The washed out colors problem


Above: Camilla at Nacka Kvarn on Sunday afternoon.

I’ve spent a few evenings the past week refreshing my knowledge about the problem with color profiles when publishing photos to the web. A year or two ago I had the problem that the colors of the photos I put on flickr were a bit washed out but I managed to solve it. A computer change later and the problem is back. Unfortunately I didn’t remember how I solved it so I had to turn to google.

I think it’s embarrassing that it’s 2009 and we still can’t get an image to look the same in Lightroom, Safari, Preview and Firefox on the same machine. How hard can it really be?

I think what I did the last time I had this problem was to strip the color profile from the photo. That seems to be the only way to get the photo to at least resemble the original in Internet Explorer. However, according to my research that is not the correct way to solve it. Instead one is supposed to make sure to use the sRGB color profile and include the color profile in the image.

Doing this the photos will look good in Safari on both OS X and Windows, and in Firefox on both platforms if the user manually enables the color management feature in Firefox as it’s off by default.

Internet Explorer users are left out in the cold with shitty images that sometimes by accident can look good but really can look like anything.

I find this quite frustrating as all I want is for my photos to look good no matter what computer and browser that is used.