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Image appears brighter in Photoshop that other programs

New Here ,
Jun 10, 2020 Jun 10, 2020

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I noticed my images appear brighter in Photoshop compared to other programs (pixinsight, Astraimage and just opening in image preview).  This happens in grayscale and RGB color (16bit). It makes it difficult to process at times.  Are there preferences I need to adjust?  The file shows the same image in two different programs (PS is on the right).  

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Community Expert ,
Jun 10, 2020 Jun 10, 2020

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Photoshop is color managed and uses your monitor profile to correct for your display. If you use a calibrator to make an accurate profile, Photoshop will represent the file 100% correctly on screen. But the monitor manufacturer's profiles (often distributed through Windows Update) may not be up to that standard.

 

Most other applications aren't color managed at all. They don't use the monitor profile, and how the file appears on screen is entirely up to how your monitor behaves.

 

Avoid grayscale! Proper grayscale support is mostly absent anywhere outside Photoshop. Again, Photoshop treats it correctly, but most other applications don't know what to do with it and the results rather random. It will display, but unpredictably.

 

So you have two unknowns here. If you want accuracy you can trust Photoshop, but you must have a good monitor profile. Applications without color management will always be untrustworthy.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 11, 2020 Jun 11, 2020

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As D Fosse suggetsed, many programs have no colour management capabity, what use are they then, you might ask! As long as the monitor display profile is good Photoshop will show you the true meaning of the image values on screen.

 

However:

Display profile issues 

At least once a week on this forum we read about this, or very similar issues of appearance differing between applications.

Unfortunately, with Microsoft hardware: Windows updates, Graphics Card updates and Display manufacturers have a frustratingly growing reputation for installing useless (corrupted) monitor display profiles.

I CAN happen with Macs but with far less likelyhood, it seems.

 

The issue can affect different applications in different ways, some not at all, some very badly.

 

The poor monitor display profile issue is hidden by some applications, specifically those that do not use colour management, such as Microsoft Windows "Photos".

 

Photoshop is correct, it’s the industry standard for viewing images, in my experience it's revealing an issue with the Monitor Display profile rather that causing it. Whatever you do, don't ignore it. As the issue isn’t caused by Photoshop, don’t change your Photoshop ‘color settings’ to try fix it. 

 

If you want to rule out pretty much the only issue we ever see with Photoshop, you can reset preferences, I never read of a preferences issue causing this problem though:

To reset the preferences in Photoshop: 

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/preferences.html

 

Note: Make sure that you back up all your custom presets, brushes & actions before restoring Photoshop's preferences. Migrate presets, actions, and settings

 

 

To find out if this is the issue, I recommend you to try setting the monitor profile for your own monitor display under “Device” in your Windows ‘color management’ control panel to sRGB. You can ADD sRGB if its not already listed. 

And be sure to check “Use my settings for this device”.

 

(OR, if you have a wide gamut monitor display (check the spec online) it’s better to try Adobe RGB instead).

Quit and relaunch Photoshop after the control panel change, to ensure the new settings are applied.

 

NB__colourmanagement_0-1591863033259.jpeg

 

 

If this change fixes the issue, it is recommended that you should now calibrate and profile the monitor properly using a calibration sensor like i1display pro, which will create and install it's own custom monitor profile. The software should install it’s profile correctly so there should be no need to manual set the control panel once you are doing this right. 

 

Depending on the characteristics of your monitor display and your requirements, using sRGB or Adobe RGB here may be good enough - but custom calibration is a superior approach.

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply and if you're OK now, please mark it as "correct", so that others who have similar issues can see the solution

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net :: adobe forum volunteer

[please do not use the reply button on a message in the thread, only use the one at the top of the page, to maintain chronological order]

 

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2020 Jun 12, 2020

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Thanks for the responses. I use a mac for processing and I checked that I am using sRGB for my programs.  My images are monochrome (actually narrow band 656.82nm, 393.4nm).  When they are initially stacked to reduce noise (another program) they are saved as .tiff 16bit files.  Since there isnt color data it will be saved as a grayscale image. When I check the profile in photoshop the default is set to Dot Gain 20%.  If I change it to Gamma 2.2 then the images are pretty much identical.  I assume it is assigning a Dot Gain 20% because the data is imported as a Grayscale and not RGB?   

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 4.40.37 AM.png

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2020 Jun 12, 2020

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Thanks for the responses. I use a mac for processing and I checked that I am using sRGB for my programs.  My images are monochrome (actually narrow band 656.82nm, 393.4nm).  When they are initially stacked to reduce noise (another program) they are saved as .tiff 16bit files.  Since there isnt color data it will be saved as a grayscale image. When I check the profile in photoshop the default is set to Dot Gain 20%.  If I change it to Gamma 2.2 then the images are pretty much identical.  I assume it is assigning a Dot Gain 20% because the data is imported as a Grayscale and not RGB?   

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 4.40.37 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Jun 12, 2020 Jun 12, 2020

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Gamma could be the issue since the images are monochrome RGB.  Do you embed the sRGB profile?  

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

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Community Expert ,
Jun 12, 2020 Jun 12, 2020

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This is why I advised to avoid grayscale above.

 

The dot gain profiles are generic profiles for offset print. Dot gain refers to ink spreading in the paper, increasing the size of the halftone dots. Nowadays they are outdated. Dot gain is built into CMYK profiles and you simply use the K channel. For screen use and digital images dot gain has no relevance whatsoever.

 

The problem is that this is the profile that gets assigned if you don't do anything. And when this is displayed in another app without proper grayscale support (or color management at all), it's completely off.

 

If you must use grayscale, use sGray. This is the tone response curve of sRGB, minus the color.

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2020 Jun 12, 2020

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Thanks for all the information. This was a good learning opportunity.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2020 Jun 13, 2020

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What is the output? Is it for screen or print? If it’s only for screen display or composite printing use sGray as suggested. If it’s for offset printing, ideally you should use the Black Ink profile for the destination press—i.e Black Ink-Coated GRACol—and not one of the Dot Gain profiles.

 

This thread shows how to save a Black Ink profile:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/exporting-rgb-cmyk-and-grayscale-to-print-pdf/m-p/10990825?p...

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