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Old Apr 30, 2004, 3:19 PM   #1
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Default Washed-out JPEGs

I find that most photos need their color saturation cranked way up to have the JPEG version come close to the colorful original PSD version. Just now, I experienced the complete inability to get a JPEG to look like the original, which was dominated by a lot of gold tones (brass).

Does anyone know what this color vulnerability is all about and if there's any way around it?
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 4:22 PM   #2
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Are you talking about a jpg versus a raw file? Jpg straight from the camera or after photoshopping? what camera? what color space?
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 4:36 PM   #3
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I'm turning 8-bit Adobe RGB .PSD files into a JPEGs of high quality for posting. Like I said, it doesn't happen with all pictures and is definitely affected by which colors dominate. I've discovered as mentioned above, that yellows are badly washed out, but I seem to remember that blues aren't bad. Red is easily corrected by just increasing its saturation.
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 5:21 PM   #4
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I believe your problem lies with the color space. Adobe RGB has a wider gamut of colors, because it was designed for printers with wide gamuts. (gamut is the range of colors a particular device or color space can reproduce) sRGB was designed for the display capabilities of monitors and has a narrower gamut. What this means is that a saturated color value (for example 88/248/17 R/G/B) will be much more saturated in Adobe RGB than sRGB. In a program that is not color-profile aware (such as a web browser) it will simply read those numerical values into sRGB, resulting in less contrast and saturation.
These websites explain it better
http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/color_management.htm
http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/color_spaces.htm
Short answer - in photoshop, you can do all your editing and whatever in AdobeRGB, then go to Image > mode > convert to profile and select sRGB before you save.
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 5:28 PM   #5
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I wasn't fast enough and caused you to write a whole bunch. Well, maybe it's worth it so that others having the problem will know how to fix it...

I was in the kitchen getting ready to cook supper when I suddenly remembered that, somewhere else, you mentioned using sRGB for posting pix on the Web. I raced in here, took the same photo I'd compressed before, only this time I converted it to sRGB first. The resulting JPEG was miles better!

You are completely right. All of us should be doing this before we post our photos.

Thank you.
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 7:16 PM   #6
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The problem does indeed lie with color space, but a related item...I have found that jpg images for web use need much more sharpening than my images for print --- another reason to save sharpening for the final post processing step.
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Old Apr 30, 2004, 7:23 PM   #7
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Yes, Ohenry, I've found the same thing, though I've discovered that photos headed for the printer need a touch more sharpening because of dot gain. The ink spreads on the paper slightly, increasing the size of the dots, and a bit more sharpening compensates for this.
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