continuous colour curiosities and conundrums

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continuous colour curiosities and conundrums

Postby jben_net on Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:21 pm

Hi All,

Here's my little journey into the world of colour - if anyone disagrees with this please respond because I'm still learning and input would be great!

Before today I was always confused as to why many great photographers choose to keep shooting in sRGB, when Adobe RGB has a wider gamut - it just didn't make sense - then I read online at some forum that the reason that many photographers shoot in sRGB as opposed to Adobe RGB is that many printers print in sRGB like, and the internet colour standard is sRGB....

so why not just shoot in Adobe RGB and then convert back down to sRGB - that way you have the best quality at all times?!

Ahh but then I read that the conversion process is poor because the computer is trying to fill in the gaps left from Adobe RGB when going across to sRGB.

(before this I was told to shoot in sRGB, and did, but never understood the reason behind it.)

Anyway, the next part is about colour on a mac, so if your not interested in that you should stop reading now :)

I've been creating a website for my wedding photography business and have been using sRGB profiles in photoshop on my mac.

I had a bunch of images that I was going through today, to add to the site in the hope of beefing it up a bit.

I was working and despite the fact that my profiles were sRGB, the browser displayed images differently than photoshop did. Why?

Well it turns out that photoshop on macs doesn't display sRGB honestly. Why? Because photoshop looks to colour profiles found in system preferences. To get around this you have to scroll down to the bottom of your colour profiles in system preferences and choose sRGB. Now photoshop should display your images correctly. (by the way, if your not running 10.4 the sRGB profile is called TV or television)

Clicking the embed ICC profiles in photoshop when saving for web is a bad idea because only 2% of browsers use ICC profiles (icc profiles make files larger and this is considered poor form for online download requirements)

So anyway.

Now I plan to continue shooting in sRGB, keep my monitor profile set at sRGB, that way I have no colour shifts when importing photos and working on them in photoshop. I havn't tested this setup when it comes to colour accuracy in printing.

Comments welcome.
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Postby wendellt on Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:34 pm

i think you got this the wrong way round

sRGB = wider gamut RGB colour space

adobeRGB less colour space = suited for print

pro photogs shoot adobe rgb because their work gets commercially printed in CMYK
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Postby Matt. K on Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:52 pm

Wendell
He got it right. ADOBE RGB is the widest colour space. sRGB is smaller. There are two schools of thought on which to use...some say one some say the other. It's true that your monitor and printer only 'see' sRGB and in theory what you see is pretty much what you get, provided everything is properly calibrated. No hidden suprises. It's also true that with RGB you have more meat to work with if you are doing any PProcessing. I guess it comes down to the final use of the image. I have worked extensively in both modes and either one is fine by me. However...if I were going to make a large fine art print then I'd go RGB for that little extra quality.
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Postby jben_net on Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:53 pm

Hey Wendel,

Thanks for your input. I'm getting my information on this at the below link.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sRGB-AdobeRGB1998.htm

If you look at the gamut comparison the Adobe RGB is wider. Maybe we are getting our wires crossed here.

Another website ( http://www.danandsherree.com/2005/03/04/should_i_shoot_in_th.php ) uses a bucket as a metaphor:

Adobe RGB and sRGB are two differently-sized and -shaped color spaces. Think of sRGB like a 3-gallon bucket and Adobe RGB as a 4-gallon bucket; simply, Adobe RGB is larger and can hold more varied and different colors than sRGB.

Let me know what you think - I'm very interested :)
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Postby wendellt on Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:16 pm

shit

i think i have been kicking my own ass for the last 7 years in design/print
always thought of Adobe RGB being gamut clipped to cater for CMYK

sRGB colour space can handle up to 17 milion colours or more

CMYK can't

i better re-educate myself

i always shoot adobe RGB for press and commercial work so i guess nothing has been stuffed up
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Postby leek on Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:04 pm

Personally I think I'll keep shooting Adobe RGB so that I have the wide gamut in the hope that, one day, screen & printing technology will emerge that can actually make use of that wider gamut... I don't see the point of restraining my colour palette at source - it can never be reclaimed...
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Postby Matt. K on Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:26 pm

John
Wise move and good advice. In a training environment I mandate that all of my students use sRGB because it simplifies the workflow. I'm not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing. :D :D :D
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Postby digitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:28 pm

leek wrote:Personally I think I'll keep shooting Adobe RGB so that I have the wide gamut in the hope that, one day, screen & printing technology will emerge that can actually make use of that wider gamut... I don't see the point of restraining my colour palette at source - it can never be reclaimed...


If you use RAW, you can easily change the colour mode for the conversion, (with NC, anyway) nothing is lost.

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Postby daniel_r on Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:59 pm

I recently purchased a book called Colour Management for Photographers from my local uni Co-op bookshop for $75. It's stocked as a text for new media arts students.

It covers basic to advanced colour management and primarily has a photoshop and Mac focus (Windows colour management is also touched upon). It also covers the most popular calibration tools as well (Spyder, pantone and Gretag Macbeth).

I've been casually involved in prepress for a couple of years now, and I still got some new info out of the basic sections. For me, I give it a highly recommended.
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Postby Matt. K on Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:00 pm

digitor
That's a good point! It's something most of us overlook. Thanks.
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Postby LostDingo on Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:12 pm

leek wrote:Personally I think I'll keep shooting Adobe RGB so that I have the wide gamut in the hope that, one day, screen & printing technology will emerge that can actually make use of that wider gamut... I don't see the point of restraining my colour palette at source - it can never be reclaimed...


I agree....I want all the data I can have for the future...images should be timeless
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Postby beetleboy on Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:41 pm

We tend to shoot Adobe RGB in the studio as it makes for a smoother YUCK, I mean CMYK conversion!
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Re: continuous colour curiosities and conundrums

Postby shakey on Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:10 pm

jben_net wrote:Hi All,

many photographers shoot in sRGB as opposed to Adobe RGB is that many printers print in sRGB like, and the internet colour standard is sRGB....


That's "printers" as in those people who work the printing machines, rather than the machines themselves. If you do your own printwork using a quality inkjet then AdobeRGB gives a larger range of colours.

so why not just shoot in Adobe RGB and then convert back down to sRGB - that way you have the best quality at all times?!


If you shoot RAW it doesn't really matter what colourspace you choose. You can change it in the RAW processor before any colourspace conversion step further down the workflow.

Ahh but then I read that the conversion process is poor because the computer is trying to fill in the gaps left from Adobe RGB when going across to sRGB.


Well...sort of..its a question of how "out of gamut" colours are dealt with. Perceptual, Relative colormetric and absolute colormetric deliver different results. I think the conversion process is pretty good..but I really only use the perceptual rendering intent.

Now I plan to continue shooting in sRGB, keep my monitor profile set at sRGB
Comments welcome.


Don't use a mac so my comments may be way out of court, but as I understand it the monitor profile has nothing to do with sRGB. In a windows environment the monitor profile is independant of the colour space being used. A monitor profiled with a colorimeter should display colours correctly (allowing for any tecnical limitations of the monitor) irrespective of which colourspace is being used by a colour managed program such as photoshop.

Your browser may not be colour managed and may explain the differences between PS and the browser, again I can stand corrected because I don't use a mac.
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Postby beetleboy on Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:16 pm

Yeh, i don't actually know the answer to the Mac question but can say that as far as I'm aware the above comments RE monitor calibration etc are correct. I've always used Macs and don't have any issues between PS and Safari - as far as I'm aware Safari recognises ICC profiles.
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Postby Matt. K on Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:54 pm

shakey
To the best of my knowledge most or all inkjets can only reproduce the sRGB gamut although I believe that may change in the future. Also, there is a monitor that can display the entire RGB gamut but it costs a squillion bucks.
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Postby shakey on Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:19 pm

Matt. K wrote:shakey
To the best of my knowledge most or all inkjets can only reproduce the sRGB gamut


Not my understanding...Inkjets actually print out in CMYK although their drivers are fed RGB. According to Martin Evening (Adobe Photoshop for Photographers) the sRGB workspace clips the CMYK gamut significantly (esp in cyans and greens). The sRGB gamut is significantly smaller than adobeRGB when fed to a printer, but most small digital print houses expect sRGB colour profiles as > 95% of the general population use that as the default setting with their P&S and digital SLRs. If you do your own printing you can take advantage of the wider gamut of adobeRGB, and *most* photographic quality inkjets handle that wider gamut (some cool stuff on printer/paper gamuts comparing sRGB and adobeRGB here)

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/tools/printer_gamuts/


Also, there is a monitor that can display the entire RGB gamut but it costs a squillion bucks


well I did say allowing for the technical limitations of the monitor, didn't mention the financial limitations

:) :) :)
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