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Thread: Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

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    Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    After calibrating should I set my monitor profile(in my editing program) to sRGB or should it be set on the current calibrated monitor profile. My working space is in sRGB. I'm using Paintshop pro photo X2. Thanks for the help

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    re: Color Management Settings

    set it to the monitor profile AKA the device profile. That will then translate the work space sRGB into the display equivalent numbers. The book colin often recommends realworld color management is very good if you want to know exactly how it works.

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Thanks so much! I wasn't for sure what it should be set on. I will check out that book. I need all the help I can get!

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle View Post
    After calibrating should I set my monitor profile(in my editing program) to sRGB or should it be set on the current calibrated monitor profile. My working space is in sRGB. I'm using Paintshop pro photo X2. Thanks for the help
    I'm not sure how Paintshop uses profiles, but normally you wouldn't have to set the display profile in the application (as that will give you a double-conversion) - you'd normally just set it using either a "profile chooser" that comes with the profiling application or directly from the operating system - and then all colour management aware applications use it directly.

    It's not related to the sRGB working space, so be careful not to make any changes there.

    In a nutshell, once you've told the operating system to use the correct profile then theres nothing else you need to do in any other program (well that's the way it works with Photoshop anyway).

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Heretic's opinion, still not Paint shop though.

    Set camera to adobe RGB (Nikon=Colour Mode II), ensure that PP software either picks this up automatically or double check by entering A RGB in preferences>colour management (Nikon NX2, Canon DPP).

    As long as you have a half-decent monitor calibrated (mac using internal System colour calibration for the ambient lighting corresponding to editing environment, ie maybe 2 or 3 different ones for a laptop and ensure grey has no colour tinge).

    Printing is then a series of choices related to printer and paper.

    Posting onto web forums, the orthodox answer is to convert to sRGB at the same time as producing small jpg. However I prefer to leave it at A RGB so that those who use Safari or Firefox with Color Management and have a decent monitor can see it with optimum colour too. However it is going to look washed out on poor monitors and low-end PCs; IMO it is going to do that anyway and my experiments with converting trial pics to sRGB did not convince me sRGB looked less worse.

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Posting onto web forums, the orthodox answer is to convert to sRGB at the same time as producing small jpg.
    ... because sRGB is the standard most monitors impliment (in fact that was the thrust of the reason they pushed for the standard in the first place).

    However I prefer to leave it at A RGB so that those who use Safari or Firefox with Color Management and have a decent monitor can see it with optimum colour too.
    Only to the degree to which the "decent monitor" exceeds the sRGB gamut into the Adobe RGB gamut, which is usually minimal, with the exception of the likes of high-end Eizo monitors. All most will see in a colour-managed environment is the Adobe RGB image converted automatically to sRGB for display which is - essentially - all they can handle. If would be great if monitors could handle the full Adobe RGB gamut, but the reality is that the vast majority can't.

    However it is going to look washed out on poor monitors and low-end PCs;
    The quality of the monitor or PC really doesn't enter into it - it's purely a colour-management issue; if the displaying application isn't colour-managed then every image with an Adobe RGB file will be interpreted as sRGB and thus look flat and under-saturated.

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Hi Colin

    I did head my post as 'heretical', as I am beginning to do more frequently, and wonder if I can ask for such heretical opinions to stand with only gross errors commented on?

    I have come to such heretical opinions after carefully designed experimentation and feel that others should be free to similarly carry out some experimentation of their own....and that some software houses should be encouraged to make their products more user friendly and learn from those that already are instead of trying to squeeze them out of the market.

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Why would you want to set your working space to sRGB? If you've gone through the trouble and expense of calibrating your monitor why not work in a wider gamut color space to start then convert your output file to the appropriate color space?

    For example convert to sRGB profile for web display and perhaps Adobe RGB or Pro Photo RGB for fine printing? There are many profiles available to you but these are the ones I use. I'm hardly an expert but as I understand these things the sRGB color space is the most limited of the three I've mentioned. I believe the sRGB color space was defined based upon the colors available on the typical CRT monitor of the time. Maybe this was the mid 90's.

    If you're just starting this color management adventure you'll very likely expend a lot of energy trying to understand the concept. My primary advice would be to go slow, read as much as you can from reputable souces, like http://www.w3.org/Graphics/Color/sRGB.html, participate in forums as you are doing, and remember to breathe.

    By thinking of a color space as a 'bucket of color' I was able to come to terms with that issue of color management. Pro Photo RGB, big bucket of colors...sRGB, a smaller, much smaller bucket of color...Adobe RGB, somewhere in between the others.

    In my workflow I convert my output file to sRGB if it's for the web or email distribution. If I'm sending a file to a professional printer I convert to Adobe RGB. If I'm going to print the image I'll save the file with the Adobe RGB or Pro Photo RGB profile. If I'm having a 'happy snap' printed to send to mom I'll save the file with sRGB profile because that's what the 'drug store' uses. This is working for me. Others no doubt have different ideas.

    One thing I noticed as I tried to get this color management issue sorted out is the change in colors that sometimes was apparent on the screen when I converted a profile. It confirmed for me that there was indeed a difference in all these color spaces and it's not just something invented to make digital photography difficult. The difference you see or don't see when converting between profiles depends on the colors in the image you captured.

    I hope this helps!

    George

    http://georgejonesgallery.zenfolio.com

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    re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Hi Colin

    I did head my post as 'heretical', as I am beginning to do more frequently, and wonder if I can ask for such heretical opinions to stand with only gross errors commented on?
    Hi Chris,

    Sorry to upset you - and I'm sure that everyone would agree that opinions are fine - but I'm afraid to say that it pretty much was just the gross errors that I was commenting on.

    I have come to such heretical opinions after carefully designed experimentation and feel that others should be free to similarly carry out some experimentation of their own.
    Well again Chris, I'm sorry to upset - but - with colour management being a complex enough topic for many to grasp, I really can't - in all good faith - let some of these misnomers slip by unchallenged when they're likely to confuse people with the mis-information. Eg ...

    - the inference that "Adobe RGB tagged images being able to display significantly more colours on (essentially) sRGB-limited monitors simply because it's being displayed on a colour-management aware browser" They can't. It's like trying to fit a grand piano into a kitchen sink - it just doesn't fit.

    - the inference that Adobe RGB tagged images in an un colour managed environment don't look any worse than an sRGB image. I'm sorry Chris, but that's just wrong.

    As I say - I don't mean to offend or upset - and if anything I've said is proven to be incorrect then I'll apologise publically for it, but I stand by all that I wrote.

    ...and that some software houses should be encouraged to make their products more user friendly and learn from those that already are instead of trying to squeeze them out of the market.
    Sorry - have no idea where that fits in.

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    Re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    - the inference that "Adobe RGB tagged images being able to display significantly more colours on (essentially) sRGB-limited monitors simply because it's being displayed on a colour-management aware browser" They can't. It's like trying to fit a grand piano into a kitchen sink - it just doesn't fit.

    - the inference that Adobe RGB tagged images in an un colour managed environment don't look any worse than an sRGB image. I'm sorry Chris, but that's just wrong.
    OK Colin, I am probably half blind, have an over-vivid imagination and, upto this point have been prone to flogging dead horses. Will stop.

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    Re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Heretic's opinion, still not Paint shop though.

    Set camera to adobe RGB (Nikon=Colour Mode II), ensure that PP software either picks this up automatically or double check by entering A RGB in preferences>colour management (Nikon NX2, Canon DPP).

    As long as you have a half-decent monitor calibrated (mac using internal System colour calibration for the ambient lighting corresponding to editing environment, ie maybe 2 or 3 different ones for a laptop and ensure grey has no colour tinge).

    Printing is then a series of choices related to printer and paper.

    Posting onto web forums, the orthodox answer is to convert to sRGB at the same time as producing small jpg. However I prefer to leave it at A RGB so that those who use Safari or Firefox with Color Management and have a decent monitor can see it with optimum colour too. However it is going to look washed out on poor monitors and low-end PCs; IMO it is going to do that anyway and my experiments with converting trial pics to sRGB did not convince me sRGB looked less worse.
    This is definitely not "standard" practice, but I have known people to do this and have it work iff:
    1. They make sure to embed to Adobe RGB profile and not just convert to Adobe RGB. This means not using the "save for the web" or similar features in image editing programs, as this strips out the embedded color profile and saves as sRGB).
    2. They are catering to a very specific segment of the web browsing population, and state clearly on their website and/or below the relevant images that it might not show up if they are not using a color managed web browser. This would be akin to one photographer sharing images on the web with another known photographer, as opposed to a photographer showcasing their work to the general browsing audience.


    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    OK Colin, I am probably half blind, have an over-vivid imagination and, upto this point have been prone to flogging dead horses. Will stop.
    . . . no wonder there's disagreement here

    In all seriousness though, I hope you can see what Colin is trying to get at here. It all comes down to what audience you're catering to when posting images on the web. The disagreement here seems to be about whether to use (A) the "least common denominator" method, aka sRGB/no color profile method, or (B) the "maximal fidelity for those maximally equipped" method, aka the convert to Adobe RGB and embed profile method.

    Since Michelle did not specify her intended use, what I think Colin was doing here was assuming scenario (A) by default, which is a typical approach since it has the highest probability of working in the absence of other info. Michelle: care to chime in and let us know whether this image is being used for general purpose web sharing, or targeted sharing with color-managed photographers?

    What I think deserves the most attention here is the assertion that Adobe RGB images will look OK on computers that are not aware of that color profile. I would tend to think they'd look less saturated...BUT...I'm usually only convinced through experimentation, so I've included three example images below:

    (1) Image in sRGB with an embedded color profile:
    Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    (2) Image in Adobe RGB with an embedded color profile:
    Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    (3) Image in Adobe RGB without an embedded color profile:
    Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    If you are browsing this page with a color managed browser, then images (1) and (2) should appear identical. If you are not, then images (2) and (3) should be identical and slightly less saturated (esp in the reds) than image (1). This second comparison is the one that is perhaps most relevant here. What do you see? Let us know.

    It's perhaps not the most telling image color-wise, but was easily accessible and should suffice for this purpose.

    To me, the best solution here would be to use images converted into sRGB and to keep the embedded color profile. That way they look good on browsers/computers that are not color managed, and are also correctly interpreted by browsers that are color managed. Under neither scenario is the image rendered completely incorrectly. Yes...the color managed browsers *could* have shown the image with more intense greens if it were in Adobe RGB, but that's only if the image actually used those colors in the first place.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Color Management Settings

    Hi Sean,

    With Firefox 3 (with colour management plug-in); 1 and 2 are the same
    but with Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome 2; 2 and 3 are the same

    Which is as I would expect - and why I use FF 99% of the time.

    Anyone else with a more exotic browser?
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd June 2009 at 08:52 PM. Reason: added Chrome

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    Re: Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    Thanks Sean!

    In these cases using MacBook Pro 15" OS 10.5.7:

    Using Safari 4
    No 1 is slightly more saturated than no 2
    No 3 is totally washed out and dull

    Using Firefox 3.0.11 (NB I have stopped using Firefox since about 3 months ago when the colour management stopped working properly:

    Nos 1 & 2 marginally better and marginally worse than no 3 on Safari
    No 3 is slightly worse than No 2.

    However these valuations are slightly arbitrary as although sRGB sometimes gives a more saturated appearance, it is not necessarily the colours one was trying to achieve

    Too late tonight to power up the jolly PC.

    However, the point I have been trying to make in various ways and various threads for some time is that results on mac are different from PC and I did carry out similar experiments before saying so. I thought I had also clearly said this was a heretical opinion so that people have a choice to try a few things for themselves. Experiments in public with your pics obviously better, but I was using images where the red was more essential.

    For those who don't seem to understand my sense of humour, my eyesight is OK and I have credentials for general photocompetence.

    Considering that Safari is free, I do not see why we should have to dumb down our images just because other browsers are not kept up to the standard of the best and employers tend to give employees the worst monitors they can get away with (and I have seen some so grim I refused to work on them). More when I try the PC.

  14. #14

    Re: Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    wow!! Thank you all so much for responding to my question! I have lots to study just from this thread! I will have to read it all a couple times for it to sink in. I'm new to the frustration of color management.

    My prints were coming back darker from the lab than on my screen. I bought the i1display2 to calibrate with. It has helped but now I'm getting a slight yellow cast on my skin tones. It's not too bad, but I know it's not supposed to be that way and it drives me crazy! So I thought I may not have the correct setting in my color management.

    My main use of my images with be uploading to the net and sending to the lab for prints. I have been printing some tests pics. here at home and they are looking better. So you all are helping me out!

    Thanks for the links and book recommendation. I have alot of reading to do. Now I'm actually fasinated as to how all this works! Thank you all.

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    Re: Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Considering that Safari is free, I do not see why we should have to dumb down our images just because other browsers are not kept up to the standard of the best ...
    Simply because 99.9% of monitors in use today can't display more than a small fraction of the portion of the Adobe RGB gamut that exceeds the sRGB gamut. So even with a colour managed browser you still won't get significantly more colours than one would have had had one posted the image in the sRGB colourspace in the first place. The primary limitation is in the sRGB gamut limitation of the monitor, not in the colour management awareness of the browser. If this were not the case then lets all post images in LAB colour where we can enjoy such things as yellow at 100% luminocity; would be nice, but the technology just ain't there yet.

    In essence, ALL that colour managed browsers are doing is converting Adobe / ProPhoto RGB tagged images back to (essentially) sRGB for display, which for all intents and purposes is a waste of time because (a) they display incorrectly in non-colour managed environments, and (b) they effectively display as sRGB images in a colour managed one (excluding those with $5000 Eizo monitors in colour managed environments).

    PS: I'm done with this thread

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    Re: Color Management Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    What do you see? Let us know.
    Same test on Dell Dimension 2400 XPhome cheapish & brandless 17" monitor

    Safari

    No1 slightly more saturated than no2
    No3 pretty washed out, but not to as pronounced a degree as on the mac

    Firefox without colour management enabled:

    No1 & No2 slightly better than no 3 on Safari; no 1 slightly more saturated
    No3 pretty washed, but not to as pronounced a degree as on the mac and about the only one below the threshold of acceptability.

    Firefox with colour management enabled:

    Now very similar to Safari, but very slightly more saturation on all 3 and purplish tinging relative to Mac more obvious.

    No question of any being identical on either browser or either computer.
    Last edited by crisscross; 24th June 2009 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Dave kindly solved enablement of Firefox CM for me

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    Re: Color Management Settings - sRGB or Adobe RGB

    I thought I would just try a colour-blindness test; this on line one is a 31 frame test of which 24 are yes/noish and 7 choice of colour combinations in a few coloured boxes, others blank.

    http://www.opticien-lentilles.com/da..._daltonien.php

    I am pleased to say my score was

    "Estimate of color vision deficiency's probability:0%

    normal answers: 31/31"

    Going back to the grand piano in the kitchen sink, I think a better analogy might be to consider Mahler's Symphony no 8 "Symphony of the thousand" ie 1000 performers. You obviously can't get them in your living room and all CDs contain the same bits of information, maybe 5-10% of it? But that doesn't mean you might as well buy any CD and stick it into the slot of any old equipment. Nor even buy the 3 star recommended CD.

    I have ancient but not bad equipment 12,8,3" speakers and 2 CDs. One CD is a modern Denon (Sony) recorded in rebuilt Stuttgart Opera by my 2nd favourite Mahler conductor Eliahu Inbal. By I usually listen to the 1959 BBC recording conducted by Horrenstein in the Royal Albert Hall with notoriously bad acoustics. For many years it was considered definitive, but now of too poor quality.

    However the real point is that Mahler said he "was composed through" ie received inspiration directly from the cosmos and Horrenstein was a transmitter of the essence of similar calibre. No amount of modern sound engineering can substitute. Neither can digital visual technology replace our vision of nature when we try to record it on camera, but we can still try to choose the best-resonating out of a wide choice, not just do what some book says.

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