Client Notice – Caution with new interface colours in Photoshop CS6

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Which image on the left do you prefer?
Is it the bright one at the top which appears to have more contrast to either the middle or lower one?

As you may have guessed, all the images are exactly the same its just the surrounding interface colour that has changed. Its a known fact that the surroundings of an image can affect the perception of the image itself

Photoshop CS6 ships with the new darker interface colours as standard and as a result of this there will be lots of people disappointed with dark/flat prints from images worked on in CS6.

When preparing images from repro I regularly view each image against  light grey (default) but also against black then white.

Viewing an image against black is a quick way to visually check that shadow areas are not too light or too dark, viewing against white shows how the image will look when surrounded by white paper, this last step is critical in getting a perception as to how the image will look when printed.

I suggest you set Photoshop to default to the older light grey interface colour, I know its boring in comparison but your image adjustments will be easier to view.

To set the interface colour go to Preferences: Interface and select the lightest grey to the right.

If you want to judge shadows then press the F key to switch screen mode and right click on the grey area surrounding the image and select “Black”, to see the image against white press F again and this time select custom colour and choose white (top left hand corner of the colour picker), from now pressing the F key will cycle you through light grey / black / white. (Press the F key till you get back to light grey when your finished).

This tip is an example of the kind of practical Photoshop training I give to people who want to work to professional standards, its the kind of tip that is not in the manual but is important if you want to get things right. If you think you would benefit from some one to one training then give me a call.