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Looks like I'll have to up the contrast on most of my images. But I'm not sure which browser(s) to use as a trustworthy model for what the majority of folks will actually see.
Any thoughts, anyone?
I should probably explain that I'm not running Windows on my Mac, so I'm relying on sites like Browsershots.org to check for compatibility.
[edited by: Bruce_Siegel at 10:15 am (utc) on Jan. 15, 2009]
I've been aware of this for a while, because I've been testing my coding for browser compatibility using Browsershots.org. But I wasn't thinking about testing for variability in contrast.
This is tricky for me. I've only got the one Mac and one monitor—my Apple Cinema Display. I guess I'll need to spend some time on other people's equipment to see how my site looks there.
But when the image definitely has sufficient contrast, it was difficult or impossible to see any difference between Safari and the others. So I'm just upping the contrast on all my images.
As a Mac user and long time evangelist, this is difficult for me to say, but here goes: you need to get a pc.
When you are developing on a Mac, you are proofing for an environment which presently has at most 10% of the market. You need to see what the other 90% are seeing.
We have an HP PC running Vista with IE, Opera, Safari and FireFox on it. When we create anything, we view it in all of those browsers on the PC, THEN we look at it on a Mac in Safari, Opera and FF.
If you can't or don't want to buy a PC,you should find someone that has one and tweak your site for it. Then figure out how to make it look good on a Mac.
This point is of course moot if you don't care about PC's because you develop Mac only products.
After getting your message, Travelin Cat, I did some googling and came to understand that a big difference between Macs and PC's is the gamma setting. So I changed mine at home to 2.2 and it looks a lot more like what I was seeing at Kinko's. I'll use that setting from now on.
If anyone has suggestions on how I can fine tune this even further—use my system (Mac Pro, Apple 23" Cinema Display) to more closely simulate the PC environment—I'd appreciate it!
Also google "calibrate monitor images" and you'll find a bunch of excellent sites that can walk you through the process.
However, having done that, don't expect Joe and Sue Average User to have done the same for their computers!