Sunday, October 09, 2011

A Photo Geeky Tangent

If you’re like most computer users, you probably assume that any given photo looks the same on all monitors. It’s the same photo, right? Yeah, not so much. Computer monitors almost all look different due to different settings, different manufacturing, the backlight changing colors as it ages, and probably other factors. If you’ve got a computer with two monitors you can probably check it yourself by moving a windows from one monitor to the other and watching the color shift.

Similarly, not all pieces of software handle colors properly. So just like monitors different programs can show different colors. I spent a few minutes this afternoon trying to figure out why my photos on the web look different than the same photos in Photoshop. It turns out that the Google Chrome browser does a lousy job of color management.


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That’s a screenshot of my laptop. On the left is Chrome, on the right is Photoshop Lightroom, both on the same machine. Oh, and unless your monitor is calibrated, neither of them looks like mine. Ah, the joys of computer monitors.


PS: For the record, Firefox seems to handle color management properly. It probably won’t matter in most cases, but you might see differences in some cases.

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