Windows Photo Viewer not displaying right colors for image - please help

Something is happening that is driving me absolutely fucking up the wall, and I would really, really, really appreciate it if someone could tell me how to remedy it.

The situation is basically: I take a picture with my camera. It’s saved in RAW format. I open it in Photoshop, adjust the colors and contrast, and then save it as a JPG. Okay.

The problem is, the Windows Photo Viewer shows this JPG - both the preview thumbnail, and the image itself, in the viewer window - as not having the changes made to it that I did in Photoshop.

Photoshop shows the image with the correct color changes applied. Firefox shows it with the correct color changes applied. But the Windows Photo Viewer does not!

This only happens with the RAW files I upload off of my camera (after converting to JPG), not any other pictures.

Here, I will show you what I mean:


Then, HERE is a screen shot I took, of the same image, AS SHOWN in WINDOWS PHOTO VIEWER. Look at it and then compare it to the other picture. You can tell that the color in the second one is more subdued and not as vibrant.

I don’t understand why the hell this is happening. Why won’t the photo viewer built into Windows (XP) display the image with the changes I made to it? Photoshop displays it properly; Firefox displays it properly. But Photo Viewer does not display it properly, displaying instead the duller and more subdued version. Interestingly, as a side note, and I’m sorry for making this even more confusing, Quicktime’s picture viewer also does not display it properly.

Please, please, PLEASE. Does anyone know how to fix this?

On a Win 7 and Chrome, I don’t see any difference in the two pics you posted on two different LCD monitors, one about a year old, the other about 2.5 years old.

Is it possible Photo Viewer and Quicktime are using special monitor profiles and show the jpg images in their own way?

Easiest thing to suggest is checking for any updated video drivers for your system. Other than that… no idea what the problem is.

Also check for any settings for RAW files being saved as JPG in Photoshop. PS may be embedding some info in the files that Photo Viewer and Quicktime may be trying to render and browsers like Firefox or Chrome don’t.

Yeah, they look the same here, so far as I can tell.

If there’s a problem with the way it looks on your system, I would assume it’s a color management issue/color profile mismatch issue. Unfortunately, I don’t remember at all how it works on Windows machines.

It looks like your photo is in Adobe RGB. Go to Photoshop, convert the profile to an sRGB (Edit > Convert to Profile), and save it that way, see if that changes anything in the way Windows Photo Viewer handles the file.

pulykamell is right - you’ll probably solve your issues by saving it as sRGB from Photoshop.

On windows 7 and Firefox, they look completely different here. The second image is washed out and not as sharp.
Don’t know what the fix is though, sorry, just to let you know I get the same difference you see.

Yeah, just tried it in Firefox (OS X), and I see the difference. Also shows up in Preview and Safari. But not Chrome (the browser I was originally using.) Odd, as I would have thought Chrome would read the color profiles.

But, yes, it’s almost certainly a color profiling issue.

  • 1 Isamu

I just imported it into Photoshop, converted it to an sRGB, and reopened it in Chrome, and now it looks fine.

Here, download the sRGB version and see if it looks right in your viewer.

How do I save it as SRBG?

Ah, color management, been there, done that.

Upper left toolbar Image>convert color profile>convert to sRGB profile.

Another issue I’m running into is that I want my photos to be consistent on all (well, most) monitors. If I post a photo online I want to be sure that the majority of people with monitors at default color settings will see the same image. The image looks vastly different on my laptop and on my desktop monitors. On my laptop, it looks desaturated with a bluish tint. On my desktop, it looks bold, vibrant, with natural-looking colors, and the horse has a warm reddish gold glow to it. But BOTH monitors are set to default colors!!!

I don’t think you can win on that front. It’s beyond any control or standardisation, and may never be. People set their monitors to match their environment, not to fit any given photo.

A similar lack of control besieges website design, with different monitor sizes, viewing habits, and browser defaults.

This is what sRGB is for.

That option does not appear for me. I use Photoshop CS3.

Never mind, I figured it out. (It’s in Edit- Assign Profile.)

OK, now the big question is: why, then, does Photoshop and Firefox show the image how I wanted it to be, but not certain other programs?

(Another question: what do you call that kind of a pattern on a horse? The guys with the horse didn’t know.)

Worse than that, I doubt people set anything related to color on their monitors at all. I’ve seen people set brightness/contrast and maybe shape, but not much else.

The good news is that most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference unless you specifically pointed it out to them.

Well, each device and software has a box of crayons to render pictures, trouble is they have a different numbers of crayons. Trying to render a 64 crayon file on an 8 crayon display will end poorly, or vise versa. Third color from the left means two different things in two color spaces. You need a profile in between them to correct that. Some programs do this internally, some don’t.

Why isn’t the whole digital industry on the same color page? Color wasn’t important until well into the digital age, and lots of variation already existed. Maybe in our lifetime.

Looks like it may be Rabicano.

Photoshop and Firefox are color managed and honor the color profile (Adobe RGB) embedded in your photo, while Windows Photo Viewer apparently does not. (And, apparently, Google Chrome, unless there’s a setting I’m missing.) When publishing for the web, save everything as sRGB, as that’s the default RGB colorspace. tellyworth’s link goes into more detail about sRGB, if you want to know the nitty gritty.

Thanks, everyone - I really mean it. I really really appreciate it when I have some real-life question that needs to be solved and the people here always rise to the occasion - thanks again.