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pagnamenta
10-16-2006, 07:54 AM
I am editing a ton of photos in Photoshop that I shot in RAW over the weekend. I am adjusting levels, some contrast, and color balance. When I save a jpeg photo and open it up with Microsoft Office Picture Manager, the whole image is brightened. In other words, I have the image looking exactly how I want it in Photoshop but when I open it up with a differnt program, the images gets brighter. Is there a way to see exactly what I am going to get? I have Photoshop set to RGB color, does that have anything to do with my mismatching light levels?

MindBender
10-17-2006, 02:38 AM
Sounds like profile mismatching.

First off.. you need to know what you intend to do with the images. If they are for print or if they are just for screen presentation or whatever. This will help you determine how you want to set up your color preferences.

Second off... you need to make sure your monitor is color calibrated. Best solution is to buy one of those color calibration tools that attach to your monitor... but they can range from $89 to many hundreds depending on the type. Second best is to at least do a visual calibration. Run Adobe Gamma. It will walk you thorugh the steps of calibrating your monitor... it's more useful for CRT monitors... but it will help with LCDs to a degree. Make sure your monitor has been turned on for at least 30 minutes before calibrating to ensure that it has had time to "heat up" to it's proper operating level... also try to do this when the lighting in the room is what you would normally use for editing, and preferably a slightly darkened room. Getting rid of very colorful objects in your field of view is good too... it's amazing how much a bright colorful object sitting on your desk can affect your color vision. This includes temporarily setting your computer's desktop pattern to a neutral medium gray while you do the calibration... and don't use the colored desktop windows... switch to the gray system theme at least for this process (usually better to use it anyway if you do much graphic work). Settings that are a good place to work in for your monitor are 2.2 gamma, 6500K white point.

Thirdly... make sure you're using a standard color space. Using something like Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB in your color settings in Photoshop will put you in a standard operating area... basically standardizing how you display color... since most cameras work with sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998 anyway... this will save you a step. Go into your color settings in Photoshop and choose "US Prepress defaults" or something comparable depending on your region... this will pretty much set things where you want them for outputting to print. sRGB will seem more natural when you're editing but it won't have as much versitility as Adobe RGB 1998. While Adobe RGB has more colors available... especially in the warm colors around flesh tones (which is why it's better for photos of people) it won't look "right" while you edit usually... it will seem to warm and glowing... this is mostly because most people are used to a very blue working environment and a few other factors.

Fourthly... make sure if you do any printing on something like a desktop inkjet, leave images in RGB. Some people convert them to CMYK assuming that since the printer is CMYK it will be better. It's not. I could give a longer explaination, but it's kinda long winded (too late ;) ) and unecessary. Just keep things in RGB, it'll make your life easier. Only time CMYK is needed is for professional printing-press printing like for magazines and such.

Fifthly... use your previews. There are previewing features in photoshop to view images in different color spaces... like windows default (like web browsers) or your printer. These will give you a general idea what the image you are working on will look like in different formats by giving a soft preview aproximation of what will happen. They're a good reference point for what you're working on if you're planning on transferring to a different medium (like web or print).

This might not fix all your problems, but it's a good place to start.

Hope that helps. Good luck. :)