New article on color management

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 8,060
Re: Since I have you here...

Great Bustard wrote:

gollywop wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

gollywop wrote:

For better or for worse, I have just published a new article: Color Management - a Walkthrough. It can be found at

This is a subject I need a great deal of education in -- I'm glad to see such a comprehensive article on the subject!

Turnabout's fair play.

many thanks, GB

...let me ask you a question.  If someone worked entirely in sRGB to produce a print, under what circumstances might working in a different color space result in a "significantly better" print?

Am I to assume here that the shot was taken as a jpeg in sRGB, or are we shooting raw?  If it starts out life as an 8-bit sRGB jpeg, there isn't much sense in going anywhere else.

If you've shot raw and your printer has a gamut larger than sRGB, then you'll do better, when processing images that have saturated red, oranges, and/or blues, using a wider space, at least Adobe RGB.  This would often be the case for your red roses or dayglo orange graffiti or cobalt blue underwear.

If you've got a wide-gamut monitor that is capable of a broader gamut than sRGB (otherwise forget it), you can see just what is likely to happen by opening your Adobe RGB-processed file in PS, duplicating it and soft proofing the duplicate using the sRGB profile.  Toggling between the two will give you an idea of what is possible. Or, even more simply, use the Convert (to sRGB) dialog and toggle the Preview checkbox.  If you see no important changes, then using the wider gamut hasn't bought you much, if anything.

Clearly, if your monitor's gamut is roughly sRGB, you'll not be able to see any effect even if it exists.  This is even more true for a gamut like ProPhoto RGB. No monitor is going to let you see a lot of what might be happening by using this space.  Similarly, if your printer's gamut is close to sRGB, there is not likely to be any advantage in using a wider working space.  The conversion will be done by the printer's profile and you'd be better off controlling it yourself prior to printing.

I've got a number of sunset shots with saturated oranges that I've processed with both sRGB and Adobe RGB, and the differences are quite noticeable from my Canon PixmaPro 9000 II (particularly when using Red River papers).  The sRGB results are dull and disappointing.

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