Digital Help
Q&A For Digital Photography

Digital Help is designed to aid you in getting the most from your digital photography, printing, scanning, and image creation. Each month, David Brooks provides solutions to problems you might encounter with matters such as color calibration and management, digital printer and scanner settings, and working with digital photographic images with many different kinds of cameras and software. All questions sent to him will be answered with the most appropriate information he can access and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this department. Readers can send questions to David Brooks addressed to Shutterbug magazine, through the Shutterbug website (, directly via e-mail to: or or by US Mail to: David Brooks, PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.

There Are No Simple Color Management Questions
Q. We have what should be a simple color management question that we haven't been able to get an answer for, so I thought we'd try you. You get a new computer and if it's Windows when you open a JPEG and view it in Photoshop, it pretty much looks the same when you view it in IE or FF. Then you run hardware calibration and come up with a new monitor profile. You leave the working color space of Photoshop at sRGB, same as before. Now there's a huge shift when you preview it for the web using Save for Web.
David G. Egolf
via e-mail

A. First, there are really no "simple" color management issues, especially with Windows as it is not automatically color managed by default. Windows color management has to be activated through Control Panel/Displays, and to be effective the monitor/display needs to be calibrated and profiled, at minimum using AdobeGamma.exe if any version of Photoshop is installed. Then color management has to be activated in Photoshop using the Color Settings dialog to first establish that Photoshop is using the monitor/display profile designated and selected to be the default in Control Panel/Displays.
Second, the RGB work space profile must be chosen and selected, usually either sRGB (default) or Adobe RGB (1998) for photography. Finally, the color management policy preference needs to be selected as to whether image files opened are converted to work space RGB or left in the embedded profile color space.
If there is a huge difference as you say when Save for Web is initiated, then the preferences for that function are not set to avoid a double application of the sRGB profile, as output for the web is, by default, sRGB. If the open image is already sRGB, no profile conversion should be applied.

Color Mismatches
Q. My printer will not replicate the color that appears on my PC screen. A landscape image with a medium shade of green on the monitor prints a yellowish green. What do you recommend? I'm using the following equipment and software: a PC running Photoshop CS2 and a Canon PIXMA iP6600D printer.
Sidney Weiss
via e-mail

A. There could be several reasons for not obtaining color print output that matches the on-screen color of a displayed photograph.
1. To obtain color matched print results your display/monitor must be calibrated and profiled. Although with Photoshop installed there is a software utility, AdobeGamma.exe, that may be used to calibrate and profile your display, it functions on visual on-screen comparisons and individual choices, making it a crude and unreliable measurement. I recommend using an instrument (colorimeter) and software to measure, calibrate, and profile your display. One of the most effective is the Datacolor Spyder. You can obtain information about and purchase a Spyder at:
2. The second necessity if using Photoshop is to activate color management by launching Color Settings in Photoshop and be sure the application is referencing the profile for your display, and is using an Adobe work space profile like the default sRGB, or preferably Adobe RGB (1998).
3. The final basic requirement is to use a paper that has printer profile support in the printer driver. In other words, if you're using a Canon printer use either only papers recommended and sold by Canon for the printer, or if you choose to use some other paper be sure to obtain a profile for the combination of the paper used and your printer. You get this from the paper vendor, then install the profile file in your system. This will require that you have Photoshop control color, then make the selection of the profile in Print Preview. Finally, make sure that the printer driver is not adjusting or controlling color. That's Photoshop's job.

Making An Apple Cinema Display Work On A PC
Q. Thank you again for your many helpful equipment reviews. Your column is the first one I turn to when I get my monthly Shutterbug. The equipment reviews that you do are seldom covered by other photo magazines.
After reading your reviews of LCD monitors I bought the 23" Apple Cinema Display. It's a beautiful monitor and my images look great on it. The reviews said the monitor could be calibrated. I am running Windows XP with a Radeon 9550 video card and the monitor is plugged into the DVI port. It's beginning to dawn on me that this monitor cannot be adjusted by Windows XP users. Of course, there are no external buttons or controls. I received no software with the monitor; the manual says that you have to use Apple software to change the display settings. I have searched the Apple website for PC versions of the Mac Cinema Display software but haven't found anything. In Photoshop CS2 I printed out a test print and it was significantly darker than the display. Apple says that the monitor is optimally calibrated at the factory.
I have a Spyder2 for calibration. Should I just go ahead and use that to calibrate? What are my options? I assume that you're using a Mac. Thanks much for your help.
Dick Louderman
via e-mail

A. Thank you for your remarks.
To answer your questions, the Apple Cinema Display does have a brightness adjustment slider on one side of the bezel frame of the display. But when connected to a Windows PC, that slider may not function. It can be made to work with a PC, but I do not recall the particulars involved (too much water under the bridge since I tested the Cinema Displays). However, if you go to the Apple website and search the Support/Knowledge Base you may find the references that do specify what is needed to make the brightness control work with a PC. (Note: Be sure also that the ATI Radeon software that goes with your video card is installed. If you don't have the CD for your model ATI card, download it from the ATI website.)
Finally, by all means use your Spyder2 to calibrate and profile your Apple Cinema Display. You will obtain better performance from the display and also improved print match output. By calibrating and profiling with the Spyder, your PC's video card LUTs are used to optimize the setup and adjustment of the displayed picture.

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