Color Space for scans

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP hhhhhhhh Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: Color Space for scans

Mark McCormick wrote:

If you are working on a properly color calibrated display and the untagged image color reproduction looks good to you in Photoshop, you are seeing the image being rendered by photoshop as if it is tagged with your photoshop default RGB working space color profile. Photoshop assumes untagged RGB images are encoded in Photoshop's RGB default working colorspace. In Photoshop, go to edit>color settings and see what the chosen default RGB working color space is set to. Typically, if you've never changed it from Adobe PS default setting, it's sRGB. Again, if the untagged image is rendering on your monitor with acceptable color accuracy (and your monitor is properly calibrated) then that is probably the color space the lab should have assigned/embedded during scanning, but regrettably failed to tag the file that was provided to you.

You can next use Edit>assign profile to embed this working space color tag so that it is saved during the next file save from photoshop. That fixes the issue of the file being in an "unknown" colorspace. You have essentially assigned it one you believe to be reasonably accurate in the absence of actually knowing what the lab really used when scanning the image. It's this very mystery meat untagged image file situation we are discussing that's a key reason Photoshop even has an "assign" rather than "convert" option in its color settings menu.

All that said, a pro lab offering pro level scans failing to provide the file with an embedded ICC profile is sooooo 20th century. No excuse for that sloppy technique nowadays. You should ask the lab to confirm the colorspace which they were using when they scanned the image and saved it. It could be a native scanner colorspace, if so, the scanner profile should have been embedded, but more than likely it was sRGB.

It is a properly calibrated monitor, but it looks good only because it has not much colors in it. If it's a photo portrait, I'd probably see the difference in skin tones, or if it's a landscape photo with lots of greens or blues. This is an abstract painting with lots of dark tones, blacks, grays and blues, so whatever color space I assign, it looks very, very similar and good to me.

I agree it's strange to provide files like this, especially for the lab known to work with well established artists and galleries. I also worked with them in the past, but I only printed my photos, never scanned before. I contacted them, but the guy who was actually scanning my photos was out for a day and he'll get back to me on Monday.

Until then, I'm working on my oversized files

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