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When you look at photos on Alamy, a good deal of them appear to be highly saturated. Could it be that the thumbnail compression adds saturation, or is this how the full size images would appear too? If the latter is the case, is there a good reason for saturating the colours like this – do photos with strong colours sell better? Any views on this?

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First thoughts: do you have a wide gamut display (like 99+% AdobeRGB)? And is your browser truly color managed? (Older article here, but with good test images.)

Secondly: it depends if your images are mainly aimed at the screen or for paper. And there are certainly different trends going on in different countries.

 

wim

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1 hour ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

When you look at photos on Alamy, a good deal of them appear to be highly saturated. Could it be that the thumbnail compression adds saturation, or is this how the full size images would appear too? If the latter is the case, is there a good reason for saturating the colours like this – do photos with strong colours sell better? Any views on this?

 

If you take a look at many magazines and travel guides, featuring landscape photos, then yes they often use more saturated images. The latest range of TVs also seem to deliver eye popping colours. Before long the real world is going to seem awful dull....

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)

You don't have to guess about the larger image beyond the thumbnail- just click on it..

I add some as well as vibrance, and usually turn up the blue in skies, if it's there in the first place. I can't say if they sell better because I haven't tried a test, but I suspect they do.

The UK Telegraph print travel section is notorious for eye- popping saturation, too much even for me, but maybe that's one reason I haven't had anything in it.

Looking back I don't have many sales with indifferent skies except for the odd rare subject. But I try not to take them in the first place.

Edited by spacecadet

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2 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

First thoughts: do you have a wide gamut display (like 99+% AdobeRGB)? And is your browser truly color managed? (Older article here, but with good test images.)

Secondly: it depends if your images are mainly aimed at the screen or for paper. And there are certainly different trends going on in different countries.

 

I still just use my MacBook Pro with its 2880x1800 Retina, 24-Bit Colour (ARGB8888), display. I'm unsure of colour management, but as far as I can see, current versions of Safari and Firefox should be colour managed. However – I just checked – there's quite a big difference between Safari and Firefox, saturation in Firefox is much higher. I wasn't aware of this.

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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

You don't have to guess about the larger image beyond the thumbnail- just click on it.

 

But the large watermarked image is still not the full-size jpg. I suppose, though, that there shouldn't be much difference, otherwise buyers would be cheated of the well-saturated images they thought they were getting.

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I don't think there's much difference in the perception of saturation between that and a bigger version, but if you have an image zoom add-on you can try that. I have it on right-click in FF.

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Thomas, it's always a visual judgment call as to the degree but I usually punch up my images with a bit of contrast and saturation. Don't know if they sell better but I think they get noticed easier. 

 

Edo

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Thanks for your comments.

 

I think I shall refrain from using Firefox when looking at Alamy; the other three browsers I use displays colours identically, without the exaggeration of Firefox.

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Posted (edited)

FF uses the embedded image profiles. I certainly don't see any difference between FF and Chrome and what I see editing in LR. Those are the only two browsers I use.

Edited by spacecadet

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If anyone else is interested, here's a description of how to enable colour management in Firefox, it's in the section "How To Enable Color Management For Firefox".

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2 hours ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

here's a description of how to enable colour management

 

That link doesn't seem to be working for me Thomas.

 

As a matter of interest what colour space are you using on export?  That seems to be an unresolved topic on the forum in itself:

 

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/8088-colour-space/

 

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2 hours ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

If anyone else is interested, here's a description of how to enable colour management in Firefox, it's in the section "How To Enable Color Management For Firefox".

 

If you have followed this, it may well be that Firefox is the only one on your system which does show the right colors.

 

In the video he specifies the path to the display profile. However the gfx.color_management.display_profile value usually does not have to be set if your system is fully color managed. As Mozilla says here: If no path is specified for the color profile, Firefox queries the operating system and uses its configured color profile.

 

wim

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

That link doesn't seem to be working for me Thomas.

 

I think I had trouble with it too after posting it; it works now though (at least here): https://boutiqueretouching.com/browser-color/

 

This is the Firefox part:

 

How To Enable Color Management For Firefox

  1. Open a new tab in Firefox
  2. Type “about:config” into the URL field
  3. Access the Firefox config after the notice of warning.
  4. Filter for “color_management” in the search field.
  5. Change “gfx.color_management.enablev4” to the value “true”
  6. Change “gfx.color_management.mode” to the value “1” to enable color management for all tagged and untagged colors.
  7. Add the URL of your custom monitor profile as value for “gfx.color_management.display_profile”
  8. Restart Firefox for the changes to take effect.

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

f you have followed this, it may well be that Firefox is the only one on your system which does show the right colors.

 

In the video he specifies the path to the display profile. However the gfx.color_management.display_profile value usually does not have to be set if your system is fully color managed. As Mozilla says here: If no path is specified for the color profile, Firefox queries the operating system and uses its configured color profile.

 

I actually skipped step seven as I didn't have a custom monitor profile.

 

I just did the following test: reset the Firefox settings and opened an image in Firefox, Safari, Photoshop, Pixelmator and macOS's Preview. Again, in Firefox the image appears more saturated than in the other four, where it's displayed identically, as far as I can tell. Of course, it's still possible that the other four are somehow off, but it is perhaps unlikely that Firefox would be correct here.

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2 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

As a matter of interest what colour space are you using on export?

 

I use sRGB. In my initial post, though, what I meant was photos on Alamy in general.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, I was thinking that you might have been comparing your own with other images on Alamy and that the over-saturation of those might have been unintentional due to the inconsistency in the instructions regarding the colour space that should be used for Alamy and the vagueness around how they deal with it. I use Adobe RGB (1998) because that is a larger space and is more versatile in that it can be converted to sRGB if required but i really don't know if I should be.

 

If you look at that thread you will see that Alamy have said that you should choose whatever space suits your workflow but that they ignore it anyway. That, hopefully, is utter nonsense. There doesn't even seem to be any information on what colour space the images arrive with if they are purchased, I was even tempted to spend £9.99 on one of my own just to find out.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison

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