Is Your Browser Color Managed?

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!


D300-_111005_070511__DSC6926_acr sep

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

Not Adobe

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

Setting/changing profiles

Varies from program to program

Here is PSE 11’s rudimentary profile control

8-7-2013 10-43-02 AM


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

7-17-2013 9-16-33 AM

If enough people do the test & respond to this poll

The results should be informative


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