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by Lars Kotthoff

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I am coming from StackOverflow, from this question specifically: How to stop GD2 from washing away the colors upon resizing images?

Summary: I have a photo gallery website on which the image resizing feature throws away a lot of the saturation of a photo, but only if that photo has a color profile embedded that is not sRGB.

Fixing this is not easy, therefore my question is: roughly speaking, what would be the statistic on users uploading photos that have non-SRGB profiles such as Adobe RGB (1998) embedded?

I know this stat is likely specific per audience, but I'm looking for a very rough number for the web as a whole. Is it 1%? 10%? This number will help me determine whether it is worth fixing the issue.

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I think this might be better on webmasters.stackexchange.com, although since a lot of us present photos on the web, it's of interest here as well. –  mattdm Apr 25 '11 at 14:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I don't know of any statistics that I can back this up with, but I feel like a very high majority (I'd guess at least 99%) of images on the web are going to be in sRGB.

The primary reason for this is historically most browsers have not been color managed (you can test yours here), and default to treating all images as sRGB, and further, many web services strip exif data, so as a photographer you have to expect that your images will be rendered as sRGB.

This has led to many photo editing programs to use sRGB for "Saving for web".

For example from the Lightroom documentation:

Lightroom automatically exports images in the Slideshow and Web modules using the sRGB profile so that the color looks good on the majority of computer monitors.

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I don't think the number of users uploading non-sRGB photos is going to help you too much with analysis, as I suspect the bulk of users are uploading from point and shoots onto Flickr, etc.

What you should investigate is how many of your users, coming to your site, are using color managed browsers. Safari on Mac and Windows are color managed, as is Firefox 3.6 and 4.0 (possibly earlier versions as well, not certain) as well as the latest IE (8). But, none of those have the bulk of the install base yet. However, even with color managed browsers, you must also worry about what gamma a users machine is set to (Macs are different until just recently).

Smugmug has posted a significant amount about this issue..found here:

http://blogs.smugmug.com/great-prints/2005/06/27/mac-browsers-can-you-believe-your-eyes/ http://blogs.smugmug.com/great-prints/2005/06/25/why-icc-profiles-dont-fly-on-the-internet/

As they conclude, you are better off assuming no color-correction, as most of your buyers don't know what that means, and frankly, just want to buy the best looking photos. You probably should do whatever you can to ensure they get what they want.

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I can not say anything about stats, but you could give imagemagick http://www.imagemagick.org a try. As far as I recall, it can handle (and convert) images with color profiles.

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