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Author Topic: Color Problems - NEC P221W Display  (Read 6853 times)
Roberta Frederick
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« on: July 16, 2013, 03:35:19 PM »
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I apologize if this topic has been discussed previously but I couldn't find the answer to my problem by using the search mechanism for this forum. I am using two Mac computers a Mac Pro desktop and a MacBook Pro Laptop. Both are running OS X10.6. I do my photo work on the desktop with a NEC P221W as the main display - the second display is an old Dell display that I use for palettes, etc. I calibrate the NEC with the Spectraview II. The laptop is calibrated with a Xrite iOne.

I've had this problem from the start and have searched online numerous times for a solution but so far have not found one. I use a photo editing target when working with my photos. They look great on the NEC display - they even look pretty good on the second Dell display, although darker. The problem is when I want to use the photos on the web and view them on a computer other than the Mac Pro desktop computer. Generally they look pretty good unless there is red or some shade of red in the photo and then things get ugly. I've tried various ways of doing this - converting to sRGB, not converting to sRGB, using Photoshop Save for Web & Devices, not using Save for Web, and on and on. Actually, without even putting a photo with red coloring on the web but just viewing it on my laptop I can see if it is going to be oversaturated. What I've noticed is that no matter what I do or how I try to change or convert the photo for use on the web they all turn out looking pretty much the same. I've even gone so far as to desaturate the reds in a photo before converting to sRGB, etc. Sometimes that helps a bit but things still look gawdy to my eye and there seems to be loss of detail in those things that are red. As an example: I did this with a photo not too long ago - when I view it on Flickr from the desktop the reds as I desaturated them appear a soft pink but when I view them from the laptop on Flickr the red is bright pink/red and some detail is lost.

I don't use the desktop computer on the web that often but when I do my photos (and the photos of others) look good whether I am using the sRGB emulation target or the Photo Editing target when viewing from Firefox. When I use the laptop (Firefox) to view a site such as Flickr I notice the over saturation in reds - not only in my photos but often in the photos of others. Then on the other hand I see other photos on Flickr with reds and they look as they should regardless of how vivid the reds might be. This problem doesn't necessarily seem browser specific since I notice the change if I drop a photo on my laptop desktop or if I drop it into an email and send it back to myself. I could accept it if it means that these photos only look a bit funky on my laptop but I feel quite certain they probably look the same way to others and it really spoils putting certain photos on the Web for me.

Is there a way to make this better? In other words to make my photos with reds display better on the web? If so, what can I do? I realize color management is a complicated subject but I am really struggling here. If someone would care to respond and perhaps could keep it on the simple side for a fix if there is one I would appreciate it greatly.

Thanks,

Roberta
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 07:26:00 PM »
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Hello and Welcome,

My Mac is only used for music work and is not connected to the web, so my reply may not be of much use. I do have an almost-calibrated NEC 1990SX, though. ;-)

It would help others here if you would say whether you are shooting JPEG images or RAW or both.

You do not mention printing. For web shots to be published (which is all I do) I strongly recommend that you start, edit and end in sRGB. And make sure that the end product has an ICC profile embedded in it. So, head to the camera, select sRGB (not Adobe) and JPEG "fine". Take a shot and bring it into PhotoShop's sRGB working space (heresy to many folks) do your editing and save it as a JPEG, quality 9 but no less than 5, and make sure that in the 'save' dialog the little box that says "ICC profile sRGB IEC, etc etc is checked".

Since we're only concerned with color accuracy, I'll not go into 8-bit versus 16-bit, soft-proofing, printing etc which won't help you at this stage. Divide and conquer!

I'll put up two images in a minute, one with embedded profile one not. Let me know how they look on your monitors.



Image at right was cropped and over-saturated to bring up the red. Hue was adjusted to make it "redder" (wasn't ripe). Image at left is identical but saved without an embedded profile. How they look?

On my monitor they look the same. (FireFox 22, XP Pro SP3). Even in Explorer 9!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 07:56:21 PM by xpatUSA » Logged

best regards,

Ted
Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 07:49:32 PM »
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Hi Ted,

Thanks for the reply. I shoot in raw and usually import to Lightroom 4 first. One reason is I haven't installed the upgrade to CS6 yet and CS5 can't read my NEF files. My working space is ProPhoto RGB and I've been converting to sRGB/jpeg for the web - usually in Save for the Web, although I've tried using Convert to Profile as well. I do print photos for my own use and am using a Canon Pixma printer (guessing and crossing my fingers quite often) so yes, for now let's just discuss converting my photos for the web. When you post your photos I will open up Firefox on both computers at the same time and will let you know what I see. I will also try as you suggest take a shot and edit in sRGB to see what happens and will let you know after I get that accomplished. Hopefully I won't have to do that all of the time but we'll see what happens.

Thanks again,

Roberta
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 08:04:35 PM »
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Hi Roberta, welcome to the Luminous Landscape!

You are correct in that the issue is all about colour-management!
One of the issues that you have is that once your image is out of the colour-managed environment of CS or Lightroom or whatever else you are using to edit images then it is the Wild West out there.
Many of the applications that one can view images with including some browsers are not colour-managed.

The best you can do is to properly soft-proof an image using sRGB as the profile.
In a colour-managed application viewing an image that you have correctly soft-proofed on the NEC (that you have, I assume, properly calibrated and profiled) that image should look pretty good - as close to the master copy as possible.

This is not primarily a problem associated with your monitor (as long as the caveat mentioned above holds).
There are many heavyweights in colour-management who frequent this forum so it is more than likely that one or more will comment.

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 08:07:57 PM by Tony Jay » Logged
xpatUSA
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 08:16:46 PM »
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When you post your photos I will open up Firefox on both computers at the same time and will let you know what I see. I will also try as you suggest take a shot and edit in sRGB to see what happens and will let you know after I get that accomplished. Hopefully I won't have to do that all of the time but we'll see what happens.

I edited my first post to show the test images, and added another two here.

Hello Roberta, I used to use ProPhoto but had problems with color clipping in some flower shots when converting to sRGB.

Again, just to check your monitors, here's a couple of identical (content) images:



They should different - one 'washed out' (no profile).

The previously posted images should look about the same to you, unless your monitors are 'wide gamut'. Is that what the 'W' means?
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best regards,

Ted
Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 08:29:37 PM »
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Ted,

Re your photos on my MacBook Pro laptop the embedded profile looks much more red and on the Mac Pro desktop and NEC monitor they look the same. I tried switching the NEC back and forth between sRGB emulation and Photo Editing targets and they still look the same. Also on the laptop your not embedded photo looks a little more washed out than on the NEC. Now I'm really confused. I calibrated both machines this morning - could it be that the calibration device I am using for the laptop is not working right or....?

Thanks,

Roberta
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Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 08:41:45 PM »
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Ted,

Yes, the NEC is wide gamut.

Re the flower image - now there is a difference in both on both machines. That said on the laptop the more vivid copy does show a more orange or reddish cast at the center of the flower - it looks much better on the NEC. There is also a difference in the desaturated copy - on the laptop the color has a bit of a grayish cast and on the NEC more of a green cast but looks better than the one on the laptop. That probably wouldn't be unexpected but it is interesting to note that the laptop is still showing a bit more color in the red range.

Roberta
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 08:45:51 PM »
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Ted,

Re your photos on my MacBook Pro laptop the embedded profile looks much more red and on the Mac Pro desktop and NEC monitor they look the same. I tried switching the NEC back and forth between sRGB emulation and Photo Editing targets and they still look the same. Also on the laptop your not embedded photo looks a little more washed out than on the NEC. Now I'm really confused. I calibrated both machines this morning - could it be that the calibration device I am using for the laptop is not working right or....?
Here's where the afore-mentioned heavyweights need to step in, because I don't calibrate my monitors other than play with the color gammas occasionally. (I don't print, so I don't feel the need).

As far as the laptop is concerned, the only thing that springs to my mind is that, for some reason, a double profiling is taking place i.e. the Color Management Module on the laptop is applying the sRGB profile but something else is applying it again before sending it to the laptop monitor driver.

On the laptop, does the profiled image show up too red in every application on the laptop that can show images? If so that points to the screen driver which is used by all applications.

Just read your latest post - comments above still valid, IMHO. The flower showing a reddish cast is saying that there may a hue shift in favor of red. New can of worms, that :-(
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best regards,

Ted
Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 08:54:28 PM »
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Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply. So are you saying I need to soft proof to make any changes before posting them to a site like Flickr? I don't quite understand how soft proofing will make a difference but I'm willing to try anything. Often when it is a photo I really like I just wind up converting it to black and white - I can post an example from my Flickr photostream if you don't mind viewing it that way. I am in the middle of a project there and this is one from that project. It would be interesting to know if others see the red on the monkey's foot as very bright red with sort of fuschia tones in the center- that is the way it appears to me on the laptop but on the NEC it is more pastel and shows detail. I also converted this to black and white and the detail is more like it is on the NEC.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertmules/9181854608/in/photostream
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Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 09:10:40 PM »
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I just remembered this - probably a better example but this shows the difference I am seeing and I am viewing both in Firefox only on the laptop. The first one looks like it does on my NEC even though I am viewing it on the laptop and the second one is the way images with red turn out when I view them on the laptop - whether dropped on the desktop, Flickr, email or most other for the web applications.

I brought the saturation on this photo down because it looked so bad on Flickr, Facebook or email and this is as it appears on the NEC and Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/pin/7248049372407187/

Same photo - nothing changed but as it appears on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertmules/8475232322/in/photostream

Do others see a difference? This is crazy making.

Thanks,

Roberta
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2013, 09:39:37 PM »
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Do others see a difference?

Roberta
I saw no difference. However, was able to download from Pinterest and the image there has no EXIF and no embedded profile.

How does this one look on the laptop? (I added a profile)



On the laptop, does an image look too red in every application that can show images?
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best regards,

Ted
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2013, 09:48:55 PM »
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It would be interesting to know if others see the red on the monkey's foot as very bright red with sort of fuschia tones in the center
It too looked OK on my monitor. That's a pretty good description of color clipping, IMHO.

[PS] I just looked at your doggie image in ColorThink. All colors are well within the sRGB 3D gamut - except some light pinks just at the edge of the sRGB gamut at about a lightness of 70 out of 100.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 09:56:24 PM by xpatUSA » Logged

best regards,

Ted
Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 10:18:21 PM »
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I looked at the image on Safari, Firefox and dropped it onto an email and they all look too red - particularly the center of the flower which has the fuchsia look in the darkest areas and the heart looks sort of mottled - not smooth color as it appears on the NEC. For the heck of it I opened this page on the NEC too just to see if it looks right there and it does.

You said the images look the same to you whether on Pinterest or Flickr so are they showing the fuchsia cast as I described above?

thanks,

Roberta
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2013, 10:35:07 PM »
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You said the images look the same to you whether on Pinterest or Flickr so are they showing the fuchsia cast as I described above?

No, they all look fine on my monitor in FF which is color-managed by default. That is to say, pastel colors, good detail, no blotches no fuschia not that I'm sure what that is :-(

Have you tried opening an image in a non-browser application on the laptop? Do they still have MacPaint? (probably not!). Do you have an editor on the laptop? Does the Finder show images these days? How do they look? Still too Red?

I envisage a problem with rendering on the laptop. What is not clear to me is whether it is all applications, indicating a monitor profile problem, or just one application - which seems unlikely because you said it was the same in FF and in Safari.
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best regards,

Ted
Tony Jay
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 10:36:36 PM »
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Hi Tony,
Thanks for the reply. So are you saying I need to soft proof to make any changes before posting them to a site like Flickr? I don't quite understand how soft proofing will make a difference but I'm willing to try anything.
I don't know for sure if Flickr is colour-managed (I don't post there) but I think it is likely that it is.
A quick perusal should clarify that. Even if Flickr is colour-managed you can bet your bottom dollar that the millions who view your images are viewing them on unprofiled, uncalibrated monitors anyway.

Either way, knowing that an image is softproofed appropriately for its output should give you confidence that it will look its best. If you don't softproof then you have no idea how the outputted image should look. Changing the colourspace will potentially changes how the image looks in output. Whether the output is to print or the web the principle is exactly the same. This is what you have discovered. Softproofing minimizes and potentially eliminates this problem - this is what it is there to do.

I would also strongly counter the advice that you are receiving about editing images in Lightroom in the sRGB colourspace and any suggestion that one 'cannot' softproof when sRGB is the output colourspace. This is not true.
 
The bottom line is: control what you can.

Tony Jay
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 10:46:05 PM »
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I should have thought of this earlier.

On this very website is the best primer on colour-management that I know of.
Buy and download the tutorial series called "Camera to Print and Screen"
The whole thing is several hours long but it is broken down into manageable episodes.
The absolute beauty of these tutorials is that a realtime explanation of the actual workflow involved is covered.

This is not free advertising for the Luminous Landscape - this resource absolutely stands on its own merits!

Tony Jay
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2013, 10:47:08 PM »
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Ted,

Yes, the NEC is wide gamut.

 . . That said, on the laptop the more vivid copy does show a more orange or reddish cast at the center of the flower - it looks much better on the NEC. There is also a difference in the desaturated copy . . .


At the risk of over-posting, I'm hoping that you understood that the two flower images are identical and have identical color data, the only difference being the presence or absence of the ProPhoto color profile. By that I mean that the profiled image was not made more vivid by editing and neither was the unprofiled image de-saturated by editing.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 10:55:23 PM by xpatUSA » Logged

best regards,

Ted
Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2013, 05:40:20 PM »
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Hi Ted,

Yes, I did understand that - thanks. Still mulling/processing all of this.

Roberta
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Roberta Frederick
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2013, 05:43:49 PM »
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Thanks Tony I'll check out the tutorial. Whew! This is not easy and I'd much prefer an easy button but since that doesn't exist I'll keep plugging away.

Roberta
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2013, 07:10:38 PM »
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Roberta just enjoy the tutorials.
They may be information rich but they are also hugely entertaining and easy to follow!
Once you have caught the concepts you will realize that it isn't actually hard - one just needs to be informed.

Tony Jay
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