Before I even get started with this blog post, I would just like to state for the record that I am not a professional photographer. Nor am I a Photoshop expert. Or color management guru. What I am is a mom with a blog and camera who likes to put photos out here on the interwebs.
OK. So now that we have that established I thought I’d share with you a problem that I’ve had with my photos and how (I think) I corrected it. Finally!
Before I continue, here are the facts ma’am as they pertain to this topic:
- I have a Canon Rebel XS dSLR camera
- I am using Photoshop Elements 10 for my post-processing
- I work on a Dell laptop
- I use Windows Live Writer for composing my blog posts
- My cat just barfed up a giant hairball
Guess that last one doesn’t really apply. Just one of the many giant pains in my ass these days.
Anyway! Since I started using Photoshop Elements for my post-processing (this would have been back in December), I have had trouble getting my photos to look right when I uploaded them to Live Writer. It was so frustrating spending so much time getting images to look just right and then have the colors look so flat and muted once I brought them into my blog word processor. The weird thing was that when the image first opened in Live Writer, it would have the same vibrancy and color as my Photoshop image, but then (right in front of my eyes) the color would wash out and the image would look a little dull and lifeless. Now granted it wasn’t a huge difference, but to a perfectionist like me, it was enough to keep me up a night or twelve searching through Google-land for answers.
I knew my issue probably had something to do with color management, but no matter what settings I tweaked in Photoshop I still had the same problem. I figured it was a bug with Windows or Live Writer, and since it wasn’t SO bad, I decided to ignore it. But then a couple of weeks ago, I was uploading a picture of my delightful daughter to Flickr and the same thing happened! And that led me down the rabbit-hole and I made an interesting discovery.
Without getting too techy (feel free to geek out on RGB here), what I learned is that I had an issue between the color management settings on my camera and that of Photoshop. Apparently here’s a bug/problem with how Canon cameras embed color space info in JPEGs.
Here, I’ll show you what I mean. This is a screen shot of the Photoshop File Info of a photo I took with my camera set to AdobeRGB. See where Color Space is showing Uncalibrated?
Now here’s the File Info of a photo that I took with my camera set to sRGB color space. Photoshop totally recognized that one.
I’ll spare you the ugly details, but suffice it to say, when I changed the settings on my camera to shoot in sRGB (rather than AdobeRGB) to match the sRGB color mode I use in Photoshop (which is the standard color space for internet viewing) it solved my problem. So now when I take pictures of lovely little zinnias in my garden and upload them to my blog, they look all happy and vibrant like this!
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that I finally figured out what the problem is.
I hope I haven’t bored you to death with all this color space talk (don’t even get me started on ICC color profiles!), but I thought I’d share this information in case someone was having the same kinds of problems. Maybe spare them a few hours falling down the rabbit-hole.
Anyway, if you’d like more info about my camera or Photoshop settings, leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer your questions the best I can.
Have a great weekend everyone! I’m off to take more flower pictures.