Take a look at this image on nasa.gov. The text in the image is yellow, the flight paths are white, and Neptune's orbit is green.

When I try to use the SE image uploader to include the image in a question, the colors change, as you can see here:

enter image description here

The text has turned green, the flight paths are blue, and Neptune's orbit is light blue. Every color changed, actually.

When I uploaded the image directly to imgur.com, the colors did not change.

Why is the SE image uploader changing the colors of this image?

Note: This happens for me with Firefox 39 on both Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.7.5. It also happens in Safari 6.0.2 on OS X.

  • Are you uploading from your computer or linking from the web?
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 19:15
  • Linking from the web. Jul 18, 2015 at 19:16
  • So, looks like Chrome works just fine for someone... what browser are you using?
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 19:51
  • @pacoverflow could you please provide the Browser name and OS. I have no issue at all. See my answer below Jul 18, 2015 at 19:51
  • Heh. Happened to my cup of coffee. I didn't have it afterwards. (Well, its just an image of purple coffee) Jul 19, 2015 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


It seems to do this even if uploaded from your computer:
(FF 39 for OSX)

uploaded image

Linked from URL:

From URL

BUT, if you direct link using the alt code rather than uploading to the servers, it's fine:

Direct link

![Direct link](https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/739459main_acd97-0036-2.jpg)


It's my fault... I accept it openly... /me runs away in shame... Sorry about this mess up.

Here is what happened. I hit save instead of cancel in the Pixlr tool which I used for checking res and it got uploaded in Chrome and FF (hires). But later when using Safari I downloaded fresh image, removed all the old ones from my download folder & uploaded it and you can see it's has problem.

Catija & Damkerng T. answers are correct.

Works for me in Google Chrome and Firefox but not in Safari. I just downloaded the image from the direct link and re-uploaded it.

Tech-specs: (just in case needed)

Google Chrome Version 43.0.2357.134 (64-bit)

Firefox 39.0

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late2013) - OS X Yosemite version 10.10.2

Here is the image:

enter image description here

Here is how Safari Browser Upload looks:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Perhaps it's more of a browser issue? What browser did you use for this?
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 19:46
  • @Catija I added Tech-specs to my answer Jul 18, 2015 at 19:50
  • @Catija Problem with Safari... it looks very weird see answer Jul 18, 2015 at 20:16
  • my answer is FF, same version as yours.
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 20:21
  • @catija Wait.... something is totally wrong here I have problem in Safari Browser .... ie when viewing this post in Safari but when look FF or Chrome they look same to me what do u see Jul 18, 2015 at 20:23
  • @catija to explain my earlier comment better I added screenshot from Safari browser view to my answer Jul 18, 2015 at 20:28
  • @Catija I take it back ... i think it was cache issue. I cleared the cache and history .... looks ok BUT 2nd upload is Safari does have problem Jul 18, 2015 at 20:34
  • @Catija also notice that in my Safari.... the background is Brown color... do u have Safari? Can you check Jul 18, 2015 at 20:51
  • 3
    Yeah, the entire image looks red shifted in Safari. The only one that looks "right" is the one you uploaded from Chrome. Even the direct linked one in my answer (third one) looks a bit grey compared to the Chrome one.
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 20:54
  • @Catija thanks for confirming it... I'm totally lost here... what do u mean by direct link. How does this link looks in your Chrome: nasa.gov/sites/default/files/739459main_acd97-0036-2.jpg Jul 18, 2015 at 20:58
  • See the code snippet I posted at the very end of my answer? That's the code you use to directly link to the image on a site rather than uploading it to the SE image host. It's generally not recommended as the URL can die if the site changes their image policy or if the site dies entirely, so it's better to upload using the image upload. When I view the image in Safari, it appears more "washed out" than in the other two browsers... meaning the black is more of a dark grey and all of the colors are more pale, not as vibrant.
    – Catija
    Jul 18, 2015 at 21:01
  • @Catija i missed that. Thanks. Jul 18, 2015 at 21:06
  • @Catija My Safari (in both OS X and Windows XP) suffers from the same "washed out" effect you described, except for the first image in HackerKarma's answer. Jul 18, 2015 at 21:10
  • @Catija I can't upload any images via Chrome.... It crashed me while upload... and FF is doing the same too.... Jul 18, 2015 at 22:21
  • I found the issue... its my fault... please see my edit. Also, whoever gave Upvote today must be accidental as I just checked Pixlr tool save image on my PC against the original downloaded in Preview tool. They mismatch. Jul 19, 2015 at 15:29

I still don't have a conclusive answer, but this should give enough hints.

After a quick inspection of the two files (original: https://web.archive.org/web/20190107105641if_/https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/739459main_acd97-0036-2.jpg, SE's: https://i.stack.imgur.com/iVZTk.jpg), I can see one obvious thing: the EXIF information was stripped out of the SE's version entirely. EXIF tags include several crucial things that may affect how the image will be rendered. Among these are things like WhitePoint, PrimaryChromaticities, ColorMap, WhiteBalance, and ColorSpace. And that is the cause of the problem, IMHO, though I'm not quite sure why and how the EXIF information removal happens when we upload an image.

Anyway, here is my simple workaround: save such an image as PNG first, then upload it. Here is my test result:

enter image description here

  • I found the issue... See my edit in the answer Jul 19, 2015 at 15:19
  • EXIF data is removed by Imgur
    – Andy
    Jul 19, 2015 at 16:03
  • 4
    Imgur strips out the EXIF data on purpose. EXIF data may contain GPS data, and people might not want others to know where they are located. Jul 19, 2015 at 16:28

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