My sRGB export function is broken. Help. Please
January 5, 2010 1:35 AM   Subscribe

Why do my Adobe Lightroom 2.5 exports look so dark and red?

Hi all,

I've recently noticed my Lightroom exports have been quite dark and the colors are getting massacred. I assumed it was because of colorspace issues, but my monitor is actively profiled with a Huey Pro sensor bar and the results are the same no matter what export profile I use (sRGB, ProPhoto, the windows ICC profile, ect.)

Here's a screenshot.

I exported from CS4 WITHOUT the SRGB profile enabled and the picture is much closer to the original. However, it still has the annoying color shift in Chrome (and any other browser) that's associated with not using sRGB. However, when using sRGB from within CS4 I get the horrible results.

PS jpegs looks perfect when imported back into Lightroom. They look wrong in any other program including Picasa, Google Chrome, MaxView, and IE8.
posted by lattiboy to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, I should mention I'm exporting jpegs from Panasonic GF-1 raw files.
posted by lattiboy at 1:38 AM on January 5, 2010

First, upgrade to LR 2.6 and see if that fixes any of your issues. Chances are small, but it's a good step.

Second, it sounds like your monitor is uncalibrated. Start by going through a simple calibration process and seeing if that brings your photos closer to your expectations. If that works, then you may want to purchase a calibration device. (I use Spyder 3, but there are others as well.)

Are you using a Mac or Windows?
posted by fremen at 6:03 AM on January 5, 2010

Remember, the only time a colourspace ever comes into play is during export. I'd follow the advice about calibrating your monitor. The fact that IE8 shows the same results tells me that your system is displaying sRGB poorly, as IE8 is not a colour-controlled application.

Also, check out the Adobe user forums. There is a lot of info there regarding exports and the results you can get converting from raw files. You might even find someone with your very same problem.

Finally, give someone with LR a copy of a raw file and see if they can duplicate. The forum might help with this. If you get no love there, just message me.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:09 AM on January 5, 2010

What happens when you do the export from Lightroom (with sRGB) and open the resulting jpeg in Photoshop? Does it come with the profile attached? What are your Photoshop color settings (do you ignore color profile warnings, and thus automatically convert from device RGB to sRGB upon open?) The windows viewers (and IE8/Chrome) are likely not color managed, and even though sRGB is supposed to simulate most un-color-managed displays, YMMV when displaying them in non-colormanaged applications.
posted by joshwa at 10:57 AM on January 5, 2010

Response by poster: everybody: My monitor is profiled with PantonHuey Pro. I just recalibrated and it had no effect. My Windows ICC profile is the correctly calibrated profile. I'm running XP Pro SP3.

joshwa: Good idea. I just did that and they all look identical when opened, HOWEVER, the small preview window in PS looks very different from picture to picture.

I wonder if it is somehow embedding the profile, but not changing the underlying jpeg. Is this possible?
posted by lattiboy at 11:51 AM on January 5, 2010

I wonder if it is somehow embedding the profile, but not changing the underlying jpeg. Is this possible?

In Photoshop, try doing Edit -> Convert to Profile and select sRGB. (Stay away from "Assign Profile".) Once you do that, save your file. In the save dialog, make sure the "Embed Color Profile" box is checked and says "sRGB."

At this point, your photo is pretty much an sRGB photo. If it displays incorrectly in another app, then it's a color managed vs. non-color managed application issue. An odd one for sure, especially because your monitor is calibrated.
posted by fremen at 12:44 PM on January 5, 2010

Response by poster: fremen: Thanks, I just did a profile conversion and it exported correctly from PS.

I just don't get this! I'm obviously not going to do this for every picture, so LR is basically useless to me now.
posted by lattiboy at 12:56 PM on January 5, 2010

Response by poster: Okay, so I got this working. For whatever reason, I have to export with my calibrated profile (not sRGB) to display correctly in Chrome, IE8, ect.

I don't know why this is working, but it is.
posted by lattiboy at 1:11 PM on January 5, 2010

Try this as another exercise. Export two images, one sRGB and another with your monitor profile. Then load both images on a completely different computer - different monitor, hardware, everything. Then see how the two compare to your original Lightroom photo.
posted by fremen at 2:15 PM on January 5, 2010

Can you post a screenshot of your Lightroom export settings? Just a hunch.

Please also let us know the color profile Photoshop opens (make sure to check your color warning prefs-- turn them ON; check the document window lower left corner for icc profile) and subsequently saves in (per fremen above)

Yes, if you export the image with your monitor profile, then it will display fine in any application, color managed or not (since monitor profile maps from xyz to device rgb, and you've just converted the values of your file to device rgb values). This however is not helpful, since it will only display correctly on YOUR computer.
posted by joshwa at 3:45 PM on January 5, 2010

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