How to switch off "auto-enhance" on Blogger's photos

I just wrote a long post about how disappointed I am in Google's and Apple's "progress" in the last three years, but to spare you the painful details... I would just like to share how it took me an hour today to figure out why photos I upload to Blogger do what they do.

And namely, recently I made and uploaded a footer for this blog, like this:

I'd just learned how to cut people out of backgrounds on Photoshop and was rather pleased with myself - until I happened to tilt the laptop today and noticed that a photo I had thought "blended" with my blog didn't actually... blend. Rather, it sat on top of the blog being just slightly more grey than the background and around every person there was, also, a muddled area of grey.

It's hard to explain, but when I changed the exposure of the screen to see it closer, it looked like this:

See that? How the "box" of the photo is different colour from the blog itself? And how around every person there's that halo?

I sat back and thought to myself: am I formatting it wrong when I get the image out of Photoshop? Do I have to apply some sort of a filter? Am I not using the settings high enough?

And for over an hour I played with Photoshop, and googled, and uploaded, and played again, until I realised that... it's not me. It's Blogger doing it.

Turns out, sometime in the recent past Google has come up with this new feature called "auto-enhance" and "auto-awesome" which, in a nutshell, means that when I take a photo from my computer and upload it on my blog, it doesn't actually get there in the same quality.

It gets changed - the photo gets changed between my computer and my blog.

That was the reason why a photo that had an otherwise (clean) white background ended up uploaded as a mild grey, and why there was that "noise" around images everywhere.

The part I found frustrating was that I couldn't turn it off through Blogger. The only way for me to go and switch that "auto-enhancement" off was to make a new Google+ account: I had to go and create an account, get into settings, untick two boxes that said "auto-enhance" and "auto-awesome", and then delete the account again.

And I found it mystifying.

I mean... I know, Google, that you are pushing real hard to get me on your network. I can see you're getting desperate.

But really!?

I used to love these two companies, Apple and Google. I used to be aware of them making mistakes, but I could also see that the stuff that was really important, they were getting it right - and I used to wholeheartedly support what they were doing. I used to preach, insistently and annoyingly, and there are people out there with Apple computers now because of how effin' insistent I was back in the day.

And now I look at them both and think, are you serious?


PS. And to refer to the person who helped me figure out where the problem was, on Adobe Photoshop forums. Thanks, mate.


  1. You are a legend. I was getting all mad about that too when I uploaded a 'feet' sketch to my blog. Go on, have a look. I was getting SO mad.

    I'm going to go and switch off that stupid 'auto-awesome' thing as soon as I can.

    Thank you :)

  2. heh... i'd wondered about that.

    i saw your feet sketch, but i didn't understand what its purpose was - but now that you're saying that you, too, were after a white background where it would blend in, it actually makes sense.

  3. Okay, after writing that comment I just found this post... I am going to go and create ANOTHER Google+ account now to see if I can turn those settings off! What a waste of our time, huh?

  4. Forgot to say - thanks! :o)