Custom Display Profile Problem and the User Library (macOS Mojave) | Toronto Commercial Photographer

Custom Display Profile Problem and the User Library (macOS Mojave)

Recently I completed an assignment which involved changing the colour of a product to various other colours after shooting an original to act as a template. I am well set-up for this type of work, having a white studio, custom colour profile creation for my lighting and custom profiles for my monitor.

As part of my general routine I created a profile for my screen as an update and also for my lights which I then use in Lightroom. For my screen profile, I went to my System Preferences (on a MacBook Pro running OS X Mojave) and clicked on my new screen profile (which I name using dates) to activate it.

The next day I started to work and fortunately checked my custom screen profile. It was set to the generic sRGB display profile instead of my own!

I spent the time and money to have a professional screen calibration set up with an exact brightness and professional colour calibration. So I was upset and started to research this. I knew the screen profile was in my personal user Library under Colorsync –> Profiles. It was then I was reminded that Apple has been hiding this Library in the Finder (used to be under “Users”) since about OS 10.7. But I have to admit, I could not remember how to find this library and didn’t want to mess with Unix code in the Terminal, as Apple can change the location of things without bothering to tell the regular “unwashed” consumer. I don’t know enough Unix to start searching etc. without wasting more time researching it. Advice on the web re: Unix is often outdated for the reason above I mentioned about Apple making changes. In general you never want to mess around with Unix commands “under the hood” unless you know exactly what you are doing.

I set my custom screen profile again, and then closed the Preferences. I then reopened the Display Preferences under “Color” only to see that it had once more reverted to sRGB, ignoring my custom setting.

The solution to this was simple and mysterious in my case (but extremely annoying as I had to research this, wasting time). You can find the “User” Library again by accessing it in the “Go” menu (on older systems you might have to hold down the “Option” key). I then checked the permissions of my custom profile and they were OK (read & write). What I did to make this Library available permanently in the Finder was open my “Home” window, hit command “J” and add the Library back in a dialogue box that appears. After I did this my custom profile setting miraculously became “sticky” again. BUT – shutting down the MacBook completely wipes out your custom profile setting and reverts back to sRGB. Restarts do not do this. Another example of Apple deciding they know best? After a shutdown wiped out my custom screen profile setting and I selected “Preferences –> Displays –> Color” for a re-set to my profile and then cycled through some different screen profiles, I noticed nothing was happening to my display. You have to set your custom profile, restart and then it works again and recognizes other profiles.

***Apple Rant***

I have used nothing but Apple computers since 1994 – BUT – because Apple has become stingy with laptop ports in general (but kept prices up) and has removed HDMI and regular headphone ports (I don’t need/want wireless mice/headphones or their annoying auxiliary dongles – my industry standard Sony headphones were expensive and still very good, thank you very much) I am for the first time considering abandoning Apple for good in my next laptop upgrade. Mac laptops have never had the keyboard feel I like – I use my older iMac keyboards at all times in my office. Also, they are about to make 32 bit apps incompatible. I probably have a few of these which might mean more expensive replacements. Apple has an annoying history of making me throw out perfectly good peripherals because of their too frequent hardware and software changes. I have an iMac which is still good but it hasn’t been able to run the latest OS and several previous ones as well – so they are turning it into junk. I keep it to watch DVDs/TV and surf the web – why throw it out?

***What I Still Like About Apple***

The best thing about Apple now is the Jobs era Unix operating system which is hard to hack. They still do a good job with the appearance of their products, which are admittedly beautiful.

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