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Image viewing is different from one device to another.

New Here ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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After editing a few images in photoshop on my laptop, which look balance and bright, someone else can pull up the image on their computer and the image is dark. Is there a setting that I am missing?? I have adjusting the brightness on my computer thinking that maybe I am looking at a really bright screen, but even with that, they still look different on a different laptop. Suggestions???

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Did you calibrate your machine's display you edit image on?.  Many run their machines with their displays too bright.  When their edited images are displayed on well calibrated machines they are dark. I will admit I use my display to bright most users do. No one complains that my images are dark and they display on my 55" 4K TV beautifully.  When I print my images I add an adjustment layer and boost brightness something like 20% and they print well.

JJMack

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Community Expert ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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This is why color management was invented. Icc profiles, monitor profiling, that's the only way to solve this problem. No shortcuts.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Taka a read of this - it may help expand on D Fosse's correct and succinct answer :

 

Colour Management simple explanation

Digital images are made up of numbers. In RGB mode, each pixel has a number representing Red, a number representing Green and a Number representing Blue. The problem comes in that different devices can be sent those same numbers but will show different colours. To see a demonstration of this, walk into your local T.V. shop and look at the different coloured pictures – all from the same material.

To ensure the output device is showing the correct colours then a colour management system needs to know two things.

1. What colours do the numbers in the document represent? 
This is the job of the document profile which describes the exact colour to be shown when Red=255 and what colour of white is meant when Red=255, Green = 255 and Blue =255. It also describes how the intermediate values move from 0 through to 255 – known as the tone response curve (or sometimes “gamma”).
Examples of colour spaces are (Adobe RGB1998, sRGB IEC61966-2.1)
With the information from the document profile, the colour management system knows what colour is actually represented by the pixel values in the document.

  1. What colour will be displayed on the printer/monitor if it is sent certain pixel values?
    This is the job of the monitor/printer & paper profile. It should describe exactly what colours the device is capable of showing and, how the device will respond when sent certain values.
    So with a monitor profile that is built to represent the specific monitor (or a printer profile built to represent the specific printer, ink and paper combination) then the colour management system can predict exactly what colours will be shown if it sends specific pixel values to that device.

    So armed with those two profiles, the colour management system will convert the numbers in the document to the numbers that must be sent to the device in order that the correct colours are displayed.

So what can go wrong :

  1. The colours look different in Photoshop, which is colour managed, to the colours in a different application which is not colour managed.
    This is not actually fault, but it is a commonly raised issue. It is the colour managed version which is correct – the none colour managed application is just sending the document RGB numbers to the output device regardless without any conversion regardless of what they represent in the document and the way they will be displayed on the output device.

  2. The colour settings are changed in Photoshop without understanding what they are for.
    This results in the wrong profiles being used and therefore the wrong conversions and the wrong colours.
    If Photoshop is set to Preserve embedded profiles – it will use the colour profile within the document.

  3. The profile for the output device is incorrect.
    The profile should represent the behaviour of the device exactly. If the wrong profile is used it will not. Equally if the settings on the device are changed in comparison to those settings when the profile was made, then the profile can no longer describe the behaviour of the device. Two examples would be using a printer profile designed for one paper, with a different paper. A second example would be using a monitor profile but changing the colour/contrast etc settings on the monitor.
    The monitor profile is set in the operating system (in Windows 10 that is under Settings>System>Display >Advanced) which leads to a potential further issue. Operating system updates can sometimes load a different monitor profile, or a broken profile, which no longer represents the actual monitor.

 

 

Colour management is simple to use provided the document profile is correct, always save or export with an embedded profile, and the monitor/printer profile is correct. All the math is done in the background.

 

One more to add to the above though - the monitor calibration still needs the intended brightness of white to be set when calibrating. For printing try and match the whiteness of your paper under the intended viewing conditions. For general screen use many, including me, find that setting around 100cd/m2 works well.

 

I hope that helps

 

Dave

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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In general people do not calibrate their displays for the environment they use them in and they change the environment all the time.  Carry their mobile devices with them  use their laptops in different location and they prefer to have bright punchy display.   So I edit my Images so the will look good on displays the way people use their displays.  You should not do this if you intent to have your Image Printed. These days image are viewed  more on displays then prints and framed wall hangings. User rely on manufacturer display setup and  adjustment  and profile provided by the manufactures  and the brightness control their OS has.  The only calibration I do is adjustment of my displays using software tools to help you adjust my displays. The are many web based tool on the web. I'm in the 10% Club of colorblind men. I see color very well and my color world is beautiful. Perhaps I'm better off I'm don't need to buy a calibrator and frequently adjust my displays. Time and money saved.  Edit your image for how you will them Display/Print. 

JJMack

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Community Expert ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Your point that sending an image into the big wide world means that it will be viewed on a range of uncalibrated displays and in different viewing conditions is well made. But that is very similar to the problem faced by TV broadcasters. Like those broadcasters, the best we can do is adjust our images to look the way we want them to on well calibrated systems and send the images out, (in our case properly tagged with it's colour profile). That way, those with well calibrated color managed systems will see them as intended and others will see them differently - but at least with a similar difference to which they see all well adjusted images (whether that be bright /dim over/under-saturated or whatever).

The time taken to recalibrate monitors is negligible. This evening I have just recalibrated and profiled two monitors (the software reminds me to do this every 200 hours of use) each with 5 calibration set ups. It was all done less than half an hour while I answered some emails on my phone.

 

Dave

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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I will not disagree.  Do TV broadcaster  stream video to display best on your calibrated computed displays or for  LG OLED or Samsung QLED or Sony HDTV.  I'm quite sure Film produces try to products the finest color film they can with current technology. Still its an art form where lighting is control and camera angle and scene composition is well throughout and planed. Makeup and costume take a army crew. Is TV color reality or Artfully done.  People want to be entertained and see good image quality. I would also think sound quality would be higher on their list then Perfect Color reproduction. A good looking image will do.

JJMack

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Community Expert ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Colorists for broadcast adjust their pictures on carefully calibrated, eye-wateringly expensive, grade 1 reference monitors set up to REC709 for non HDR and with 100 nit brightness and in dimmed viewing conditions (Neil in the Premiere Pro forums is the one to talk to for more info on this).  The images are adjusted aesthetically for the content and to meet the technical broadcast standards. 

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Sep 13, 2022 Sep 13, 2022

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Calibrate your screen,

to achieve that with good accuracy I use a printed reference image - that way I know that white point and luminance targets are correct. 

Have you ever wondered how to KNOW whether your screen [or printer] is ACCURATE and not just 'pleasing'?
If so please check this out: http://www.colourmanagement.net/products/icc-profile-verification-kit

 

Save images with sRGB embedded. If working in another colourspace convert then save with sRGB embedded.

That’s the best you can do if sending images to people with e.g: uncalibrated systems, handheld devices, applications that do not use colour management 

 

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

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Community Expert ,
Sep 13, 2022 Sep 13, 2022

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@NB, colourmanagement net another reply to a thread from 2020

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