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Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?

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Cletus
Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 28, 2006 at 1:20:43 pm

Look at this picture:

http://home.arcor.de/muhic/Kevin_v1.jpg

It's a black & white picture as you can see....BUT when I watch the thumbnail of this picture with Windows XP (Just open the folder where the picture is saved and change the view settings to Miniature/Thumbnail view) or ACDSee for example its in color.....

I'm on a Windows XP Pro System in Germany and I can't open the picture with Photoshop and display the colors...

What do I have to do so the picture gets colored again? It has to do somehing with different color profiles...


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Timothy Kurkoski
Re: Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 28, 2006 at 6:54:20 pm

Yes, it has to do with color profiles. Specifically, the profile Windows is using to send color information to the monitor. (I had the same problem with the stock profile for my Dell LCD monitors- the blacks had a slight brown tinge to them.)

Go to Control Panel > Display. Settings tab, select the monitor, click Advanced button, then the Color Management tab. If there's a profile listed there, try removing it first. If there isn't one, go to the web site for the monitor manufacturer (or look on any CD that came with the monitor) to see if they have a profile for you to use. Make sure to follow the instructions to install it into the right place. (Which is usually C:WINDOWSsystem32spooldriverscolor)

Because monitors (especially CRT's) physically change over time, any stock profile may not be entirely valid any more. The best bet is always to get a color calibration device, which can create a custom profile for your monitor.

You can also create monitor profiles with software applications, but these rely on you to eyeball the color measurements, which isn't the most accurate method. Adobe has included an app called Adobe Gamma (should be in the Control Panel) for many years that you can use, but again, the result will vary by how well your eyes can pick out the right settings.


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Cletus
Re: Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 29, 2006 at 9:40:31 am

No sorry, this is not what I mean. The picture up there is totally black & white when I open it in full view, doesn't matter with which program but its always in color when I look at it as a thumbnail...?

Just try it. If your browser is displaying the picture in B&W than save it in a folder and turn the thumbnail view on.

When I open the picture in Photoshop it says:

"The embedded ICC Profile cannot be used because the ICC Profile is invalid. Ignoring the profile."

My display is callibrated (NEC Accusync71VM)

My friends on different computers experience the same problem.


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Timothy Kurkoski
Re: Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 29, 2006 at 5:02:47 pm

D'oh! You're right- color thumbnail, B&W image. My bad (I had just finished responding to another post on color management, guess my brain was stuck in that mode).

There's a couple of possibilities here. First is that the camera itself was set to take photos in B&W mode. The thumbnail, which the camera itself created and embedded into the file using EXIF, is in color because the camera doesn't apply any transformations to the thumbnail data, only to the image itself.

The second possibility is that the color data in the file is corrupted. The thumbnail remains in color for the same reason as above. The warning about color profiles doesn't really have anything to do with it, because color profiles don't determine whether or not the image is in color, it just describes how to translate the color for other devices. But the fact that the profile is apparently damaged could indicate other problems with the file.

In either case, I don't think there's any easy solution for you here. If you find a good tool that can let you dig into the raw JPEG file header data, you might be able to get something working, but no guarantees (especially if my first theory is the correct one). Plus I have idea what kind of tool to look for, it's just a theory.

Good luck.


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Cletus
Re: Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 29, 2006 at 5:11:29 pm

Thank you very much. Didn't know that the thumbnails are seperately saved in the jpg-file.

There must be something wrong with the colors in it, because if it was shot in B&W Photoshop wouldn't give any errors.

Gonna look how to fix this, if possible.


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Timothy Kurkoski
Re: Weird Picture - Black & White or NOT?
on Aug 30, 2006 at 12:37:27 am

Cameras don't always embed thumbnails, but it's allowed by the EXIF specification and convenient for the camera to do so. (So it doesn't have to process down a 5 megapixel image while you're browsing your shots on the camera's LCD.) If there's no embedded thumbnail, then Windows will generate it as needed, of course. WinXP keeps a hidden file called thumbs.db in every folder than contains images.

If you run the JPEG through Photoshop's Save For Web dialog, which strips off EXIF and ICC data, you'll get a version that produces a b&w thumbnail. Not too useful for you, but just a little proof of where the difference is coming from.


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