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Inconsistent color display on external monitors, Photoshop v 22.1.1 and Bridge v 11.0.1, Mac

Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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I'm having serious color management issues in Photoshop v 22.1.1 on a MacBook Pro. Specifically, when working on a color image on an external monitor, the colors of the image will suddenly and unexpectedly shift. Also, colors will be inconsistent within the app. For example, the image I'm working on will appear one way, yet in a sub-window – like the Navigator – the color will appear differently. By far and away the easiest way to replicate the problem is to simply open a color image on an external monitor and then just resize Photoshop's window within the screen. Suddenly the colors will jump. Adobe Bridge 11.0.1 also exhibits inconsistent color handling, showing one set of colors in thumbnails and another in the Preview pane.

 

I have tested this problem and replicated it on two laptops - both older 15" MacBook Pros (one Retina 2012, one Retina 2013) with Nvidia GPUs, both with 16GB RAM. I have replicated the problem on both Mojave and Catalina. I have replicated the problem across two different high end color critical external monitors, one an NEC PA272W, the other a brand new Dell UP3017 (both connected via miniDP). I have replicated the problem both with and without color management (it occurs even after doing a factory reset on the monitors and deleting all monitor icc files). I replicated the problem using an external SSD that I loaded a fresh install of Catalina on and on which I only otherwise installed the latest versions of Photoshop and Bridge (I booted off this external SSD via Thunderbolt 1).

 

Any help would be *massively* appreciated. I'm basically stopped cold in my work because of this.

 

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Bug, Mac, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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This is an issue that comes up from time to time, always in a laptop + external display configuration (or iMac + external, the point being that the machine has an integrated display).

 

What happens is that the wrong monitor profile is used. The application uses the profile for the integrated display even when the application is actually on the external display. Obviously, that shouldn't happen.

 

Which application is affected varies. Usually it's ACR, but it can be Lightroom, Bridge or Photoshop, or sometimes several or all of them.

 

There is a bug here somewhere, but it's hard to say where. It happens in both MacOS and Windows. There is at least one lengthy thread on the feedback forum (the official bug report channel), so far without any resolution. A number of workarounds have been proposed, and they sometimes work and sometimes don't.

 

I've been trying to collect some links, but haven't come around to it yet.

 

What makes this tricky is, of course, that most people never see this. It's just hard to reproduce.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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That reads as a very inconvenient distracting situation. How frustrating

I suggest that you report it as a bug here
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/categories/photoshop_family_photoshop

 

Also - do recalibrate/profile the external display, if your display profile is corrupted it might be a part of this story 

 

One more thing to try - once you have a good icc profile for the external display try temporarily setting that as the MacBook screen profile 

Apparently the external display cable [and any adaptors in use] can also play a part in this

 

Please report back on how you get on. 

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 ,
Feb 05, 2021 Feb 05, 2021

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Hi Niel and D Fosse,

 

Thank you for your feedback. I reported this as a bug, as suggested. I recalibrated both monitors multiple times with i1Profiler and an i1Display Pro Monitor Calibrator after first doing a factory reset on the monitors, and it made no difference. The cable is unlikely to be the problem, as I'm using two different cables on two different monitors, and the problem is consistent regardless of cable or monitor. Also, the problem only appeared within the last month or so, so I'm wondering if somehow a bug was introduced in the latest version of Photoshop.

 

Forcing the external monitor profile to that of the MacBook Pro screen profile does eliminate the problem. That's not a workable solultion, but the reverse would me for now – force the MacBook Pro screen to use the profile of the external monitor. (Seeing the results sure does make you appreciate proper color management.)

 

Thanks again. I appreciate your help.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2021 Feb 05, 2021

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Dear d-hob, kindly check my answer on the other thread that I repost here:

many thanks for your intervention, it feels nice not feeling completely alone on this issue. So far I did not find any other related thread.

You seem to have by far more experience than I do and also have investigate with both more HW and SW combinations. Just a couple of questions:
1. can we somehow make sure we are suffering the same issue? Did you check the link I posted with videos on Youtube reproducing my issue? You youd do the same maybe?
2. After all this troubleshooting, did you end up thinking it's a bug that Adobe or Apple (or both together need to solve?)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Andrea, see what d-hob wrote: "Forcing the external monitor profile to that of the MacBook Pro screen profile does eliminate the problem. That's not a workable solultion, but the reverse would me for now – force the MacBook Pro screen to use the profile of the external monitor. (Seeing the results sure does make you appreciate proper color management.)"

 

So what I suggested does provide a (cludgy) fix in d-hob's case. 

Try setting your MacBook (in system preferences displays/color to use the external display profile, it not destructive, you can easily switch back. 

 

You should also both try resetting Photoshop's settings/preferences as I explained.

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Hello NB, how do I replicate the color profile settings that I have on my external monitor in my integrated monitor?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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Hi Andrea, as I wrote in my reply to you: Feb 06:

"Try setting your MacBook (in system preferences displays/color to use the external display profile), it not destructive, you can easily switch back."

Does that make sense? have you tried it? 

It's as simple as selecting the same ICC profile for both.

 

Open System Preferences: Displays/color

see the icon there - at the left of row 2?

Click it.

Screen Shot 2021-02-07 at 09.39.17.jpg

you'll now see 2  dialog boxes, one on each screen, if you set each to the 'color' tab, they'll show the selected display screen ICC profile for that screen along with a list of others that are available.

Simply check the name of the profile that’s being used on the external display in the dropdown list and select that from the list on your MacBook. 

Done.

 

To change the MacBook back, simply select the original display screen ICC profile again on the MacBook - it's probably called "colorLCD"

 

I have a few test profiles here in the screen-shot below, but you can see the original "colorLCD", that’s' a display screen ICC profile that Apple made automatically for my Macbook 

 

Screen Shot 2021-02-07 at 09.38.22.jpg

 

also, why not add your comments to this thread: 

https://feedback.photoshop.com/conversations/photoshop/unresolved-photoshop-2210-critical-problem-wi...

I hope this helps, please give a 'like' if so
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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Explorer ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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Hello Nb,

 

Thanks for your instruction. I am tring this solution now, despite the fact that @tomekbu 's says it does not solve the issue (am I wrong?).

 

A already notice that, by opening the color profile window in my external monitor I had 2 color profile for the Benq with the model name, same name. It's already pretty confusing. Now that I am trying to chose the same on my intagrated, Mac monitor, I eveng got 3. Is this some of a bug? Which should I chose? One of the two seems birghter...Schermata 2021-02-07 alle 17.02.00.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 08, 2021 Feb 08, 2021

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Hi Andrea

actually my reading is that @tomekbu says it does work, [IF you use the EXTERNAL/ MAIN display profile on both which is what I originally suggested] but of course it messes up colour accuracy on the MacBook

 

you could try this, on the benQ window:

uncheck the "mostra prifil solo - - - " checkbox

the profile that’s in use has the blue highlight

click on 'apri profilio' which opens the profile info - and under "header:" check the creation date - that will identify the profile if you get mixed up

next, select the profiles that were NOT in use one at a time and delete them there in that window, now on the MacBook options you should only see the one that the benQ is using. 

select it

 

in any case, if you mess this up, restarting the Mac should regenerate the default benQ profile - if you had an accident when deleting 

 

you have to try it out.

if, despite deleting as above you still see two options with the same benQ name on the MacBook try one, see if your photoshop problem persists if it does, try the other? 

 

You still need an ICC profiling app etc for the benQ - using the default profile is flawed, you already saw that because switching between what seem to be the same profiles alters appearance - and how do you know which (if any) is right? 

 

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

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Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2021 Feb 08, 2021

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I would encourage this solution. As for the moment it seems to work in my case. It messed up colours in my BMP display, but at least let's me work on my Benq.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 09, 2021 Feb 09, 2021

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So, Andrea, it worked [as a workaround]?

great


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

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Explorer ,
Feb 09, 2021 Feb 09, 2021

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Hello, for the moment it seems to work yes. I cannot say I postproduced a lot, maybe 4-5 pictures, but it did work good so far.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Hi @Andrea5C80,

 

Sorry it took me so long to look at your video. Yes, that looks like what I'm seeing as well, where the colors can shift just by working within the program. What a headache! If you look further down, I just posted a solution by rolling back the version of Photoshop. Maybe that can help you as well?

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Thank you, I need to check if it does but I am not so enthusiast paying for a program and being forced to used an older version...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Just in case - have you tried resetting Photoshop?

 

resetting Photoshop preferences 
Resetting restores Photoshop's internal preferences, which are saved when Photoshop closes. If they become corrupt then various issues can occur.

Here’s some info on how to do that:

https://t.co/ulJI7cGn1G
https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/preferences.html

You may want to backup your settings and your custom presets,

brushes & actions before restoring Photoshop's preferences. Migrate presets, actions, and settings

It may even be time to reinstall Photoshop.

Use the Adobe CC cleaner tool to remove all traces first.
Uninstall photoshop BUT make sure to choose the option “Yes, remove app preference”.
 
Once that process finishes, start the installation process and look into the “Advanced Options”. Uncheck “Import previous settings and preferences” and choose to “Remove old versions”.

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2405286
 

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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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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d-hob, you write: " Forcing the external monitor profile to that of the MacBook Pro screen profile does eliminate the problem. That's not a workable solultion, but the reverse would me for now – force the MacBook Pro screen to use the profile of the external monitor. (Seeing the results sure does make you appreciate proper color management.)"

Of course my recommendation is to temporarily use the MAIN display profile on both screens

 

So it seems that the application is flashing between the two display profiles on your system!

For sure setting one profile for both displays isn't an acceptable long term solution, but it does reveal a lot about what's actually happening. 

 

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 ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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@d-hob There are lots users suffering from this problem. I have opened a thread at Adobe Photoshop Family with lots of examples. At the first post I store a summary there - what have been found/tested so far, as well as links to other threads - including yours - I do encourage to put there also your case:

 

https://feedback.photoshop.com/conversations/photoshop/unresolved-photoshop-2210-critical-problem-wi...

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Dear Tomekbu, thanks for your feedback. Do I understand it correctly: There is nothing to do but showing this as a bug to Adobe? Can I stop troubleshooting and just wait?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Hi @tomekbu@Andrea5C80, and @NB, colourmanagement net,

 

I discovered that if I rolled back two versions to Photoshop 22.0.1 then my problems with Photoshop disappeared, so it seems that the 22.1 version introduced a bug that caused the problems I was seeing. (Incidentally, resetting Photoshop's preferences did nothing.)

 

That said, the problems do not disappear in Bridge by rolling back to previous versions. That's odd, since I know those previous versions worked at some point. Thumbnails display colors incorrectly, but the Preview pane, on the other hand, shows them correctly. In Bridge, the thumbnails will appear to start with the proper colors but then lose them after about one second. It's as if Bridge loads the proper color profile but then ... well, who knows what.

 

Also, I've kept a copy of Affinity Photo around as a backup plan. Given their improvements and these Adobe problems, Affinity Photo is looking like an entirely viable alternative. At this point I believe I could use it for just about everything I need. Anyhow, Affinity Photo 1.8.6 seemed to also exhibit this color problem, though I didn't test it extensively. The other day they released Affinity Photo 1.9, and the problem disappeared completely. So right now going forward with Affinity Photo on the Mac and backward with Photoshop seems to help – at least for me.

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Interesting. How can you chose older versions of PS?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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If Affinity Photo is to stand up as a PS alternative they will need to respond to user pressure to implement "application manages Colour" for printing.
"Printer manages colour" is useless for those who want to use non OEM papers.  Also for those who feel they'd like more accuracy from custom printer profiles. 
I also had issues with CMYK images in Affinity when I did a trial maybe 18 months ago. 
Because of the printer colour management issue I went no further. 

NB,colourmanagement. 

Google me for lots of free colourmanagement info. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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That's right. The specific issue goes back at least to CS5, when I first came across it - that's ten years! But the frequency of cases seems to pick up now.

 

While not affected myself, it's extremely frustrating to have nothing to tell the users that are. None of the various proposed workarounds seem any use.

 

I would join tomekbu in urging everyone seeing this, to post in the feedback thread. Jeffrey Tranberry posted in that thread and promised to bring it to the attention of the color management team, but that's many weeks ago and nothing has been heard since. It would be nice to hear "we're aware of it and are working on it".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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You can report it as a bug here
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/categories/photoshop_family_photoshop

 

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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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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Instead of posting a new thread there, I suggest you all add to tomekbu's thread. Don't fragment this into a number of one-post threads.

 

While I'm at it - there used to be a "+1" function in the feedback forum, where did that go? Anyone know how that works now? Just press like?

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