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Photoshop saves JPEG images much too dark--any ideas?

New Here ,
Sep 02, 2011

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Hi there, I'm having an issue with my Photoshop applications and I was hoping someone could give me a little insight/help in fixing the problem.

When working with a file in Photoshop (I am an artist, so I usually create my files from scratch rather than loading them from a camera), I can get the colors to appear as they should in the workspace. When I finish artwork, I make sure the colors are exactly as I want them, then save it as a JPEG file. However, if I open this JPEG file in any application--browsers, photo viewing programs--it is extremely dark and saturated. If I open the JPEG in Photoshop, though, it looks fine. This issue seems to have occurred spontaneously 3-4 months ago. I don't recall changing or deleting any of my monitor or video card preferences, or my color profiles. I was working with Photoshop Elements 4.0 at the time, and it suddenly started happening.

Now, I have found a sort of work-around for it. If I screencap my workspace with the artwork open in it, then I can open up that screencap in Photoshop. The colors are much TOO bright and washed out when I do this, but if I crop the image so it's just the artwork and save it, then it displays in browsers and viewing programs more or less as it should, i.e. how I see it in Photoshop. However, if I open that JPEG in Photoshop, it will display much brighter than the original artwork.

It's not a desperate issue since I have this weird work-around, but I'm currently trying to save images for printing--which means they need to be very large, and I'm not keen on zooming to 100% and screen-capping the art piece by piece, then stitching it all together before saving it. I'd really like to get this issue resolved. I thought it might have to do with the fact that I was using outdated software (PSE 4.0), but I've just recently upgraded to CS5 Extended and the same issue prevails.

If it's any help, I'm working on an HP EliteBook 8740w, with Windows 7 and an NVIDIA Quadro video card.

Here are the things I've tried, which haven't worked:

Deleting Photoshop preferences/settings (in both PSE 4.0 and CS5)

Uninstalling and re-installing both programs

Re-calibrating my monitor

Changing color settings in Photoshop (files still end up dark regardless)

Disabling OpenGL Drawing

Switching between file types when saving

I am at my wit's end! I am mostly concerned that my clients and professors aren't going to see my work as it is intended to look, when they view it online. The erratic behavior of too-dark or too-light, and my pictures seemingly never displaying correctly on any browser or in any program, has me a little paranoid about my online portfolio, haha. I'm applying for an art scholarship in a month, and if none of my work will save correctly (much less print correctly!) then it will be a sad day indeed!

As I said before, this problem seems to have popped up out of nowhere. My artwork from before the whole saving-too-dark issue began still displays perfectly in most programs, but the rest is totally hit-and-miss. If any of you have fixes or suggestions (even suggestions on adjusting Photoshop so that my images display more consistently in browsers and other programs) I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks so much for your time,

-Jenna

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Photoshop saves JPEG images much too dark--any ideas?

New Here ,
Sep 02, 2011

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Hi there, I'm having an issue with my Photoshop applications and I was hoping someone could give me a little insight/help in fixing the problem.

When working with a file in Photoshop (I am an artist, so I usually create my files from scratch rather than loading them from a camera), I can get the colors to appear as they should in the workspace. When I finish artwork, I make sure the colors are exactly as I want them, then save it as a JPEG file. However, if I open this JPEG file in any application--browsers, photo viewing programs--it is extremely dark and saturated. If I open the JPEG in Photoshop, though, it looks fine. This issue seems to have occurred spontaneously 3-4 months ago. I don't recall changing or deleting any of my monitor or video card preferences, or my color profiles. I was working with Photoshop Elements 4.0 at the time, and it suddenly started happening.

Now, I have found a sort of work-around for it. If I screencap my workspace with the artwork open in it, then I can open up that screencap in Photoshop. The colors are much TOO bright and washed out when I do this, but if I crop the image so it's just the artwork and save it, then it displays in browsers and viewing programs more or less as it should, i.e. how I see it in Photoshop. However, if I open that JPEG in Photoshop, it will display much brighter than the original artwork.

It's not a desperate issue since I have this weird work-around, but I'm currently trying to save images for printing--which means they need to be very large, and I'm not keen on zooming to 100% and screen-capping the art piece by piece, then stitching it all together before saving it. I'd really like to get this issue resolved. I thought it might have to do with the fact that I was using outdated software (PSE 4.0), but I've just recently upgraded to CS5 Extended and the same issue prevails.

If it's any help, I'm working on an HP EliteBook 8740w, with Windows 7 and an NVIDIA Quadro video card.

Here are the things I've tried, which haven't worked:

Deleting Photoshop preferences/settings (in both PSE 4.0 and CS5)

Uninstalling and re-installing both programs

Re-calibrating my monitor

Changing color settings in Photoshop (files still end up dark regardless)

Disabling OpenGL Drawing

Switching between file types when saving

I am at my wit's end! I am mostly concerned that my clients and professors aren't going to see my work as it is intended to look, when they view it online. The erratic behavior of too-dark or too-light, and my pictures seemingly never displaying correctly on any browser or in any program, has me a little paranoid about my online portfolio, haha. I'm applying for an art scholarship in a month, and if none of my work will save correctly (much less print correctly!) then it will be a sad day indeed!

As I said before, this problem seems to have popped up out of nowhere. My artwork from before the whole saving-too-dark issue began still displays perfectly in most programs, but the rest is totally hit-and-miss. If any of you have fixes or suggestions (even suggestions on adjusting Photoshop so that my images display more consistently in browsers and other programs) I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks so much for your time,

-Jenna

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Sep 02, 2011 0
Guru ,
Sep 02, 2011

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similar recent post may give you some clues

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/897737?tstart=30

If you are relying on your monitor for creating colors, color managed programs like Photoshop must know how your monitor displays colors. The best way to do that is to create a monitor profile by using a color measuring device. There are many posts about similar issue, try searching. Here's another one I remember:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/3758179#3758179

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Sep 02, 2011 2
New Here ,
Sep 04, 2011

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Thank you very much--those links helped me to sort out the calibration issue. There were some discrepancies between my monitor color profiles and the profiles I had set for my Adobe software.

Thanks again!

-Jenna

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Sep 04, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
Sep 04, 2011

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Jenna,

You are most welcome. When calibrated, be sure to test in both Color Managed Workspaces, and then non-Color Managed apps.

Good luck,

Hunt

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Sep 04, 2011 0
New Here ,
Sep 30, 2020

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i am having the EXACT same problem, I click the links but it just takes me to adobe home page. please help?

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Sep 30, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Sep 03, 2011

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As Emil Emil points out, the problem is that Photoshop is a Color Managed Workspace, while many other (most?) programs are not.

Even with Color Managed Workspace programs, they must be calibrated the same, say between PS, AI and InDesign.

Calibration is the key, and then for non-Color Managed Workspaces, a critical eye is needed. If you are delivering your artwork to others, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will have any calibration, or a Color Managed Workspace, so one is at the mercy of the clients' displays. It's the same, when doing work in Video, as few people have ever calibrated their TV's, so the editor can ONLY edit to a calibrated CRT monitor, and then just hold their breath.

There are links in the threads, that Emil Emil posted, and they should be useful to you. Also, calibration covers every device in the chain. In your case, a scanner, or camera is not part of the worlkflow, but your monitors and any printers will be.

Good luck,

Hunt

PS - I have a similar issue, when starting work on my laptop. There is only so much calibration, for that type of display. I have to interpolate, and be prepared to tweak Adjustment Layers, etc., when I take the Images to my workstation, which is fully calibrated. I have a fair idea of colors and density, so I can get it close, then finalize things.

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Sep 03, 2011 2
Explorer ,
Sep 04, 2011

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Though you have solved your problem, be aware, that different applications have different ways to interpret color profiles that can be set in different ways.

Example:

In Firefox, you can either set a color profile or not -- AFAIK, it only works with v2 ICC profiles (vs. v4, v3 seems to have not been released).

From that point, you can set perceptual, absolute, colormetric, or one other...(forget)... but usually you just set that to perceptual for monitor work as I understand it.  Then a 3rd FF setting (all in its registry, of course, though occasionally there are extensions that let you manage the three settings.  They correspond to values (accessible through 'about:config' in FF's address window), all under the prefix:

"gfx.color_management."

  • "display_profile"  -  text string of file containing a v2 ICC profile, usually in "C:\Windows\System32\Spool\drivers\color\" (at least on Win7) -- extention ".icm"
  • "mode" -- when to turn it on (2=for pics that have profiles set, another is for always (1?)), maybe 0=off?
  • "rendering_intent" - this corresponds to perceptual, abs, colormetric, types, I think 0=perceptual (default)

for FF, if you google one of those values, you'll find more info on some mozillian-type site... "prefix<keyname>" (e.g. -  gfx.color_management.display_profile ).

Other progs may have their own or if we are lucky would use the system profile & color management system (assuming it is any good).

Getting an accurate monitor profile and keeping it updated as your monitor 'decays' (i.e. color is usually best when new, then they decay, w/useful life at max gamut ~ 18 months (in my experience), after that, you can still retune to the same white point, but with a loss of gamut due to the phosphors decaying at different rates).

It's best to use some sort of external calibration HW... -- as an external device looking at your monitor through it's various colors is the only way to get a 'digitally objective' measurement.  That said, I always have concerns about the stability of the measuring device over time.  Does it have components that  that could cause non-linear measurement?  Am guessing not as likely, as it isn't emitting anything so less wear & tear, but I wouldn't assume it's 100% accurate over time either (but certainly is better than one's own eye which can gradually adjust to just about anything).  I had a viewsonic when I first got my current color device (a Spyder3), and it had gone from an original white point of 6500K down to 5700K -- and I had not noticed the difference (over 18-20 months)...

I could bring it back in range, but had lost gamut, and was a bit below the sRGB (consumer grade) standard (which is some fractional

value of the Adobe Photoshop or NTSC standards, which are similar in the size of their ranges, but slightly offset from each other).

The result of all this -- I never really know how my images will look on other monitors, but I try to tag them w/my current monitor profile, hoping that if they care about color, they'll have some SW on their end that can make sense of it...but given my own experience in how SW on the same system handles color differently, I wouldn't say they were 'high hopes'... 😉

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Sep 04, 2011 0
New Here ,
Sep 04, 2011

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Thank you for the pointers! I agee; in my experience, no matter how consistently my images display between applications on my own monitor, I know that when I view them from a different computer or other device, there is almost always SOME shift in the color quality, tone, hue, etc. Usually it's fairly subtle, but there are times when it's dramatic--of course, you can't do much about the quality of the displays other people are viewing your work on, or the color settings of those displays.

But, I think that's a good move, to embed your color profile in the hopes that they may care enough about color quality to have their own applications color-managed. I think I should definitely make sure that I've done that with each image I publish. I'll also check up on the Firefox color profile options, and see if those might be any help to me, especially since that's the browser in which I've had the most trouble with image inconsistency--and other than that, it's also my favorite browser to use, haha.

Thanks again!

-Jenna

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Sep 04, 2011 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 30, 2020

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You cannot control what other's see of your images nor compare what you see and they see because:

1. They may not be using color managed software. 

2. They may not be calibrating their display or using a display like yours. 

3. They may be calibrating their displays to differing calibration aim points than you.

4. They may have displays with vastly different color gamuts and contrast ratio, and the environment they view the images may greatly differ. 

In color managed applications on your computer, all previews, properly viewed (100% or greater), without GPU issues will appear the same. For others? All bets are off. 

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