color inconsistency

My photo blog has been getting a lot more of my attention than my regular blog the last week or so. I have learned something about colors on the web that I thought I’d share.

I was noticing a difference between the appearance of colors when viewing my site in various browsers. Safari always seemed to show my colors more brightly more as I remembered them while editing. As it turns out, Photoshop (and Elements) by default uses color management on your images. When editing in Photoshop you are seeing the colors of your image through a color profile that has been applied. I haven’t looked too much into this, but I believe the idea is to have more control about how the colors look when they are used for different types of output.

Despite the purpose of color profiles this was the result. Safari displayed bright strong colors by using the color profile to render the image. Firefox ignores the profile and displays the unmodified, slightly more muted, color data as stored in the file. To me whatever benefit I am supposed to be getting from using color profiles looks like a bug. I want my pictures to look the same no matter which browser people are using.

Luckily, I found it very simple to disable color management and save files without color profiles stored on them from the Edit->Color Settings… menu in Photoshop Elements. Now my pictures look the same everywhere.

March 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

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