Color Space - Shooting and Editing

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Color Space - Shooting and Editing

Raw does not really have a color space.

To be precise it doesn't have a colorimetric color space. Otherwise yes, it really does. 😉

Were you the one who recently posted the cartoon (which unfortunately I can't find at the moment) of the people choosing simple answer versus complex one? I meant to upvote that--it was great.

Yes, I was a bit vague, or at least addressing only the more common usage of color space and not the (sorry, I can't resist) full spectrum of permutations and issues. Raw data is not captured or recorded in a way that makes it sRGB or Adobe RGB or whatever. The characteristics of any on-the-lens filter(s), the spectral transmission of the lens, the color filter array over the sensor, the sensor's own properties related to converting light into electrical charges, and maybe other things I'm not thinking of affect what colors the camera does and does not capture. Maybe most important are the raw converter's demosaic and camera profile, which convert the the raw values of (to simplify) a pixel behind a red filter, two pixels behind green filters, and a pixel behind a blue filter into four full-color pixels. I am not going to claim expertise on all this--I know enough to know it's complicated and I don't remotely know most of the details.

The raw data is rendered to the color space...

Colorimetric color space yes.

...of your choosing as part of the raw conversion process. Until that point, the camera's color space setting only (1) applies to the thumbnail embedded in the raw, (2) applies to any JPEG made when shooting raw + JPEG, and (3) is a tag or indication of preference to the raw converter that is subject to being overridden.

If you are not shooting raw, then a JPEG in Adobe RGB gives you a larger gamut, albeit with a somewhat increased risk of banding.

Also, insofar as you evidently intend to edit, I strongly advise capturing raw (raw + JPEG is fine).

And expose for which kind of data ideally?

You treat it like the old Polaroid B&W positive-negative film: exposure-wise they're different, so either you compromise or, IMO better, you choose which is more important to you and try to expose accordingly. My personal view is that anyone caring enough to do much editing ought to try to set the exposure to what would be ideal for raw, and treat the JPEG as merely a rough proof. That's the way I shoot 90% of the time I shoot. On the other hand, e.g., if I'm shooting hundreds of photos to distribute to all the members of one of my kids' sports teams, I am not going to edit many if any of those, so I try to get exposure and other settings ideal for the JPEGs. In rare cases I may edit from the raw file, but in most cases I just post unedited SOOC JPEGs on the web for the parents to view or download if they want.

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