10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2017 1:46 PM by joestephens

    "Managed" color dull and lifeless


      I have a Benq SW2700PT monitor with a built-in calibration, and will be fine-tuning calibration with Spyder 5 in a few days.  I am using 4 Adobe CC products:


      1.  Bridge

      2.  Photoshop

      3.  Premiere

      4.  Lightroom


      In an unmanaged environment, colors look stunning in both sRGB and Adobe RGB on this monitor.  By unmanaged, I mean viewing an image in Windows Explorer or a file view like Picasa.  Not only do images that I did not create look great, but images that I exported from Lightroom have a richer saturation, better reds, but not overwhelming, and nicer contrast.


      I understand that setting “Color” in Bridge will synch with all CC products.  But under Edit Color in Bridge, sRGB does not appear, but:


      Monitor Color (This is currently what is chosen).

      North American General Purpose

      North American Web/Internet


      And other not-relevant choices.


      Now, Photoshop has “Monitor Color” too.


      So, Bridge does indeed seem to synch with Photoshop - but in Lightroom, the colors exported are dull when seen through Lightroom, but OK when seen in a non-managed environment.


      Since my monitor is good, and colors are shown accurately, why do I need to manage color through Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom?  Can’t I just turn color management off in the CCloud applications?


      How am I supposed to "guess" what images will look like in unmanaged environments, if I can't see them in the Adobe products the was they reasonable will be expected to look in sRGB?


      This is driving me nuts!  Everything works by my expensive professional applications!

        • 1. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
          davescm Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Joe.


          Start in Photoshop -

          You should not use the "monitor color" settings preset. That is effectively turning off color management.


          If you are in America pick "North America General Purpose" or "North America Prepress" (the second if you prefer the wider AdobeRGB space for your working space)

          In Bridge the setting should be the same. If it does not sync automatically set it the same


          Profile your monitor with your spider and the software should take care of setting that as the default profile for that monitor.


          That is all you need to do.



          In an unmanaged environment, colors look stunning in both sRGB and Adobe RGB on this monitor.


          They may well do and when someone else views them with a color managed system they will look different




          Since my monitor is good, and colors are shown accurately, why do I need to manage color through Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom?  Can’t I just turn color management off in the CCloud applications?





          Just because the colours look "good" on an unmanaged system does not mean they are showing correctly. Colour management means they will look accurate,  and then you can adjust them to look good. Otherwise you may as well adjust settings with your eyes shut .



          • 2. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
            joestephens Level 1


            OK, thanks so much - I switched Bridge and Photoshop to "North American General Purpose" as you recommended and I reset Lightroom to default with Shift/Alt and Start Lightroom.


            I am just seeing an unpleasant yellow/greenish cast, very faint through Lightroom.  When I export to sRGB and view through ACDSEE (remember that program?) or Windows Explorer, the look is just so much better.


            I am just having a hard time understanding what is going on.  I will get my Datacolor Spyder 5 Elite on Friday.  I hope this magically fixes things.


            But, if the monitor is Color Stable, which the BenQ should be, calibrated, why wouldn't the Adobe applications "look the same"?


            I'll follow up after Spyder calibration.  Thanks davescm!

            • 3. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
              D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You can't make any judgements on the performance of this unit until your calibrator arrives. A wide gamut monitor is basically useless without it.


              There is no way a wide gamut monitor will ever display correctly without full end-to-end color management. That means you cannot use applications without color management - they will never display correctly, ever, under any circumstances. Standard sRGB material will appear garishly oversaturated.


              You need to go over all your software and find color managed alternatives for everything you do. If you have to use non-managed applications, you need to learn to ignore what you see on screen. It won't be right, and others won't see it like that.


              A lot of people buy these units without awareness of these simple premises, and end up in a world of confusion and frustration. It simply won't work as you're used to.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                joestephens Level 1

                You're giving me hope that this eventually will work!

                • 5. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Yes it will - sorry about the stern tone there. But it's necessary to define the working conditions right off, in no uncertain terms. This avoids problems later. Just use the unit according to its particular characteristics and you'll be fine.


                  What most people struggle with is that they don't see the distinction between color managed and non-color managed software. Web browsers is a particular concern, since most of them have only partial color management support. Luckily, there is one that does everything right: Firefox. That's the browser you have to use.


                  It does need to be manually configured to "color management mode 1" (google it). What Firefox then does, is to assign sRGB to any and all material that doesn't have an embedded document profile. That happens a lot on the web. The significance of this is that the color management chain is allowed to operate normally. Source profile is converted into monitor profile (made by your calibrator), all colors thus correctly remapped, and everything's well.


                  All other browsers, when fed untagged material, just give up all attempts at color management, and send the original RGB values directly to the screen. Since those are sRGB values, going into an Adobe RGB-like monitor color space, the result is oversaturation.


                  I have used wide gamut monitors exclusively for many, many years. It works splendidly, once you understand what's going on.

                  • 6. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                    joestephens Level 1


                    OK, I received my Spyder5Elite and calibrated my BenQ SW2700 PT.  At first, I had the Benq set on sRGB and I calibrated using the Adobe RGB settings for “Photographer” using the “Master Pallate Element” software that comes with the BenQ.  I realized I had a mis-match and recalibrated for Photographer with the monitor set for AdobeRGB.


                    I have to say, some of my images out of the camera look truly beautiful!  Such even rose-like skin without over-saturation!.


                    However, when I look at an SRGB exported file out of Lightroom there is still a difference between using LR, or Bridge or Pshop than using Windows Explorer.


                    So, those kind mentors who read this, tell me if my concept is correct:  I use a workflow in my BenQ in Adobe RGB, and them with Lightroom, I export to sRGB for “public” consumption.  I have to be aware in advance that the SRGB won’t be up to the standards of my view in Adobe RGB.  Is that concept correct?


                    Also, should I begin shooting in Adobe RGB?


                    I haven’t even thought about printing yet, my previous efforts had such a poor color outcome.


                    I looked at Firefox - that’s a pretty complex routine - I think my profile is stored in a BenQ folder - I’m not sure I caught where it ended up.  I’m sure I can find it - it seems you have to point FireFox to the profile) - have to work on that.


                    So, I guess my question is am I going in the right direction?  Should I calibrate an alternate monitor profile in sRGB ( I have two calibration slots) and use that end to end or just go to sRGB at the last Lightroom Export step?


                    Thanks for everyone’s help - I’m not sure I’m there, but I’m way better off than I was.


                    • 7. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      The whole point of having a color managed setup is that everything should display identically, in any color managed application, whatever profile the document comes with. The only differences you will see are gamut differences, e.g. a deep cyan that reproduces in Adobe RGB may be clipped in sRGB.


                      So, the monitor color space does not need to match any particular document space. IOW you don't calibrate "to" Adobe RGB. There's no need to use that preset, it will only limit the monitor's capabilities. Set the monitor to "custom", "full" or similar.


                      The color space setting on the camera is moot. It only applies to jpegs, not raw files. The raw file doesn't have a color space until it is encoded into one in the raw converter (ACR).


                      There is no need to point Firefox to the monitor profile! It takes whatever it gets from the operating system.

                      2 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Important: Windows Explorer (and Windows Photos etc) are not color managed. They do not use the monitor profile. Ignore them!

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                          Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                          I'm going to throw a little more into this fire. There is a lot of use of the terms "right" and "wrong" here. You say the saturated pictures are "right" because that's what you want. Other people say the unsaturated pictures are "right" because they are colour managed. It all depends what you're aiming for. A lot of people really like saturated colour: that's how TVs are sold. But the aim of colour management is to stop people having what they like!


                          So let's find a different way to sum this up.


                          The aim of colour management is colour matching. That's it, that's all there is. The aim is that the same picture will look the same everywhere, close as we can make it. It isn't to make the best or brightest colours; almost the opposite.


                          To get colour management you need two things (1) software which understands it (2) hardware that works with it. The software you have that understands colour management are Photoshop, Lightroom and Firefox; nothing else in your list. To get a monitor to work with it, you need to calibrate the monitor. Then the software can show the colour the same.


                          So, all your OTHER software, and any uncalibrated hardware you use, are just going to show colours in some other way. It might be brighter, more saturated, might meet your needs better. But it isn't colour managed, and probably isn't quite the same as anyone else will see.


                          Now, most monitors are actually "close enough" even unmanaged. For most people they look about right, and colour managed software is pretty similar; only experts and the very picky are likely to know and care. But wide gamut monitors are BY DESIGN very different. Colour managed apps and the other apps will look quite different. This is entirely expected, so expect it, and decide what is important to you.


                          Bear in mind that the bright saturated colours you see in the other apps will only look like that to YOU on YOUR MONITOR. Does that matter? Not if you're inviting people to come look at pictures on your computer. But if you're sending them out, printing them or putting them on a web site, you have to bear in mind that your other apps aren't going to look like what anyone else sees.

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: "Managed" color dull and lifeless
                            joestephens Level 1

                            Thanks everyone - great advice and overall discussion.  I am VERY happy with my new BenQ calibrated monitor and my web output - seen both through color managed Firefox and non-color managed.