Posting RAW photos to Web

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions
StevenN
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Posting RAW photos to Web
Apr 10, 2013

If I take photos in RAW format, and want to post them to the Internet, should I convert the photos to sRGB format? At what point in the post-processing should I do this? Thanks.

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StevenN

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 10, 2013

> Joined on Jan 18, 2000
now that is a die hard jpg shooter !

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 10, 2013

StevenN wrote:

If I take photos in RAW format, and want to post them to the Internet, should I convert the photos to sRGB format? At what point in the post-processing should I do this? Thanks.

Basically you don't need to convert to anything unless you want to post it or print it.   So when you need to share you'd save a copy, or directly export, the RAW image as an sRGB JPG.    The JPG copy is redundant to save/store, in that you can make a sRGB copy of the finished image at your whim.

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StevenN
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Thanks for your reply, Bob.
In reply to Bob Tullis, Apr 10, 2013

At least some people on this forum try to be helpful.

But I think what I really wanted to know is do RAW or, for that matter, Adobe RGB photos, have to be converted to sRGB before posting to the Web? And should I convert the photos before post-processing them, or convert to sRGB as a final step?

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Thanks for your reply, Bob.
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

At least some people on this forum try to be helpful.

But I think what I really wanted to know is do RAW or, for that matter, Adobe RGB photos, have to be converted to sRGB before posting to the Web? And should I convert the photos before post-processing them, or convert to sRGB as a final step?

Consider developing the RAW in Adobe RGB (aRGB) to be one process who's purpose is to create a finished presentation.

Creating a JPG with a sRGB color space from any RAW would be a separate process.

So it's not quite the last step in developing - it's rather the first step in getting a copy from the RAW to post online, after all the developing is completed.

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String
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

Steven,

Abobe RGB (aRGB) and sRGB are color spaces while RAW, JPG, Tiff, etc. are file formats. For instance you can shoot RAW in either sRGB or aRGB, etc. aRGB has a wider color space than sRGB so it captures "more" color information.

If you are shooting RAW aRGB and using LR, you would normally edit the RAW file and keep it in aRGB for editing. For posting to the net, you would export the file and do a conversion to JPG and sRGB. For printing (at home) I use aRGB while if going to an outside lab, I'll convert to sRGB.

Hope that helps and just ask if you need any additional info.

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jquagga
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

If you're posting a real RAW file (say a .ORF or .RW2) most RAW processors will ignore whatever color space is set in the file and use ProPhotoRGB anyway.  So it really doesn't matter; you're not using it in pre-processed files.

If you've already processed the file and are exporting it and aren't using JPEG, I'm assuming you're using TIFF.  You can export that as sRGB or AdobeRGB.  A color profiled app should recognize an AdobeRGB TIFF and display that appropriately however not all applications are (and thus sRGB is the "safe default").  However, the "safe default" for a web browser would be a sRGB JPEG anyway.

If you're just posting a RAW file to the web, it'll be downloaded as a file and would have to be opened with a RAW processor to be converted so someone wouldn't be viewing it in the browser.

I guess my question is: what are you trying to do and maybe we can be more help.

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Chris Noble
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

If I take photos in RAW format, and want to post them to the Internet, should I convert the photos to sRGB format? At what point in the post-processing should I do this? Thanks.

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StevenN

Yes. Most people are using monitors with an sRGB gamut, and many browsers assume that the image is sRGB, so you should output your processed image to the sRGB color space. Only use Adobe RGB if you are planning to print, and even then only if you know a lot about printer profiles etc.

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RickPick
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to String, Apr 11, 2013

I think the colour space you set in camera should have no bearing on the RAW file at all. It will only affect the JPEG files produced by the camera. You can output from your raw conversion in any colour space supported by the converter.

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StevenN
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Thanks
In reply to String, Apr 11, 2013

String wrote:

Steven,

If you are shooting RAW aRGB and using LR, you would normally edit the RAW file and keep it in aRGB for editing. For posting to the net, you would export the file and do a conversion to JPG and sRGB. For printing (at home) I use aRGB while if going to an outside lab, I'll convert to sRGB.

String,

Thanks for your reply. That's exactly what I do. I use Adobe RGB for printing, and sRGB for the Web. But I notice that sometimes when I convert a processed file from aRGB to sRGB, the colors get washed out. This leads me to believe that I should convert the photo to sRGB first, before doing any post-processing, right?

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Thanks
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

String wrote:

Steven,

If you are shooting RAW aRGB and using LR, you would normally edit the RAW file and keep it in aRGB for editing. For posting to the net, you would export the file and do a conversion to JPG and sRGB. For printing (at home) I use aRGB while if going to an outside lab, I'll convert to sRGB.

String,

Thanks for your reply. That's exactly what I do. I use Adobe RGB for printing, and sRGB for the Web. But I notice that sometimes when I convert a processed file from aRGB to sRGB, the colors get washed out.

That might be a function of monitor calibration (if yours isn't calibrated, that is).

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StevenN
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Re: Thanks for your reply, Bob.
In reply to Bob Tullis, Apr 11, 2013

Bob Tullis wrote:

So it's not quite the last step in developing - it's rather the first step in getting a copy from the RAW to post online, after all the developing is completed.

Bob,

I've noticed some times that if I convert to sRGB after post-processing, the colors of the photo get washed out (lose saturation). Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

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StevenN
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Re: Thanks
In reply to Bob Tullis, Apr 11, 2013

Bob Tullis wrote:

That might be a function of monitor calibration (if yours isn't calibrated, that is).

Bob,

My monitor is calibrated. However, even if it wasn't, I can see the photo change in saturation once I perform conversion to sRGB. That's not the monitor doing that.

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rrr_hhh
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Re: Thanks for your reply, Bob.
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

At least some people on this forum try to be helpful.

But I think what I really wanted to know is do RAW or, for that matter, Adobe RGB photos, have to be converted to sRGB before posting to the Web? And should I convert the photos before post-processing them, or convert to sRGB as a final step?

sRGB is what most monitor are able to display and display by default. Other color spaces like Adobe RGB photo RGB have much wide gamut which only a few screen  are able to display (not even the expensive Eizo ColorEdge  are able to display 100% of the Adobe RGB space). Although a few Internet browser are now able to apply color profiles to the pictures (like Firefox for instance), few people take the care to set it correctly. So the old rule of displaying any picture going to the web still hold.

It is better to keep your pictures in the largest gamut available untill the last stage. This means that you make all the needed adjustments in the widest gamut and convert to sRGB only right before exporting the picture to its reduced size for the web. Nowadays, using LR mostly, I keep my pictures in raw format and only export them to other format when I need it.

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StevenN
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to jquagga, Apr 11, 2013

jquagga wrote:

I guess my question is: what are you trying to do and maybe we can be more help.

OK, I guess I am confusing everybody here. I will try to be more specific. I have a RAW file that I want to post on the Internet. Normally I would process it in Lightroom, then export it to Photoshop, where I would convert it to a .jpeg.

I have my cameras set to Adobe RGB in case I want to print my photos. So, before posting them to the Web, I need to convert them to sRGB.

I want to know at which point do I do this conversion? Before or after post-processing, or does it matter?

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StevenN

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rrr_hhh
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Re: Thanks for your reply, Bob.
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

So it's not quite the last step in developing - it's rather the first step in getting a copy from the RAW to post online, after all the developing is completed.

Bob,

I've noticed some times that if I convert to sRGB after post-processing, the colors of the photo get washed out (lose saturation). Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

It s strange. I have rather noted the contrary : sRGB tend to have more contrast than pictures of wider gamut.

Which softwares are you using ?  1) to make the conversion and 2) to look a your pictures once exported ? 3) are you using a calibrated display ?  And how us it set ?

Going from a color managed software like LR or PS to a non color managed one, ike Window explorer, a mailer or a browser can do weird things.

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StevenN
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Thank you, rrr-hhh
In reply to rrr_hhh, Apr 11, 2013

That was very helpful. Btw, I've used Photoshop for years, but I'm a novice at using Lightroom. So my post-processing methods are undergoing a change. But I've learned a lot from posters like yourself.

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StevenN
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to Chris Noble, Apr 11, 2013

Chris Noble wrote:

Yes. Most people are using monitors with an sRGB gamut, and many browsers assume that the image is sRGB, so you should output your processed image to the sRGB color space. Only use Adobe RGB if you are planning to print, and even then only if you know a lot about printer profiles etc.

Hi Chris,

I have a fairly good Epson printer and I get good prints from it using the proper printer profiles. That's why I have my cameras set to Adobe RGB. I understand about monitors and sRGB.

Thanks.

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StevenN

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JoeVC
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

StevenN wrote:

...
OK, I guess I am confusing everybody here. I will try to be more specific. I have a RAW file that I want to post on the Internet. Normally I would process it in Lightroom, then export it to Photoshop, where I would convert it to a .jpeg.

...

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StevenN

I suppose it's overstating the obvious, but you can't view a raw file directly via a web browser. That's a concept that takes a while for some people to grasp.

Even in raw development software, the preview window for the current raw file being processed is more like a bitmap image with the current settings applied. Raw files simply aren't directly viewable as images, they're just data. So raw development software sneakily makes the data viewable on your screen by interpreting the data as an image file, real-time, as you work on the file.

And therefore you couldn't upload the raw file to "the Internet" as a viewable image file; you could, however, upload it to a file sharing website where people can download the raw file and view it in their raw processing software. Or, like what's being suggested in this thread, you can "develop" the raw file into a JPEG and upload that to the Internet as a viewable image.

~Joe

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jquagga
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Re: Posting RAW photos to Web
In reply to StevenN, Apr 11, 2013

Ok, then I'd do it as part of the final export.

What I'd do is import the RAW in Lightroom and do your RAW work.  If you need to run the photo through Photoshop, open it with Photoshop as the external editor.  I beleive by default this sends Photoshop a 16-bit Tiff in AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB.  After you're done with your Photoshop edits, you'll probably be back in Lightroom with the TIFF.  Now you can export the TIFF as a JPEG in sRGB.

I wouldn't worry about sRGB until the very end when you're dumping the file out the JPEG as the "finished product".

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