Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

Started Dec 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
Ryan Mack Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

1) What should I shoot in if I want to edit images in PS and later upload them as well as print them? Also, does it matter? Will Shooting in RAW and JPEG work just fine?

Most people here will say you need to shoot in RAW. I think that's a personal choice and there's actually arguments for both. If you have a good RAW workflow, shoot in RAW. If you prefer to be able to take photos off your camera and immediately put them online or print them, shoot in JPEG in sRGB. Editing a JPEG in PS and saving it as a JPEG isn't going to give you the absolute highest quality, but I actually think it's still more than good enough for most anything you'll use it for. Shooting RAW means you have way more data to transfer, store, and back up. You'll need to weigh those options for yourself.

2) Does shooting in Black or White or perhaps RAW files make this issue null?

B&W still requires "color" profiles because you still need to accurate determine how a value 0-255 of grey actually translates into an amount of light on screen or ink on paper. RAW lets you defer these issues until you save the file as a JPEG for display or printing, but you still need to decide on a profile. It does let you change your mind later, but I don't think that's the reason to shoot RAW.

3) What is more common on the internet and for printing? aRGB or sRGB?

sRGB was defined to be the internet standard. Many printers and print shops also require sRGB, although some allow aRGB. I would stick with sRGB to keep life simpler. It's also likely your monitor can display sRGB properly, but it may not be able to display some of the colors in aRGB.

4) Have all of my photos been wasted now that I know I have been taking them in a setting that will not translate to a printer?

Absolutely not. Most printers can print less colors than sRGB, so regardless of how you've been shooting you've still got enough data for excellent prints.

5) How can I enhance my photos accordingly so that they will look they way I want on screen and in print at the same time?

I would highly recommend buying a color calibration device for your display. There's lots of options out there. The latest Spyder or xRite device will both serve you well. This will ensure that what you see on your display accurately represents what the data represents for a given color profile.

6) Who the hell created this massively confusing and infinitely annoying difference in color and are they alive, if not, how will photography change if I go back in time and kill them for their crimes against photographer and ubiquity?

Despite how confusing this all is, it's still significantly better than 15 years ago when these standards weren't as widely adopted and you had to experiment to get color right with every printer and print shop you used.

7) How do I get things to look right in a web browser?

Lots of web sites do not include a color profile, and most web browsers treat images without a profile incorrectly. Web browser support for color profiles varies wildly and is changing all the time. Firefox is probably your best bet here, but you should go into your custom settings (type "about:config" into your address bar) and change gfx.color_management.mode to 2. This means it will treat images that do not include a color profile as sRGB, which is usually what you want.

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