Upload & Sell: Off
Regarding color management and the web, you can first break it down into:
A. Sending/posting the image
B. Viewing the sent/posted image
As a photographer, you have control over A but not over B, except in the very limited case of viewing on YOUR machine.
So the best you can do to fulfill your responsibility for A is to post an image with a known, standard color space. If you want the largest possible audience on the web to have the best chance of seeing your image as intended, I recommend using sRGB. The reasons for this suggestion are:
- Most people do not have wide-gamut monitors so they will not see the colors of the wide-gamut color spaces anyway.
- Many people still do not use color-managed browsers or are using color-managed browsers but do not have them configured correctly. Images with non-sRGB color spaces will look significantly off under these circumstances.
I also recommend that you always embed the standard color space inside the image because:
- it helps you see what color space you used after the fact if there is any doubt.
- it helps color-managed browsers understand what color space was used and interpret it correctly. Images without an embedded color space may not be properly color managed, even with a color-managed browser.
Now on to the "B" (viewing) part of the process. There are two possible functions of a color-managed browser:
1. The conversion FROM the embedded color space of the image.
2. The conversion TO the profile (unique color space) of your monitor.
1 is important if you are viewing images that have been posted in a non-sRGB color space.
2 is important if you want the viewed image to be adjusted for the characteristics of your particular monitor. 2 is particularly important for users of wide-gamut monitors like yourself since an image that is adjusted for sRGB, instead of your custom, wide-gamut profile, will look extra contrasty and saturated.
Until recently, only Firefox and Safari did an adequate job for both 1 and 2. Apparently, even the latest IE 10 still only does 1.
Until recently, Chrome only did 2, and I believe that was only for the Windows version and I was never sure that even the Windows version always worked as expected. Now I see that the latest versions of Chrome are now doing 1.
Based on your comments, it sounds like:
- You may be using an old version of Chrome or
- You are using Chrome on the Mac or
- You are using Chrome on Windows but the "2" function of color management is not enabled or not working.
If you are using Chrome on Windows, I suggest you take a look at the instructions on this linked page to see if you can activate the "2" function of color management so images are viewed using the same custom profile that Photoshop uses.
If that doesn't work, you have the following alternatives:
- put up with extra contrast and saturated images on the web
- start using Firefox or Safari (I use Firefox)
- set your monitor to sRGB mode if your monitor has that option. Note that if you do that you are not using an extra feature that you paid for when you bought your monitor. You will also need to create a new profile for your monitor that is tuned to the sRGB mode.
These color management things are tricky and rather complicated. If you have any trouble with what I posted above, feel free to ask for help or clarification.
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Regarding the last image you posted, I agree with you. It has nicer color but the slant of the rock shelf of the waterfall does tend to run my eye out of the frame. Still, like your first image, it is not a bad image at all.