Flickr vs. Color Profiles: Old News for Some

I’ve been irked for a while over the fact that lots of the images I upload to Flickr look washed out in comparison to what I see on my computer. At first I thought this was due to gamma issues and was assuming that maybe my browser didn’t recognize settings or something like that.

Shakin' It

I finally researched it this morning, and it turns out that it’s actually Flickr’s fault. In order to save storage space (we assume), they strip color profile data from (at least) all resized images. So while the originals might look as you expected, everyone who’s just looking at the resized versions is being misled.

A workaround has been discovered by smart people well before now, however — convert your images to the sRGB colorspace before uploading. Actually, using Adobe Bridge’s workflow options make this quite easy to do in the same step that I’m already doing to convert from Canon RAW to JPEG.

Unfortunately, this convenient workaround is only useful when uploading new images to Flickr. As for the hundreds of shots I’ve already posted, the only way I can imagine to fix them is to manually re-upload and delete the existing ones. That seems like a huge pain. Maybe I can write an application using the Flickr API that will do this for me… but it seems unlikely to happen.

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