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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 11 Sep 2017 (Monday) 23:37
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Monitor vs Phone: Which screen to trust?

 
Scottboarding
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Sep 11, 2017 23:37 |  #1

Very commonly, I edit a photo on my laptop, and it looks great, but once I send it to my phone, it looks completely different. When I look on it on my phone, it's typically far warmer (white balance wise), more contrast, and far more saturated. I've calibrated my monitor through a Radeon (I think) program that came with my computer. I just don't know which one to trust when posting and editing photos.

This is a film scan from earlier today:


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On my computer, it has very flat contrast, neutral to slight cool white balance with no tint, and low saturation. When I sent it to my phone, it had a very apparent yellow and green tint to it, and is more contrasty and saturated.

I liked how it looked on my computer, but when I saw it on my phone I was really disappointed. Which one should I trust when posting here and on Flickr? If my phone's off, I could always just fix it on there and then post it on Instagram or wherever, but if it's my computer, should I completely recalibrate it? I've recalibrated multiple times and they all come out about the same as what I currently have.

Thanks!

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Sep 11, 2017 23:59 |  #2

Download a sRGB test image here: https://www.google.com …s&as_filetype=&​as_rights= (external link)

How does it look on your laptop monitor? This gives you a baseline to start from.


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Sep 12, 2017 06:21 |  #3

I also recommend looking at some test images on each device, they should help you determine a good baseline.

As to this specific image looking at it in Ps, the sunlit concrete is a little low in the blue channel, which equates reasonably with the slight pinkish blush that I see in it, in accordance with close to golden hour sun on a daylight film. The dark sections of cloud are a little low in the red channel for total neutrality. This based on 5×5 samples in Ps, so overall not too bad. It does look quite washed out though. Looking at the per channel histograms shows that the blue finishes a long way out from both ends, I used a levels layer to bring the tails of the blue channel out some, and that really helps a lot. When you switch the layer on and off you can really see the difference. When you do that you can see a definite slight overall yellow cast in the sky in the original. I used a setting of 34/1.00/240 on just the blue channel in Levels. It also gives IMO better greens in the foliage.

One of the things that you have to remember about many of these old film simulation looks that we see today is that they are not simulating how the images looked when first shot/processed, but how the prints/slides look now after thirty or forty years of fading. I see no reason to try to make the image look like that. If I were scanning images from film I would be trying to reproduce the image the way it would have been done originally, with correct colour balance.

So if you go from a sensibly set up computer screen to an over saturated, over contrasty phone screen I'm really not surprised that you are seeing a big difference in output between the two devices. When it comes to others viewing your images online it is never possible to ensure that others are seeing your images how you intended. 99.9999% of all displays out there will not be in any way close to correctly set up. Most will be far too bright, over saturated and with so much contrast that you will likely lose a stop at both ends to clipping. Fortunately pretty much all of those viewing on such devices won't be able to tell the difference.

If you give permission I'll show what I did with the image.

Alan


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Sep 12, 2017 06:35 |  #4

Assuming the calibration software is based on your observations, it might be easy to mess it up. Using those utilities to correct gamma and white and black point can be fairly reliable in the right hands, using them to push color values around is way less reliable. You may want to skip that part or just make very minor changes.


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Sep 12, 2017 11:59 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #5

Thanks Alan! You do have my permission to edit and correct the image; for this image anyone who comes to this thread isn't welcome to. I'm a little confused about what you mean when you say the blue channel is low (I'm not super good at this whole post processing thing). I intentionally edited it to look flat as that's my personal taste for color film images, though looking at this image again I might have gone a little too flat.


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BigAl007
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Sep 12, 2017 19:44 |  #6

OK in Photoshop you have the Colour Sampler tool. If you select that tool you get some options, one is the sample size, in this case I set it to 5×5 so that I got an average of that many pixels (a total of 25) surrounding the pixel i clicked on. As you move around the image you can click on spots and in the info panel it will show you the RGB value for that location. This is a useful way to see what is going on in an image at specific locations. I also have the histogram set up to show me not just the overall values in colour, but also to show the histogram for the three channels separately.

If you apply an adjustment as an adjustment layer the info will also show you what the values will be after the application of the new layer, as well as the before value. Because the blue channel seemed pushed in from the edges I tried pulling them out a bit, and that made the image look a lot nicer to my eyes, with more natural colours.


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As you can see it has removed some of that yellow cast in the sky and trees, resulting in more natural colours, without overly affecting the concrete, or the general level of contrast too much. I did initially forget to switch from the RGB to the blue channel, and that made a much more significant change to the overall contrast, with the same slider values. A single channel levels adjustment can be very good at correcting these slight colour issues.

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Scottboarding
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Sep 12, 2017 22:02 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #7

That looks great! On my computer, it looks perfect, but on my phone there is an extremely strong green cast; like really strong. So I'll trust my computer from now on! Thank you for your help, Alan!


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Sep 12, 2017 22:53 |  #8

I made this triplet not long ago for someone else wondering about their monitor

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Principles/neutral_zps5gwv8lk6.jpg

The center is absolutely NEUTRAL, whereas the image on the left is very slightly warm and the one on the right is very slightly cool.

How do they look on your computer monitor vs. on your phone???

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Sep 12, 2017 23:32 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #9

Center looks completely neutral on my computer, but on my phone it has a warm tint to it. Not super apparent, but definitely warmer than neutral. So from what I've seen is that my phone is heavily biased towards yellow and green, and more saturated, whereas my computer is neutral. So I guess all is well! Thanks so much guys!


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Sep 15, 2017 00:28 |  #10

What phone do you have? For whatever reason I've found that phones with AMOLED screens tend to have weird color cast issues. This is part of the reason I've stuck with LG's phones (which use IPS displays).


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Sep 15, 2017 22:47 |  #11

EverydayGetaway wrote in post #18452693 (external link)
What phone do you have? For whatever reason I've found that phones with AMOLED screens tend to have weird color cast issues. This is part of the reason I've stuck with LG's phones (which use IPS displays).

Iphone 5C. Getting old, but I'm on Verizon so I'm stuck with it most likely. The google pixel looks so nice, but I doubt that'll be covered in a trade up program.


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Sep 16, 2017 21:53 as a reply to  @ Scottboarding's post |  #12

If you have iOS 10, you can adjust screen tint by going to settings/general/displ​ay accommodations/color filters. Turn it on, and there's hue and intensity sliders.


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Monitor vs Phone: Which screen to trust?
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