20 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2017 11:53 PM by D Fosse

    Different representations of colours between software

    holapinata

      Hi there!

       

      I hope someone can help me out, because I'm a bit puzzled. I got two colour calibrated pc's (Datacolor Spyder), and since recently I notice that between different software, photos are rendered with different saturation/contrast levels.

      So I noticed, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Chrome, seem to display photos pretty much indistinguishable similar. But then Edge and the default Windows Photos app and Faststone, display the photos all a bit more saturated/contrasty.

      This happens on two machines, both Windows 10. Both calibrated, and even same type monitors. And I do export photos with the sRGB profile. Those JPG's are displayed in Photoshop quite accurately the same as the RAW's in Lightroom, but then different in other APPS, besides Chrome....

       

      I'm quite lost with this, and don't know what to trust anymore..

      Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

      Dennis

        • 1. Re: Different representations of colours between software
          johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

          Some programs, including LR and Photoshop, are "color-managed", meaning they use the color profile assigned to your display by the calibrator to produce accurate colors.  Other programs, including Windows Photos and Faststone, are not color-managed and  ignore the profile assigned by the calibrator, and they can render colors significantly different from color-managed programs, especially on wide-gamut displays.

           

          Your only option is to avoid the non-color-managed programs.

          • 2. Re: Different representations of colours between software
            holapinata Level 1

            Thanks so much for you reply. I had a feeling this was the case, but the tricky thing is, that some clients view my work on non color managed software, which then gives a representation that's quite off...

            • 3. Re: Different representations of colours between software
              holapinata Level 1

              I'm still confused that some photo viewers ignore sRGB. It just doesn't make sense to me.

              As far as I remember from a time when I really got into this stuff, I understood that the display profile is sort of the final universal "translation" of colours to the display. So that applications don't "use" the display profile one-on-one. As I've read in the past, whether you're working with ProPhoto (Lightroom), or AdobeRGB (within Photoshop for instance), when your system is calibrated, it still gets translated to a "universal" rendering of colours, that is within (a certain percentage of) sRGB (if your monitor isn't wide gamut). So I'm still confused with what's happening here, since I'd like to post process in a way in Lightroom and Photoshop, so that the exported JPG (with sRGB) is at least on my machine displayed similar in Edge or the Photos app. That way I trust there's a higher chance my photos are displayed reasonably similar on other people's systems.

              I feel that these apps, Photos, Faststone, Edge, simply ignore the sRGB color profile that's attached to the exported JPG? Since when I open the JPG back into Photoshop, it's displayed the same as the RAW file (which renders in ProPhoto) in Lightroom...

              • 4. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                So I'm still confused with what's happening here, since I'd like to post process in a way in Lightroom and Photoshop, so that the exported JPG (with sRGB) is at least on my machine displayed similar in Edge or the Photos app. That way I trust there's a higher chance my photos are displayed reasonably similar on other people's systems.

                Since it appears that you have a wide gamut monitor, there is no way you can make your photos appear correct in non-color managed apps like Edge or Photos. And there is nothing you can do to increase the likelihood of your work displaying correctly on other people's monitors, apart from working with a calibrated display and making sure that images have the sRGB profile embedded.

                What you can do is to encourage users to use only color managed apps to view your work - practically all web browsers except Edge and Internet Explorer will display correctly, as long as the profile is embedded.

                The free Irfanview image viewer is color managed (must be turned on under Settings).

                Adobe Bridge is color managed, and I think it is a free download, even you don't have a Creative Cloud subscription.

                The latest version (20) of ACDSee is also color managed, not free. though.

                 

                I feel that these apps, Photos, Faststone, Edge, simply ignore the sRGB color profile that's attached to the exported JPG?

                The way I understand this, they may or may not ignore the sRGB profile, but the important thing is that they do not use the monitor profile. For the image to display correctly, the sRGB profile must be embedded and the application must convert the image from the source profile (sRGB) into the monitor profile. D Fosse can explain this better and more correctly than I can.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                  holapinata Level 1

                  Thanks Per, for your detailed explaination.

                   

                  I don't have a wide gamut monitor though...  It's "just" sRGB.

                  • 6. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                    johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                    I don't have a wide gamut monitor though...  It's "just" sRGB.

                    Inaccurate rendition of colors is usually more noticeable on wide-gamut displays, though as you've discovered, it can also occur on traditional displays that approximate sRGB.  The best you can do is calibrate your displays (which you are doing) and encourage your clients to use color-managed programs to view your photos.

                    • 7. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Depending on how closely your monitor matches sRGB, you'll see more or less difference between color managed and non-color managed apps. No monitor ever made is a perfect match, but some are closer than others.

                       

                      You simply cannot, under any circumstances, predict how applications without color management display. They are, after all, not color managed, right? All bets are off. This is the exact problem color management was invented to solve, and it does.

                      • 8. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                        holapinata Level 1

                        Is someone perhaps willing to try and see if there's quite an increase in saturation on their systems, between Lightroom, and an exported JPG (with sRGB profile) viewed in the default Photos APP? Thanks.

                        • 9. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                          The increase in saturation will be strongest with wide gamut monitors, which are close to the Adobe RGB gamut.

                          I happen to have one of these, and there is a distinct increase in saturation when I view images in non-color managed programs.

                          But the market share for wide gamut monitors is very small. I don't know the exact number, but I believe it's less than 5%.

                           

                          Then there are monitors that are somewhere between sRGB and Adobe RGB (like yours), which will display less saturated, but still more saturated than in Lightroom.

                           

                          Finally there are monitors close to sRGB, which will display with little or no increase in saturation.

                          • 10. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            holapinata  wrote

                             

                            Is someone perhaps willing to try and see if there's quite an increase in saturation on their systems, between Lightroom, and an exported JPG (with sRGB profile) viewed in the default Photos APP? Thanks.

                             

                            You're not listening. There's no point - I wouldn't see what you're seeing. It all depends on what monitor you're looking at.

                             

                            The only way to predict what others will see, is to use a properly calibrated and profiled monitor in a fully color managed environment. Then you know everything will display correctly, irrespective of monitor characteristics.

                            • 11. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              ...And since the only monitor you have control over is your own, it's just a crapshoot. You can ensure that the images look good on your computer, but you can only hope that they will look good when someone else looks at them on their computer because you don't know how they have their monitor configured. It's unfortunate, but true.

                              • 12. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                                holapinata  wrote

                                 

                                I'm still confused that some photo viewers ignore sRGB. It just doesn't make sense to me.

                                 

                                It is not the sRGB (or other color space) that is the problem.

                                Color management is a two-step process.

                                (1) Translate the colors in the file to something that the monitor can display. (sRGB vs Adobe RGB vs any other color space)

                                (2) Apply the monitor's calibration to the translation to perfect the color display.

                                 

                                Just about all apps these days get the first step right (color space mapping).

                                 

                                Many apps, especially Microsoft apps, do not do the second step which often results in wrong saturation levels.

                                The best you can do is to properly calibrate your system and correctly export the files.

                                Then you can make some recommendations to your clients about which viewing apps to use and not use.

                                • 13. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                  holapinata Level 1

                                  D Fosse

                                   

                                  I am listening, but thanks for assuming I'm not. You could respond a bit less belittling/combative (or not respond, if you're annoyed, which is what you seem to be if you express yourself in such a way). Perhaps I'm not getting the message you're trying to convey, which I think I do, which is that of course the whole matter is relative to personal interpretation.

                                   

                                  Besides that, for me personally, it still does matter, if someone else is willing to check as a reference, if they see (with a few photos) a relatively consistent increase in saturation in the default Windows Photos app, compared to Lightroom. I'm asking whether or not it's quite noticable, which should be for seasoned photographers/retouchers, despite it being a relative thing.

                                   

                                  And I also do understand the representation of photos, is not just about the colour profile, but also LUT profiles and such. So I feel you didn't get the spirit of my question "I'm still confused that some photo viewers ignore sRGB. It just doesn't make sense to me."

                                   

                                  With that, I didn't mean just sRGB, but that of course that APPS overall don't adhere to a standard/unified representation.

                                  • 14. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                    holapinata Level 1

                                    Someone just compared for me, and so it's quite noticable... (This is basically what I asked for)

                                    On the right is Lightroom, on the left is the Photo APP. Hm. Quite a difference. I'm at least "happy" to know it's a common and consistent thing with Windows 10 and Lightroom.

                                     

                                    Capture1.JPG

                                    • 15. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                      Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                      I'm at least "happy" to know it's a common and consistent thing with Windows 10 and Lightroom.

                                      This has nothing to do with Windows 10, or with Lightroom, for that matter. (and it's not consistent, it depends on the monitor, see my previous post)

                                      It has to do with images displaying differently in a color managed app and a non-color managed app on what appears to be a wide gamut monitor.

                                      Using the same monitor, you would see more or less the same difference with any OS - Windows 7 or even XP, or Mac OS.

                                      • 16. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                        holapinata Level 1

                                        What I mean is, it has to do with that Lightroom and Photoshop represent the colors differently (also the exported sRGB photos) than the Windows Photos app (and some other software). Or I should say the other way around (so no one gets hurt ), because indeed as you say, some apps aren't colour managed.

                                         

                                        I've now gotten feedback from several acquaintances who I asked to try my experiment, including trying myself on some different systems, and it seems a consistent thing, which is just a bit annoying. I wish other apps would also stick to a standard. That way I won't have to constantly take into account it'll look more saturated to people watching works in either Edge, or with the default Photos app.

                                         

                                        I said "Windows 10 and Lightroom",  because lots of people use Windows 10, and I use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. Now it's kind of you to correct me and go in technical details, but the spirit of my sentence, was merely a personal frustration of a seemingly inconsistency in software adhering to a "standard" (without going into technical details now) to display images. Irfanview does, as I've read, then Chrome too, then the default Photos App not, Edge not...etc.

                                        • 17. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          ManiacJoe  wrote

                                           

                                          Color management is a two-step process.

                                          (1) Translate the colors in the file to something that the monitor can display. (sRGB vs Adobe RGB vs any other color space)

                                          (2) Apply the monitor's calibration to the translation to perfect the color display.

                                           

                                          No, this is absolutely not how it works. It's a standard profile conversion from document/source color space to monitor color space. That's all. It is just like any other profile conversion. If you have Photoshop you'll be familiar with how Convert to Profile works. It's the same thing, only performed by the application on the fly without any user intervention.

                                           

                                          In Lightroom Develop, the data are converted from linear gamma ProPhoto to your monitor profile. One single step. The converted/remapped/recalculated numbers are sent to the monitor.

                                           

                                          In an application without color management, none of this happens. The numbers are just sent straight through to the monitor.

                                           

                                          The calibration has nothing to do with it and is irrelevant in terms of color management. People always confuse calibration with monitor profile. They are two unrelated and independent processes - just rolled into one operation for convenience, so that you only need to run the software once. Similarly, the calibration tables are stored in the profile for convenience, but they are not part of the profile.

                                          • 18. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            holapinata, I'm not assuming anything. I just read what you write, and I can see that you still don't understand what we're saying. OK, fair enough, maybe that's because we're not explaining it clearly enough. But it also takes some effort on your part. You still stick to some basic premises that are wrong and misleading. You need to let those go before you can understand what's happening here.

                                             

                                            One of them is that "Photos" has any characteristics at all in terms of how it displays. It doesn't. It is not color managed, which means it just takes the RGB numbers in the file and passes them directly to the monitor, without any correction at all. This means it's all up to the monitor how it displays those numbers. If the file is sRGB and the monitor's primaries are a little further apart than the sRGB spec says they should be - a slightly wider gamut - then you get an increase in saturation. It really is as simple as that.

                                            • 19. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                              holapinata Level 1

                                              Dear D Fosse,

                                               

                                              The choosing of words came across a bit as a teachers tap on the fingers. 'You're not listening'. But maybe I'm too sensitive here.    To me, there's a difference between 'not listening' (not paying attention), and not receiving a message as the conveyer intends.

                                               

                                              And I think here and there I did show awareness of that the photos app ignores the color profile, as you just say I don't understand (by saying it doesn't color manage at all). Even in my second post : "I'm still confused that some photo viewers ignore sRGB."

                                               

                                              Then again in my previous post:

                                              "seemingly inconsistency in software adhering to a "standard" (without going into technical details now) to display images. Irfanview does, as I've read, then Chrome too, then the default Photos App not, Edge not...etc."

                                               

                                              But ok, I prefer to withdraw from this yes/no vibe. All in all, for me it was useful that some people were willing to share a screenshot of a photo displayed in the photos app and Lightroom, side by side, so I could see if at least there's a certain common (in)consistency when it comes to amount of saturation increase. This to perhaps take away a bit of doubt I might have in whether or not there was something more significantly 'off' with my setup. Perhaps something with the calibration software. Because when I select a color profile manually with the 'profilechooser' of the Datacolor software, after reboot, it changes the overall brightness noticeably of the whole desktop, no matter what color managed or non color managed app is open. Also the Photos app. And I specifically set the color calibration up in such a way that it should use the native brightness of the monitor I manually prefer. (Brighter than suggested 120 candela square centimeter or something as I remember.)  So it's probably a slight whitepoint correction, but as I said, it's applied over the whole desktop no matter what software runs.

                                              • 20. Re: Different representations of colours between software
                                                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                As I pointed out in my reply to ManiacJoe: Calibration and profile are two different things. This is fundamental to understanding what goes on here.

                                                 

                                                Calibration is a simple adjustment to the monitor itself, so it affects everything. It just happens to be stored in the profile so that it can easily be associated with that specific monitor. But it can just as well be stored in the monitor's internal circuitry, such as in high-end hardware calibrated monitors. That makes no difference. You can even do a manual calibration with the monitor's OSD controls, and it still makes no difference to what we're discussing here.

                                                 

                                                The profile is a different thing. It is a description of the monitor's current behavior, whether calibrated or not, and irrespective of how that calibration is done. This is what the color management process uses. Just how the monitor behaves, as it is. The calibration is outside its area of awareness, so to speak. Color management just doesn't relate to the calibration.

                                                 

                                                The monitor profile has a much higher precision level than the calibration, and it uses many more parameters, gamut among them (or more precisely, the position of the three primaries).

                                                 

                                                The profile is used by color managed software, in a standard profile conversion from file to monitor. It is ignored by non-color managed software (such as "Photos").