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Thread: Preparing Digital Images for Viewing on the Web

  1. #1

    Preparing Digital Images for Viewing on the Web

    I posted some B/W images in this forum and when I viewed them using my daughters laptop (Vista) they had a decidedly blue tinge to them. I use an iMac and a generic color profile of Adobe RGB (1998) during viewing and image editing. Now this may sound like a really dim question, but will the settings on my Imac during image editing affect how Windows users see my images. I know it depends on their settings but is there a accepted standard profile for viewing and manipulating images for the www.

    I don't mind doing lines or standing in a corner with my hands on my head

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Hi,

    For what its worth, I would say they do not have a blue tinge on my uncalibrated (Toshiba) Vista laptop.

    Regards,

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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I don't mind doing lines or standing in a corner with my hands on my head
    Don't ever feel that in here, whatever the question. Guaranteed if you ask it, someone else will be thinking it, but are afraid of asking.

    So in answer to your question, no there should be no difference, once calibrated, (which I dont think you are). If you want to check, then get a calibration device (hire /borrow one, they are not needed every day, every 3-6-12 months should be ample and I know many photographers who manage on one calibration a year). It take minutes. Run it on your daughters laptop and your iMac and you will then see the same thing.

    Once you are working on a calibrated computer Mac or Windows or Linux for that matter, you will adjust the photo according to what you see. Anyone else with a similarly calibrated monitor (I hope most folk here) and colour profile will see the same thing. Ok different browsers can affect it, but again the calibration should set it right.

    It is enlightening when using one for the first time to see how much it changes, even if you are using say, the Mac profiler tool, but don't just rely on using the same colour profile, which helps, but will not guarantee the same result as the calibration device does.

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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    will the settings on my Imac during image editing affect how Windows users see my images.
    Not necessarily -- at least not any more so than the settings on one windows computer versus another. I would be most concerned with whether the computer you are using displays colors at least reasonably accurately. If your imac shows images with a reddish hue, and you therefore end up editing images so that they appear neutral on your screen, then on other computers you will indeed end up with images that appear cooler or bluish. In your case, it sounds like either (i) one of the two computers has not been color calibrated or (ii) they are both accurate, but one of the computers has a very different native color temperature than the other, which may contribute to the perceived warmth or coolness of the other display.

    That being said, the Mac's have been a bit more progressive than the windows PC's when it comes to native color management support in the operating system. Settings on your Mac *could* affect how windows users see them if the windows computer is not color managed, and your Mac is viewing an image with an atypical color profile. In that case, all you can do is try and minimize any color differences to avoid a worst case scenario (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I know it depends on their settings but is there a accepted standard profile for viewing and manipulating images for the www.
    This is a real problem for artists who want their work to appear as intended on other computers. Fortunately, things are slowly moving in the right direction. Windows Vista makes use of a bit more color management, and firefox and internet explorer have taken steps to ensure that their browsers recognize embedded color profiles.

    However, I think we're still in the "play it safe" mode with color management on the web -- we assume that none of the above is the case. This means (i) converting your images to the sRGB color space if you want them displayed on the internet and (ii) using a computer which has a well-calibrated display. sRGB is the current best bet for how another display device is likely to render color. The images will probably not look the same on other computers as on yours, but at least they won't be THAT bad in the scheme of things.

    You can always embed the sRGB profile just in case the display device/software is color aware, which will likely achieve a little more accurate results on that computer. The only disadvantage of this is that the file will be ever so slightly larger than it would otherwise be.

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    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing Digital Images for Viewing on the WWW

    Hi Wirefox,

    There is no evidence of a blue tinge on any of your B/W photos when viewed through my calibrated iMac so we are on a level playing field at least!

    Took the liberty of peeking at your Flickr account and it really brings home the old adage that it is the person behind the lens who has the creative eye, rather than anything to do with the equipment etc. Some excellent shots there, whatever the camera.

    Keep posting the pics (and asking questions).

    Cheers

    Ian

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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    This means (i) converting your images to the sRGB color space if you want them displayed on the internet
    I think that it's also worthwhile pointing out that 99.99% of monitors are only capable of displaying the sRGB gamut - so if you're working in a larger space like AdobeRGB or ProPhoto, you (nor anyone else) will be able to the the extra colours captured on their monitors because they're just not physically capable of showing them.

    So - as Sean pointed out - always convert images to sRGB for display on the net. Also ... a growing number of people are using colour managed browsers - keep in mind that this will allow images in AdobeRGB and ProPhoto to have their tones displayed correctly, but it STILL doesn't mean that you'll see a wider range of colours as the monitor is STILL incapable of displaying anything outside the sRGB gamut; so in essence all that's happening is the colour management system is converting AdobeRGB (and above) to sRGB for the monitor.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    I feel an analogy coming on

    I tend to think of the different colour profiles as different written languages, sRGB is one, that has say, the 26 letters of the english alphabet, Adobe RGB (1998) is another, this has more letters, perhaps with accents and things. Most colours can be described in either language, but much brighter colours can be described by the Adobe language. Embeding the profile means you put a label in the file saying 'hey, this is AdobeRGB', or 'hey, this is sRGB'.

    However, regardless of the language, it still doesn't mean it is being understood (displayed) correctly by any given monitor. You might think of a badly profiled monitor as interpreting A as C, B as D, and so on, what monitor calibration does is ensure that A = A, B = B, etc. The you know the colours will come out correctly.

    Not the best analogy in the world, but it might help someone.

    If not, feel free to delete this post.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 8th March 2009 at 10:08 PM. Reason: remove bad word usage

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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Most colours can be described in either language, but more nuances of bright colours can be described by the Adobe language.
    Um ... not really. AdobeRGB can describe more colours, but because there's still only the same range of numbers to describe them, then the interval between colours actually increases, not decreases (so a wider range of colours, but coarser steps (or "less nuances") between them).

    To use an analogy ...

    You have an sRGB "Staircase" and an AdobeRGB "Staircase" - each has 256 steps, but the AdobeRGB staircase has to be taller since it's "taking us further" ... thus the steps must be bigger.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing Digital Images on the WWW

    Good point, (and I knew that too), so "nuances" was definitely the wrong word

    Corrected.

    The aim was to differentiate between what choosing the colour profile and calibrating the monitor does.

  10. #10

    Re: Preparing Digital Images for Viewing on the WWW

    Wow. Thanks for all the responses. There are some very knowledgeable people on this forum and you do not get the holier than thou attitudes you get on some sites. I am reasonably happy that my Mac is OK although It is probably worth me investing in some calibration gear other than the OSX calibration utility. I will take a look at the settings on my daughters PC (when I can get in edgeways). It seems you are all seeing my images OK.

    Took the liberty of peeking at your Flickr account and it really brings home the old adage that it is the person behind the lens who has the creative eye, rather than anything to do with the equipment etc. Some excellent shots there, whatever the camera
    Thankyou for these kind words shreds. Most are just holiday snaps but I really want to get used to my 450D now and move things a little further on

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