after looking for solutions yet again for sRGB exports being about one stop darker (and the standard "calibrate your monitor" circular non-solutions) I did notice that exporting the jpeg while the image is set to "soft proofing" for sRGB exports it correctly. The resulting jpeg looks exactly as it does in Lightroom.
note: turning on soft proofing set to sRGB shows no visible change to the picture on screen.
So the question is why doesn't the export dialog do the exact same thing? (if there is a way to automate this / add the soft proof step to the export, please let me know)
"Both windows are exactly the same jpeg opened in photo viewer and photoshop. It has been exported as SRGB so I don't understand why the blacks on the left are darker than on the right."
Yes, it is the same file, but that's not the point. The point is how this file is displayed - corrected for your display, or not.
Color management isn't just about color. The whole tone response curve is recorded in the monitor profile, in detail, and corrected in a color managed application. This is why one is darker than the other. An LCD panel doesn't behave in a perfectly linear fashion natively. Uncorrected, they all have a noticeable dip in the shadow values. The darks appear darker than they should.
This is one of those things that a color managed display pipeline corrects for, by lifting those values correspondingly. This way the file is correctly represented on screen. Applications without color management will always display dark values darker than they should be. It's expected.
It's a very common misunderstanding that the monitor profile corrects the monitor, and so it should affect all applications equally. But that's the calibration, a different thing. The monitor profile doesn't adjust anything. It's a map. The adjustment is done by the application. Or not, as the case may be.
So why do we need both color management (profile) and monitor adjustment (calibration)?
The answer is that the monitor profile has a much higher precision level, and it uses many more parameters. It operates in three-dimensional color space, whereas the calibration is a very simple and crude linear adjustment. Full correction is not possible with calibration only.
Thank you for the reply.
What I'm confused by is that why does the screenshot hold the detail if it's SRGB. Are screenshots colour managed?
Would Photos app on my iPad be colour managed? In a way I'd rather work without the colour management in Lightroom as the majority of people will be seeing it uncolourmanaged anyway.
Is there a way to use the crude monitor adjustment only?
"Are screenshots colour managed?"
Yes and no. A screenshot, if it's taken from a color managed application, have all the RGB values already converted into the monitor profile. But the profile is normally not embedded. If you complete the process by first assigning your monitor profile, and then converting into a standard RGB color space like e.g. sRGB - then yes, it's fully color managed.
If you want Photoshop to mimic a non-color managed application like e.g. Windows "Photos", that is simple enough. Just turn on Proof to Monitor RGB. That disables all color management in Photoshop, and the two will behave identically.
If Photoshop and Lightroom don't display identically (with proof off), then there is a problem with your Spyder profile. All color managed applications should always display correctly, and therefore identically.
Note that for RGB files, always make sure the document profile is embedded. Otherwise all bets are off and anything can happen.
But it could actually be that this is a completely different issue. Are you using custom/third-party camera profiles in Lightroom? There is a known bug that causes these profiles to not transfer correctly from Lightroom to ACR>Photoshop, and so you get a different result in Photoshop than you saw in Lightroom. This only applies to non-standard camera profiles. If you are using the standard profiles (Adobe Color etc), they are not affected and you can disregard this.
Can you show a Lightroom vs Photoshop screenshot like the one you posted above?
Photoshop and Lightroom are the same, everything else different. I think I may switch back to a standard srgb profile and cal by eye as this seemed to be more consistent across the board when doing images for Web. Will activate the profile if prepping for print only.
If Photoshop and Lightroom are the same, the monitor profile is most likely fine, and they are both correct.
Eveerything else that is not the same, is not properly color managed and not correct.
When you don't know how it will be seen by others, it is particularly important that you do it right on your end. How other people choose to set up their systems, or what platform they want to use, is really not your problem, and there is very little reason to worry about it. Just do it right, and anyone out there who cares enough can take care of themselves. If they want to see it correctly, they can.