On colo(u)r matching in Gecko on OS X

I’ve been merrily processing RAW files in Adobe Lightroom, and using jUploadr to get them onto my Flickr photostream.

One thing I’ve noticed (and briefly commented on before) is the fact that the colours of the images seem really wrong once I get them on to Flickr. It’s hard to describe or demonstrate, since I’m fairly sure this is browser-specific so images are not going to work here. Basically, the rich colours of the images are lost when they are viewed on the web.

I’m currently exporting JPEGs using the sRGB colour space, since AdobeRGB and ProPhoto seemed much worse in this respect. The annoying thing is that the images look great in Lightroom and Preview on the Mac, but once I’ve uploaded them, they seem more washed-out.

My primary web browser is Firefox. As an experiment, I also looked at the images in Camino (which is based on Gecko, like Firefox), and Safari. A good example image is this one, but any of the recent shots from Cuba or Virginia Water are also good candidates.

Result – the images look great (i.e. the same as in Preview) in Safari, but not good in Camino or Firefox.

Conclusion? There’s some magic foo in the Apple WebKit and the underlying graphics engine on OS X that Safari takes advantage of, but the Gecko-based browsers are missing out on. Firefox doesn’t deal with ICC color profiles, but Safari does. Madness.

I did some research into this issue. An interesting test page demonstrates that while Safari supports ICC color profiles correctly, Firefox currently does not. There’s a very old bug open about it, but no target fix date 😦

Posted whilst at White Leaf House [ plazes.com ]

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7 responses to “On colo(u)r matching in Gecko on OS X

  1. Thanks, that’s interesting. I’ll try setting my gamma then.

    The “friendly” Firefox devs suggest this will be fixed in FF 3.0 – apparently I spammed their bug report (!)

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  2. Lisa Belovely

    Set your gamma. Awesome. You are definitely part of the inerd elite. “Kudos,” as the kids are saying these days.

    Slight problem: I actually have to think when reading your posts and I might learn something. I know. Horrible gaining knowledge, isn’t it.

    Love the picts. Will take a looky-loo at your flickrs now. Cuba. Fantastic. Went to Varadero last year.

    Nerd out.

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  3. Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting. I’m not always technical, but do have a tendency to post techie stuff most of the time – check my Photography / Flickr categories for posts which generally involve less requirement to think 😉

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  4. This is a nightmare when you’re doing web design stuff as you can’t match html colours to an image. The colours always match on some browsers but not others. You end up having to tile single pixel images for blocks of colour rather than setting background colours.

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  5. Wow, that’s horrible. Surely the browser performance sucks if it has to render thousands of single pixels?

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  6. Yeah I have the same issues. Thanks for letting me know about that firefox thing.

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