsense.  Get yourself into the habit of thinking of both terms together, though they are part of the one starting point in process.

                     

                    STEP TWO:

                    Set your saved monitor profile after calibration as your Monitor Profile File onlyNever as your Working Space, never as something you ever embed in a file, never as a print or target profile.

                     

                    Once you have set this profile as your Monitor Profile.  You NEVER think of it again, and never mention it again—unless eventually, and for whatever reason, your monitor profile file gets corrupted, damaged or disappears by magic.

                     

                    Note that your monitor profile is a strictly device-dependent profile, it applies to nothing else in the entire world, only to your video card and your particular monitor unit.  Not even to an identical model and manufacturing batch.  Each individual monitor has its own performance characteristics (industrial tolerances of components or manufacture and all that, as well as aging of same).

                     

                     

                    STEP THREE:

                    This entails choosing your WORKING COLOR SPACE.  This will always be a device-independent (repeat: device-independent) standard workspace such as ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB, sRGB, etc., in descending degree of gamut width.

                     

                     

                    STEP FOUR:

                    You make absolutely sure to embed the device-independent Color Profile of your Working Color Space in your document (image file), this is called tagging your file.  This is of such enormous importance that I always say:  "If a moron hands you an untagged file, you're going to have to guess in which color space it was created.  Once you make your best educated guess, remember to go beat that moron who gave you an untagged file mercilessly with a baseball bat or simlar, heavy object!"

                     

                    This is just my way of stressing how wrong it is not to embed the color space profile in your finished file. The only worse offense would be to tag it with the wrong profile.  Tagging a file with your monitor profile should be punished by quartering or by burning at the stake.

                    Again, just strong imagery to reinforce the concept.

                     

                    STEP FIVE:

                    This will be using a device-dependent Printing Profile, also called a Target Profile, in the printing dialog of the Photoshop application or the RIP used by a commercial printing outfit.  This will be a device dependent profile prepared exclusively and specifically for your particular combination of ink, paper and printer.

                     

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                     

                    Vincent RJ wrote:

                     

                    …I'm not referring to any conversion of numbers or RGB values…

                     

                    But of course you are Vincent RJ, you are!!!  Most definitely you are!  Why can't you grasp that basic concept? ?? !!

                     

                    With a calibrated and profiled monitor and a properly tagged image file (with the color profile of your working color space properly embedded) Photoshop will use your Monitor Profile that you set in the application as such to CONVERT and CHANGE THE NUMBERS (VALUES) of the RGB colors in your finished image BEFORE sending them to your monitorEvery single time.  Think of that process as making up for the deficiencies of your monitor and video card combination.

                     

                    When other people look at your image, if they're using a color managed application, said application will use whatever they have set as their Monitor Profile in their setup to CHANGE THE NUMBERS of the colors in your finished image BEFORE sending them to THEIR monitors.


                    If their monitors are uncalibrated and unprofiled, you don't have a prayer of a chance to control even remotely how your image will look on their screens.  That's 96% of web users, by the way. If their monitors are calibrated and profiled, the image on the screen will be reasonably close to what you see, but the gamut of their monitors (vs. your wide-gamut NEC) will necessarily change the RGB numbers and colors from what your setup does, and the variance will be greater.

                     

                    Get rid forever of your silly concept of "standardisation" or standardization, whichever way we want to spell it.  That is simply a pipe dream of yours.  If you have a big stick handy, beat up the moron who got you to believe that.  Use twice the numbers of strikes if that person is a teacher.

                     

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                     

                    Lastly, I'm getting an uneasy feeling because you haven't mentioned printing at all.

                     

                    You should be aware that Color Management is defined in terms of the art and science of controlling colors from the digital image to print.  There are different variants of the definition, but they all end with the word PRINT.

                     

                    What I'm trying to say is that a person who works with images only to be observed and shown on screens does not need to bother with Color Management at all, because the minute percentage of monitor viewers I mentioned above.  Such a person can just set everything to sRGB (monitor, color space, tags, printer, etc), the lowest common denominator of profiles, and forget about anything else.

                     

                    I would hope I got through to you, but I'm not holding my breath.

                     

                    I wish you luck in your endeavo(u)rs.

                    • 7. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                      Level 5
                      Out of Gamut: Color-Correct Vocabulary

                       

                      http://www.creativepro.com/article/out-of-gamut-color-correct-vocabulary

                       

                      You can most certainly use this when you communicate with anyone about Color Management.

                      • 8. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Vincent, this is actually quite simple, you just have to cross one hurdle first .

                         

                        Do not confuse calibration and profiling. They are separate and independent processes, serving different purposes, just rolled into one operation for convenience. To give you an idea, you can profile a display and thereby have a fully color managed display, without calibrating it at all. Just leave it at its native response. Not that I recommend that, but with a good display it's possible.

                         

                        Calibration is the basic correction of the display. It's simple, linear and low precision. It's global and affects everything - but it is not part of the color management chain.

                         

                        The display profile, OTOH, is a complete and detailed description of the display in its current state (calibrated or not). The precision level is much higher than what a simple calibration alone can achieve. It describes the position of the primaries in three-dimensional color space, and a detailed tone response curve. This is what a color managed application uses (and converts the RGB numbers to).

                         

                        In a color managed application the display pipeline is just another standard color management chain: A source profile is converted to a destination profile. The source is the embedded document profile, and the destination is the display profile.

                        • 9. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Forgot one thing: the really important part of calibration is setting the white (and black) point. This defines the environment color management - the profile - works in. A neutral color balance is also set, relative to the white point.

                          • 10. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Oops, I got a little sidetracked by this discussion.So just to get back on track:

                             

                            A wide gamut display requires a fully color managed environment to perform as intended. In software that isn't color managed, sRGB material will display garishly oversaturated. There are no exceptions to this rule, and no workaround. That's the price you pay for the extended gamut.

                             

                            Why this is so is well explained in the above.

                             

                            There, that answers your question, Vincent

                            • 11. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                              Vincent RJ Level 1

                              [quote]With a calibrated and profiled monitor and a properly tagged image file (with the color profile of your working color space properly embedded) Photoshop will use your Monitor Profile that you set in the application as such to CONVERT and CHANGE THE NUMBERS (VALUES) of the RGB colors in your finished image BEFORE sending them to your monitor. Every single time. Think of that process as making up for the deficiencies of your monitor and video card combination.[/quote]

                                

                               

                              You misunderstand my workflow. It's me who is in control of the numbers (or RGB values) of my images, and it's me who assigns a particular profile to my images. Once I'm happy with the appearance of a particular image, that's it. The numbers only change if I change my mind and reprocess the image. It would be ludicrous if the RGB values of an image were to automatically change merely as a result of my viewing a finished image on another monitor.

                               

                              I'm sorry, but you seem to have some basic confusion on this issue.

                               

                              I'll give you a specific example. I adjust an image so that the brightest parts of a whitish wall or a whitish cloud, are not clipped. I check the RGB values in Photosdhop to make sure that all the values are less than 255,255,255 in those brightest parts of the image, except perhaps for a few, very small spectral highlights. Assuming the monitor is correctly calibrated, the image should look right.

                               

                              Now I expect the values (in the image file) of those brightest parts of the image to remain the same on whatever monitor I view the image. The appearance will change on an uncalibrated monitor, but not the actual RGB values in the image file..

                              Let's say I view such an image on a cheap, unclaibrated laptop which also also has a copy of Photoshop installed. Let's say the image looks quite different. Much brighter, and all those brightest parts of the white wall and the white clouds now appear to have lost all their detail. They're a sold white.

                              Do you think the RGB values of the image have changed? Of course they haven't. What has changed is the interpretation of those numbers by the monitor and its profile.You can verify this for yourself by opening the image in Photoshop, clicking on info palette and placing the eyedropper tool over the parts that appear blown. The values will be the same as they were when you first processed the image, all less than 255,255,255.

                               

                              Lastly, I mentioned before that I have no problem in printing. I have no problem with the appearance of the image in Photoshop matching the appearance of the print.

                               

                              Twenty_one appears to have provided a correct answer as follows: [quote]A wide gamut display requires a fully color managed environment to perform as intended. In software that isn't color managed, sRGB material will display garishly oversaturated. There are no exceptions to this rule, and no workaround.[/quote] Thanks Twenty_one.

                               

                              If this is true, then I'm very disappointed. This is a serious disadvantage of the wide-gamut monitor. I had got the impression that sRGB is an industry-wide standard that most programs and displays are adjusted to handle approximately right. sRGB is not a wide-gamut profile. I have assumed, perhaps incorrectly it seems, that any excessive monitor vibrancy in relation to sRGB values would be taken care of as a result of monitor profiling. What a mess!

                              • 12. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                This isn't as complicated as you think. This is exactly the problem that color management solves, and was designed to solve. And the problem is of a general nature applying to all displays, they're all different - it's just that a wide gamut monitor is so much more different that it jumps in your face.

                                 

                                The funny thing is that color management usually gets blamed for problems caused by lack of color management. There's no justice in the world.

                                 

                                sRGB is the standard because it displays roughly correctly on an average monitor without color management. In fact that's what sRGB is - a description of an average monitor. But that description was made back in a time when CRT monitors ruled the world, and nobody even knew what wide gamut was.

                                • 13. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                  Level 5

                                  Vincent RJ wrote:

                                   

                                  …You misunderstand my workflow. It's me who is in control of the numbers (or RGB values) of my images, and it's me who assigns a particular profile to my images…

                                   

                                  Vincent, it is YOU who misunderstands EVERYTHING, not just what I write.

                                   

                                  The reason I provided the example of "a moron who hands you an untagged or a wrongly tagged file" was my thinly veiled, oblique effort to avoid applying the moron epithet in public directly to you, which I don't need to do now because you have richly proven it in public. 

                                   

                                  Vincent RJ wrote:

                                   

                                  …It's me who is in control of the numbers (or RGB values) of my images, and it's me who assigns a particular profile to my images. Once I'm happy with the appearance of a particular image, that's it. The numbers only change if I change my mind and reprocess the image. It would be ludicrous if the RGB values of an image were to automatically change merely as a result of my viewing a finished image on another monitor

                                   

                                  But that is precisely what happens, Vincent!   !!!  That is at the root of every color managed workflow.  What you are doing is simply trial-and-error, and that's a workflow the results of which are utterly impossible to predict. What a color-managed application does is PRECISELY to change the numbers of your image based on the numbers provided by your monitor profile before sending them to your display.  If you don't believe that, nobody can help you, but it is clear that you don't want to be helped.

                                   

                                  You are totally ignorant of the theory, of what is happening and, ultimately, of what you yourself are doing.

                                   

                                  twenty_one has generously chimed in to try to convince you to rethink your attitude and your workflow.  I wonder why you come here looking for answers in the first place if you're going to ignore the advice you are given.

                                  • 14. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                    Level 5

                                    Vincent RJ wrote:

                                     

                                    …It would be ludicrous if the RGB values of an image were to automatically change merely as a result of my viewing a finished image on another monitor…

                                     

                                    Again, that is precisely what happens to the numbers sent by color-managed applications like Photoshop BEFORE they send them to the video circuitry to be displayed on the screen.  Notice that no one is saying that the numbers of your file on your hard disk are being changed or that they are changed for printing—don't misconstrue that—but the RGB values sent to the monitor are absolutely being changed.

                                     

                                    Otherwise there would absolutely be no purpose or reason to profile a monitor.

                                    • 15. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                      Level 5

                                      Oh, and, please, do not bother to reply to me or to my posts ever again.

                                       

                                      Where a mere "thank you" would have sufficed, you utterly waste my time with your drivel and your offensive, ingrate, ignorant attitude

                                      • 16. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                        Nestro Level 1

                                        Vincent,

                                        I'm having the same problem. Did you ever find a solution?


                                        Station_two please don't get involved.

                                        • 17. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                          Nestro Level 1

                                          Vincent,

                                          I'm having the same problem. Did you ever find a solution?


                                          Station_two please don't get involved.

                                          • 18. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            A wide gamut monitor (which is what the original poster here has), can only be used with fully color managed applications, such as Photoshop, and you must have a valid monitor profile made with a calibrator, for these applications to use.

                                             

                                            Without color management, colors appear oversaturated. There is nothing you can do about this (except dumbing the unit down to sRGB). This is the basic premise you accept when purchasing one of these units.

                                            • 19. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                              SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                              "After calibrating my PA271W, I get the impression that the calibration results only apply within the Photoshop program, and the X-rite program where the calibration was made. For example, when opening a folder in ACR, that contains lots of images, I sometimes notice a delay before the thumbnails show their true calibrated color. Initially, they look too saturated and contrasty for just a few seconds, then one by one they quickly convert to a 'correct' color."

                                               

                                              The initial low res thumbnails from your raw files are not color managed so they don't appear correctly until ACR/Lr can read the jpeg preview that the camera embeds in the raw file. That's the delay you're seeing and the amount of the delay will depend on how fast your computer is and how many files are in the folder.

                                               

                                              "My first reaction to this was that perhaps the profile I had created was confined to the Photoshop program, and was not generally associated with my monitor, so I right-clicked on the desktop, went to 'screen resolution', 'advanced settings', 'color management', and there I found the profile that I had created, listed as the default ICC profile for my monitor and video card, which I assume is as it should be.

                                              Now, this is the confusing part. I can remove then reinsert that profile (right-clicking on the desktop) yet nothing changes. My desktop theme images, and any images I display in email programs such as Google's Gmail, or Hotmail, remain the same. They are still too saturated."


                                              Yes, of course. All the programs you're referencing are not color managed, so they just throw raw RGB numbers to the screen without being filtered through the monitor profile. They can't do anything else, and if those files are significantly different in color space from your monitor, well, that's how different they're going to look on screen. Remember those apps are not color managed, so when you change the monitor profile in your system, nothing changes because the profile is not being used.

                                               

                                              "I don't understand why I do not get a 'Before/After' effect (in relation to my desktop theme images) when I remove the ICC profile associated with my monitor and video card."

                                               

                                              As I just explained above, it's because your desktop images display is not using the monitor profile at all, so there's no before/after possible. It's all before or all after, depending on how you look at it.

                                               

                                              "Is there something obvious that I've overlooked, or is there some bug in the system? Or is this perhaps the penalty one pays for having a monitor with an unusually wide color gamut?"

                                               

                                              The problems you are describing aren't really problems at all. All of the color managed applications like Photoshop, Lightroom, ACR, Acrobat, InDesign, Capture One, etc, - they all automatically utilize your custom monitor profile when displaying images. In other words, these apps, by applying the monitor profile are actually converting on the fly from the working color space (Adobe RGB, sRGB, ProPhotoRGB, etc.) to the monitor profile. That's why they all look the same. They are all doing, effectively, a Convert to Profile profile conversion in order to make your files display correctly. This also means that, even though the pixel values in the original file, as you read them with the Info Palette in Photoshop remain unchanged, but the RGB pixel values that actually hit your screen HAVE been modified to compensate for the differences between the working color space and the monitor's RGB color space - as defined by that custom profile you just made.

                                               

                                              This general issue is one of the most common and most commonly misunderstood problems that come up when people are "upgrading" to large gamut screens. And as was previously mentioned, as soon as you do go to a large gamut screen, it's doubly important for everything you use to view images be fully color managed. When virtually all the monitors in the world were roughly sRGB in their gamut, then all the sRGB files looked approximately correct whether or not the app was color managed, but now that there are so many wider gamut screens, you're seeing more and more complaints like this.

                                              • 20. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                                Also gotta say that I almost never come by any Adobe forums anymore, but a lot of the tone in this thread is really not very helpful, coming off as lecturing and condescending. If you try and make someone feel like crap, they're gonna shut down. No wonder that Nestro made the comment that was made.

                                                • 21. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Yes, that's an excellent explanation, sasquatch15. You should come around more often .

                                                   

                                                  As for the tone, I agree (but may be guilty myself on occasion). A lot of people tend to overcomplicate color management and run off chasing red herrings, and that always tests my patience. Keep it simple is my motto, because it really is.

                                                   

                                                  As I said above, color management usually gets blamed for problems caused by lack of color management. Color management actually solves these problems.

                                                   

                                                  The manufacturers of wide gamut monitors should take a big part of the blame here, because they fail to give this vital piece of information. One can excuse NEC and Eizo for assuming an educated customer, but the more consumer-oriented brands like Dell, Asus and so on, should IMO put a huge red sticker right on the screen: a color managed environment is required for this unit to perform as intended. But they probably think it would scare people away.

                                                  • 22. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                    SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                                    One of the biggest problems is that many of the "smaller" apps particularly on a PC are not color managed, and it's only been much more recently that you could get any sort of color awareness out of IE or Chrome, whereas most of the apps on the Mac are color managed by default. Yes, maybe some sort of sticker might help, but it also might confuse as well. And in the end, somewhere down the road a piece, that sRGB standard could end up changing to Adobe RGB, but sRGB, I think is still a viable option for now, and it dovetails nicely with REC-709, the broadcast TV standard, until that gets changed.

                                                     

                                                    This whole wide gamut monitor stuff gets even more complicated for youtube videos as well. Anything coming from a commercial source is going to be REC-709, which is just sRGB with a 2.4 gamma, but video content and video editors are not color managed, which adds a whole level of confusion, and if you don't have a screen that can be hardware calibrated to either of those standard gamut standards, then online video content is going to look flat and unsaturated.

                                                     

                                                    I just hope that maybe the two people who were interested in solving their problems come back and maybe this will have helped them a bit. It took me a long time to really grasp the bigger picture of digital color and it came one little revelation at a time, but I remember going to Apple ColorSync meetings in Santa Monica and coming out just scratching my head and then having it all (or just a small part) make sense on a mountain bike ride the next weekend.

                                                    • 23. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      sasquatch15 wrote:

                                                       

                                                      And in the end, somewhere down the road a piece, that sRGB standard could end up changing to Adobe RGB

                                                      It did look like that at some point, but then the whole thing suddenly reversed. Dell is a case in point. Much can be said about Dell (and I have), but their collective nose is very finely tuned to the market. A few years ago all the Ultrasharps were wide gamut, but then they turned around and released one sRGB model after another. Now most of them are. And the others followed suit.

                                                       

                                                      It seems that some technology shifts, however simple, carry too high a cost in terms of turning everybody's habits upside down. There's just no backwards compatibility. For Adobe RGB to be accepted as the new web standard, everybody would have to readjust at the same time.

                                                       

                                                      So wide gamut remains a niche, for the pro market segment that knows how to take advantage of it. In the consumer segment, wide gamut has no immediate benefits and a lot of potential grief.  

                                                      • 24. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        BTW - I know that the "native" Mac OS apps have wider color management support than they do in Windows, but there is still a default display profile, right? So hooking a wide gamut monitor up to a Mac is no different in this regard. It will still look wrong if you don't calibrate/profile the unit to make a corresponding display profile. And given the widespread notion that the Mac "just works", I imagine the problem could be even bigger there.

                                                        • 25. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                          SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                                          Yes, you are right there. I'd hazard a guess that, because most Mac these days are iMacs or MacBookPros with built in screens, and from what I've read, they're approximately similar to sRGB - more or less. If someone is buying a wide gamut monitor for a second iMac screen or for a trashcan MacPro, I would hope that they are advanced enough to know that they need to calibrate and profile.

                                                           

                                                          I've helped a few friend set up and calibrate their recent iMacs, calibrating them with an i1Display Pro, and truth be told, there's only a small improvement in gray balance and general linearity and accuracy. These computers are surprisingly good straight out of the box. Certainly enough for a casual user.

                                                           

                                                          I think the biggest hurdle is getting people to conceptualize what happens when there is no monitor profile to filter the image. Usually about the time they figure out that "Monitor RGB" magically fixes all their color problems.

                                                          • 26. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                            YD60 Level 1

                                                            In Windows 7/8, under Control Panel>Color Management, if changing the default monitor profile makes no immediate visible change, look under the Advanced tab and check

                                                            Use Windows display calibration. If it is grayed out:

                                                             

                                                            -Use a user account with admin privileges.

                                                            -Under Color Management, Advanced Tab, bottom left, choose Change System Defaults, it will open what appears to be the same window you were already in, but notice the window title now says "Color Management - System Defaults"

                                                            -Go to the new Advanced tab and check the box, then close and reboot.

                                                            -Thank Microsoft for making that so intuitive.

                                                             

                                                            Caveats: This may get Windows to recognize the profile, but doesn't guarantee the calibration is accurate. I have read, but have not verified myself, that simply having Windows ICM (or Apple ColorSync) correctly set to use your custom monitor profile will not fix saturation issues associated with large gamut displays. However, high-end monitors with internal look up tables can apply a profile independently of the operating system or graphics card. That's just what I've read, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                            • 27. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                              D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              YD60 wrote:

                                                               

                                                              someone correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                              I'm sorry, but you're wrong. This isn't how it works. You seem to confuse calibration and profiling.

                                                               

                                                              Calibration is a simple, linear correction of the monitor's response. It affects everything globally. It is not part of the color management chain, merely an adjustment to the unit's native behavior.

                                                               

                                                              A monitor profile is a highly detailed description of the monitor in that calibrated state. The profile is only used by applications that are color managed. The operating system doesn't use the profile at all, it only makes it available for applications. The profile is loaded by the application at startup.

                                                               

                                                              The color managed app performs a standard profile conversion from source profile to monitor profile, and sends these modified values to the monitor. Applications that are not color managed ignore the profile and send the numbers straight through unchanged.

                                                               

                                                              There is normally no reason to change anything under Windows color management, except which profile is set as default.

                                                              • 28. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                                Art M. Level 1

                                                                Can a wide gamut monitor like NEC PA272 be used in sRGB mode for situations where an application is not color-managed? 

                                                                Is the sRGB simulation mode as good quality and speed as a monitor that only displays sRGB?  Thank you.

                                                                Art

                                                                • 29. Re: Appearance of color in Photoshop after calibration, and outside of Photoshop
                                                                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  Yes, absolutely. Probably even better.

                                                                   

                                                                  Standard monitor primaries don't match sRGB precisely - but a wide gamut unit will more or less contain the sRGB primaries and be better able to match.

                                                                   

                                                                  You still won't get a match that is as good as a fully color managed display, though. The native tone response curve in a modern LCD doesn't follow an idealized gamma curve. In pratctice you'll probably see slightly darker shadows with slightly less separation - but of course that happens on a standard monitor as well.