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  1. #1
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    Windows Photo Viewer Problem

    The overall question is: is there a way to adjust Windows Photo Viewer? (Win 7 Pro 64)

    I have a strange problem. Windows Photo Viewer is showing photos darker than other programs. I can open a shot in different editors and it will look the same. I can print it out and it looks the same. I can even put the shot in MS Word and it looks the same. But when I open it in Photo Viewer, it is darker even to my non-professional eye.

    I sent a tight crop comparison composite like the below to a friend and on his XP computer, the top lighter shot (the “should be” shot) looks correct while the other is darker showing the problem. When I look at the same comparison shot in Photo Viewer, the top is again too dark and the bottom is even darker.

    The top below looks OK and the bottom is too dark, as in the Viewer

    Any ideas what is going on??






  2. #2
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    You're having color space problems.

    Joe

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    Any ideas on why it is affecting *only* Photo Viewer?

    I've Googled it and others have the same problem, but no one has figured it out yet...

  4. #4
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    Photo Viewer works fine on my systems.

    Here's a screen shot of the same file open in Photoshop, Firefox and Photo Viewer simultaneously.

    http://photojoes.org/photoviewer.jpg

    If you're seeing a different image between Photo Viewer and other software the most likely cause is a color space conflict -- check your files and software for proper ICC profiles and profile management. For example: a photo will display differently in Photo Viewer versus IE in which case Photo Viewer displays the photo correctly and IE does not.

    There is another possibility which is your display calibration and display profile. Here I'm not sure about Photo Viewer, but you may have a situation where one program is using your display profile and another program is not. This could also cause what you're describing.

    Joe

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    Thanks for the reply, Joe. That is exactly what my system won't do. Every program shows the photos correctly (including my browser) *except* for Photo Viewer. Heck, even my word processor shows them correctly. I don't think it's my monitor calibration since both prints from my printer and prints from the photo store are what I see on screen.

    I hate to show my lack of knowledge, but I have no idea what an ICC profile is, let alone how to check them.

    This did not start happening until I got LightRoom 3, so I'm sure you're right about profiles and the like. (I do preliminary editing in LR 3, then send them to Photoshop, and then save them as JPEG.)

    Any help will be appreciated!!
    Last edited by TwoRails; 02-15-2012 at 06:28 PM.

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    It's lightroom saving in ProPhoto. You need to change your export preferences to export to sRGB.
    Canon FanGirl Extraordinaire

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    Had the same problem with large files, even created a thread about it.

  8. #8
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    I've calibrated my monitor and set same profile to PS. Photo viewer is now displaying photos correctly. I too have Win 7 64 bit. However, I'm having an issue where my prints are coming out darker than what is showing on screen. My printer is a Epson NX420. I've printed from CS3 using same calibrated profile for monitor and let PS manage color management.

    Mpix sent me their ICC profile. Prints really come out darker.

    I've printed from Photo Viewer using color management settings from calibrated profile. Print comes out lighter, but still darker than what is showing on screen.

    Printer paper is multi-purpose glossy paper. I don't think it's the printer, because I have good prints from it (from an XP PC). I don't think it's the monitor itself as it's an LED monitor.

    What else can I try?

    Thanks,
    Last edited by waycar71; 02-20-2012 at 05:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLeeK View Post
    It's lightroom saving in ProPhoto. You need to change your export preferences to export to sRGB.
    Thanks, MLeek. That seemed to help a lot.

    Things are still not 100%, though. The photos I orginally noticed the problem with were all very low key, so the whole photo was dark. After I changed from ProPhoto I looked at some different shots at random that had some bright whites it them. The whites and midtones seem OK but the darks are still darker: it's as if Photo Viewer is adding contrast.

    I even commercially printed out some comparison shots and they match what I see on screen and in other programs, meaning that the problem still exists only within Photo Viewer.

    Any more ideas??? Please...

  10. #10
    KmH
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    What other research have you done in the preceeding 27 or so days?

    Your screen can't look the same as a print, even if you soft-proof. Your screen is back lit, and a print is fore lit. Your screen uses the RGB color model, and a print is made using the CMYK color model.

    I wouldn't call it a 'problem'. Most applications render photos somewhat differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysarex View Post
    There is another possibility which is your display calibration and display profile. Here I'm not sure about Photo Viewer, but you may have a situation where one program is using your display profile and another program is not. This could also cause what you're describing.

    Joe
    . . . . . . Keith . . . . . . .How Do I Use My Digital SLR?...
    Photography is at its core an attempt to represent the reality of light in a media that can’t faithfully reproduce it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    What other research have you done in the preceeding 27 or so days? ...
    Hi KmH, as you can probably tell I don’t get on the computer as often as I like. My other “research” has been Googling the problem only to find others with the same issue but no solution yet

    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    … Your screen can't look the same as a print, even if you soft-proof. Your screen is back lit, and a print is fore lit. Your screen uses the RGB color model, and a print is made using the CMYK color model …
    I’m not a professional, far from it, so perhaps I’m not using the correct terminology. So what I mean when I say the prints look “the same” as what’s on my monitor, I’m saying that to my untrained eye, I have a hard time seeing any difference.

    That is to also say that when I do see a difference that just jumps right out at me, it must not be right. So when I look at my original example, to me there is a large difference between the two: all the detail in the shadows is lost in the bottom example while being present in the top example. Again, this detail loss is *only* in Photo Viewer. The detail is there with any other program I have, and it is also there if I print the original out on my printer, or have it printed out at the local one-hour photo. So in that sense, the prints look “the same” as what’s on screen as the detail is present.

    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    … I wouldn't call it a 'problem'. Most applications render photos somewhat differently.
    ”Problem” may or may not be the right word to use. It is, however, a concern of mine. If you look at Ysarex’s example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ysarex View Post
    Photo Viewer works fine on my systems.

    Here's a screen shot of the same file open in Photoshop, Firefox and Photo Viewer simultaneously.

    http://photojoes.org/photoviewer.jpg
    you’ll notice that all 3 examples look the same. At least they do on my monitor, and to my untrained eye. My concerns are 1) when I send someone a shot, I want them to relatively see the same thing I am seeing so my confidence level is very low in this aspect. 2) although I don’t claim to be a “photographer” I do try to take decent snap shots, and try to get detail in the shadows when they’re important, 3) my dogs are mostly black so I would like the details to be present, not a black blob if I send them to friends and relatives, and 4) since it’s only one program that is different than the others, I’d like to fix it if possible.


    All that said, things are better. Between MLeeK’s ProPhoto tip, and upgrading to LR4, the views are a lot closer. Here’s another screen shot example with the Photo Viewer on top, then from within LR4, and from within my word processor (Word 07). #1 is still darker than the others, but a lot closer. #2 & 3 seem to be pretty close to each other and ligher than #1.

    What's your opinion on the differences?


  12. #12
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    I've found that the real problem is that some programs generate an ICC version 4 profile, while Windows Photo Viewer will only recognize an ICC v2 profile. Changing the program to generate a v2 profile (most programs have this as an option) will also fix this issue.

 

 

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