Blasted! the colours is off

Hi guys, have you ever experienced that the color of your printed photos isnt exactly as you intended them ? if so .. then there might be a very simple reason for this. Maybe your monitor isnt running with the same colour profile as the printing unit.

Not all monitors is born equal, for instance is my laptop screen quite horrible at producing color nuances, but not using the right color profile makes things even worse. This is a serious problem for us photographers.  We careful set the white balance properly in Photoshop or Lightroom, but the result is still off in the printing, This is why it is key having your monitor properly calibrated. For the pro this including adjusting color saturation, brightness, and heaps of other small settings, this requires special equipment which cost around a 100$, but less can do it for the “hobbyist”, let’s start out with setting the color profile of your monitor.

First thing first, set your color profile

1) Navigate to ‘Control Panel – Appearance and Personalisation – Display – Screen Resolution (or Adjust resolution)’. On Windows 10 it is easiest to simply type ‘Colour Management’ into the (Cortana) Search Box at the bottom left of the desktop and skip to step 4.

2) Click ‘Advanced Settings’.


3) Click on the ‘Colour Management’ tab and press the button labelled ‘Colour Management…’

4) Ensure the ‘Use my settings for this device’ checkbox is checked.

5) Press the ‘Add’ button and then ‘Browse…’ Adobe RGB ICC profile Press ‘Add’ then ‘OK’. Note that if multiple ICC profiles are listed you will have to set the desired profile as default by clicking ‘Set as Default Profile’, too.

It is also necessary to enable the gamma correction elements of the ICC profile. This is done by changing ‘System Defaults’ as follows.


6) Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab in Colour Management and press ‘Change system defaults…”

7) Navigate again to the ‘Advanced’ tab, this time in the ‘Colour Management – System Defaults’ window. Ensure the ‘Use Windows display calibration’ checkbox is ticked.

You can now close the Colour Management windows. All elements of the ICC profile should now be loaded and used correctly by the system on the desktop.


Can it be better, sure it can

Setting the ICC profile does a lot but not all, we are still at the mercy of how your monitor brand shows the profile.  If you want to be shooting portraits then you need to move on to micro adjust all settings, for that you need to buy special equipment to make the right color profile, which is tuned to your monitor, and printer. However this is not covered by this blog post.

3 thoughts on “Blasted! the colours is off

  1. Gary Plummer 16/12/2016 — 10:10

    Nice work Jorgen. I’d like to add something that may be helpful.
    For astro it’s recommended to work in AdobeRGB but for the web all popular web browsers (Firefox, Safari and Chrome) except Internet Explorer render Srgb correctly! Internet Explorer does its own thing & renders nothing properly. So for web output Srgb is the way to go.

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