I'm a freelancer hired to edit product photos.
The company mailed the products to me so that I can ensure that the color of the products match what they look like in real life.
I do have some experience with this through working at a home shopping television network and shooting and editing products, but I never came across this problem.

The first (left) image shows what it looks like in real life after I made adjustments to the photo. The second image (right) shows what the image looks like if I only do the color checker correction (and no other adjustments).

This is closer to what it looks like it real life (After making
adjustments) This is what it looks like with color checker correction (Before making any other adjustments)

In real life, the product is more greenish, but even using the color checker passport, it clearly looks more bluish in the computer.

I'd like to know what's causing this and how I can fix it so that when I use the color checker passport, that it more closely matches what it looks like in real life. Adjusting the colors manually is a little difficult to be consistent with the other products of the same color. They continue to look a little off with when comparing them side by side, so I'm hoping to find the problem so that everything can be an exact match.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's going on in the rest of your color workflow? Are you working in RGB or CMYK? Are you shooting with the same color profile you're outputting? How are you calibrating your equipment? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 15:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LightBender I'm not entirely sure. They send me camera raw photos taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV. They shoot each product with the color checker. I use the color checker plugin in lightroom to color correct it and from there I bring it into Photoshop to clean it up. None of the other products have this problem. It's just with this one color. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ You don't use any kind of monitor calibration workflow for your monitors? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 15:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Often issues with CCP arise because the Passport is too small in the image. One way to make sure this isn't the case is to take a close up of the Passport in the lighting you're going to use for your product. Balance for that and use the resulting calibration on your product images which are, presumably, taken under the same lighting conditions. \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Jul 13, 2021 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC I would show the entire product, but they won't allow it in my portfolio, so I did a crop in Lightroom. They are directly from the edited photoshop file (how I think it looks in person), and from the color correct (color checker passport) camera raw file. I exported them to jpeg and uploaded them here. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


It sounds like it is a monitor calibration issue. The best way to perform a monitor calibration is to use an actual hardware calibration tool. Several companies make them at a variety of price points ranging from about $100 to upwards of $1500 depending on how accurate you need to be and if it can only calibrate monitors or if you need to calibrate other hardware as well (like printers.)

X-Rite and Datacolor both have models that are a good balance of capability and affordability if all you want to manage is monitors.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I appreciate the info. $100 isn't bad at all, but I'll have to try and find some other way to calibrate the monitors as best as I can until I can get one. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ While it is a good idea to profile your monitor, I doubt that is the (only) problem, since the bottle looks cyan/bluish on my screen. There may be a problem with the lighting. The color checker may not be accurate from aging or improper storage. The color checker may not have been used properly. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Jul 13, 2021 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's really hard to say, but it sounds like a possibility. The color checker I think maybe looked a little old, but I'm not sure. They use their own photographer, in a different location but from the photos, it looks like it's shot in a studio, using studio lighting. I just want to be sure the adjustments I'm making will reflect what they look like in real life when they post it on their website. I'm wondering if comparing the adjusted photo on my phone might be a good idea. Thanks for your input! @xiota \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ The lighting used for the photograph might also be an issue. For example a low CRI or a moderate CRI that just happens to not render that particular color well. My guess is that it is trouble at the source based on the scope of the work outsourced and the unfamiliarity of the contractor with monitor calibration. That the “in house color corrected” original is off just makes me more biased towards issues at the source. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2021 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ This product is in the range of colors that highlight the difference between low quality LED lights and high quality LED lights. \$\endgroup\$
    – bobflux
    Jul 13, 2021 at 22:10

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