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I've exhausted every avenue! Colors won't cooperate.


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First, let me say, I hope that I am explaining this right. It's been four days of trying to fix this, and I am at my wits end. 

 

I work with dual monitors, one on my laptop, and also my external. I am working in PS CC.  I am color calibrated, I use Spyder4 Pro.  I work in sRGB color space (triple checked by the lovelies at adobe, too). I edit sessions on my external monitor. This problem started about a week ago. Before that everything was totally fine, I've been using the same setup for two years, no issues until now.

 

When I open an image in ACR, the colors are almost over saturated, and vibrant and contrasty. When I click "open" and they open into PS, the colors get more washed out. (see example).  Over the last four days, I have learned that: 

Any image does it, whether it was 4 weeks ago, or 4 days or 4 months.  

If I open any filter (camera raw filter, lens correction, liquify, etc., the preview of the image is again back to bright colors. Once any adjustments are made (if any), the image in photoshop remains less vibrant. So anything I open in a new window or secondary window (whatever the right term is here) inside of photoshop, that image is always brighter and bolder.

If I move photoshop to the laptop monitor, the images appear the same, in both ACR and PS (or the filters, etc). 

 

On the occasions (four, so far) that I have spoken with adobe on the phone, they have taken control of my computer and they, too, can see the issue.  The problem is, their solution is to reset my calibration for the main monitor (the laptop) and it does make it better, but then my colors are all wrong.  Adobe also doesn't understand why this is an issue and they have never heard of Spyder anything, or any advanced calibrating software and flat out told me that it didn't matter what colors I was seeing on my monitor, they would never match my prints.  (at that point, I asked to speak to a supervisor who was of no more help).  After recalibrating my monitors with the Spyder software, the main issue returns. Adobe has thrown their hands up, and have told me that other than setting the color profile manually through color preferences to the specific .icc file, there is nothing they can do, and I should contact Spyder.

After contacting Datacolor (Spyder), they have told me that it could be my graphics card, and something to do with needing two separate Lookup Tables, and that I should contact my computer's manufacturer and ask them.

I spoke with my computer manufacturer, and they said that while I don't have two lookup tables, if the problem has just begun in the last week, it was likely a windows thing. They suggested I update any drivers, and if that doesn't help to roll back to an earlier date. 

I updated my drivers. No difference. I couldn't rollback on windows, because there hasn't been an update in the last ten days. I did, however, have a windows update, which I installed.  Still no change. 

I replaced my HDMI to DVA adapter, (it connects my monitor cable to my laptop via HDMI), and that wasn't the issue.

I have uninstalled and now reinstalled photoshop and that has not corrected the issue. Do you have any suggestions? I have sessions waiting to be edited, and I am at wits end. 

example.jpg

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I wasn't sure, until we used the HDMI to hook my laptop up to the house television just now, and both images matched! For about two minutes :( and then back to one faded and one not. So the answer I now know is, the ACR or active window is the correct version. I was just taking photoshop and clicking and dragging between the laptop and the external monitor and you can see it change. I thought I finally had an answer, that it must be the adapter or the monitor, but nope. 

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The laptop doesn't match prints, the Photoshop matched before all of this on the external. I don't have any prints here at the moment to compare it with, though. 

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Photoshop on external monitor with ACR filter (it does the same thing with any filter, and also with camera raw, it will look like the vibrant picture. when I open into photoshop, poof. washed out) 

PS on monitor.JPG

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It was just for example sake. It does the same thing with the actual ACR. Bright and vibrant before opening into photoshop. If I use any filter, lens correction, liquify, the preview screens all look like they should, not washed out. 

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Good.

Now we come to the crux.  Have you ever, in this whole sad process, seen Photoshop and ACR not match each other on the laptop screen?

(I know what you said about the laptop screen not being a good match for the prints, nor a good interface for your eyes, but for now I just need to know if the ACR-PS match is rock-solid on it, no matter what.)

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I almost never use photoshop on the laptop, but since this whole thing started, when I have had PS on the laptop screen, I have never seen a difference in colors. They've always stayed the same in ACR and preview windows as it's been in photoshop. Only the monitor has ever done this. 

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Ok, good.  So it's definitely a problem related to a second screen, but it's not related to a specific second screen, because you've tried with both a screen and a TV, and the problem appeared with both.  Am I summarising correctly so far?

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Excellent.

Next, I need you to do this: https://www.damiensymonds.net/art_vista.html

Once the app and the profile is installed, I need to know if toggling the profile corrects the problem on the external screen.

(It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that the app needs to be on the screen you wish to toggle - the external one, in this case.)

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when I click the "toggle" profile on the external screen with your "toggle" profile, it all turns an awful green color. Toggling between the two doesn't correct the problem when I go back to my own profile 

 

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