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Colour Profiles and Images looking different Locally Vs Online

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Hi guys

Right after i'd finished my most recent image (NGC 7822) i noticed, after uploading it to the web, that it appeared noisier than when i viewed it in PS. It didn't matter if i was viewing it here, on Astrobin, or on Flickr, they all looked exactly the same, but noticeably noisier in the darkest regions when compared to the version i have saved on my home pc. I also did a test by downloading the full res version from Astrobin and viewing it in PS, and it looked exactly the same as my locally saved Jpg version. So there is definitely something 'browser-related' going on. 

Has anyone else noticed something similar with any of their own images? I'm sure i can't be the first to come across this. No doubt it's just something silly i haven't done, but i'd love to know for sure. 

I tried taking some pictures of the Online and Local version with my smartphone. Apologies for the low quality, but they do just about convey the issue if you look in the centre of each pic.

Online version:


Local Version:



I have a new monitor which is only 3 or 4 months old (it's a BenQ PD2700Q). Apparently it has decent enough colour accuracy out of the box, but even so, as soon as i got it i searched online to find the best settings for getting the most accurate colour calibration (it only took a few very minor tweaks in fairness) and i've been using them ever since. I do have the brightness turned up quite high though. Surely that doesn't matter though, does it?

I have started looking into Colour Profiles but, tbh i'm not too sure what i'm doing!. In any case, i went looking in View->Proof Setup and played around with the various options available. I tried:

1. Monitor RGB. When set to this, the image seems to have the same colours as the Online versions. And focusing on the same area as in the images above, it seems to have a quite similar noise profile too (although i still think the Online versions look noisier). The PS image does appear a bit brighter though, and the stars even appear slightly bigger. Almost as though the image has been stretched ever so slightly more. Note, i also found a BenQ LCD option under Custom, but it seemed to be exactly the same as this Monitor RGB option. 

2. Internet Standard RGB (sRGB). When set to this, the PS image looks the same brightness (stars look the same size), and the noise definitely looks much better (i suspect this is what PS was set to by default). But the colours look deeper and more saturated than the Online versions. I tried selecting this Profile and saving & uploading a version online but it didn't look like it did in PS (it still looked much noisier, just as in the images above). So even though i would imagine this should be the one to choose (simply based on it's name, the Internet runs on sRGB) i can't see how i can use it if it's making my images appear much noisier than they truly are. 

I also tried scrolling through all the other options available. Some appeared to display the noise more closely to the Online versions, but the colours wouldn't match. Or Vice versa. So i couldn't settle on one that i thought closely matched Online. 

So long story short, i'm now even more confused than when i started out! Lol. 

If anyone can offer some insight it would be greatly appreciated. 


Edit - In case anyone wants to double-check any of this, or help find a solution, then here's a link to the full res Astrobin version you can download to compare it to. 


Edited by Xiga

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I suspect that your monitor has wider gamut than sRGB, and PS is able to tell from monitor drivers and adjust working profile to what is your monitor able to show you.

If you want your images to look the same, you need to convert your work (when done, and prior to saving) to sRGB profile.

This should be accessible thru Edit / Convert to profile and then select sRGB profile, and save afterwards. Just open your local image in browser and see if they match.

Btw, not an expert on this, so I could be way off ... :D, but you can give it a try and see if it works.

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Make screen shots before you chance any settings (in case you want to go back).

You may have higher than 8 bit/channel colours in your monitor and video card, but to start with try set the video card and photoshop to these settings. Without the use of Crtl+Y in photoshop (video proofing) you should see identical colours inside and outside photoshop.

Photoshop Edit > Color Settings


Video Card ( I have NVIDIA)


Use google to find out more about photoshop colour management, consult you monitor's manual about the bit depth per channel. Depending on your monitor, PS version and your video card you may create smoother gradients using a higher bit depth.

Also check in the video settings of your video card if it is set to render video using the full dynamic range. 

Good luck.

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I'm constantly fighting with the gamma and colour balance on my laptop and desktop - I find that my laptop is always a bit too bright and contrasty compared to most other screens even after I've calibrated it again and again, so have learned to finish up on my desktop screen otherwise I get dark dingy images.

do run/dccw for the colour calibration wizard.

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If you work in sRGB then you limit the chances of variations since, as you say, the internet works on sRGB.  However, web browsers vary in their colour management, chrome not being that great.  So worth checking on different browsers and doing a bit of research.  Adobe RGB and prophotoRGB  are commonly used by PS and lightroom.  In fact lightroom's develop mode uses different profiles when in development mode or library mode and the difference is noticeable.  Variations between monitors is a different issue assuming they are displaying using the same profile.  The calibration routines that come with monitors are a bit limited.  For a price you can use automated optical calibration hardware such as the Spyder5pro.  This is especially useful  if you are having images printed.  

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Thanks for all the input guys. Just thought i'd update the thread, as i seem to have resolved this. 

First things first, i also have an Nvidia card, and my settings were all fine (the exact same as yours Ruud). My Photoshop settings were also ok, so no problems there. 

The problem appeared to be that my Gamma was set too high. Even though i thought i had calibrated the monitor as best i could (and according to an online guide), it turned out that i hadn't actually set the Gamma accurately (my monitor's controls on this were terrible tbh). So after a bit of Googling around, i came across a nifty wee program called QuickGamma. It helped me to set the Gamma properly, and it also applied the resulting profile too. After i did this, the additional 'noise' that i was seeing online is now gone. Images now appear identical online as they do in PS. So all is now good again 😁

I think this is a lesson that most users could learn from. I imagine the vast majority of us aren't using monitors that have been properly calibrated, but setting the gamma is something we all can (and should) try to do. It was just by chance really that i came across this problem, and i'm glad i did, as otherwise i would never have realised i had an issue in the first place. 

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