Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Boston Globe's awesome photo galleries - all in adobeRGB?

I always thoroughly enjoy the beautiful galleries that the Boston Globe publishes. This time is no exception. I am always struck by the beautifully saturated colors they appear to be able to hit. Of course I always use color managed browsers. Webkit/Safari is my favorite, although I also use Firefox 3 with the secret setting enabled. So I had never noticed this before but all the images on the galleries in the globe are in adobeRGB color space. Of course my browser is color managed so this doesn't matter and it even leads to even better colors on my wide gamut display, however, if you use a non-managed browser like internet Explorer (trash it!) or Chrome, you might want to fire up Safari or Firefox (don't forget to enable the color management) and check out their galleries. The difference is stunning, especially in the gorgeous reds and yellows they have such as the fires near Melbourne of a while ago. They are so much more amazing in a managed browser. This is especially true if you use a laptop with a small gamut display such as a Apple MacBook.

Roll over to see how much better this image looks in a color-managed browser, even on a fully calibrated screen! These are screenshots from the aforementioned bushfire galleries from Firefox using managed and unmanaged settings. The awesome (in the original sense of the word of inspiring apprehension or fear) destructive power of the flames really comes out in an unsettling manner in the managed rendering. Be patient, depending on your connection, the first time this can take a few seconds to appear. After that, it will be instantaneous.

Even though this is simply an error by the web people at that newspaper (they should use sRGB for everything), this is another big argument for using a managed browser at all times.

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