by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (6)

Created

April 19, 2011

Last week a customer wrote that they were seeing a decrease in the color of their images in both the Flash gallery and the HTML galleries in the Web module of Lighroom. This is actually expected behavior.

This occurs partially because the original images that you’re viewing in the Library and Develop modules are displayed in a larger color space and because the images probably have more colors than the Web module’s sRGB color space can display. As the colors are moved from the larger color space, down into the smaller sRGB space (when they go into the Web module) the appear to loose saturation.

In addition, Lightroom uses the default browser for your OS to display the preview of the image in Lightroom. If the computer is using a color profile that’s different from sRGB, and the default browser isn’t color managed, the colors will be shifted in the Web module.

Additionally, remember that your web gallery will be viewed by whatever browser the visitors to your website are using. Most computers are not color calibrated and many browsers are not color managed, so most of your visitors will get varying experiences.

 

COMMENTS

  • By Luke Hartman - 7:53 AM on April 20, 2011  

    Thanks for the helpful explanation. Makes sense, but it’s a disappointing limitation of web module’s color space.

    Why is the saturation loosened, however?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 9:06 AM on April 20, 2011  

      Lightroom displays images in the Web module in sRGB because it is the standard default color space for images on the web.

  • By Jeffrey Friedl - 3:48 PM on April 20, 2011  

    The phrase “If the computer is using a color profile that’s different from sRGB…” followed by a negative consequence might imply to some readers that it’s a bad thing for the computer display’s profile to be set to something other than sRGB. That would be an incorrect and unfortunate conclusion (sRGB is a device *independent* color space, display monitor hardware should *never* be set to it), so perhaps it would be better to rephrase it

    In the end, regardless how well (or poorly) set up one’s computer is, the last sentence in the post is unfortunately the most important: you can’t predict what your viewers will use, so you can’t predict what their color experience will be.

    (I’ve set the website link to this comment to a detailed writeup of digital image color spaces and their practical implications that I wrote some years ago, that has been generally well received.)

  • By gerald anderson - 5:20 PM on April 27, 2011  

    It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates. Thanks a lot and keep on posting more valuable information.

  • By Jason - 10:34 AM on January 8, 2012  

    Lightroom works with the ProPhoto RGB color space and unfortunately there is nothing you can do against that, you can’t change it to another color space (heaven alone knows why, it’s asked for since years and every other program is capable to change this).

    So when you export images to jpg’s in SRGB (which makes complete sense if you display them on the web) you may notice a color shift and less saturation.

    That sucks and the only thing so far you can do against it is to include one step more (e.g. Photoshop) before or after and work there in the final color space to adjust saturation/color shift to the result you want to have.

  • By Adrian - 10:37 AM on January 8, 2012  

    Lightroom works with the ProPhoto RGB color space and unfortunately there is nothing you can do against that, you can’t change it to another color space (heaven alone knows why, it’s asked for since years and every other program is capable to change this).

    So when you export images to jpg’s in SRGB (which makes complete sense if you display them on the web) you may notice a color shift and less saturation.

    That sucks and the only thing so far you can do against it is to include one step more (e.g. Photoshop) before or after and work there in the final color space to adjust saturation/color shift to the result you want to have.