Colour is completely different when viewed on a phone

Colour is completely different when viewed on a phone
(Chris Mitchell) #1

Hi everyone, I’m hoping someone can shed some light on this as it is driving me mad.

I do all my PP on a Macbook laptop - not ideal I know. When I upload an image online the colours are way off what I’m seeing on my laptop. They are really dark and massively saturated.

Usually I have to spend quite a lot of time tweaking things to it looks similar on a phone or tablet to my laptop but it’s never quite right.

It seems to be getting worse.

I think I read somewhere that you can’t calibrate a laptop is this true?

When I look at the various colour options in the display settings there are lots of profiles to choose from most of which make the colour seen on the screen look not great.

Am I doing something wrong? Should I change the profile or can I do anything to fix the problem?

Many thanks


(Ed McGuirk) #2

Chris, I’m not sure how much you know about color profiles, so pardon me if I’m discussing something you already know. I use Lightroom and Photoshop to process my images, and use the ProPhoto color space for processing (a wide color space). When I go to upload a file to the internet, I export a Jpeg out of Lightroom using the narrow sRGB color space (specified in LR export dialog). This color space is best for internet viewing. Having your web colors look super saturated sounds like you may be uploading a file with wider color space like Adobe RGB, when instead you should be using sRGB for uploading (but not processing). So process in Prophoto or Adobe RGB, then convert the file to sRGB for web viewing.

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(Preston Birdwell) #3

@Chris_Mitchell. As Ed says, your are likely uploading a wide gamut color space image, (or an image that does not have a color profile embedded). The app you are using to view the image is then making its best guess to display the image. sRGB is the best color space for Web display, since most browsers and apps support it.

I do all my processing in Photo Shop, so here is what I do after all adjustments, resizing and sharpening are done…

  1. Flatten the image
  2. Convert from 16 bit to 8 bit
  3. Convert to sRGB profile (Note: Do Not use Assign Profile. This does not embed the color profile)

I use Save for Web in Photo Shop File>Export>Save for Web (Legacy). The reason I use it is so that I have a nice preview, can easily adjust out put file size (quality) and other settings not available in File>Export As…

I hope this helps,

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(Harley Goldman) #4

I do the same as Preston.

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(David Kingham) #5

All good points above regarding color spaces and is most likely your problem. To answer your question about calibrating, yes you can absolutely calibrate a laptop, and you really need to! This requires that you have a physical calibrator like a Spyder or ColorMunki, the profiles you can select on your mac are not what you want, you must have the physical calibrator.


(Preston Birdwell) #6

I missed the screen calibration part of the OP.

David is spot-on. The Spyder or ColorMunki will do the job. Also, X-Rite’s i1 Display Pro is another good tool.

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(Chris Mitchell) #7

Sounds like that’s exactly where I’m going wrong. Thanks very much everyone, I appreciate your help. I’ll try that this morning.

Much appreciated as always.

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(Hank Pennington) #8

That’s an important tool, especially the preview. Without a good preview, it can be a shot in the dark. Don’t even get me started on CMYK conversions…

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(Chris Mitchell) #9

I can’t get this to improve despite following the advice above. The image looks fine when previewed on the Web on the monitor but as soon as I upload it to Dropbox the colours are massively saturated and everything is dark. I know this isn’t a clear example but it gives you a bit of an idea of the difference.

Any ideas? :slightly_frowning_face:


(Chris Mitchell) #10

Update: when viewed on my ipad the colour etc is bang on after I add a bit of exposure to compensate. Seems to be when I view it on my Samsung galaxy s7…