iMac 2019 - Photoshop Color Picker & Image Color - Don't Match

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Hello Photoshop users... and developers,

Writing this to ask for help, if someone knows of a solution.
I work as a painter, so picking colors and setting them down is the most important aspect of using Photoshop.

I'm experiencing a problem working with the 2019 iMac - the color picker (both the extension "Coolorus" and Photoshop's own color picker - see the eyedropper color ring - the color ring inside the grey ring) do not match the colors on the screen.

This is not a problem limited to "capture screen" - I'm seeing this with my own eyes.. (not just measuring hex color numbers.) If your eye is in tune with color difference - you can see the color picker ring is more purple, whereas the color being picked is more blue. This is a small change, but it is very important - for painting completely accurately, for the colors to match identically.

Why is this happening? Why is the color picker not matching the painting's colors?
Is there any option in the iMac system, or Photoshop, that can be switched on to make the color picker and the image match identically?

Thank you for any help/knowledge on this topic!!

(Note: "Proof Colors" is turned OFF - Image Mode is RGB color - and Working Space is the standard: "sRGB IEC61966-2.1") 
 
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Sarahí Remolina

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Posted 12 months ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Please set the Status Bar to »Document Profile« and post a screenshot with the pertinent Panels (Layers, Channels, Options Bar, ...) visible? 
What are the Eyedropper Tool’s settings in the Options Bar? 
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Sarahí Remolina

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Hi Christoph, 

Sorry for the delayed reply... Spent a long time chewing through this problem, and have discovered a solution. Thank you for attempting to help!!

There are two steps to the solution.. If anyone else experiences this problem:

1) The first step is setting the color work space to "Monitor RGB" - the standard srgb profile is very washed out... even more washed out than my old windows computer screen... all the blues are grey. But they come alive with "Monitor RGB" - and all colors finally look balanced.

2) The second step - has to do with working with two or more monitors. The Apple Display "System Preferences" color profiles - both monitors must have the same icc profile set. Otherwise, the problem happens when pulling Photoshop from one monitor to the other - or when entering full screen in Photoshop. Learned this from this thread - a comment by Oleg Zybailov - at the end of the first page:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/colour_glitches_when_switching_to_fullscreen_...

After restarting Photoshop, everything works perfectly... Full screen brings about no change in color, and Photoshop's color wheel reflects the exact same color as the painting.

The only problem that still remains - is the extension color wheel "Coolorus 2.5" It does not reflect the "Monitor RGB" mode, and looks washed out. But this is problably a problem with Coolorus code, so will send a bug report to them.. Hopefully this is something they are able to fix.

So this problem is "solved" - since it is now Coolorus' problem, not Photoshop's..
(Edited)
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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1) The first step is setting the color work space to "Monitor RGB" - the standard srgb profile is very washed out... even more washed out than my old windows computer screen... all the blues are grey. But they come alive with "Monitor RGB" - and all colors finally look balanced.
That would circumvent Color Management for all affected images (just those that don’t have their profiles embedded or all of them, depending on your Color Settings). 
Because now you are effectively sending the un-corrected RGB values to the monitor directly. 
And as other people are likely to have other monitors and profiles you would have no way to predict how they will see the image on their monitors anymore. 

Do you embed the profile when saving? 
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Sarahí Remolina

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That makes sense... Then I'm wrong in calling it "step 1",
Step 2 is the only solution necessary. The first step is optional, and just something that worked for my case - in achieving color balance - since the iMac standard Photoshop profile is really washed out. But of course, every monitor is different.
 
So step 2 is the only one that matters - in order to get matching colors between the color wheel, and the painting.

I do embed the profile when saving.. But since this is a special case - I'm doing a sort of "trick" transform to turn the paintings made with "Monitor RGB" - on the iMac, into the standard color profile - by pasting it into an sRGB profile on a Windows PC.. anyhow, kind of complicated, but this transforms the document into the standard color profile, while retaining the vibrancy of the Apple monitor RGB - so it looks the same on the web... 

But that would be a.. different topic. The solution to the color picker and the painting matching exactly, on the iMac, when using multiple monitors, is setting the icc profile in system preferences, to be the same on both monitors.. and that solves the problem after restarting Photoshop. 
(Edited)
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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by pasting it into an sRGB profile on a Windows PC
That should yield no other result than converting the image to sRGB (Edit > Convert to Profile) or assigning it the sRGB profile (Edit > Assign Profile) depending on what the Color Settings on that PC are. 

The solution to the color picker and the painting matching exactly, on the iMac, when using multiple monitors, is setting the icc profile in system preferences, to be the same on both monitors
That seems problematic, too, because that way Photoshop will be unable to display any image correctly on the monitor with the incorrect profile. 
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Sarahí Remolina

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It should... but something weird is happening with my iMac's Photoshop's color profiles, conversions and whatnot... It gives me full peace of mind checking it on my old PC and seeing "perfect" results.. This could become unnecessary if I can find repeatable results that look identical, saving on the Mac. But until that day comes...

Yes - it is problematic - but only for one monitor. Given if you only use one monitor at a time when painting, having the other one display colors incorrectly would not be a big problem... It's not a flawless solution, but it is a workaround.. if you desperately need to just.. paint.. with colors matching.. Since I don't paint with both monitors at the same time, I don't mind if the other one shows colors incorrectly. If I wanted to paint on the other one, then I switch the profiles again, and restart Photoshop.. Again, not perfect.. but it solves the problem, at least for me.. I just need one monitor to paint.. the other one is not as important.. Anyhow, it's what worked for me. 

But if another person needs both monitors to look perfect, at the same time.. then no, this wouldn't be a solution.
(Edited)
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eartho, Champion

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the 2019 iMac is a wide-gamut display. To see accurate colors you need to first run a quick calibration in the display prefs. From there, any new images you work on should be set in AdobeRGB. Your monitorRGB trick is not a solution and should be avoided by anyone reading this thread.

And which "iMac standard Photoshop profile" are you referring to? 
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Sarahí Remolina

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The problem lies in using multiple monitors... At least, the LG UltraFine 23.7, shows a shift in color from one screen to the other, in Photoshop, when the calibration of both monitors is different.

The solution is not perfect, it leaves one monitor display displaying incorrect colors. This is a problem if someone needs both monitors to show colors perfectly at the same time. But if you only use one monitor at a time, then, it's a workaround... 

By "iMac standard photoshop profile" I mean the sRGB IEC61966.
I can tell simply by looking at it - that all the blues are grayish, dead.. Even when opening the files in my PC computer, the blues are alive, and in the PC the same profile is set in Photoshop. So there is something off with the iMac display of this profile. I'm using Monitor RGB, because it shows the blue colors, and I need to see them to paint in a balanced way.. But that is on my specific computer and monitor.. every monitor is different. So "step 1" is wrong. But "step 2" is, at least, a workaround.. 

Anyhow.. it's just what worked for me. I just needed something basic - for the color wheel to match the exact color in the painting.

I tried the Adobe RGB, but it darkens everything.. In order to match the calibration of the monitor, I have to choose Monitor RGB ("LG Calibrated") and it... shows the "right" colors... which were calibrated to look like a Wacom cintiq monitor, which has yielded good results across the board, on different devices.. Yielding paintings that look balanced across many different types of screens. That's why "Monitor RGB" in this case, I think.. would be the right choice.. because it was calibrated manually...
(Edited)