Help me with Photoshop Save for Web color issues.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by greglyon, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. I'm having trouble matching the color I see in Photoshop with the colors of my JPGs as I'm saving them for web use. Once saved as a JPG the image looks quite dull compared to the photoshop image. I assume it's a color space issue but haven't been able to figure it out.
    When preparing images for the web in photoshop CS I typically perform the following steps to my photos:
    1. resize photo to final size
    2. apply sharpening
    3. Convert from Adobe RGB to sRGB using 'convert to profile'
    4. Choose Save for web (pick options and save).
    • Invariably I get an image that looks desaturated and cooler than what I see in photoshop.
      So, what am I doing wrong, or what step have I skipped?
      Here's an example of the difference. This is a screen capture of the left half of the Jpg in windows picture viewer over the original file in photoshop.
  2. I usually (because I had similar issues depending on my workspace color settings and what the embedded color profile of the image) convert the image profile to sRGB before saving for web. doing this may not be the best way to fix your problem but it worked for me. there might still be some differences but the results are usually close enough for my taste. it is the web after all.
  3. Thanks for the quick response, Byron. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I do too, and did for these images. I'd swear that it 'used to work' fine for me too. Perhaps I've messed up some other PS setting somehow...
  4. In PS (before going to Save for Web) do a View, Proof Setup, Monitor RGB. It will now look dull. Then adjust colors/saturation as you like, then do Save for Web.
  5. In Step 4, did you select "Standard Windows Color"? Click on the button above the preview for setting that.
  6. Albert: Yes, I tried outputting using all 4 settings, but while they affect the view in save for web, none seem to stick with the JPG. In other words, once I view the saved file it looks the same no matter which choice I make in the save for web options.
    Richard: I hate to think that that's the only way to get the colors to match! So, do you mean that really I'll have to do that with every jpg, or settle for desaturated looking web photos? Surely there must be a better way!
  7. Instead of converting from Adobe RGB to sRGB, try converting to your monitor profile.
  8. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Hmmm...interesting problem. If you use Elliot's method the photograph won't look right on other monitors. You seem to be doing everything that I do and my photographs look fine. I convert to sRGB using Perceptual intent and then Save for Web. What is a little different is that I also select ICC profile and Use Document Color Profile in the Save for Web. What viewer are you using after you do the Save for Web? I use AcDc 7; as I said, the photographs look as they do in PS. What operating system are you using? I assume that you are using some version of Windows. Do you have any kind of color management applications being loaded (Adobe Gamma, for example)? Regards.
  9. Well here's more info, but no solution yet:
    • Windows XP, SP2. Photoshop CS with patches.
    • Whenever I view the photos in color managed applications (Photoshop and NikonView) it looks correct. Non color managed applications: Windows File&Fax viewer, IE, etc all show the desaturated version.
    • I have an ATI Radeon video card and Dell 1905FP monitor. There is a profile loaded in color management (display>settings>advanced>colormanagement) for the Dell monitor.
    • I'm running Quick Gamma.
    • I've tried several different ways to fix the problem:
      1. During Convert to profile I've tried Perceptual and Relative Calorimetric.
      2. During save for web I've tried Standard windows and Document color.
      3. I've converted to sRGB then chosen SAVE AS (instead of save for web)
    • Each of those resulted in the same desaturated image.
    • It seems to me as if my images are never really being converted from Adobe RGB to sRGB at all, and because of that only my color managed programs read them correctly...
      In closing let me just say: ARRGH! This is very frustrating!
  10. Why do you feel my solution is such a problem? Works for me. Have you tried it? What is wrong with tweakiung the image once you have seen it in the Monitor profile? If you want it to look nice on the web its what you have to do.
  11. I'm sorry for discounting your suggestion Richard. For some reason I thought that I'd be able to get a photo right in photoshop and then use it for both web and print. If it takes multiple versions of each photo to get good output then so be it.
    I'm trying out your suggestion now, how do you go about it though? What I'm trying is to have the original photo open AND a copy in the Proof/monitor RGB, then tweak to make them look the same. It looks like the switch from Adobe RGB to Unmanaged color space applies a color shift to my photo, but it's hard to get it to match correctly.
    Do you find that it's always the same change that's required from photo to photo? Or does each photo require two separate files to achieve a similar look for web, print, and photoshop? If the same amount of change is required each time I could create an action for it, but I suppose that's too much to hope for?!?
  12. Greg, this is after all what the Proofing function in PS is all about. As for is it the same every time? No, because you might have different colors and the profiles may handle them differently from time to time. That said, I have an action I use sometimes where I add some saturation and tweak a bit on the green/magenta areas and it seems to work most of the time. I do more B&W than color recently so have not done it much lately.

    Just do this: View menu, Proof Setup and choose Monitor RGB. Then open Saturation and adjust as you see fit. Will it be exact? Probably not but who's to say your "original" is "exact"? Just tweak it a bit until you like it then do a Save for Web...
  13. 'Just do this: View menu, Proof Setup and choose Monitor RGB. Then open Saturation and
    adjust as you see fit.'

    It is surely quicker and more accurate to just convert the Adobe RGB file to the Monitor
    profile and then Save for Web (stripping the profile)?

    (The above method is just converting to the monitor profile manually, isn't it?)
  14. I don't understand the logic of converting to one's own monitor profile. Since everyone has
    a different monitor and the profile is specific to your own, this only guarentees that your
    docs look good on your own monitor. There's a certain amount of variabiliity you have to
    accept with images on the web but it shouldn't be as bad as your samples.

    Any professional that I've ever spoke to and my own rather extensive experience creating
    images for the web dictates to convert to sRGB which is about as close to a generic
    monitor profile as there is.

    Web and print images need to be prepared separately unless you're sending images to a
    printing service which requires or is based on sRGB as the "profile". Un-colour managed
    programmes are simply passing through the colour numbers which they are sent. Since
    sRGB is the lowest common denominator in the colour management world, its the best for
    these situations to have the file converted so that the raw numbers passed through are
    sRGB numbers.

    I don't see the kinds of shifts you're getting in your un-colour managed screen dumps
    unless I fail to convert to sRGB and the doc is in aRGB or prophoto. Could you have a
    currupted (or wrongly named) sRGB profile in photoshop?
  15. 'I don't understand the logic of converting to one's own monitor profile... this only
    guarantees that your docs look good on your own monitor.'

    That's all I'm arguing... that if you want your Adobe RGB images to look the same in YOUR
    web browser, on YOUR computer, then converting to YOUR monitor profile is the best way
    to achieve this result. I accept that converting to sRGB is better practice, as whilst the
    JPEGs may look a bit out of whack on your own computer, by and large they will look ok on
    the average computer.
  16. (I was really hoping that Greg would try it (converting to monitor profile) to see if his
    results mirrored mine.)
  17. as whilst the JPEGs may look a bit out of whack on your own computer, by and large they will look ok on the average computer.
    I don't find that converted images (aRGB to sRGB) look out of wack on my computer screen. Since Greg's original query was about "JPGs as I'm saving them for web use" I would have thought he was interested in showing the images to others not looking at his monitor?
  18. 'I don't find that converted images (aRGB to sRGB) look out of wack on my computer

    That's good, and that seems to be the general experience.

    I'm pretty sure that the reason I do see a shift when converting from aRGB to sRGB (and
    then saving for web), is that I have a weird monitor profile (I use a lowly eMac and the
    friend who calibrated using BasICColor software, had to pump up the brightness, in order
    to be able to differentiate the darkest tones in Photoshop step-wedges). Safari, Preview
    etc. assume the monitor profile when rendering a jpeg that has no profile attached. So by
    converting to my monitor profile, things look right on my computer. But wrong on other
    computers. So converting to sRGB is still best practice. And I should get a better
  19. Let me try and post my own screen-grabbed example... on the left. the save for web jpeg as displayed in Safari, on the right the aRGB-converted-to-sRGB PSD as displayed in Photoshop:
  20. And here's what happens if I convert to my monitor profile instead of sRGB... The jpeg in Safari (left) now matches the image in Photoshop (right):
  21. Hi Eliot,
    Is the saved for web jpeg in Safari in the screen dump above the one that's been converted to
    your monitor profile or is it in sRGB?
  22. hmmm, this is going to get confusing....

    The first screen-grab I posted, is supposed to illustrate how converting to sRGB, prior to
    saving-for-web, results in a washed-out jpeg in Safari (left-side of screen-grab). (The
    original Photoshop file is on the right-side of the screen-grab.)

    In the second screen-grab, I've converted to my monitor profile rather than sRGB, and I
    think the resulting jpeg in Safari (left-side of screen-grab), is a better match to the
    original Photoshop file (right-side of screen-grab).
  23. I'm not aware of emacs being difficult to make monitor profiles for, at least I haven't come across that problem. Do you know how bright you had to set it in cd/m2?
    Here's what I think is going on in your screen shots.
    When you look at a photoshop doc on your monitor and its in aRGB, the monitor is doing its best to show you how the document would look in aRGB within your profiled monitor's limitations of colour gamut. Roughly speaking your monitor is about at the level of sRGB, maybe a tad better.
    When you convert to sRGB as in screen grabs one, there will be a change in certain areas, especially more saturated colours and when you view this converted to sRGB image in Safari you're seeing the slight loss of saturated colours, esp in the blues in the sky and maybe a bit of the greens and some red tint in the ground.
    Here is a comparison of the two colour spaces and as you can see at the bottom, the blues in sRGB are clipped compared to their aRGB cousins. Now the diagramme at this web site is flat but colour spaces are really 3D (the dimension missing here are the gradations towards pastel and eventually white)
    To further complicate matters, you can't see any colours that your monitor can't produce whether or not they are in sRGB or aRGB. So when you do your aRGB to sRGB conversion you are seeing the loss of saturation mentioned above but the photoshop aRGB document is already limited by the monitor profile so that's the extent of your emac's ability to show the aRGB doc regardless of what's really in it.
    But in the second screen grab you've converted the aRGB doc (which probably contains saturated colours than you can't see on your monitor because its limited by your monitor +profile) into your monitor profile which was the limiting factor in any case, the result is that you're not seeing any difference. However, I'll bet that if you have a good printer and printed out all these files a) you'd see a difference between the sRGB and aRGB doc on the one hand AND b) you'd see a difference between the aRGB and your converted-to-monitor image on the other. Does that make sense?
  24. 'Does that make sense?'

    Hmm, sort of...

    Thing is, when I convert my aRGB document to sRGB in Photoshop I see NO CHANGE in
    colour - the saturated blues in the sky remain the same. It is only when I 'Save For Web'
    (no profile embedded), and then open resulting jpeg in Safari, that I see a shift in colour. I
    don't think the issue is that the sRGB colorspace is clipping the most saturated colours in
    my document. I think the issue is that Safari applies my monitor profile to untagged jpegs.

    I appreciate your efforts to think this one through. (And I'm not contesting the common
    advice that images destined for the web should be converted to sRGB before using 'Save
    For Web')
  25. I think the issue is that Safari applies my monitor profile to untagged jpegs.
    Not exactly
    When you convert your doc to sRGB and then look at it in Safari, there is no profile attached (ie, tagged, ie, embedded). Rather the data in the jpg you're viewing only contains sRGB data (the rest having been thrown away in the conversion process, so its as if it were tagged in sRGB but there are no tags involved.
    If you're using convert to profile on the second jpg, then there's not a monitor profile attached to this doc either, the info has been converted to and is limited to the monitor profile space data
    What Safari is capable of doing but which you're not doing in either of your examples is reading "tagged" or sometimes referred to as "embedded" profiles. Here all the original file info is kept (in your case all the aRGB data) but its tagged with a different colour space marker which Safari is able to understand and then interprets the aRGB data (all of which is still with the file) and displays it as though it were converted to sRGB or your tagged monitor profile or some other tagged colour space.
    I think the sticking point is that "tagged and "embedded" mean all the original data is still available but a tag is attached to the file tells a colour aware programme how to interpret the data (you're not doing that) whereas "converted" means there are no tags, instead some data is actually thrown away in the conversion process.
    But as I said in the post above, the reason that your conversion to your monitor profile looks identical to your photoshop doc is because essentially it is identical as far as your monitor can show you. This implies that your monitor is capable of displaying a slightly larger colour space than sRGB which seems plausable but that info would be useful to know to test my hypothesis.
  26. Maybe this example will help.

    Say you have an aRGB file with the numbers 1 through 20. Your monitor is capable of
    showing the numbers 1 through 15 and sRGB is capable of showing the numbers
    1 through 13.

    When you're looking at your aRGB file on your monitor you see the 1 through 15
    data in your file but you don't see 16 through 20 because your monitor can't
    display that. Whether you convert this doc to your monitor profile or embed/tag the
    monitor profile to the doc, from Safari's point of view it will show the numbers 1
    through 15 and voila it will look just like your photoshop file did.

    Convert to sRGB and you'll see the numbers 1 through 13 and you're saying, hey!,
    my monitor profile makes my image look just like photoshop and its closer than sRGB.

    I think that's what's going on.
  27. Again, when I convert my PSD from the aRGB colorspace to the sRGB colorspace I see no clipping of colour. It is only when jpegged and opened in Safari that the colour is clipped. If I choose to embed a profile during the 'Save for Web' process, then Safari renders the sRGB jpeg properly (it matches the original aRGB photoshop document). Without an embedded profile, the image is washed out. Screen-grab attached of two jpegs rendered in two different Safari windows. Both jpegs were created in Photoshop's 'Save For web', from my original aRGB photoshop document (which had been converted to sRGB). The only difference is that the jpeg on the right has an embedded profile.
  28. It seems to me you've answered your own question. The image on the left if I understand
    correctly is converted to sRGB and in the Save For Web dialogue its saved as a jpg with no
    embedded profile. The image on the right is done the same way, convert the data to sRGB
    and in the Save for Web dialogue you attach/tag/embed your monitor profile. The data in
    the file is the converted sRGB data. There is no longer the aRGB data in the file.

    But by telling safari to interpret the sRGB data in terms of your monitor profile, Safari
    reinterprets the sRGB data and comes up with the image on the right. This shows the
    power of your monitor profile on both the aRGB data in photoshop and the Safari jpg with
    the embedded monitor profile. While it may seem that embedded profile jpg is just
    remaining more accurate, I don't think so. The sRGB data in the embedded profile jpg is
    being stretched to fill your monitor colour space. Doing this in Firefox would result in a
    very different set of results. The same for IE on a PC but IE on a mac will work similarly to

    That this file with the embedded profile is to you more "accurate" is the result of two other
    situations, the first is your monitor colour space carried in the embedded profile and the
    second is that Safari is a rare exception of a web browser which can interpret data in terms
    of an embedded profile. If you open the files in Preview you'll probably have the same
    experience because it too can interpret data with a tagged
    profile. Import both images into Word and you'll see something very different.

    The main point being that (I"m assuming I'm right, its possible to know what one is talking
    about and still be wrong...) in your last set of screen images, both files "only" have the
    sRGB data to work with. In the latter, that data is "stretched" to fit your monitor profile and
    results in what in you've shown us. Again, if you printed both the original aRGB photo at
    reasonable size (say 8x10) and you printed the sRGB file with your embedded monitor
    profile at the same size, I bet you would see a difference between those two assuming it
    was a printer capable of showing aRGB colour space.
  29. 'The image on the right is done the same way, convert the data to sRGB and in the Save for
    Web dialogue you attach/tag/embed your monitor profile.'


    When the 'ICC Profile' checkbox is ticked in the 'Save For Web' dialogue, then the
    document's profile, not the monitor profile, is attached to the image.

    In the example posted above, both jpegs are sRGB, but the one on the left has no profile,
    whereas the one on the right has the sRGB profile attached.

    What my test shows is that Safari will render an sRGB jpeg correctly when it has a profile
    attached. But when an sRGB jpeg is stripped of its profile (as is common practice for
    images destined for the web), then Safari renders the jpeg incorrectly, using the Operating
    System's monitor profile instead of the sRGB profile. The same applies with Apple's
    Preview software.

    This false rendering is easily simulated in Photoshop. I just take my sRGB Photoshop
    document and 'Assign' my monitor profile (as opposed to 'Converting To') - the image
    becomes lighter and loses saturation, just as in the last screen-grab I posted.

    (Whether these anomalies have any relevance to the original poster's question I'm not sure,
    as he is on Windows and using Windows Picture Viewer. Sorry I have taken this thread in
    an unhelpful direction.)
  30. I also apologise to the original poster but since we're into this this far might as well see it

    Mac use of colour management is notorious for not being joined up, for example the
    teams that work on these various bits like colorsync itself and then Preview and then Safari
    don't necessarily share the same fundamental concepts.

    What you've established, and I concur, is that there is some anomoly in the way Safari
    interprets data with and without a profile is not accurate. So be it. Now that you bring it up
    I remember reading exactly your statement and this strange behaviour on the colorsync
    list. It's a tiny little blip in Apple's implementation or misimplementation of its own

    Now lets go back to the original post and your original answer. This chap Greg asks what
    he's doing wrong as his images for the web don't look right. You tell him to convert to the
    monitor profile. Given all that you and I just went through and your final statement that
    Safari has some glitch in interpreting data with and without an embedded profile, why did
    you tell him to convert to his monitor profile?
  31. 'Given all that you and I just went through and your final statement that Safari has some
    glitch in interpreting data with and without an embedded profile, why did you tell him to
    convert to his monitor profile?'

    Er, I didn't tell him to, I just suggested he try it - it's a 5 second experiment!

    I don't have an agenda. I don't know the colorsync list. Some of the tests I've presented in
    this discussion have been a revelation to me.

    I'm a photographer and I'm about to redesign my website, and therefore these issues are
    of interest to me.

    Last time I did my site (about a year ago) I noticed that by converting my images to my
    monitor profile, my jpegs better matched my photoshop documents. And so that's how I
    created all my jpegs.

    I've since read arguments that although my jpegs may look better on my system, for best
    overall compatability I should be converting to sRGB. I'm nearly convinced, but I still have a
    few doubts.

    The audience for my website mainly use Macs - about two thirds using IE, and one third
    using Safari. I don't know if that has a bearing on my workflow. Maybe I should be
    embedding that profile into my jpegs?

    In the end I don't think it really matters that much - a little lighter or darker, more or less

    But it's an interesting discusssion (to me, anyway - I'm sure the moderator will delete it!).

    Thank you.
  32. Eric and Elliot, no apologies needed! Your discussions may have been tangential, but certainly in the ballpark of my question.It's making me think harder about color spaces and that's what I need to do anyway to understand this better.

    Elliot, I tried your suggested solution, it works! I thought I'd tried it last night but didn't read correctly. It's perhaps a bit 'heavy' on other monitors, but at least it isn't washed out.

    Richard, I came somewhat close to matching my aRGB file using your methods but it was tedious, and I haven't got it completely so far. Turns out I didn't have to change saturation at all, it was color balance that was off. In fact it was as if a different white balance had been applied to the image.

    So now I'm wondering if my sRGB profile could be corrupted somehow. Maybe my new monitor software did something to it. Does anybody have any suggestions about verifying my profile? If I can get the original profile off the CD I'll try that out.
  33. Here's the photo after Convert to Profile >sRGB, then Save for web.
  34. And here's the photo converting to my monitor's profile. (other steps the same as previous post). This photo, viewed in Firefox or IE looks much closer to the Adobe RGB file in photoshop than the sRGB one does.
  35. I just want to go back to the original post and say that I am experiencing the same
    problem Greg has. What puzzles me is that it has started to occur only recently. I've been
    saving my pics with the "save for web" feature many times before, and they have come out
    just like the original. I have never had to convert them to a different profile or anytning
    like that. But some days ago my pictures started to look pale and desaturated when I
    chose "save for web".
    I have tried to convert to other profile, and that helps a little, but the picures are still very
    much paler than the original.
    I can not see that I have changed any settings, but it's hard to believe something like this
    just happens.
  36. Arnulf:
    After fighting this for a while I have to conclude there are two issues at play for me...

    1) Something is wrong with my sRGB profile. I still haven't had a chance to see if I can reload it from the CD...I think it's a single file though...

    2) I have a new and better monitor. Things that look like subtle differences on standard office monitors stand out more on my new one. The big difference is subtle color & brightness of midtones to dark tones. There seems to be more range of brightness available.

    For now, I'll edit photos until they're right on my screen and for print and save them. Then for web I'll do: Image, Mode, Convert to profile, then choose my monitor profile. THEN save for web. THEN DONT save the original version when closing (so as not to leave the Monitor RGB profile intact.)

    I'm at work now and notice that this monitor doesnt even have a monitor profile, I suppose that means it's not always an option. ALSO, on this monitor the differences between my final two photos (above) are much less noticable than on my home monitor.
  37. Greg. Actually, I seemed to have solved my problem. I suddenly noticed a detail in the posting from Walter Tatulinski about choosing Document Color Profile in the "save for web" dialog. I'd never even seen this option before, but somehow this was changed to Uncompensated Color. This was the reason my shots were desaturated. Don't know wether this is the case for you.
  38. I tried that, and while it worked in the save-for-web dialog it had no effect on the final jpg for me. I'm glad it worked for you, but it makes me wonder if there's something wrong with my photoshop installation.
  39. As Greg says, choosing Document Color Profile in the "save for web" dialog, has no effect
    on the final jpeg, it just effects how the jpeg is previewed within the "save for web" dialog.
  40. Oh, so that's expected behaviour? Huh, I thought something was wrong and it wasn't working on mine. Well at least I know that one piece is working as expected then. Thanks Elliot!
  41. wow. i'm so glad i found this post! i'm in the same situation regarding saving images for the web in photoshop cs (version #1) and i can't figure out why. i was google searching answers for the problem when i found this post (and subsequently joined!).

    i will have to try some of these suggestions in this post.
  42. Haven't read quite all of the replies, but I have been having similar issues. One thing I noticed is that Safari successfully reads embedded color profiles in JPEG images... so you can just save as Adobe 1998, and it will look the same as in photoshop... or convert so sRGB and it still looks good in Safari (I'm using the latest update of Tiger...).

    HOWEVER, this is NOT true about firefox, Opera, or IE (i think. haven't tested IE myself). They don't care about ICC profiles (see link: and show my image as flat.

    I posted a screenshot and some details here:

    The original image that inspired my looking into this:

    I want to try a bit more testing before I come to any conclusions, and I'll be sure to post what I find out here.
  43. Ok, I did a few of my own tests. My optimal solution: Convert to sRGB then save as a jpeg (not save for web since that ditches exif info) and ebed the color profile in the hopes that either some people will be using safari and will see it correctly, or that the other browsers will someday correctly read embedded color profiles.
    Read more (and see some screenshots) here:

    -sidetracked (Alex Y.)
  44. fr


    Encountering this exact problem myself on my Powerbook, I found these pages.
    Seems that Safari is the only browser that deals with the colour profiles correctly.
    But since most viewers will be on a PC using IE, Mozilla or Firefox, I tried converting the profile to sRGB profiles for my images to see if this solves the problem. It got a little better - but still looks wrong in the two other browsers I have: Firefox and Internet Explorer (on OS X).
  45. fr


    Oops! Alex - it looks like you posted the same info while I was playing in PS :D
  46. Frez, great links! Thanks!
  47. fr


    Just wanted to report that after finally catching up on all the previous posts, I converted the images to my monitor's calibrated profile and the images look as I expect in the browsers and other programs. The only thing now is to see how it looks on other people's computers *shudder* :)
  48. I'm on windows, experiencing the exactly same problems. I calibrated my monitor using ColorVision Spyder, and everything looked good, except for the color shif in Save For Web.
    After experimenting a bit I removed the Spyder created profile from my display setting, and now the colors match!
    In my case it was the monitor profile that messed things up. But now my monitor is not profiled!
  49. Jouko, I finally realized that was when my problem started...When I got a new monitor that had it's own color profile.

    My final solution is to leave the monitor profile active and do a Convert to Profile to the monitor profile before I save for web. That seems to get closest to what I see on screen when I look at it on different monitors.
  50. I've read this post backward and forward but it doesn't address what I experience on some of my images. My goal is to get an image on the web that when viewed by others in their browsers (IE) will be close to what I see on my screen in photoshop.

    The problem that I have is this. I have an image I like in PS. I convert it from argb to srgb. I then Save for web. What I see in Save for web is that the "original" image as displayed in SfW is not close to what I see in PS. I eyedropped a patch of red in the PS image and then edited the save for web image in imageready and eyedropped it in IR. 217,39,39 in PS and 239,43,34 in IR. First question I have is why are they different?

    Moving on from there, in Save for Web, the target image, what SfW says is the Jpeg, looks like what I want. It looks like the PS image. BUT. when I do the save,and then go to IE to view the web site, guess what. It looks like the SfW source image and not like my PS image and not like the SfW jpg target image.

    This all occurs no matter what my monitor profile is. To summarize, I get a color shift when saving to a jpeg and viewing on my monitor as well as others.

    Hope someone can help.
  51. d2


    Greg - I know this post is really old now, but I was having this same problem and have an interesting test result to share with you and the others. I've been working with Photoshop for a long, long time and have been a web designer since about 1995! I always just assumed that JPEG images saved out of PS for the web were just duller and that there wasn't much I could do about it. Until... I bought iView MediaPro and began using it to generate HTML galleries. Even then, I didn't notice right anything right away. But this morning, I saved a few images right out of Photoshop using SfW that were destined for the home page of one of my sites. Those images were then linked into the gallery version created with iView. Go to the following site, check out either of the last two images and then click on them. Wow! iView seems to be doing a much better job. After that, check out the comparison page I created to.

    There's a file size difference, but for something like photography or art where rich colors are important, I think I'll take the bigger file. I messed around in Photoshop quite a bit, and no matter what I did, the images are always duller in my browser. I don't know why iView does a better job, but they do.

    Your thoughts?
    Bob Delaney
  52. d2


    An update to my previous post. I realized I will want to fix the images on the home page so they are more saturated - so you may not see the difference on that first link suggestion. But the second link - the comparison page, I will leave up for the forseeable future. Thanks.

  53. Thanks for the post, Bob. I have never satisfied myself completely with these profile issues in Photoshop, so maybe it really is another program that's needed to solve the issue...
  54. Have you scrolled through the upper right triangle dropdown
    menu next to the top of the preview window in SFW to see what
    the document space or other profile assigns the preview is set

    Many overlook this small little detail. This is assuming the image
    is actually in AdobeRGB or what ever space the RGB numbers in
    the file are written to at the moment of capture or editing.
  55. Tim, yes I've done that. As I understand it, doing so only applies to the preview, though, and not to the file once it is saved. It would be great if the saved file looked like the preview did when set to the correct setting!
  56. d2


    Greg & Tim - what Greg says is my understanding as well and confirmed by my tests. Whatever I pick off that preview menu, the JPEG is still washed out in my browser. I've tried everything - converting to sRGB first, etc, etc, and the JPEG is always washed out. Yet going through iView MediaPro using "Convert Images", I get a nicely saturated image that closely matches the original PSD which iView is using to make the conversion. And there are very few settings to even mess with in iView - they just do it right. I am a big Photoshop fan and will certainly always be - but it is possible that they could just be doing something wrong here! I know it's hard to image they could mess up something as simple as saving out a JPEG, but the fact is iView just gets it right with "out of the box" settings. Even if I'm missing some small detail in a setting somewhere (which I doubt), fact is the process should not be so delicate or fragile. So my plan is to stop worrying about it. I'll use Photoshop to color correct PSD's any just about anything else I need to do - but when it's time for a web image, I will just use iView to convert the image. One other thing here... I'm pretty sure iView is using QuickTime to convert the images. Not sure why that matters, but that must be the difference.
  57. Not to be argumentative, but what's been described here doesn't
    make sense and isn't widespread among the millions of
    Photoshop users and web designers.

    You shouldn't require a third party software to do what millions
    including myself have no problems with. It sounds like either a
    bad display calibration session/corrupt monitor profile issue that
    affects the original preview during capture, view and/ or editing of
    said image or something isn't selected correctly within the
    display control panel or loaded within the system for Photoshop
    to access.

    The source of when the image was first viewed can be affected
    by a monitor profile. How do you know if the image is suppose to
    look washed out or not. What was the first viewer software that
    told you what you were seeing was correct?

    If from a digital camera, just because you're told the data is
    written to AdobeRGB or sRGB doesn't always mean it's so. The
    image can get stripped of its EXIF data or the camera software
    could write the data to a certain color space but afix a default
    name of sRGB or AdobeRGB when it's not like with certain Nikon

    But I know you're probably tired of fighting this so I guess just go
    with what works.
  58. I'm sorry, I'm an idiot, that's what I get for not reading an entire
    thread. This is a Safari/sRGB space issue. D-oh!

    Forget my previous ranting. I know what this is about. It's a Safari
    issue with how it previews tagged images through it's color
    management settings. You have to check Colorsync Control
    Panel settings which Safari references. It may be set to the
    monitor space or some other 1.8 gamma display profile or CM
    could be turned off all together in Safari.

    Or something like that. I don't have Safari so I'm not that familiar
    with it. This has been discussed on the web before.
  59. I just duplicated the Safari effect seen in one of the screeshots
    posted in this thread in Photoshop to show it's a profile
    assigning issue within Safari:
  60. d2


    Tim - thanks for your input on this and your experiments. No worry about coming across argumentive, I didn't take it that way at all. Basically I was not fully understanding things and out of frustration was suggesting that Photoshop could just be handling something wrong. I'm a long-time PS user and as big a fan as anyone. But before I move on to my new take on this, I also want to say that for me and for Greg (the original poster), the issue wasn't anything to do with Safari specifically. A couple of other participants turned the post into that for quite some time - not that there was anything wrong with that, heck they even realized it and apologized at one point in the thread. But it's fine, that was productive evolution I think.

    So after letting this soak in more, doing a bit more reading and experimenting, I think I might be seeing the light! I still stand by the fact that iView MediaPro is pretty cool in the sense that it's taking my PSD file that uses Adobe RGB and is color corrected for output on my Epson R800 (which I'm using for archival quality print and am extremely impressed with by the way), and it's converting it to a smaller JPEG for the web and matching what my image looks like in Photoshop quite nicely - and with very little in the way of options or choices to be made.

    However, I now realize this is a case of Photoshop being SOOO powerful as to be giving FULL control over the image - how it appears on screen, in print, etc, by using different color spaces and/or profiles. While impressive, it's also a bit overwhelming. But the key is that because Photoshop gives you full control, it will not make any assumptions for you when saving for the web - meaning it won't shift the actual pixels. I now think that iView (or the QuickTime converter being used) is smart enough to know that it will need to compensate for loss of saturation and it is correcting the actual pixels when I convert the image. This is confirmed by opening the resulting JPEG in Photoshop to find that it had actually become MORE saturated that my original PSD was! So the key in Photoshop, as mentioned early in this thread, is the 'proof setup' under the View menu. Mine was set to 'Working CMYK'. When I changed it to 'monitor RGB', I found myself looking at the same saturation level in PS that I was ending up with after using Save for Web. At Photoshop's own recommendation in their help docs, if you want to save for web and are seeing a loss of saturation, they say to save a copy of the file, convert to sRGB, change your proof setup to monitor rgb, make the tonal corrections, and save. This is very powerful now that I understand it better. But the funny thing is still that rather than go through all that, iView seems to be doing basically the same thing for me behind the scene without giving me the power or options along the way. They must have decided to keep that function simple knowing that their users are mostly photographers and that if they're converting to JPEG, it's most often because they are posting images to the web. So they are probably increasing the saturation automatically when converting - the way you'd have to do yourself in Photoshop to compensate for the ultimate display of the image in a browser that can't read profiles.

    Yikes, what post! It's been a learning experience for me and I thank all the partipants for helping.

  61. Bob,

    From reading your last post I can see how Photoshop has truly
    confused with all it's embedded CM tools. I wasn't aware about
    Soft Proof being set to CMYK in the previous postings. CMYK
    shows a preview if you CONVERTED your AdobeRGB image to
    that space while MonitorRGB shows if you ASSIGNED your
    monitor profile to your AdobeRGB image which would go dull. It
    wouldn't change much if you previously converted to sRGB which
    is close to most monitor profiles.

    "Photoshop...will not make any assumptions for you when
    saving for the web - meaning it won't shift the actual pixels."

    True, SFW only changes the preview by assigning whatever is
    selected in the preview settings in the upper right dropdown
    triangle menu. Pixels stay the same even on a save.

    ..."I now think that iView (or the QuickTime converter being used)
    is smart enough to know that it will need to compensate for loss
    of saturation and it is correcting the actual pixels when I convert
    the image. This is confirmed by opening the resulting JPEG in
    Photoshop to find that it had actually become MORE saturated
    that my original PSD was!"...

    If iView is converting the AdobeRGB JPEG=changing the RGB
    numbers to make them more saturated for monitor/web view, is
    it leaving the profile tag in place or is it stripped when reopened
    in Photoshop? If stripped, Photoshop will ASSIGN=(change the
    preview only), its working space=AdobeRGB? by default or
    whatever you have your RGB working space set to in Color
    Settings. You should get a dialog box that prompts you to choose
    which working space upon opening.

    To confirm take the original AdobeRGB file and the converted
    iView JPEG and compare the RGB numbers using the info
    palette in Photoshop. If a conversion in iView really took place
    the numbers will be different. Example 190,45,45 AdobeRGB red
    will convert to 222,42,42 sRGB, an increase in saturation.

    "At Photoshop's own recommendation in their help docs, if you
    want to save for web and are seeing a loss of saturation, they
    say to save a copy of the file, convert to sRGB, change your proof
    setup to monitor rgb, make the tonal corrections, and save."

    Converting to sRGB is all that's required. Further edits are
    unnecessary. And using MonitorRGB preview to edit with will only
    create another file you'll have to manage that will only look
    correct on your own monitor. Changes in previews after
    converting to sRGB and turning on MonitorRGB should be hardly
    noticeable unless your custom monitor profile was made with a
    1.8 gamma correction curve. If so, the image would lighten from
    its 2.2 gamma sRGB color space.

    I don't know what iView does but IMO you're adding confusion on
    top of confusion in terms of establishing a simplified workflow
    dealing with one apps version of color against Photoshop's
    where a chicken or egg source issue is bound to create more

    Keep two things in mind about color management and profiles:

    Preview and data.

    Previews can be manipulated by the video card and image
    editing tools. The tools can also change the data in the file.

    Photoshop uses CM profile tags to manipulate the video card,
    not the data, to show what the data REALLY means so your edits
    will be shown to the next device converted to as intended. You
    strip the profile, the video card can't be manipulated and the
    meaning-(preview) of the edits or what a digicam or other device
    captured are lost.

    Assigning a profile changes the video card only, not the data, i.e.
    MonitorRGB in Soft Proof is a simulated assign effect without
    actually assigning a profile. Leave it on and perform edits-you've
    just changed the meaning of the data without retaining the profile
    since it's only a temporary simulation. Too confusing. Don't use

    Converting changes the data but retains the original
    manipulation of the video card defined by the source profile tag
    converted from. Strip this tag, video manipulation is lost.

    Converting to sRGB numbers represents the majority of display
    monitors on the market so the video card won't need
    manipulating. All monitors are slightly different so editing with
    this preview is a waste of time.

    I hope I haven't further confused the issue.
  62. I have had the same problem for a few weeks now. Very frustrated, I have googled and googled and googled. Just now, I found a page ( that said to make sure my gamma was set to 2.2 I just changed it to that and it seems to be working like it used to. I honestly dont know if this is really a fix or perhaps some kind of fluke or ... well, i dont know. I just hope it continues to work properly.
  63. UGH. NO! It didn't fix it. NOW, my images are coming out DARKER than in PS

  64. amazing to see this post going back to 2006
    a few years later i finally found this discussion, and even though i feel like a color specialist after reading it, i dont think it's been solved in any 'easy' way?
    my solution is to hit Apple Y on my mac, see the vomit inducing desaturated image shown in Monitor RGB proof, tweak vibrance/saturance/levels/curves until the cows come home. upload to a test directory on my website, view the image on TWO other computers on either side of my work machine, then adjust my original image in photoshop somewhere inbetween. and repeat the test process until it looks good on all screens. +- 30 minutes work on each image.
    i've boiled my blood over this for so long i dont even expect an answer, just hoping someone out there is doing the same thing and smiles at the idoicricy of it all
  65. Yes, today there is no a satisfactory answer.
    Well, here you have an explanation that may be useful to somebody:
    This endless colour issue just sucks. I think all the problems come with Photoshop. The Colour MAnagement Chapter in Photoshop Help is OK in theory but It just doesn´t work in practice. I am sure Photoshop (CS4 in my case) is doing something wrong with the monitor profile.
  66. Thanks for the HREF to the Tony Sleep article, Azucena! It is hard to believe that a $1000 piece of software could get the basics so wrong.
  67. Seeing as this post is half a decade old and I'm suddenly struck with the same dilemma I thought I'd sign up and see if anyone is still out there. I've picked through about half the posts and they've been educational, but I'm still stuck. My own situation is similar, except for a few bizarre complications. I'm hoping I'm just not savvy enough to be picking up on some simple problems concerning color spaces and management. Here's what I'm doing:
    - When my image is resized and sharpened I "convert to profile" from argb to srgb. The image looks good after the conversion.
    - I save for web.
    - I upload the image to my website and it looks desaturated.
    To further complicate things, when I reopen the SFW version of my image to PS it does not ask me how I want to color manage, and the image is suddenly OVER saturated. When I reopen the pre-SFW argb version it looks correct. I tried saving and reopening an srgb (not SFW) version. If I choose to "use the embeded profile" or "convert... to working space" they look the same, but if I "discard embeded/... don't color manage" it has the same kind of over saturation I'm getting when reopening my SFW versions.
    This is especially confusing because it means I don't know what my SFW versions even look like, since they close automatically when saved. Of note however, in the SFW window: 2up: both images look desaturated.
    I am using a mac and running CS2. If anyone has any updates or suggestions I would be very grateful, as I am utterly lost. Thank you, and thanks to all the previous contributors too...
  68. 1. Have you hardware calibrated/profiled your display? A must now due to varying hue/saturation characteristics among a wide range of LCD models.
    2. Is the new custom display profile that has a unique name you gave it show up in "Monitor RGB-XXX" found by scrolling up within the RGB Working Space menu in Photoshop's Color Settings dialog box? The XXX should read the name of your custom display profile.
    3. Set Color Settings top dropdown menu to US Prepress v2 and click OK to confirm the new settings by exiting out of Color Settings. What this new setting does is turn on all embedded profile prompts when opening images.
    4. After that open a new unedited jpg image containing a lot of various colors (no snow scenes) from your camera and make sure it has an embedded profile. If it was shot with incamera settings color space set to AdobeRGB (and you know this for sure) it should open without a dialog box prompt. And if this is the case the preview should look as intended=(not over or under saturated). If you shot the image with incamera settings set to sRGB then you should get a dialog box when opening in PS and its preview should look as intended also.
    5. Make sure in SFW the ICC Profile check box has a check and you are viewing in the Optimize window pane, not the one that says Original.
  69. Hi Tim, thanks very much for your response. I've never submitted to one of these things before and I'm sort of astounded somemone wrote back. Your advice seems to have done the trick for the most part - so I am much obliged -- but I don't quite understand how:
    - I'm shooting 35mm negative film and scanning. The color profile the Nikon software applies is "Nikon Apple RGB" If I convert or use the embedded profile the result is very similar.
    - When I open one of my first SFW attempts now I'm prompted to color manage. "Leave as is" (this is the default option) and "Assign working RGB" both give me over-saturated images. If I choose "Assign profile" and select SRGB (since that's what I saved it in) it looks fine.
    >>Why was I not being asked to color manage before, since the SFW file should be out of sync with the working space? And Why do I now have to assign the file a color profile if I converted and saved it as SRGB?
    - I made a new SFW file, ticking the ICC box (what is this?) and viewing in the optimized window. The image still looks desaturated in the window, but when reopened selecting "Use embedded..." looks fine. (Very slightly but perceptibly off; cooler and maybe more saturated. Color sampling confirms this.) I uploaded this image to the web and the web image is almost exactly the same again. Only very slightly different. So for the most part, problem solved!
    >>Why, since my first SFW files and my new ones are ostensibly the same when opened in SRGB, do they look different from each other when uploaded to the web? And why when opened do they prompt two completely different color management windows if they're both SRGB? Is this the doing of the ICC box?
    I have been having similar troubles over the last year. I will reopen an old file I had spent a long time color correcting in the working space - and which I would have saved and reopened several times in the process - and suddenly it will be over saturated. Only choosing "Discard embedded..." changes that, but I can't be sure if what I'm looking at then is the same as how I originally saved it. How am I supposed to know what my images look like if they are constantly changing on me like this? I get paranoid that I'm loosing hours of work and that the files I send away to people/magazines are mutating into whatever they want.
    I noticed in the color settings window there is an icon in the top left of a fractured color wheel/target and a warning that says "Unsynchronized. Your Creative Suite applications are not synchronized for consistent color." Could this be the culprit? I do bring images in from Bridge. Could there also be complications when using iPhoto? I use that application quite a bit for squencing and often drag a file into PS directly from there.
    I realize this is a lot of information but I thought I'd throw it out there. I think this has solved my immediate problems, so thanks again for your help. If you do have any further wisdom to share it would be much appreciated.
  70. The color profile the Nikon software applies is "Nikon Apple RGB" If I convert or use the embedded profile the result is very similar.​
    The Nikon scan software complicates things. We'll have to take this one step at a time to sort this out. I can't answer all of your questions until we nail down how Nikon scans are color managed.
    I'll have to assume the "Nikon Apple RGB" profile is the output space in the scan software and if it is then when you open that scan in Photoshop you should get the dialog box prompt saying...
    "The document has an embedded profile that doesn't match your RGB Working Space... Embedded: "Nikon Apple RGB". If it doesn't say "Nikon Apple RGB" you have a problem. If it does, then you should make sure the first button that says..."Use the embedded profile" is selected and open the image.
    If the preview doesn't match what you saw in Nikon Scan, then again you have a problem with Nikon Scan color management setup and you need to fix that first by reading up on how it deals with color managed previews. All of your edits performed in that software may be bogus.
    An alternative fix that involves the least amount of editing is to force a Nikon scan preview match in CS2 by assigning a profile of choice in CS2 (after opening and retaining the embedded profile shown in the prompt dialog box) that gives you a match and convert to your output for web space (sRGB) and then open in SFW or convert to your Working Space of choice for further editing.
    I'm not familiar with Nikon software. Once you sort that out then everything else will work fine in CS2 and SFW.
  71. Thanks again Tim.
    The dialogue box is as you describe it should be when I opened a file in CS2. I do all my scans with no adjustment either during the scan or afterwards and I have never had a problem with color shifts when opening a new Nikon file into CS2. Also as I mentioned the difference between the Nikon space and ARGB 1998 is only a very slight shift in hue.
    Since making the changes to color settings there is a new dialogue box concerning color profiles. The new one says "The document XXX does not have an embedded RGB profile" -- as opposed to the one I'm used to getting, which says, "The document has an embedded profile that doesn't match your RGB Working Space... Embedded: "Nikon Apple RGB...") I am getting one or the other depending on the file; but for what reason I don't understand. I have tried opening various files and it appears to be totally random as to whether it recognizes the Nikon color space.
    I also tried opening a few versions of an image (saved as tiff's, jpg's, worked on and not) that have been acting erratic. I discovered that if I choose to "assign profile: Nikon RGB..." or "discard the embeded profile (don't color manage)" (depending on the dialogue box) they come out looking the way they should. This seems inconsistent also.
  72. Since making the changes to color settings there is a new dialogue box concerning color profiles. The new one says "The document XXX does not have an embedded RGB profile" -- as opposed to the one I'm used to getting, which says, "The document has an embedded profile that doesn't match your RGB Working Space... Embedded: "Nikon Apple RGB...")​
    This means that Nikon scan software is not embedding your output profile (Nikon Apple RGB) after saving the image to disk. You now must assign this profile after you open in CS2 which should show up in the "Assign Profile" dialog box accessed in CS2's "Edit" menu.
    Again, when you do this you should get a preview that matches in both Nikon Scan and CS2. If not a match, then you need to sort out Nikon Scan software color management policies. Nikon Scan could be using the wrong custom calibrated monitor profile that CS2 uses to generate your previews and/or you have something turned on/off in Nikon Scan software.
    You need to confirm all of this before we continue.
  73. I also tried opening a few versions of an image (saved as tiff's, jpg's, worked on and not) that have been acting erratic. I discovered that if I choose to "assign profile: Nikon RGB..." or "discard the embeded profile (don't color manage)" (depending on the dialogue box) they come out looking the way they should. This seems inconsistent also.​
    Let's first confirm color matches with newly scanned unedited images from Nikon Scan matching CS2 previews under the new Color Settings fix and making sure embedded scan profiles are being honored/detected in CS2. It's the only way to fix this.
    What you just said above indicates you've been working/editing in a botched color managed workflow setup and unfortunately to fix this you're going to have to re-edit or rescan some images.

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