I'm new to Lightroom and new to SmugMug, so I'm hoping someone can help me out.

I have this set of photos I took of a sunset, shot in jpg, edited in Lightroom to my liking and then published via the plugin to smugmug. My problem now is that the quality of the deep blacks on smugmug are horribly pixelated - something that is not evident in Lightroom, or if I export to jpg and open in any other viewer.

I made a public smart gallery for your viewing here: http://www.bytewalker.dk/Category/Public

As you can see, pretty much all of the sizes generated by SmugMug has ugly pixelation. I realize some of my adjustments in Lightroom are a bit much and very dark, but I liked it and like I said it's not even a little pixelated at any size in lightroom or exported to jpg.

Can anyone shed some light on what I could do to make it look better on smugmug?

Like I said, I'm also new at lightroom, so if there's any adjustments I could make to get more consistently 'black' blacks, or smoother transitions into those 'clipped' blacks I'm all ears.

Thanks :)

EDIT: I actually just found out, from testing the link to the gallery in chrome, that it seems my primary browser, Firefox, is MUCH worse than Chrome with the pixelation, so maybe it has more to do with the browser? Any way of making it more consistent over multiple browsers?

  • 3
    I think this question is completely fine here, but just in case you didn't know stack exchange has a Smugmug specific site: smugmug.stackexchange.com
    – dpollitt
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:14
  • 1
    I'm not sure I see what you're talking about... I tried with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari (Mac user here, so no IE) and I didn't see any pixelation.
    – Joanne C
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:16
  • 1
    I'm with Joanne here -- I see a lot of chroma and blue channel noise in the darker parts of the sky (telling me that the image was underexposed and corrected in LR) but there's no pixelation in the blacks that I can see.
    – user2719
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:24
  • Thanks @dpollitt - I was not aware of that! JoanneC: I got really suspicious of firefox, so I searched around, and found a setting in about:config about color management, turned it off, restarted and it's gone. I tried going back, so I could take a screenshot of how bad it was, but undoing the change didn't seem to change it back, so it seems like it's permanently better now! :) I just hope other Win8 users on firefox aren't experiencing the same thing :/
    – Dynde
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:24
  • @StanRogers Yeah, the sky noise was the preset I used being a bit over dramatic :) A bit of noise reduction in lightroom seems to smooth it out a bit. Anyway, I updated with answer, thanks for your efforts.
    – Dynde
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


It seems that this was a Firefox on win8 issue. Following this support ticket's instructions I was able to get the same viewing experience across all browsers.

In case the support ticket vanishes, the setting I changed in firefox (when visiting about:config) was

gfx.color_management.mode = 0

After restart, the pixelation went away.

  • I think that Firefox may have messed up initial download of the image. My browsers are all color managed (and my displays calibrated) and so I don't think that was the cause.
    – Joanne C
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:42
  • I tried everything from refreshing, discarding cache, re-publishing and manually dropping a photo into smugmug before-hand, so I don't think it was the downloads. However, it seems like after I turn color management back on in the browser, it's permanently fine now, and others have been reporting this problem with win8 and firefox, so it could simply be a weird bug in firefox color management when I updated to win8 - but not a bug in the ACTUAL color management, as you say :)
    – Dynde
    Mar 30, 2013 at 1:48

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