The title doesn't explain my problem as accurately as I'd like, but there's just no other way I can word it.

I'm using Photoshop CS5. I made a group of layers at the bottom of my image that all have gradients and drop shadows applied without global lighting of any sort.

I copied the whole group and placed the layers at the top of my image, but the layers on the top all appear to be darker shades of purple than the set on the bottom. It's hard to notice in the photo, but if you turn your brightness all the way up and really look at it, you'll notice the difference.

The funny thing is, I placed the top set directly next to the bottom to see if they were different, but seeing as I copied and pasted them, sure enough, they are exactly the same.

This literally makes no sense to me and if anyone has any insights, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's imperative that these sets are the exact same shades, or it won't doesn't look right with the true background. I didn't include the true background in the photo because it's still noticeable even with a black background.


2 Answers 2


They look identical to me. I'm guessing this is a monitor issue. For example my office monitor has a large white area on the bottom of it that I've learned to account for by knowing that I'm using the correct color and checking things on the upper part of my monitor where it doesn't occur. I figured this out by watching the monitor while the computer first turned on and you could see a white cloudy area before anything else appeared. This is the only reasoning I can think of.

  • 1
    To add to this, I think that not all monitors use the same backlighting methods; most of the laptops I've had used monitors that always appear brighter at the bottom, where I suspect the backlighting originated. Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 6:39
  • Do 2011 Macbook pro's light up from the bottom? Or is there a rear panel that just lights up? Because this seems to make the only logical sense and I think I'll just feel better accepting it's not something I can change ahah xD
    – Novakedy
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 15:32
  • It could be an issue with your SMC but I think in general a little lighter at the bottom on Macbooks is normal because of the ambient light adjustments. I know on mine it is slightly lighter at the bottom. Here are instructions if you want to try resetting your SMC: support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
    – Ryan
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 19:32

I know exactly what you're talking about as I get the same thing on my screens. It doesn't matter what screen I'm on, the bottom is always more brightly lit than the top. This isn't a super huge concern for me on a computer screen as I can adjust the colors so the website I'm working on will look good. I am concerned how it will work on phones. Do phone screens do the same thing?

I would guess that it is the backlight of the computer screen. Perhaps the light is placed horizontally on the bottom of the screen and reflects upward. As the light moves towards the top, it looses strength hence why the color appears dimmer.

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