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Archive 2012 · Color Profile Problem with PS
  
 
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #1 · Color Profile Problem with PS


Hi, I have long used a color-managed workflow without problems, but I've somehow botched things up and I'm having a hard time unbotching them. FWIW I'm using PS CS4. I used a pretty nice NEC MultiSync 2690WUXi with its own calibration software/hardware system. I know how to calibrate my monitor.

Here's the symptom I'm seeing:

I have Bridge open. The thumbnail of an image is ok -- specifically it's not too red. I open the raw file in ACR. It still looks good. I get it to look better using the ACR adjustments. Then I open it in PS. PS then displays it as *much* redder than it was in Bridge or ACR. If I convert the PS image (Edit>ConvertProfile>sRGB, then Image>Mode>8Bit), and save it as a JPEG, there is no change in the PS display, but if I open the JPEG file in an ordinary viewer, it's again not too red at all. The problem of course is that if I get the "too red" file looking good in PS, then when I save (or print) it, all the reds are gone, having been toned down to make the image look good in PS. I use PS CS4 on Windows Vista. In both ACR and in PS I've selected aRGB as my working color space.

It seems like PS is somehow picking up the wrong monitor profile or something, but I'm not sure how I can tell what profile it's using for display purposes.

I attach a screen dump. The windows in the foreground from left to bottom to right are showing image in Bridge, a saved JPEG in the Windows Photo Gallery viewer, and in ACR. The image in the background (much redder) is what I get when I open and display the raw file in PS CS4.

Any thoughts? This is driving me a little nuts. It makes any kind of color manipulation in PS an exercise in futility. Thanks for any help you can offer.



Jan 11, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · Color Profile Problem with PS


The first thing to do is to check that Photoshop and Bridge are using the correct monitor profile. In Ps, you can go to Color Settings and pull the RGB Working Space drop down and see what it lists as "Monitor RGB". It will list the monitor profile that it's using there. Then go to Bridge Creative Suite Color Settings and make sure that you don't have "Monitor Color" checked. If you do, that's your problem.

That your file looks good in a non color managed application suggests strongly that it's a monitor profile problem. But it could also be a Cache issue with Bridge/ACR or something being changed in your Ps Color Settings where embedded profiles are being ignored causing your Ps images to display with the wrong working space profile.



Jan 11, 2012 at 02:39 AM
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #3 · Color Profile Problem with PS


Alright, well, I finally fixed this problem -- wouldn't you know it. The problem was indeed that PS was using the wrong monitor profile. Just in case anyone else has a similar problem here's what I did.

1. In Edit > Color Settings, look in the pulldown for working space, and scroll to the top of the list. Look for Monitor RGB. The profile name to the right of this label shows the profile that Photoshop is using. When I did this, I saw "sRGB IEC..." Okay, that seemed wrong, because I had created and saved a profile for my fancy NEC monitor. So, ...

2. I Went to Windows > Start > Control Panel > Color Management > Devices Tab. I have two displays on my machine, an ordinary one and my NEC display for photo editing. There's a pulldown to select the display to be configured. For the ordinary display, I did not have "use my settings checked." For my NEC display, I had "use my settings" checked, and I had my custom profile selected. Then I went to the Advanced Tab....

3. Ah Ha, the system default profile is sRGB (I guess as one would expect, given that sRGB was precisely defined as a generic monitor color space). So it appeared that what was happening was that Photoshop was picking up the default sRGB profile, not the profile that I *thought* I had designated for the NEC display. So, ...

4. I went back to the Devices tab and selected my NEC display. I had already checked off "use my settings" and the "profiles assocaited with this device" already listed the custom profile that I wanted (the system and Photoshop) to use. Mystery ... why wasn't PS picking up the profile

5. Ah Ha (again). There's a "Set as Default Profile" button at the bottom of the Devices panel. I clicked that and suddenly the word "(default)" appeared next to my profile name. I went back to the Advanced tab expecting to find my NEC profile listed as the system default. Nope: sRGB is still listed as the system default. But I figured I might as well open PS again and see if explicitly setting my custom profile as the default (for the NEC display) made any diffference...

6. Voila the colors are now what they should be. Halleluja. So I go back to Edit > Color Settings > Working Space, and I go to the top of the list and look for Monitor RGB, figuring I'll now find the name of my fancy custom NEC profile. But noooo. It still says sRGB!!!

In any case, PS is now obviously picking up the right profile for this monitor, but still displaying the name of the system default profile.

What's the lesson? Neither Windows or Photoshop is well designed in this area. Windows seemed as if it had associated the right profile with the NEC monitor, but at least as far as PS was concerned, it hadn't: not until I *also* clicked the "set as default" button for the profile on that monitor. Even when I did this, although PS clearly then picked up the right profile, it still showed the system default profile for Monitor RGB. Moreover PS doesn't reveal what monitor profile it's using under a "Monitor Profile" tab ... no, you have to pull down the "Working Space" tab and then scroll up a few screens to find out this information. Forty years after the PC was created you still need either a PhD or Autism Spectrum Disorder to figure out these freaking software systems **because their designs still suck** (Windows way more than PS, but neither is perfect).



Jan 11, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #4 · Color Profile Problem with PS


They went to this system because people were too freaking stupid to go and manually load their monitor profiles, the way we all had to do back in the nineties. You should double check that your monitor profiling software is up to date, as it should be automatically loading the newest profile as the system default, which Ps then picks up from the system. I've only had one recent instance where my system - Mac OSX picked an alternate profile instead of the current one. At least you're not running into the clusterfxxk of printing issues Adobe and Epson have conjured up in recent times.


Jan 11, 2012 at 05:41 AM
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #5 · Color Profile Problem with PS


Thanks, Peter. The profiling software is NEC SpectraView II. I think it's probably doing its part right, and that I had somehow messed up that obscure Windows setting down deep in Color Management. Automation does have a downside: if it doesn't go right, then you're really at a loss. In any case I finally got the thing working right again. It was a total drag not having correct color management working.


Jan 11, 2012 at 05:45 AM





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