17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2016 12:34 AM by D Fosse

    Why are my photos desaturated?

    cadec78055533

           My camera settings are set to shoot in RAW with the sRGB color space. Exported my files from Lightroom as sRGB. The photos look great on my monitor, but when I copy these images to a thumb drive and view them on a different monitor, they are very desaturated and flat with the blacks as very gray and not contrasted. I'm uncertain why this has happened because it hasn't happened before.

       

           On an online gallery, they look great but once they are downloaded and view where the files are stored they appear the same as mentioned above... desaturated and flat. Not quite sure what could have possibly gone wrong, but every photo appears to have been drastically altered. 

       

      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

          First of all, the color profile you set in the camera is for jpgs, and has no effect on raw files.

          Raw files are grayscale files, and the colors become visible when Lightroom renders them.

           

          The problem you describe is what typically happens when you export using the Adobe RGB or ProPhoto color space, and then viewing the image in application that is not color managed.

          If you are sure that you are exporting in sRGB, I suspect that there is a problem with the other monitor you are viewing them on.

          What application are you using on that other monitor?

           

          On an online gallery, they look great but once they are downloaded and view where the files are stored they appear the same as mentioned above...

          I don't understand what you mean here - is this on your monitor or the other monitor?

          Also, what do you mean by "view where the files are stored"?

          Maybe you could post some screenshots to illustrate the issue?

          • 2. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
            Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

            How are you viewing the files? Lightroom, Finder, Bridge, Picture Viewer?

            • 3. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
              cadec78055533 Level 1

              My clients are seeing the photos as very desaturated when they are downloaded (from the online gallery, Pixieset) to their computer. I'm not sure what program they are using to view their files (once they were downloaded), but it shouldn't be a problem on their side...would it? They just went ahead and downloaded the collection of photos (from Pixieset) before actually viewing the downloaded photos on their computer. They told me it looks great online. Until my clients printed the photos and they then noticed the discolored quality of the photos.

               

              They notified me about the issue. I have a MacBook Pro, and when I view my photos NOT in lightroom and so forth they look great, and I don't have an issue. I then copied those same jpeg edited files (the same files that I gave to my clients) to a thumb drive and jumped over to another computer. I opened up the files on a different computer, and then I could see what my clients were telling me. Discolored and very ugly photos! I didn't open up the photos into an Adobe program, just whatever a default Windows photo viewer would be.

              • 4. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                Would it be possible for you to post a link to one of these online galleries, so that we could download an image?

                • 5. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                  cadec78055533 Level 1

                  Jahnin + Jordan  gallery password: Nov19_2k16

                  download pin: 6564

                   

                  This link should bring you to the photo of the bouquet and engagement ring. Please note that my style is already a desaturated look. 

                  As time has been passing, I've also checked with my sister's computer. The color of her screen is extremely blue and the photos come out looking so cold.  

                   

                  I'm realizing this might be a bigger problem than I realized and I'm not sure if all my photos that I've been delivering to clients have been coming out looking different that what I see. If you have any suggestion about monitor calibrations, and what basic things I should understand. Thanks for you help so far, but I'm now kind of having a panic attack. haha!

                  • 6. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                    Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                    I downloaded an original image (which BTW gave me the whole gallery), and they look exactly the same in Photoshop as they do in my web browser.

                    I'd be curious to see what one of these images look like in Lightroom on your monitor.

                    Could you open for instance image 1530 (the raw file in color) in Develop, and take a screenshot of the whole Lightroom window, including the History panel on the left and the Histogram and Basic panels on the right. and post the full size screenshot here?

                    • 7. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I took a look at one of these images, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

                       

                      The sRGB profile is embedded, so no problems there.

                       

                      They are slightly desaturated, which is fine, but I'm more bothered by the very muted highlights and strong shadow color cast. The latter is caused by blue channel clipping in the low end, while the red and green channels have lots of room to go in the shadows.

                       

                      The effective dynamic range here is 6 - 222.

                       

                      This is how it looks:

                      J+J-1519.jpg

                       

                      Yes, a screenshot would be nice.

                      • 9. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                        Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                        Could you please post the color version, the black & white version is already desatured.

                        Thanks.

                        • 10. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                          cadec78055533 Level 1

                          ok so I just turned the B&W off so we could see the color. Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 1.38.32 PM.png

                          • 11. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                            Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                            On my calibrated monitor, the image looks like this:

                            1530.png

                             

                            Your screenshot shows higher contrast and higher saturation, which is most likely the cause of the problem.

                            You need to calibrate your monitor with a hardware calibrator - like Spyder, ColorMunki or i1.

                            Before you run the calibration, reset the monitor to factory default.

                             

                            After calibration, all your images in Lightroom will have less contrast and saturation, and you will have to edit them to make them look like what they did before. Once you have established what edits are needed, you can create a preset with just those edits, and apply the preset to all your photos.

                            • 12. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                              Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                              The histogram tells us that this image doesn't have any white in it. There are no values even close to complete white. Look at the right side of the histogram. The data peaks would sit all the way to the right side wall if there was white. The wedding dress looks pretty white in your screen capture which is a good indication that your monitor is not calibrated. You are not seeing the true information in the image. 

                               

                              On the left side of the histogram the data peaks are slammed up against the wall. This means that you have areas of the image that are completely black, with no shadow detail at all.

                               

                              Understanding the historgram will really help you with your editing. You should frequently turn on and off the clipping warnings so that you know exactly what is completely black or white. You can turn on and off the clipping warnings with the J key.

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 13. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Exactly what I noticed too - look at the histogram I posted above.

                                • 14. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                                  Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                  I suspect that the high contrast/saturation was caused by the OP adjusting the monitor settings.

                                  I've never used a Mac, but I would have thought that a Macbook Pro doesn't display like that out of the box.

                                  • 15. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                                    cadec78055533 Level 1

                                    My macbook pro is pretty old now. 2011 model.  Not sure if it has ever been calibrated. I bought it preowned from Apple. It looks like Ill have to get Spyder and calibrate this correctly. I reedited the photos but this time was always looking at the histogram. Hopefully they turn out better.

                                    • 16. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                                      cadec78055533 Level 1

                                      Does anyone think if I just upgrade my Macbook, Ill have less problems in my future? I'm already tired and frustrated with my macbook anyway... 

                                      • 17. Re: Why are my photos desaturated?
                                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        cadec78055533 wrote:

                                         

                                        It looks like Ill have to get Spyder and calibrate this correctly.

                                         

                                        If you care about input = output at all, this is how you do it. A non-calibrated, non-standard display is fine as long as you're sitting inside your own bubble, but the moment you hand your work off to others it's essential that you're all on the same page. Or at least that you are on the correct page, which you are clearly not here.

                                         

                                        That said, Mac default display proifiles are usually pretty good, unless you start fiddling with the settings - which will immediately invalidate the profile. A display profile has one basic requirement: it has to be an exact description of the display's actual behavior.

                                         

                                        Does anyone think if I just upgrade my Macbook, Ill have less problems in my future?

                                        In general terms, yes, although I'm not sure that's the problem here. With Apple, you generally need to get on the upgrade train and stay on board. If you jump off at any station you'll be left behind and can get into trouble. That's just how the Apple ecosystem works. On the plus side, they do drive technology forwards with this policy.

                                         

                                        The Windows environment is much more forgiving in this regard, as backwards compatibility is and has always been a priority with Microsoft. Call it boring, but usually "it just works" as long as you're prepared to do some basic maintenance on your system.