Ophrys Photography

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If you have a general purpose monitor that works in the sRGB colour space on a limited number of colours this won't apply to you. This section is for when a wide gamut aRGB monitor is used only.

It is fortunate that as 95% of internet users use an uncalibrated general sRGB monitor and don't understand colour management, that the sRGB standard was designed so that most monitors under most conditions will produce reasonable colour.

Although things are slowly changing, web browsers (largely) ignore colour management and assume that anything posted on the internet is sRGB. It is only when you come along with your fancy aRGB monitor that things start to go wrong as we shall see.

If you view a web image (sRGB) on an aRGB monitor using an non-colour-managed browser then the image will appear oversaturated on your screen.

The solution.
All web browsers except Firefox are non colour-managed at the time of writing, but they are improving and hopefully will all hopefully sort themselves out eventually. However, at the moment I strongly advise you to start using Firefox as your browser if you wish to avoid the over-saturation problem.

Even Firefox hasn't got everything right unfortunately. There are some occasions when the image tag that effectively says "this is an sRGB image" has not been embeded into the image when it wsaa posted (could that be you ?) or has been stripped out or lost at some stage. For some strange reason Firefox then makes the unfortunate assumption that the image should be assigned a tag that effectively says "treat this as an image with the same colour space as your monitor" in our case aRGB. So we hit the same issue as in problem 1 of oversturated images.

An unmanaged browser such as Internet Explorer does not even read these tags. It just assumes everything is sRGB, so this issue doesn't arise under these circumstances but more by luck than judgement. So why not use an un colour managed browser ? If you work in sRGB that would be fine, but not for us aRGB masochists. If you posted an aRGB image onto the internet, IE would think it is sRGB and it would look very washed out and unsaturated.

RULE 1. When posting images on the internet, only post sRGB images or 95% of your audience will see them as washed out.

The browser solution

To get the best of all worlds in problem 1 and 2 on the current version of Firefox at least, it is necessary to modify Firefox to treat untagged internet images as being sRGB not monitor RGB (ie aRGB).
There are two ways of doing this. One is described in this article:
Simon Tindemans but there is a much easier way and that is to add a purpose designed Firefox extension designed by a helpful chap called Sean Hayes. Now come out from behind the sofa - it is not difficult to add a Firefox extension I promise. Here is a step by step guide:

After you have downloaded the latest version of Firefox, open it and then click on Tools>Addons>Extensions and search for colour management in the search box. When you have the Colour management addon by Sean Hayes (version 0.5.3 or whatever the current version is) click on Options and select "All images" and also enter the path to your monitor's profile. The easiest way of finding this is usually to look in the software that you used to calibrate your monitor as described at the end of Part 1.
If you have not calibrated your monitor then there is little point reading any more until you have as it is the most important thing that you can do in this whole colour management thing.

In the case of the Eizo, when using the Eizo Color Navigator software, the path to profile appears on page 1 of the software in "Detail" called path to Profile. On my computer it put it here:

path to profile

Chances are if you use a PC that it will be somewhere similar, if using a Mac you will need to search around a bit to find it. Using teh search function to find files ending in .icc shoulkd also come up trumps. Once you have the path you can cut and paste it into the relevant Firefox Extension box.

Restart Firefox and you are done !

Where are we now ?
You will now have calibrated your monitor, will be using Firefox with an extension added and will be seeing beautiful and accurate colours on your monitor when you surf the internet despite having an aRGB monitor.

In the next section we will deal with working in Photoshop with your wide gamut monitor and considering how to save images to the web in such a manner that anyone else viewing them stands the best possible chance of seeing them correctly.