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Author Topic: product photos on the web without color profile tag?  (Read 846 times)

earlybird

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product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« on: February 15, 2017, 11:15:26 AM »

Hello,
 I have recently been looking at a bicycle on a small business bicycle manufacturer's website and wondered how the builder could choose such a "unique" paint color. The website coincidentally mentioned the Pantone code for the color so I had the chance to go to the Pantone site and see that their depiction of the color makes it seem much more familiar and pleasant than the depiction on the bicycle builder's website.

 I downloaded the bicycle photograph and opened it in Photoshop and learned that its colorspace is untagged RGB and I suppose this must be the reason the color looks so unusual and differs from the hue shown at the Pantone site.

 I thought that I might contact the owner and try to explain that I had been considering the product but was turned off by the prospect of the color and mention the idea of tagging the photos so people could what the item really looks like. I went to a major bicycle manufacturer's website and downloaded an example of a product image with the thought that it would surely be tagged, probably as sRGB, and I was surprised to learn that their product photos are not tagged either. I  thought that a major online clothing vendor would have these matters well handled so I went and downloaded a photo of a stack of sweaters that is prominently displayed on a website splash page. It too was untagged. Finally I went to a Car Manufacturer's website and downloaded a photo of a car, and it was untagged.

 What am I missing? Is it possible that a cottage industry vendor, and three huge vendors with huge advertising budgets are publishing photos with no color management or am I missing some aspect of how color management works? I expected all the photos to be tagged sRGB as they had all been prepared for web distribution. What other options does an advertising agency have when distributing photographic content for vendors?

 Thank you.
 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 07:14:28 AM by earlybird »
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 12:16:55 PM »

What am I missing? Is it possible that a cottage industry vendor, and three huge vendors with huge advertising budgets are publishing photos with no color management or am I missing some aspect of how color management works? I expected all the photos to be tagged sRGB as they had all been prepared for web distribution. What other options does an advertising agency have when distributing photographic content for vendors?

Hi,

It depends on the browser and its setup, e.g. tablets and smartphones versus desktops/laptops with various Operating Systems and displays. When an image is untagged and there is no embedded profile, then hopefully sRGB is assumed. Some image providers do convert to sRGB, but strip the profile to reduce usage of bandwidth.

Cheers,
Bart
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Simon Garrett

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 12:27:32 PM »

When an image is untagged and there is no embedded profile, then hopefully sRGB is assumed.

Most PC browsers don't assume anything if there is no embedded profile and simply don't colour manage.  This works OK if the image is in fact sRGB and the monitor has a colour space close to sRGB (that is, no colour space transformation needed).  It's absolutely hopeless for wide-gamut monitors.

Firefox is the only PC browser I know that even has an option to assume missing profiles are sRGB (and even that isn't the option).
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GWGill

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 07:18:10 PM »

What am I missing? Is it possible that a cottage industry vendor, and three huge vendors with huge advertising budgets are publishing photos with no color management or am I missing some aspect of how color management works? I expected all the photos to be tagged sRGB as they had all been prepared for web distribution.
You aren't missing anything - this is the reality of color. Many, many people who should take an interest in how color works, from advertising agencies through to software programmers creating new color graphics systems, simply have no idea. They think "RGB is color, isn't it ?" and that's seems to be as far as their knowledge and interest goes.
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earlybird

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 07:15:42 AM »

Thank you to all for the replies and the useful information.

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torger

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 08:41:20 AM »

The Mac defaults untagged stuff to sRGB from a programmers point of view and I thought that applied to web images, but after comments below I don't know, I haven't really checked. With Windows and Linux it depends on the browser as said, that I know. I use wide gamut monitors and therefore I use Firefox with the about:config gfx.color_management.mode set to 1 which means that untagged stuff will be rendered as sRGB (unfortunately it's still not now in 2017 the default setting by some strange reason so one has to change it).

Edit: the value should be "1", wrote incorrectly "2".
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 12:53:07 PM by torger »
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pfigen

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 11:20:44 AM »

Unless something has changed very recently, Apple has always assumed untagged browser images to be in MONITOR RGB, not sRGB, which is arguably not the most reasonable assumption.
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BradFunkhouser

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 11:23:24 AM »

You aren't missing anything - this is the reality of color. Many, many people who should take an interest in how color works, from advertising agencies through to software programmers creating new color graphics systems, simply have no idea. They think "RGB is color, isn't it ?" and that's seems to be as far as their knowledge and interest goes.

Well put. 

I'm doing a workshop at an art gallery tomorrow on the basics of color management in an effort to raise awareness in my local community of artists.  I photograph original art and produce prints that are a good match to the original.  I also deliver a file to the artist.  I've had cases where I learn that later on the artist goes to submit that file to an art contest (which costs them money), but they don't think it looks right on their computer, so they alter the colors before submitting it.  Yikes!  From what I can tell there's a whole art judging industry that's currently unaware of their need for color management.
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earlybird

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 12:48:29 PM »

I am curious about Firefox, I went and looked for an option setting and can not find one.

Any tips for making the choice?

Win 7 pro x64 with Firefox 51.0.1 (32bit)

Thank you.
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torger

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 12:50:04 PM »

I am curious about Firefox, I went and looked for an option setting and can not find one.

Any tips for making the choice?

Win 7 pro x64 with Firefox 51.0.1 (32bit)

Thank you.

It's not so user-friendly. First type "about:config" in the address bar, click "I accept the risk", search for "color_management" and change gfx.color_management.mode to 1, and restart the browser.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 12:53:27 PM by torger »
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earlybird

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 07:17:35 PM »

Thank you
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: product photos on the web without color profile tag?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2017, 06:12:18 AM »

Unless something has changed very recently, Apple has always assumed untagged browser images to be in MONITOR RGB, not sRGB, which is arguably not the most reasonable assumption.

If I recall it correctly that approach was changed to sRGB for Safari at least some years ago.


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