Summary – If you post images to the web, odds are that very few viewers see the same colors as you saw when you posted the image. The problem is due to the fact that many web browsers do not do color management (or do it poorly). What can you do? Read on….
You know all about color management
You follow all of the guidelines
Then you post your images to the internet, and
You assume everyone who views your internet images
Sees exactly what you see at home on your monitor
You are so, so wrong!
Sunrise Silhouettes in Sepia
For those who rarely if ever print
Instead, you just post your images on the internet
You’ve avoided the printing problems; so what can go wrong?
I would be willing to bet that
Only a very small percentage of viewers
See the same image that you (the poster) see
For non-photographers, the percentage is smaller still
Heck, I can’t believe what my blog images look like
On my wife’s monitor(s) right in the next room 😦
But that’s yet another story –
Her monitor setup is geared to her eye problems
Why don’t all viewers see the web image colors the same?
1. Different monitors are calibrated differently
Or not at all, or
2. They are calibrated identically, but
The browser isn’t color managed, or
3. It’s just a crappy (technical term) monitor, or….
The net result is that both colors & contrasts are wrong
Color casts & blown highlights prevail
Consider the part of this problem due solely to browsers
Not that long ago, only a few browsers were color managed
Whether a browser is color managed or not
Means seeing two totally different color renderings
Undoing (or worse)
Your post-processing color adjustments
Why did you even bother? 😦
NOTE – apart from the personal benefits of
Seeing images on the internet the way they were meant to be seen
There is little you can do to ensure that
Everyone else viewing your internet images
Sees the colors as you intended
One thing that you can do is post sRGB versions of images
The internet uses sRGB as its standard color space
The image’s colors may not match your “ideal colors”, but
At least you’ll ahead of time how they’ll look
On a non-color-managed browser
If you don’t use sRGB (say Adobe instead)
Only viewers with color managed browsers
See the colors you posted
Everyone else sees the sRGB version
Varies from program to program
Here is PSE 11’s rudimentary profile control
This site has an easy test for browser color management
(and much more; a premium site for this topic)
Find this next image (about 1/3 through the article in the right column)
Test your monitor and let us know what you found
Takes only a second (a mouse rollover)
PS – If the colors don’t even look correct here in my blog
You can save the time of taking the test
NOT color managed
If enough people do the test & respond to this poll
The results should be informative
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