10D: Color Space examples

Started Sep 2, 2003 | Discussions thread
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Al Pacheco Senior Member • Posts: 2,189
10D: Color Space examples

Are you shooting raw and using Canon's software to process your images? Or BreezeBrowser, which uses the same routines? If so you should be aware that the Color Space setting can have quite an impact on the outcome of the image, especially in skin tones.

Canon forces you to select either AdobeRGB or sRGB as the destination color space. You have to pick one. However, when you load the image into Photoshop the image will be untagged so you have to assign the proper color space to the image upon first loading it. But what happens if you process to Adobe and then assign sRGB? Or the other way around?

Here's an example showing a little bit of the effects of mixing up the color spaces....

The top three images were processed to AdobeRGB and then assigned to AdobeRGB, sRGB, and finally ColorMatch upon opening in PhotoShop.
The bottom three were processed to sRGB and assigned in the same manner.

Looking at the left side, you can see that processing to Adobe and then assigning Adobe looks very similar to processing to sRGB and then assigning sRGB. This would be the so-called Right way of doing things.

In the center images, I mixed up the assignments and you can see the results are pretty drastic. Skin tones are either dull or too saturated. Although the very saturated lower center image might certainly be of use...sort of a crazed Velvia look. There may also be use for the dull image as well.

The images to the right have had an entirely different color space assigned: ColorMatch. ColorMatch has a gamma of 1.8, unlike the 2.2 of Adobe and sRGB. It lightens up the shadows and reduces contrast a bit in many areas. This might be useful as well. Especially when used with sRGB processing.

Breaking the color management rules can sometimes produce interesting results.

The worst thing you can do is leave the image untagged and edit it using your working space. You may luck out until you alter one or the other parameters. Or perhaps you might give an image to someone else who would potentially see much different results.

Try a few portraits or landscapes using different methods.

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