sRGB exports darker / workaround

New Here ,
Jan 12, 2019 Jan 12, 2019

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Hello--

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)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2019 Jan 13, 2019

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What operating system do you use?

And in what application are you viewing the exported jpgs? If it is not color managed, you cannot expect images to display the same as in Lightroom.

the standard "calibrate your monitor" circular non-solutions

If you are concerned about correct colors, you should calibrate with a hardware calibrator, which will create a new, accurate monitor profile. But only color managed applications use the monitor profile, so applications without color management are unaffected.

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

Soft proofing has no effect on the exported image, it's only a preview of what the image will look like with a particular profile. It's designed primarily to be used with printer profiles to get an idea of what the image will look like when printed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2019 Jan 13, 2019

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Yes, if soft proof alters the data themselves, it is user error. Soft proof is a visual, on-screen check for gamut clipping in the proof profile. Anything within gamut is, and should be, unaffected.

This is almost certainly a combination of an incorrect/defective/corrupt monitor profile, and viewing in non-color managed applications that just ignore the profile.

Calibrating and profiling the monitor is indeed the solution, and calling it otherwise just shows a lack of understanding.

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2019 Jan 13, 2019

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Sigh. I'll need to work on isolating the problem more, I wish I hadn't deleted the bad output files--

but: I do use hardware calibrated monitors; I do have fresh profiles; I do view the pictures in color-managed applications (unless Photoshop is not considered one), and I've seen this happen on both Windows and my iMac.

I also don't do anything complicated with the pictures, they are simple Adobe RGB files that get exported as sRGB. The darkened exports don't even seem to be a consistent thing, but are very much noticable when they happen. Yesterday I had to lighten every file by a stop to export properly. After toggling the soft proofing on / off, they seem to be exporting ok at the moment.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2019 Jan 13, 2019

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This is extremely strange. The soft proofing setting has nothing to do with the export path and in no way is involved with that.

Can you post some screenshots of this problem? What the image looks like in Develop/Library and an export shown in Photoshop.

If you are getting exports that are much darker than the image appears in Lightroom, there are a few things that can happen to cause this. One is possible if you have very large amounts of noise in the images. Think starry sky shots at high ISO or other kinds of night photography. What can happen in those cases is that the display in Develop does not accurately represent the noise in the final output and exports can appear both lighter or darker depending on the export settings (scaling and sharpening basically) and the app that you use to view the image which can use different scaling algorithms to scale the image. Photoshop for example uses two different scaling algorithms based on whether the zoom ratio is a power of two (i.e. 25%, 50%, etc.) or something in between (33%, etc.) which radically changes the appearance of the image if you have a lot of fine detail or noise.

Lastly, lots of strange problems in Lightroom are fixed by resetting its preference file. The preference file gets corrupted much to easily and if it is it causes very strange behavior, so that is something to try.

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2019 Jan 13, 2019

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The images are virtually noiseless; shot in daylight at ISO 200, so it's not that... it seems to be something with specifically going from Adobe RGB to sRGB.

The next time it happens, I'll definitely save all the images and post-- this is why I was also baffled by soft proofing fixing it when other things didn't work (and why I posted on here if it helps someone else with the same problem).

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Explorer ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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I have a similar issue as well. Here is a screen shot. The image on the right is from within Lightroom (I labeled it wrong), but the "export to .jpg and viewed in Chrome" shows it to be darker and muddier. I always thought that chrome was color managed, but apparently not. Still though, it's very annoying to send images off to clients that seem too dark.

I'm on MAC OSX with an external color calibrated external monitor.

Thanks.

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 7.58.59 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Try the tests here: https://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/

It appears Chrome may not be correctly color manged on OSX...awaiting an update? Try Safari and compare it against Chrome.

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2017/20170618_2110-GoogleChrome-broken-color-managment-fix-coming.html

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Lightroom is color managed. So every other color managed application should match what you see in LR if at the same zoom level (100%/1:1) AND when viewed in Develop module which is unique in how it previews images from the other modules. IF there is a miss match, the likely cause is the 'other' application not being color managed. Common on Windows.

The other factor can be the display profile IF that other application is known to be color managed. Recalibrate and build a new ICC profile, the older one might be corrupted. Also set the software to only create a Version 2, not Version 4 ICC profile. That's usually configured in preferences within the calibration software. Lastly, if none of the above works, try turning OFF GPU settings in LR's preferences. But in most cases, the mismatch is due to the secondary software not being color managed. Saving as sRGB absolutely does NOT fix this issue! Non color managed applications do not know what sRGB is, do not utilize the display profile etc.

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2020 Nov 26, 2020

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Having exactly the same trouble here. Since I changed Nikon camera settings to Adobe RGB instead of the standard sRGB I experience the same darkening. The preview of LR looks normal and than LR shows the RAW file and it gets about one stop darker. It also shows in the histogram...

 

Can't figure out how to slove it on already imported photo and future photos. I think about going back to sRGB.

Bye.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Chrome on Mac is indeed color managed and does support v2 and v4 profiles. What you are seeing here is therefore likely the result of a v4 icc profile as digital dog suggests as Lightroom has problems with those.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 26, 2020 Nov 26, 2020

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What version of LrC?

 

And if v10, what Profile are you selecting?

 

And I probably glossed over this, Starting with RAW?

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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I'm having exactly the same issue on my Surface Studio. It's turning a dark grey area in an image black. Yet when you open the saved jpeg in photoshop it's grey again!

On the phone, in chrome etc black. In Photoshop, grey! Weird. It seems that unless I switch my monitor profile to a basic srgb one then what I see in lightoom and what is exported is different.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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P.S If I use the soft proof tool the virtual copy looks the same as the original. Can't get my head around it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Thsi becomes a lot easier to understand if you stop thinking about the file, and start thinking about how the application displays it.

 

Color managed applications use your monitor profile to correct for your display's inaccuracies. It does this on the fly, and recalculates the numbers it sends out, as you go. This ensures the file is correctly represented on screen - assuming the monitor profile is accurate.

 

Applications without color management (like e.g. Windows "Photos") don't do this. They just send out the original numbers without any display correction.

 

So a difference is expected and normal.

 

Now, if you have a defective monitor profile, that will only affect applications that actually use it. And Windows "Photos" does not. The monitor profile should ideally be made with a calibrator. If you don't have one, the monitor/laptop manufacturers distribute their own profiles through Windows Update, and these profiles are surprisingly often bad/inaccurate in different ways.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Yes I understand that and the monitor is calibrated. I'm going to recalibrate it as standard rather than wide this morning.

 

Definitely something not quite right with its wide profile management as it doesn't even preview the shift when you select soft proof srgb.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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The monitor profile isn't something you can change at will or "experiment" with. There is only one correct profile: the one that describes the actual and current behavior of the monitor. Any other profile is wrong and will cause incorrect display.

 

That's why you use a calibrator: it measures the monitor in its current state, and writes a profile describing that.

 

The monitor profile is a map, and it has to correspond to the terrain.

 

Windows "Photos", or any other similar non-color managed viewer, will never display correctly, ever. If you have a wide gamut monitor that difference is dramatic. Nothing you can do will change that. Just stop using it, it is wrong.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Every single device or app bar Adobe is making the dark grey area black. Whether it's an iPad, Chrome, Messenger, Photo viewer.

 

I use luminar and that seems to display everything in SRGB within the calibrated colour space. I'd rather that approach as there is no point me seeing the tiny details when no other device will.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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There's no way to tell what the problem is in your case, you haven't provided any specific information. My comments were general.

 

To narrow it down, we need to see

  • side-by-side screenshots. Include the application UI so we can see what the application is in each case.
  • your Export settings - color space, profile embedded or not.
  • how your monitor is calibrated, what specific calibrator are you using
  • what kind of monitor, wide gamut or standard gamut - if you don't know, make and model

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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"Every single device or app bar Adobe is making the dark grey area black. Whether it's an iPad, Chrome, Messenger, Photo viewer."

 

Can't replicate that on my iPad (wide gamut) or on MacOS or iPhone. They all match very closely visually and look as expected from color reference imagery. And they are all properly color managed. It sounds like the outlier is your Surface Studio. 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Image attached of the output jpeg which is long edge 300dpi exported from lightroom. 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. If you look at the first leg of the staircase on the right it is lighter than on the left and there is like a branchy patch that gets completely lost on the left screenshot.

I know it's not night and day but sometimes I export an image with subtle shadow tones and it ends up looking like a silouhette.

It's the same on both my computers, both calibrated with a spyder on standard. I tried wide on the Surface and still the same.2020-12-07 19_16_11-Photos.png

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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And the strange thing is I done a print screen of the above and you can see the detail. The print screen is SRGB. So how does that work?! LOL

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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The only way I got around it in the past was using a standard SRGB Windows profile and calibrating it by eye using the Windows sliders.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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The Photos app is not color managed, and will not display correct colors, so stop using it.

Use a color managed image viewer, like

  1. FastStone image viewer. Free for personal use. Color management must be enabled under Settings > CMS, and both boxes must be checked,
  2. ACDSee. Not free. Color managed out of the box.
  3. Irfanview. Free for none commercial use. Color management must be enabled under Options > Properties/Settings.
  4. Bridge. Included in your Creative Cloud subscription.

 

Provided that you have a sound monitor profile, all these applications will display identically to Photoshop.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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OK but iPad, Web etc look crushed too. I'd rather work in a clipped environment so that I can counter it then deal with it at the end.

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