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02-03-2010, 05:39 PM   #1
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Uploaded images seem to lose 1-2 stops

Hi all,

I am very new to photography and I have noticed that some of my shots seem to show up as underexposed once I load them onto the web (Flikr mostly).
I see the images as pretty close to properly exposed on my monitor when viewed in Picasa but once I post them they seem to lose some light and contrast even when viewed on the same monitor.
I do convert them to lower res but even the exported low res images appear fine when opened from my hard drive.
Any ideas?

02-03-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
Damn Brit

Not sure but what color space are you exporting them as, SRGB or Adobe RGB? If it is Adobe RGB, that might be the answer.
02-03-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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Your browser may not be (probably isn't) color managed. Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are not. Firefox can be if you get the right plugin. And I don't know about Safari.

So most people, likely including yourself, are going to be using browsers that ignore color profiles. If you're organizing and editing in a program that understands profiles and adjusts for your monitor, that all goes out the window when you view the same photo in a browser.

If you want to see if that's the problem, and prove to yourself that the upload to Flickr isn't stripping your color profile...just re-download the image from Flickr, save it to your computer, and view it in your operating system's native viewer (Windows Photo Gallery if you're using Windows). Since the major OSs are all color managed, it should look right. If it does, that means the color profile has survived the trip.

Now for added fun, drag the same file into a browser window so you're looking at the photo on your local computer, but using your web browser. It will probably look wrong. Same file...but viewed in two different programs.
02-03-2010, 10:12 PM   #4
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Firefox 3.5 enables color managment by default (unlike version 3.0). However it only supports ICC profiles ver 2 and not the newest ver 4 which if you use something like Spyder to calibrate your monitor and make a profile its likely in ver 4 format and does not work...yet. If you just use default Windows profiles then you are likely ok. Here is a link for a pic to view to see if your browser supports color management and what ICC profile version.
Is your system ICC Version 4 ready?

Yes, probably more than the Op was asking but I always take these questions as a chance to research and learn something and pass it on as in this case. I learned to browse pics with my FF 3.5 and not IE8.

edit - just looked up Spyder 3 software and it supports both ICC ver 2 & 4 and the default is 2
aero dave - thanks for the lesson and getting me started.

Last edited by imtheguy; 02-04-2010 at 06:47 AM.
02-03-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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Convert your color space

Most web browsers will display your photo as if it had an sRGB profile. Is your camera set to that color space? Picasa will use a default color space of Automatic, which most likely doesn't convert from your camera's color setting.

Pentax SLR's allow you to take photos using the sRGB space. If you do that, then your photos should look much closer to what you see when viewing them in Picasa. If you're using the Adobe RGB color space, and aren't converting the image to sRGB you will generally see a washed out photo.

michael mckee
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02-04-2010, 12:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Firefox 3.5 enables color managment by default (unlike version 3.0). However it only supports ICC profiles ver 2 and not the newest ver 4 which if you use something like Spyder to calibrate your monitor and make a profile its likely in ver 4 format and does not work...yet.
It wouldn't matter if it supported v2 or v4. AdobeRGB in Pentax files straight from the camera is set using the "optional color space" EXIF attribute (as per DCF 2.0) instead of being an attached profile. Many applications, including Firefox, do not recognize this.

Truth is, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to have the camera set to AdobeRGB. If you really need the wider gamut, then you should assign it when you convert the RAW file. If you're only working with JPG files from the camera, sRGB is a better option. Either way, leave the camera set to sRGB.

Of course, we're all assuming that's what the problem is. Could be the OP is having another problem altogether.

(does the K-x even have an option for colour space?)
02-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
(does the K-x even have an option for colour space?)
Yeah, it does: sRGB or AdobeRGB. It's on the Rec. Mode 3 menu.

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