Then on the last day of my 2 month event shoot, I noticed my Mac mini had an incorrect display profile. No big deal, so I changed it. Immediately the templates started coming out of my app, even brighter and darker. After some quick experimenting, the solution was wierd but obvious. For some reason the native cocoa app takes into account the display profile of the Mac it is running on. Oh well, I only spent countless hours and at least 50m of paper trying to figure it out in November/December. As good cocoa image documentation/examples can be rare, I actually had given up. Regardless, I am so happy to now have control of my templates again.