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Colors of Photos Edited in LR or PS Look Different on iPhone

Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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I have searched all over the Adobe Support Community discussions and despite finding a few similar looking discussions not a one helped to solve my issue. I hope someone here will be able to help.

 

My problem is this: recently I purchased a subscripton to Lightroom and Photoshop programs and as I was testing the software on photos I took with my iPhone 13 Pro I found a very weird phenomenon. The photos I tried to edit are in a HEIF format. I imported the photos in the Photoshop and did only a slight adjustments with the cloning tool. I was not adjusting colors at all. When I exported the photos and viewed them on the iPhone next to the original photos the edited photos looked different, I would say slightly darker, less bright, and it also seems there is less detail. On a computer both of the photos, the original and the edited one look the same.

 

At firts I thouht this was caused by the color profile settings. When I was importing the photos in the Photoshop a prompt questtion appeared if I want to use the embedded profile, if I want to convert document colors to the working space or discard the embedded profile. I tried all the options. I also tried to export a JPG picture in SRGB color profile with insert embedded color profile option ticked and all the possible combinations (without embedded color profile option tick and converting to SRGB, with embedded color profile option tick but not converting to SRGB, without embedded color profile option tick and not converting to SRGB). The edited picture never looked the same next to the original picture on iPhone, I mean colorwise.

 

Then I suspected that the difference might be caused by difference between HEIF and JPG formats. I tried to edit the original photo in the Pixelmator app, made only a slight adjustment with a brush tool and then exported the photo in JPG: the colors of the original and edited picture looked exactly the same on the iPhone.

 

The same phenomenon happend when I use the Photoshop on PC, the Lightroom on PC or the Lightroom mobile app. It drives me crazy. I tried to screenshot both the original and the edited photo with washed out colors on iPhone only to find out that in the screenshots both the photos looked the same.

 

Here I add the photos of the original photo (photo 1) and the edited photo (photo 2) as they appear on my iPhone screen.

 

Orig.jpgEdit.jpg

 

Thank you for any help.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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When you open any image in Photoshop its important for your standard response to the profile dialog should be "use embedded profile".

When saving the file it should also be saved with the checkbox ticked - to embed the profile. 

Colourmanagement on phones is largely hidden from us, but displaying sRGB (or DCI-P3) images on a number of phones suggests that phones are quite consistent in appearance. [DCI P3 or its close relative Display P3 are quite a bit larger colourpsaces than sRGB and even exceed the gamut volume Adobe RGB in some areas)  

SO,phones are quite consistent in appearance, but that’s more than can be said for computer screens which are generally too bright out of the box and can differ significantly model to model - to fix this you really need calibration using a colorimeter sensor such at other i1 Display Pro device. 

I like to use that sensor with basICColor display 6.

 

You mention "exporting" the image once its been opened in Photoshop, instead I would try saving as a copy - 

your next step is to open it on the phone - how are you doing that?

Importing to "Apple's Photos" perhaps?

 

IF I take this image https://www.colourmanagement.net/downloads/CMnet_Pixl_AdobeRGB_testimage05.zip and open it in Photshop on a calibrated Eizo screen, then open this link mobile testimage, Display P3 in Safari on my iPhone by copying this text into the Safari browser address bar: 

 

I get a pretty good match between the two. (mac screen and iPhone). Of course the phone screen is glossy, so quite contrasty. 

 

So you understand about the browser testimage's colourmanagement for mobile testimage -this image has been converted to Display-P3 colourspace, it seems that this is generally the mobile device default colourspace - also the default colourspace for for newer iMacs and Macbooks 

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
[please only use the blue reply button at the top of the page, this maintains the original thread title and chronological order of posts]

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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quote

When you open any image in Photoshop its important for your standard response to the profile dialog should be "use embedded profile".

When saving the file it should also be saved with the checkbox ticked - to embed the profile. 

 

Yes, most of the times I used embedded profile and exported the photo with the checkbox ticked - to use the embedded profile. Yet both the original and the edited photos look different on the iPhone screen.

 

quote

You mention "exporting" the image once its been opened in Photoshop, instead I would try saving as a copy - 

your next step is to open it on the phone - how are you doing that?

Importing to "Apple's Photos" perhaps?

 

I tried even to save the photo as a copy, the result is still the same - the original and the edited photo look different. I tried to get picture to the phone in various ways - sending the edited photo to icloud folder on my PC and then saving the photo to the Apple Photos from Apple files app, I also tried to transfer the photo trough Google Drive from the PC and then saving it to the Apple Photos from Apple files app. I also tried to save the edited photo from the ios Lightroom app  by exporting it to Camera Roll. All these options ended with the same result - different looking photos in the iPhone photos app.

 

I undertand that various laptops or monitors have differently calibrated screens and that photos look different on various mobile devices. What I don't understand is how the same photo, which was not color adjusted, looks different on the same device after running it trough the Photoshop or the Lightroom, especially when this problem doesn't exist when using different software (Pixelmator). However to be fair, if I alter any photo in the Snapseed app, the edited copy of photo also appears to change in color in the same way.

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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basically , i am cricket blogger, on daily rutine i need to use photoshop for my site featured image, can you suggest me best way to make fastly featured image for my site. thanks

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Community Expert ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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HI, what is a "fastly featured image" please?

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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LATEST

means how can make quick featued image in photoshop,,my friends using canva he said I am using canva I make quick,, but I love photoshop...

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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Hi, did you test the images I provided a link to? what are the results?

 

 "I tried even to save the photo as a copy, the result is still the same - the original and the edited photo look different. I tried to get picture to the phone in various ways - sending the edited photo to icloud folder on my PC and then saving the photo to the Apple Photos from Apple files app, I also tried to transfer the photo trough Google Drive from the PC and then saving it to the Apple Photos from Apple files app. I also tried to save the edited photo from the ios Lightroom app  by exporting it to Camera Roll. All these options ended with the same result - different looking photos in the iPhone photos app."

SO you see variation using those methods above - are all the results identical - same appearance on phone?

 

When you simply open an unedited image on the iphone does that match Photoshop?

Just trying to work out if its something to do with the editing / saving step

 

When you reopen the edited (copy) to Photoshop is the appearance same [in Photoshop] as the unedited original?

no layers in your edited file?

 

You also mentioned symptoms which would seem to be connected to a reduction in resolution - is the file you save at the same resolution as the original you open? The iPhone makes pretty large images (12 megapixels). 

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
[please only use the blue reply button at the top of the page, this maintains the original thread title and chronological order of posts]

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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quote

Hi, did you test the images I provided a link to? what are the results?

 

Yes, I looked at the images both on my PC and on Safari on the iPhone screen and color are quite matching. Howerver, I do not perceive the difference between my PC and my iPhone screen as a problem, the problem is that two identical pictures look different on the same screen - the iPhone screen - so I am not sure if I understand the meaning of this experiment.

 

quote

SO you see variation using those methods above - are all the results identical - same appearance on phone?

 

As I have said before, yes, the result are almost always the same. I can see a different result only when I do not tick the use embedded profile and transfer to SRGB checkboxes at the same time - in this case the colors of the edited picture get very different, but that is a thing I understand. However, in all other cases the edited pictures look the same, but never are identical in color as the original pictures.

 

quote

You also mentioned symptoms which would seem to be connected to a reduction in resolution - is the file you save at the same resolution as the original you open? The iPhone makes pretty large images (12 megapixels). 

 

I can confirm that the resolution is the same in the picture, I always export jpeg in the highest quality.

 

quote

When you simply open an unedited image on the iphone does that match Photoshop?

Just trying to work out if its something to do with the editing / saving step

 

On more thorough examination I have found out that when I import the unedited picture to iOS Lightroom app, the picture is already different in color on import. But what I do not understand is why? I can't confirm if the unedited image on iphone matches photoshop because the pictures look a little different on the iphone and on the PC screen.

 

quote

When you reopen the edited (copy) to Photoshop is the appearance same [in Photoshop] as the unedited original?

no layers in your edited file?

 

On the PC, yes. The edited picture appearance is the same as the unedited original, both in Photoshop and in Windows photos viewever. On the iPhone they look different though.

 

Hope this description helps to detect the problem, thank you. One interesting thing is that if I try to make onphone screen recording or take two screenshots of the both edited and original pictures, the difference between these two photos can't be seen on the screen recording or screenshots. But when you compare the pictures on screen, the differece is very visible. Only way to capture it is to record or take photo of the iPhone screen by another camera.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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I can see a different result only when I do not tick the use embedded profile and transfer to SRGB checkboxes at the same time - in this case the colors of the edited picture get very different, but that is a thing I understand.

 

Never do this, never allow untagged data to be produced from Photoshop. Untagged (unticked) images are  treated differently in differing applications and it is never, never a good idea to produce untagged data.

Two vastly different 'screen's (one being an iPhone which is calibrated and wide gamut) may appear different than another display who's white point, contrast ratio, color gamut and backlight intensity differ. Nothing unexpected in that respect. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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"One interesting thing is that if I try to make onphone screen recording or take two screenshots of the both edited and original pictures, the difference between these two photos can't be seen on the screen recording or screenshots. But when you compare the pictures on screen, the differece is very visible. Only way to capture it is to record or take photo of the iPhone screen by another camera."

That’s because its not a photo of the screen when you capture a screenshot, it’s a data capture of what's being sent to the screen.

IF the screenshots look the same, the data IS the same, so it’s the interpretation thats an issue, that’s most likely a missing ICC profile.

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
[please only use the blue reply button at the top of the page, this maintains the original thread title and chronological order of posts]

 

BTW, Windows Photos is not colour managed, forget that app if you want top see actual pic xel values.

 

Hi, did you test the images I provided a link to? what are the results?

 

Yes, I looked at the images both on my PC and on Safari on the iPhone screen and color are quite matching. Howerver, I do not perceive the difference between my PC and my iPhone screen as a problem, the problem is that two identical pictures look different on the same screen - the iPhone screen - so I am not sure if I understand the meaning of this experiment.

 

the reason is to ascertain whether the iPhone screen is anywhere near matching your PC screen with THE SAME image. 

you have confirmed that the appearance is close so that's good. 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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Thank you for your tips. I am aware that Windows photos is not colour managed. Sadly, still no solution to my issue. Why do photos look different in Apple Photos app and upon importing in LR or PS? And why does not this problem exist in a different software (e. g. Pixelmator)? Hopefuly someone can come up with a solution. Thanks for your time anyway.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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When you first 'open' a raw in LR (or ACR) you are viewing the embedded camera JPEG and those converters must build their own proprietary previews and hence, they look different initally. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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Apple's image to screen interpolation is optimized for Apple's own formats so they will look the best.  That was the reason for the HREF format in the first place.  Adobe created their HREF interpreting from Apple's specifications.  It worked, and there was some bits that did not fit well in the architecture so as with any product slight compromises are made.  

 

The important color management bits here to remember is that HREF is a native Apple format and is designed to work with apples mobile products.  So having an assigned color profile is not in the cards and not needed at all.  Where the jpeg must use a profile and go through a version of ColorSync.  That produces rounding errors that will of course be visible.  

 

I would suggest, not to worry about using any Apply Mobile device as a color critical display format and stay with a calibrated color managed workflow outside of that device.  If you want you images to appear the same, that is a noble goal but only you will be frustrated in the process.  Your clients or viewers will be none the wiser for these slight differences and will appreciate your content based on what you bring to the table without comparison.  

 

Hopefully that clears things up a bit and helps you out.  

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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I think you mean...... HEIF?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Image_File_Format

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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quote

Apple's image to screen interpolation is optimized for Apple's own formats so they will look the best.  That was the reason for the HREF format in the first place.

 

That is what I was thinking but I think it is not correct, because when I make adjustments in Pixelmator app and export it as JPEG, the colors after export look still the same as Apple HEIC format.

 

Nevertheless upon many hours delving into this issue I found the possible culprit - there is a settings toggle in Apple Photos App called "View full HDR", and If I toggle this off, the colors of both the original and the edited photos look the same. I found out that when "View full Hdr" is on the photos that contain many whites and lights are strongly affected - whites and lights get much brighter. The details also look sharper. When it is off all the pictures look exactly the same as the edited pictures in Lightroom or Photoshop - more dull, washed out.. The issue is more thoroughly described here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/view-full-hdr-is-broken.2240744/ 

 

So everything above leads to question whether Lightroom and Photoshop do not support full HDR from iPhone (whatever that is)? And if they are not, is there anything to fix it? Like delving into settings in PS app when exporting or make Adobe aware of this issue so they might add support for it later? Because Pixelmator app does not have this issue.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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HDR (high dynamic range) on iPhone takes multiple exposures and creates an "optimised" composite image from those. So I imagine an image opened in Photoshop discards that HDR data. You're right it would be good to see Adobe support iPhone HDR and allow it to be used, perhaps in layers so that can be blended.

Apple wrote

"HDR (high dynamic range) in Camera helps you get great shots in high-contrast situations. iPhone takes several photos in rapid succession at different exposures and blends them together to bring more highlight and shadow detail to your photos.

By default, iPhone takes photos in HDR (for the rear camera and the front camera) when it’s most effective. iPhone 12 models and iPhone 13 models record video in HDR to capture true-to-life color and contrast.

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/iph2cafe2ebc/ios

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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Depending on your eventual use, you may like to look into saving iPhone camera image files in Apple's RAW format [ProRAW, which is compatible with Adobe's DNG] - it's worth it if you feel you need the exposure latitude offered by HDR [and MUCH more in the way of image info], but want to edit in Adobe apps, prep for print etc. With some learning you'll surpass the HDR optimisation, but do be aware that Apple plainly spent a LOT of time on image optimisation.

Of course RAW files are not compressed so are a LOT larger. 

https://lux.camera/the-power-of-raw-on-iphone-part-1-shooting-raw/

Using a format like Jpeg or even HEIF potentially discards a LOT or image information compared to RAW, [Martin Evening author of 'Photoshop for Photographers' calculated that a Jpeg loses up to 83% of an original RAW image.]

Also, rather importantly, it's rather damaging to resize or crop a compressed file like Jpeg.

SO, Jpeg is easy but it is a VERY compromised format. Whether HEIF format gets around this successfully is open to discussion. 

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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LEGEND ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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@nazdar.ganzar wrote:
quote

Apple's image to screen interpolation is optimized for Apple's own formats so they will look the best.  That was the reason for the HREF format in the first place.

 

That is what I was thinking but I think it is not correct, because when I make adjustments in Pixelmator app and export it as JPEG, the colors after export look still the same as Apple HEIC format.



You are correct, that was not correct.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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