Colour management for non-colour-managed apps?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by madhobbit.geo, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    I post a lot of images on my web site. Now, as far as I know, web
    browsers don't do any colour management. Assuming a properly calibrated
    monitor, can anyone suggest what I should be doing to make sure my
    images, as displayed, are reasonably close to my intent?

    Right now, I'm developing my RAWs to sRGB, which is ok, but not perfect
    -- an sRGB image viewed in Firefox looks different than the same image
    viewed in, say, Photoshop. On some images, the difference is
    irrelevant, but on others, I've been disappointed by the browser's
    rendering. I don't expect perfection, but is there any way to apply
    some sort of 'null' profile to an image so that a non-colour-managed
    app on a calibrated monitor displays the 'right' thing? Put another
    way: what's the recommended way to export an image for web viewing?

    - Darryl
    madhobbit.geo, Jan 3, 2007
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  2. madhobbit.geo

    jeremy Guest

    sRGB is the way to go. Adobe's proprietary RGB has, theoretically, the
    ability to compress more colors into the same space, but it requires special
    software to display properly. Any misstep, and your reds and magentas will
    look really dingy by comparison. Are you absolutely certain that you were
    not saving in Adobe RGB at any point in your workflow? That might account
    for less-than-expected results.
    jeremy, Jan 3, 2007
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  3. I post a lot of images on my web site. Now, as far as I know, web
    Since you don't have any control over the destination viewing conditions
    you can't assert your intentions. The best you can do is ensure the
    image looks OK without colour management on your monitor, or on the
    "typical" monitor. What it will *actually* look like on the user's
    monitor is anyone's guess.

    Stick with sRGB, then I think your options are a) soft proof with the
    profile set to Monitor RGB, which will show you how the image looks on
    your monitor without colour management; b) soft proof with the profile
    set to Windows/Mac RGB, which will show you how the image looks on the
    typical Windows or Mac monitor; c) if you're using Save for Web, click
    the "Preview in..." button before saving to ensure it looks as you wish
    in the browser; d) turn off colour management in the Color Settings dialog.
    Derek Fountain, Jan 4, 2007
  4. Yes, because my monitor is *not* a typical monitor. In my experience,
    uncalibrated monitors tend to lose shadow detail very quickly. If it
    looks fine on my monitor, I'm happy, because then I can say that I've
    done all I can.
    What I've been doing is saving as sRGB, and then looking at the images
    in either Irfanview or Firefox (neither of which support colour
    management, as far as I know). Discrepencies haven't been major, so
    this isn't a serious problem -- I've just been wondering what the
    generally accepted best practices are for this situation.

    Thanks for the suggestions,
    - Darryl
    madhobbit.geo, Jan 4, 2007
  5. madhobbit.geo

    bmoag Guest

    You can control what you post on your website but not how it is seen or
    bmoag, Jan 4, 2007
  6. madhobbit.geo

    Chuck Guest

    Assuming that your monitor is "calibrated correctly, sRGB is the standard
    for web applications.
    Photoshop si usually set by defaut to use Adobe's wider color space. This
    should produce different results when an sRGB image is used.
    Chuck, Jan 5, 2007
  7. madhobbit.geo

    Mardon Guest

    I am NOT anything close to a color expert, so believe what your read here
    at your own risk! :)

    IMHO an embedded color profile like sRGB makes no difference whatsoever to
    a non-color-aware program like web browsers. I also think that most
    aspects of "correctly calibrating" a monitor deal only with building a
    monitor profile that allows colour aware applications to display the
    correct color within that color-aware application software. For non-color-
    aware applications like web browsers, the only two parts of monitor
    calibration that affect the appearence of images are the white point
    setting and the gamma. The rest of the calibration process is useless for
    non-color-managed applications.

    I believe that the reason two images may look different in two different
    browsers on the same computer has to do with how the browsers handle the
    dithering required to get images to match the browser's color palette. I
    don't think it has anything to do with embedded color profiles. Internet
    Explorer has a 212 color palette. Netscape has a 216 color palette. Each
    browser has its own color palette. When browsers encounter colors in an
    image that are not available in the browser's palette, then the browser
    dithers the image to make it match the available palette. If the image
    that you post to your web site has already been converted to the Internet
    Explorer color palette, then people who look at it using IE will not see
    different colors do to dithering. Even if you do this pre-conversion,
    people using other brands of browsers will still see imges that have been
    dithered to match the color palette of their browser. And of course, their
    monitors may still have a different gamma setting and a different white
    point. There is nothing you can do about these things. There is no
    "correct" white point, although 6500K is very common and most PCs use a
    gamma of 2.2 but makes generally use gamma 1.8.

    Anyway, that's my 2ยข.
    Mardon, Jan 5, 2007
  8. madhobbit.geo

    Mardon Guest

    An after thought for clarification. If you are working in a color-managed
    workspace that is non-sRGB, like if Adobe RGB were your workspace in PS,
    and then you save an image with no profile or with the Adobe RGB profile
    embedded, then it certainly will look incorrect in a non-color managed
    application. It doesn't sound like this is what you are doing but I wanted
    to acknowledge that changing profiles without doing a conversion from one
    to the other, will definitely mess things up.
    Mardon, Jan 6, 2007
  9. madhobbit.geo

    Lionel Guest

    Yep, that's correct. Unless colour-management is specified, current
    OSes assume that everything is in sRGB colour space, (as do most print
    service, BTW), so outputting to sRGB will give you the best looking
    images in un-colour-managed software.
    <nods> IME, Adobe '98 RGB processed images usually look very dull &
    washed out in non-colour-managed software. I normally create an sRGB
    version of any images I wish to use for websites, etc.
    Lionel, Jan 6, 2007
  10. madhobbit.geo

    Andrew Haley Guest

    No, not necessarily. Good monitor calibration can set the monitor
    itself to a known standard, so that sRGB images displayed in colour
    managed software (like photoshop) and web browsers don't look much
    There's the dark end of the scale as well, but that's basically

    Andrew Haley, Jan 9, 2007
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