Colour Management Series || Recommended Interface Colour
The recommended colour for desktop and Photoshop interface
What is the best background colour for photo editing?
How to set photoshop interface to middle gray?
How to set Lightroom interface to middle gray?
What is Simultaneous Contrast?
Audiences: This article is meant for professional photographers as well as photography enthusiasts with general knowledge of digital photography.
Colour management is a process that ensures colours, tones and contrast remain as accurate and similar as possible when a digital image moves from an input device (e.g. display) to an output device (e.g. print). In this regard, a successful colour management process should cover your entire digital workflow: from Camera to Display to Print.
One of the important and initial steps you need to incorporate in your workflow is setting a correct colour for your monitor, and the interface of your editing program of choice (here we discuss Lightroom and Photoshop).
In order to highlight the importance of this setting take a moment and look carefully at the featured image of this article. Is the colour of the two circles identical? In fact it is, but to our visual perception the first circle has a much lighter blue colour in comparison to the second one. The only reason for this phenomenon is Continuous Contrast. In simple words. objects of different colours and tones when placed in close proximity affect our colour perception. For this reason, if our monitor or photoshop interface is too bright, we tend to create darker images (you would see the result when you print your images). Because the imaged would look easily bright in comparison to the black background. In contrast, when the interface is set to white, we tend to create much lighter images. Again, because the image seems to be darker in comparison to the white background. Therefore, the best option for a subtle colour and tone correction would be a neutral middle grey in the background (desktop / photoshop interface).
How to set the photoshop interface to Grey:
Open photoshop application > hover over “Photoshop” in the menu bar > choose Preferences > choose interface and from there choose the third grey box (figure 1).
How to set the Lightroom interface to grey:
Open the Lightroom Application > hover over “Lightroom” in the menu bar > choose Lightroom Preferences > choose Interface > there you can set the interface to middle grey (figure 1).
Figure 1. Setting a correct background colour for your editing program is a fundamental part of colour management. In this figure you can see how to change the interface colour of Photoshop and Lightroom to Middle Grey, which is the recommended colour for photo editing.
I hope this article was useful, should you have any question or remark please do not hesitate to send me a message,
Triangle Photo Academy team
This article was prepared by Armin Armani