Why are my photos turning green on Facebook?
January 18, 2013 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I carefully change my photos' color temperature using Shotwell (not accurate, but fast enough and easy), export them to smaller-sized pictures and upload to Facebook using Facebook's uploader, but the color balance is wrong. They're all green.

I opened the exported photos in the GIMP and they're in the sRGB color space, so that shouldn't be the problem, and it's happened with more than one album. This is getting annoying. Any ideas to stop it? I know Facebook's not exactly the world's best photo-sharing mechanism, but it's the only one I'm likely to get my friends to actually use.
posted by BungaDunga to Technology (8 answers total)
P.S. the colors survive the upload to imgur just fine and look just the same as when they're on my desktop. It seems to be only Facebook that's causing a problem.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:02 PM on January 18, 2013

Wait, now they look green in Ubuntu's Image Viewer, but fine in Shotwell, but also fine in Nautilus' thumbnails as well as The Gimp. I'm very confused.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:20 PM on January 18, 2013

Hm, well for starters that's not a color temperature shift, that's a tint shift. What kind of browser are you using?
posted by phaedon at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2013

What file format are you exporting them as? The file that you then upload into Facebook?
posted by gjc at 6:45 PM on January 18, 2013

As I recall, Facebook plays fast and loose with colorspace metadata in order to save a few KB.
posted by Good Brain at 7:13 PM on January 18, 2013

i don't know if you are doing color correction or just want different color effects but maybe try uploading them to facebook without adjusting the color balance at all. then, if you want to still play around with the color do that for where you store/post them elsewhere. also, you can upload photos on fb in high res if i remember correctly. maybe that would help.
posted by wildflower at 8:08 PM on January 18, 2013

If you're going to do color-correction, it's crucial that you make sure your screen is correctly calibrated, otherwise, you're just guessing. You have so many variables at work here, that it's difficult to pin-down where the issue may be. Shotwell may very well be the trouble-maker.

I tend to agree with wildflower...Upload some pics without doing any color adjustment and see what the results are.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:13 AM on January 19, 2013

Facebook uses a modified sRGB profile to save on space, but the errors caused by it should be less than what's noticeable by human vision. There's an article about it here.

Shotwell, on the other hand, doesn't seem to actually support any color profiles (looks like they're working on it) so my guess is that the color issue is actually in Shotwell's lack of color management and not Facebook messing it up. When you open images in the GIMP, they probably display as having the sRGB color profile because i imagine that's what the GIMP uses as a default for rgb images with no embedded profile. Have you tried manually embedding the sRGB profile while you have the images open in the GIMP and re-saving for facebook? Or doing your color corrections in the GIMP instead of Shotwell?
posted by girih knot at 12:45 PM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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