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Photos look very different on mac and pc

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ghoraa, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hi guys,

    I have been scouring the web for this but did not seem to find a solution.
    Basically, I shot some product photos on my canon 60d, sRGB profile, opened them up in Aperture, did some editing - photos look great.
    And then I sent the photos to my friend who has a PC laptop, they appear much darker and blue.

    Now I know that the screen on my Imac is different and that my friend's screen is not calibrated. But, we bought a photo from photodune.com and they look more or less the same, everything we checked on the web looks more or less acceptable. Only the picture I edited looks very dark and of a different color.
    I also tested the picture on another PC and it was even darker.

    Here is my photo's info:



  2. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    You need to calibrate your screen to match a printer. I believe there is some software that can do this. But yeah, I have used Macs and had grays be totally black when printing.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for your reply,

    But i think that you may have misread the question.

    The difference in colour I am asking about is one between my pictures on a Mac and on a PC, not a printer output.

  4. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Yes, PC screens tend to be of lesser quality depending on year and brand, and are a lot darker/warm with low contrast. Look at something like Windows XP on a Mac screen today, and it's so vivid and saturated. Same thing can be said about Windows in general, it looks so much more colorful on our screens.
  5. macrumors demi-god


    If you could provide the make and model of monitor being used on the PC would help a lot but I suspect the problem to be the color profile used on the Mac is not the same as the PC.

    Try using a more generic color profile .
  6. macrumors 65816

  7. righteye, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    What gamma are you using compared to your friend. i would suggest you use 2.2

    Rather than get into long description here look at this (link below) and do some googling regarding gamma.
    monitors can vary greatly even two exactly the same and calibrated can show differences(usually minor) plus age effects them.

    http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00GkLw see Andrew Rodney,s reply. if you google Andrew Rodney AKA Digital Dog you will see he is a digital guru so you can trust what he has said.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Thank for the reply.

    It might well be that I am doing something wrong. As i just took a screenshot with my mac and send it to my friend's pc, it look acceptable, then I enhanced exposure and exported it from Aperture and it was blueish and dark.

    Bellow are the settings I use to export from Aperture with my images, and the settings that are coming in from my Canon 60d.

    Please let me know if I am doing something wrong.

    Attached Files:

  9. macrumors 65816

    Have you looked at the original and the export side by side on your computer?
  10. macrumors 68020


    It's an issue with your friend's monitor, as far as I can tell.
    PCs, especially cheaper ones, tend to be horribly miscalibrated. I believe this is one instance of how bad the calibration can get.
    Try looking at the same color control patch file on both computers at the same time and you should see a big difference.
  11. macrumors 603

    Maintaining a consistent colour workflow is one of the most difficult aspects of digital photography. So, don't get (and don't be) discouraged. You just have to keep reading about it. I don't know enough about Aperture and the way it handles colour (I use Lightroom - but the theories are the same). Look at the Help topics for "Colour Space", and "Gamut". Also that Gamma slider may need to be centred (from your screen shot). I would seem to me that in the default position you should be able to adjust Gamma either up or down. The screen shot seems to indicate that you can only adjust up as it is now. Try putting it at the 0.5 position.

    That fact that a screen capture and then one that went through Aperture were so different seems to indicate that this is an Aperture problem. Next time, don't do any editing with the image. Just import and export. That will tell you if you editing past the limits of your friend's PC. It is possible that you editing the image to include colours that your friend's PC can't display. Good Luck.


    Don't buy into the "PC monitors are bad" myth. They can be bad, but they can also be better - depends on the maker and whether they are calibrated. Apple monitors tend to read very consistently among themselves, and they are average or better than average. The best monitors are not Apple though... they are PCs. And so are the worst monitors.


  12. macrumors 6502a

    I think everybody pinning this on a poor display/calibration at the PC user's end is barking up the wrong tree. If other images look broadly the same, the issue resides with this specific image or how its colour profile is being interpreted.

    Using the same process as you have here, send another image to your friend and see if the result follows the same pattern (darker and bluer). And could you post the image in question (or another the same thing happens with) here? Not a screenshot, the actual exported JPG.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Without more information, my first assumption is that the issue lies in the embedded profile.

    What adjustments, precisely, are you performing, in Aperture, prior to export?

    I ask because some 3rd party plugins have caused color shifts that aren't obvious within Aperture and persist beyond export (BorderFX 1.7.1, I'm looking at you) and color profile issues were amongst the bugs in previous versions of Aperture 3, IIRC.

    Is the original image a JPEG, or CR2?
  14. righteye, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    If you have photoshop open the Jpeg and see what it looks like there, if OK save it from photoshop to desktop and send that.
    Also reprocess the image in different software if you have any (Camera Raw if you are working from CR2 Raw files) and see what happens then.
    What software is your PC mate looking at the image with? if you both have PS use that.

    Mustang dvs (post above) has asked some good questions if you answer those we may have a better understanding of whats going on and be able to give more assistance.
  15. ghoraa, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Hey guys,

    Thanks a lot for all of the responses.

    In aperture i am not using any third party plugins, just the native ones. I correct the color temperature slightly, so the background looks white on my mac, enhance the exposure and contrast and definition.

    The file im bringing into aperture is jpeg, the file im exporting is also jpeg.

    I've tried reprocessing the image through photoshop but its till the same. Today i checked the images on a newer monitor and the issue persists.

    I even tried sending an unedited jpeg file to my friends computer but its still much darker and bluer.

    Im attaching both an original picture and an edited picture for you to have a look. Im also attaching a side by side comparison. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  16. macrumors Core


    There is your problem, you are processing a jpeg not a RAW file. You will never be able to dig deep enough into the file to fix the color.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    That's part of it.

    In addition, in the old comparison attachment (which is now gone), the white balance of the two displays is vastly different. The monitor on the right has far lower brightness and a much cooler white balance.
  18. macrumors 68020

    Unless your friend's screen is calibrated, all comparisons are useless. As long as your screen is calibrated and you export jpgs using the default settings, they will render relatively consistently across calibrated screens. I say relatively, because screens have different capabilities (their gamuts can be very different, etc.), so if you want complete consistency, you need to export the photo with a particular calibrated output device in mind (e. g. a monitor or a printer).

    Getting consistent colors is not a problem of a specific app, but just a fact of life, so it's not surprising that the problem persists with Photoshop. Also, it's not an issue of your source material (the problem persists no matter if you shoot RAW or jpg, shooting RAW just gives you more leeway to correct colors).

    To give you a concrete example: until I've moved abroad, I've used an external Eizo monitor for photo editing. This screen has a much larger gamut than my MacBook Pro's internal screen, so photos rendered differently, the colors on the Eizo were a lot more saturated and nuanced. When I create photo books with Aperture, I first edit the pictures on screen, do the book, and then make a version of each photo I use and replicate the look of the rendering with the correct printer profile.
  19. macrumors 603


    You guys are being too general. PC monitors have a very wide spectrum of quality. In terms of color and uniformity, some of them are as good or better than what you can get from Apple. You can't automatically assume. The OP's display is definitely set brighter like it's set really high. The edited version is a bit high in contrast to me. Some of those highlights that were right on the edge are clipped in the edited one. I could tell even without sampling them.
  20. macrumors 603

    Too many unknowns. Somebody has got to calibrate their monitor. If you screens are little bright, and your friend's monitor is a little dark...the difference is going to look huge.

    You both need to work with a the same image... and compare the monitors. You may both be out, and in opposite directions. There is a screen calibration routine in the Mac Preferences. It is not bad if you have a good eye. It's still just an eyeball calibration, but it will be closer than most consumer non-calibrated monitors. It is at least a cheap place to start.
  21. macrumors 65816


    OP have you looked at this? So far you haven't responded to it. Just curious what change it made for you.
  22. macrumors 68000

    Don't assume that there is only ONE problem here. There may be multiple issues and unless you address each one you'll never see a close match between the two systems. You need to check everything that has been mentioned here -- monitor calibration, the embedded color profiles, gamma settings, etc.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Thank you all for your replies, I tried shifting the gamma in aperture and still no luck.
    Today I calibrated my Imac and exported the image, the result is better, still quite a difference, but acceptable. I will edit my photos in this profile for now.

    My friend edited the same photo on his PC and sent it to me, and to my surprise it looks OK on my mac, both in the calibrated and in the native profiles.

    I think the answer lies in the embedded color profile....somewhere something goes wrong in my workflow. Here is how I do things:

    Photo comes from a Canon 60d (JPEG Large, sRGB)
    I then take it into any editing software (Aperture or Photoshop, I even tried Preview)
    I then export the photo as JPEG, Highest Quality, I always make sure that the color profile is sRGB...
    I will try shooting in RAW and report back.
  24. macrumors newbie

    I just want to add that the way the pictures look is not necessarily dependent on the screen itself. I have a MacBook Pro with both MacOS and Windows 7 installed on it. When I edit pictures on MacOS and then view them in Windows on the same screen, they look much worse there. I use Pixelmator for photo editing purposes, but I don't think it is the reason of the problem.
  25. macrumors newbie

    I found an article that is worth reading. It seems the difference in how the pictures look on Windows and MacOS is caused by different gamma profiles used by the operating systems. You can see what happens if you change your gamma settings in MacOS from 2.2 (which is the default one) to 1.8 (go to your display settings in System Preferences).

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