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Pictures look dull online but vibrant in photoshop, how to correct?

John E , May 12, 2011; 01:21 p.m.

I've recently posted questions in another forum here on phot.net. I've noticed that the pictures I post look dull and on the green side when viewing them on the photo.net website. I'm shooting in adobe RGB. what causes this? I"ve got a spider color monitor calibrator and calibrate my monitor every month.
I just noticed this since I don't post many pics online.


Mark Sirota , May 12, 2011; 01:23 p.m.

When posting on the web, you need to use sRGB. There are too many people still browsing the web with non-color-managed browsers, and Adobe RGB will generally look unsaturated in non-color-managed browsers.

Andrew Rodney , May 12, 2011; 01:24 p.m.

First you need to post the images in sRGB. 2nd, if you want a true match to Photoshop, which is an ICC aware application, you need to view the images in an ICC aware web browser. That means either Safari or FireFox. Nearly all other web browsers are not color managed.

Victor Wei , May 12, 2011; 06:33 p.m.

To make you feel better, I have found from day one that the photos I posted here were always duller than how they looked originally in Lightroom and other image display programs. So you are not the only one. One alternative is to tweak them brighter before you upload them.

Mark Sirota , May 12, 2011; 09:41 p.m.

One alternative is to tweak them brighter before you upload them.

No, don't do that! The reason they look different online is, as we said, that you're viewing them in an unmanaged environment. They might be duller in your unmanaged environment, but there's no guarantee that's true in everyone else's unmanaged environment. For others, they might be brighter, or contrastier, or more green. Unmanaged is unpredictable.

The best you can do is prepare them in a color-managed environment (which you're doing) -- make them look great there, then export from Lightroom as sRGB and hope for the best. In the meantime, encourage your viewers to use color-managed software, and encourage software vendors to implement color management.

Patrick Lavoie , May 13, 2011; 07:31 a.m.

The only thing that make the OP feel better is now you are 2 people that dont use a correct color managed workflow, or web browser ; )

use sRGB when you post your images, and use a color managed web browser. My images exactly look like i want them to look in Lightroom, Photoshop and my web browser.... on all my computer. How do they look at your place? like they look... i cant control your viewing experience, i wish you are seeing them correctly, but there's nothing i can do to be sure of that.. other than suggesting you to properly calibrated your monitor ; )

Victor Wei , May 13, 2011; 02:16 p.m.

Thanks for the advice. I've always used sRGB consistently in my workflow and other image viewing programs, and yet the uploaded images on this site still look duller not just on my home monitor but also on others . But I'm not sure the web browser part. What browser do you recommend?

Mark Sirota , May 13, 2011; 02:30 p.m.

On the Mac, it doesn't matter, all the major players are color-managed.
On Windows, IE8 and earlier do not support it, IE9 does (I think). Firefox does, provided it's not really old. Chrome doesn't, as far as I know. Safari for Windows does support it.

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