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I think I need help with my Photoshop settings.   I've been processing my photos and been very unhappy/depressed with the results.  I then realized that they looked a lot better on my phone than on my PC screen.  I  did some testing and I discovered that Photoshop (CS4 -  both 32bit and 64bit) and the basic Windows viewer [the two things I've been using all this time to look at my images] are displaying poorer quality views of  my images than other viewers or programs.  (see attached images)  I think I just noticed this because I just got a CMOS OSC camera and was expecting a lot better than it seemed I was getting.

Do I have something set wrong in Photoshop?  I really don't want to spend the money to get Pixinsight just right now (and the time to learn it) but I need to be able to see what the image really looks like while I'm processing it.

At first I thought the problem was with my monitor, but since I do see the correct image with some programs I've concluded that the issue must be with Photoshop itself.  However, I have no idea at all how to fix it.

I've uploaded two views of an early processing stage of an Andromeda photograph.



This one shows the image as seen in Gimp, Irfan View, Windows Paint, on-line, the new Windows "Photos" or on other laptops, phones, etc.




This one shows the image as seen in Photoshop or in the Windows Photo Viewer or Photo Gallery on my PC.  (I used screen capture to get this but it is accurate for what I see).

As you can see above, the image I'm seeing in Photoshop has problems.  The main problem I notice is that the gradients of color do not flow smoothly but are concentric areas of flat color.  No depth or subtlety.

Can this be fixed and if so what do I need to adjust in Photoshop or my PC?  I'm using Photoshop CS4 and this effect shows up in both the 32bit and 64 bit versions.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and Clear Skies Everyone

Taylor Blanchard

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As said, you need to change the mode in PS to use 16 bit rgb.  Its probably set at 8 bit and that's why you get the banding effect.

One word of caution some filters and plugins for PS only work in 8 bit mode so will be greyed out/ won't work in 16 bit.

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Not sure about the Photoshop issue but I did have problems with the default Windows photo viewer on Windows 10. They got rid of the Photo viewer that was on Win 7.

The Win7 one was better. The new Win10 one seems to have some sort of auto enhancement going on and seems to make all images sparkly and really pop.  Maybe they think that helps most  photos out, and is better for social media??   But to me, it ruins the images.

You can get the win7 viewer (which is more natural looking to my eye) by running a script in the windows command line, which enables it again.
It seems its still there in the OS, but just not enabled. Also the Win7 viewer can open Camera Raw files too.
Let me know if your interested and I'll dig out the link to the script.

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Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions.  I did find the problem.  Photoshop was not pulling up the correct monitor profile and neither was the windows photo viewer.  I found a way to fix it by changing the settings in photoshop:

Assign Working RGB:    sRGB IEC61966-2.1
Check View/Proof Colors

but I had to keep doing that every time I opened an image and even during processing.  Then I found this article that let me change the default setting in Windows Color Management.


That seems to have done the trick.  Now the image looks correct in Photoshop, online and everywhere else.

Thanks again everyone.

Clear Skies

Taylor Blanchard

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