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Thread: Image colour content on paper profiles

  1. #1

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    Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi

    I have read with great interest the tutorial Color Management Part 3. It is excellent.

    Part way through the tutorial, profile representations are shown of color spaces showing how colours in an image are superimposed on the colour space, to illustrate in-gamut or out-of-gamut colours.

    Could someone please tell me how I can do this for my images. I want to graphically compare the colour range in an image to the color space of my paper/printer profile, and my monitor profile.

    I would add that I have found the Microsoft Color Applet most useful in profile comparison.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards to all

  2. #2

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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi Tony,

    I primarily just wanted to say "welcome to the forums" - it's great to have you with us.

    With regards to the profile representations, I believe that it's available from a number of packages - in fact I have a vague feeling that I even stumbled across it in my Spyder Sstudio Elite profiling package, but I honestly can't quite remember. If nobody else chips in with the answer I'll "make a couple of calls" for you.

    Personally, I don't get too excited by gamuts - for a while the perfectionist in me wanted "everything captured" and "everything displayed", but the reality is that that's just not the world we live in; at the end of the day I find that (a) the printers gamut is different from the monitor (not surprising being that one is an additive RGB process, whilst the other is a subtractive CMYK process) (Thus the monitor can't display some of what the printer can print - and thus to a degree printing can be a "bit of a lottery" with wide-gamut spaces), and (b) I find that in practice - probably because we generally use relative colourimetric rendering - we don't tend to notice the slightly shifted colours in the output gamuts of our printers anyway.

    In practice, about the only thing I've ever had a problem with is trying to print a very bright red - in the end I got the brightness I wanted, but had to settle for a slightly more orangy hue (and by the way - I've sold about 8 large canvases of that shot, and nobody has said anything about the reds being slightly off).

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  3. #3

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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Many thanks for the welcome, Colin.

    I agree with you about the tendency to perfectionism when the hardware conspires against you. However ...

    Having read your tutorial I looked at a particularly brilliant red tropical flower (taken in Singapore), and viewed it as a soft proof with gamut warning activated. The obvious happened - large areas were out of gamut, and that focussed my attention! I took on board your comments about the rendering intent and thought that if I could 'see' my image colour content against my printer profile, I could then make the right choice of rendering intent.

    Perhaps I'm going too far, but I'm trying to apply what I saw in your tutorial to my printing practices, so it would be good if you can find the technique, particularly if it's a freebie!

    Best wishes and congratulations on a brilliant set of tutorials.

    Tony

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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi Tony,

    Whereas I am one of the two moderators here, unfortunately, I can't claim any kudos for the tutorials as they're all the work of Sean McHugh - the "other moderator" - site administrator - site owner - author - and very talented photographer. Darn good tutorials they are too aren't they - many many people have been attracted to this site because of them.

    I know what you mean about the out-of-gamut alert, but keep in mind that it's a "yes it is / no it isn't" type alert - I suspect that in many cases even though a particular area may be highlighted, it may only be ever so slightly out of gamut and/or wouldn't be a colour that we would see as being out of place anyway - any unless you have something like an Eizo monitor that can display the larger Adobe RGB gamut (but probably still not a complete printer gamut) (for my type of printer anyway) it's something that you're only going to see at print time ...

    ... but even then it still becomes more of a theory exercise than something practcal because no matter how faithful you're trying to reproduce the colours captured, (a) the camera doesn't capture colours the way our eyes do (b) We don't remember colours the way we saw them (c) our monitors can't display the full range of what we captured (d) Post processing alters them again (eg a levels change that corrects a slight under-exposure with change saturation levels) (e) what's printed is a different set of colours again, and (f) how even the printed colours look will depend on the lighting that you're viewing them in. I think it was at about this point the perfectionist in me let out a scream that resembled the sound of a demon being expelled at an exorcism, and I just gave up!

    With regards to rendering intents, again, theory and reality often pass like ships in the night Saturation rendering is usually off the menu - Absolute Colorimetric messes with levels, so usually it's a toss up between perceptual and Reletive Colorimetric - and for me, RC wins everytime (not because it's better but because that's what I adjust my images for in the first place).

    If you really want to "get into" colour management then the undisputed reference text is "Real World Color Management" by Fraser, Murphy, and Bunting http://www.amazon.com/Real-World-Col...2747973&sr=8-1 - If you don't have it already, I suspect that it's something you'd really sink your teeth into. It's been invaluable to me.

    Cheers,

    Colin

  5. #5

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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi Colin

    Just a couple of points.

    To quote you,'unless you have something like an Eizo monitor that can display the larger Adobe RGB gamut (but probably still not a complete printer gamut) ...', implies the printer profile is larger than the monitor profile. That is not my understanding. Comparing the two with my Microsoft Color Applet, the paper profile is invariably much smaller than the monitor profile, which is why this discussion is taking place. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Secondly, my standard practice till now has been to use Perceptual intent but this will now change to Relative after studying your colleague's tutorial and our discussion. However, on those rare cases when I have a lot of extreme red in my image, I will consider switching to Perceptual. I still think it would be interesting, if not important, to be able to confirm the preference for Perceptual in those cases.

    Short of finding a means of displaying an image's colour range on a printer/paper profile, I think this discussion has run its course. I have understood a lot from the tutorial and our discussion, and it has clarified my rather muddled thinking about profiles. So, thank you.

    If anyone else can contribute the thread, please do so. I'm sure there are things I'm still missing.

    Kind regards

    Tony

  6. #6

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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi Tony,

    "To quote you,'unless you have something like an Eizo monitor that can display the larger Adobe RGB gamut (but probably still not a complete printer gamut) ...', implies the printer profile is larger than the monitor profile."

    No, not at all. Monitors are additive RGB devices whilst Inkjet printers are subtractive CMYK and the reality is that there isn't a 1:1 corellation - so it's not really a case of a typical printer gamut being bigger than a monitors than it is one of the gamut simply being different, with (obviously) an awefully big overlap, which means that ...

    ... the printer is capable of printing some colours that the monitor can't display accurately (and vice-versa), but whilst you've only got the image on the screen you can't tell accurately how they're going to print because the average monitor is incapable of displaying them - but they still get rendered into "something" which is all that the monitor profile can do.

    Unfortunately, this trips a lot of people up when the printed output doesn't match with what's on the screen - and the first thought is usually "it's a print problem" whereas in reality that's how the colours are really set and it is infact a display limitation problem. The likes of Eizo monitors can help, but they don't come cheap.

    This is primarily the reason I suggest that "beginners" stick with sRGB, being the lowest common denominator; the bigger the space (I like to work in LAB a lot), the more out of gamut you can go without realising it - especially with large and/or agressive post processing changes. Combined with the fact that most can't see the difference between sRGB and larger gamuts anyway. (I'm not saying that people shouldn't use larger spaces by the way - just that it gives more opportunity to stuff things up unless people are sure of what they're doing).

    "Secondly, my standard practice till now has been to use Perceptual intent but this will now change to Relative after studying your colleague's tutorial and our discussion."

    Colour management is complex and I think still half science, half "smoke and mirrors" - I'd suggest if in doubt, try some samples and see which you like best. Just be aware though that when you do change to RC from perceptual you may have to pay more attention to shadow areas in particular until you get used to it as you're likely to get a few "surprises" with "grooms suits" and the like.

    "Short of finding a means of displaying an image's colour range on a printer/paper profile, I think this discussion has run its course. I have understood a lot from the tutorial and our discussion, and it has clarified my rather muddled thinking about profiles. So, thank you."

    My pleasure to try and help Tony - hope you'll be sticking around and joining us in other conversations. We're a small site (at the moment) and input from good folk like you is always highly valued.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  7. #7
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    Re: Image colour content on paper profiles

    Hi Tony, before I wanted to welcome you. After you posted your question, I couldn't help you because you were asking how to do something on a PC. I'm a Mac owner, therefore I couldn't help you.

    Now when the topic change a little bit, I feel that I could contribute to what you and Colin are discussing.

    Tony: "implies the printer profile is larger than the monitor profile"
    Colin: "so it's not really a case of a typical printer gamut being bigger than a monitors than it is one of the gamut simply being different, with (obviously) an awefully big overlap, which means that ..."

    I'm attaching an image of a comparison between my screen and my printer profile, in order to show what you both have been discussed.

    As you can see, they don't match, in some parts the screen shows more colors than the paper and vice versa.

    Just to remind you, it's important to have a calibrated set of paper/ink and screen (as Colin I also use the Spyder tools) otherwise your environment is not color managed and what you see and get won't be exact.

    Cheers,
    Daniel
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