Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

Started Dec 30, 2011 | Discussions
MattMurph
MattMurph New Member • Posts: 23
Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

This has turned my world upside down. First I noticed that a picture I edited in Photoshop looked awesome in PS, but dull on Flickr. Then I found a thread on here about color management and web browser settings. Indeed, the photo looked the way I wanted it in Firefox and Safari, but not on Chrome and Opera (main browser.) This whole idea of color management utterly and completely angers me. But I have to deal with it. Soo...

Most of my images are online, but I put them on there basically to show what I can do, and what I hope to do someday is print those pictures, and the better pictures I will produce in the future.

So after learning about this color management issue, I naturally have many questions.

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?

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

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

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?

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?

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?

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Nikon D40X
Damovich Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

In fact this is not such a big deal as it may seem, not to me personally anyway.

Perhaps you should do a little reading first as there is plenty to be found on the very subject: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/adobe-rgb.htm or else http://www.google.nl/#hl=nl&cp=8&gs_id=l&xhr=t&q=srgb+vs+adobe+rgb&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=srgb+vs+&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=e080cc1f7e26d44a&biw=1920&bih=928

KG Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

Matt

As suggested above first you need to do some readings. There is plenty of material available on the internet….

As to me: I always shoot in RAW as it gives me superior control over the final image. I use Capture One Pro for as a RAW processor and then edit, if needed in CS5.

My working space is sRGB. In that way I do not have to think too much about color management and it ensures that the photo looks on my screen, printed and on others computers in a similar way.

I know some may tell you the only way is to use TIF and ASRG but they are pro. I do not believe that an average “Joe” will see a difference.

-- hide signature --

EOS 7D, 40D & 10D with bunch of lenses and flashes

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Canon Pixma Pro-100
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.

MattMurph
OP MattMurph New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

So is there any way to get everyone to see what I want my image to look line online, regardless of their color profiles, browsers and monitors, or is it just that varied to make ubiquity impossible?

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Nikon D40X
Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,355
No....

you need as stated above by others, a calibrated monitor and a color managed browser such as FireFox and even then all sites don't adhere to the color standards, plus all your viewers need the same, calibrated monitor, color managed browser, etc.

A lot of photo critiquing on this site for wrong colors is in error if the viewer is using a non-color managed browser such as Internet Explorer.

I agree with you that there should be quick new standards for all hardware and software to get all this color management under control.

Bob P.

kcbeatty Senior Member • Posts: 1,761
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

The short answer is no. The only way to be sure that others will see the images the same way you do is for them to view the images on your PC/Monitor. Your best effort will be to calibrate your video an acurate profile. Others viewing your images on their own video may or not see the same colors. There isn't anything you can do about that piece of the puzzle.
--
Kevin

MattMurph
OP MattMurph New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

This all reminds me of what practically every stoner has said in their life. "What if my red, is your blue?" Or something like that.

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Nikon D40X
noisebeam Senior Member • Posts: 2,396
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

First you need to ensure you are calibrated correctly. That is most important before even considering what others may see.

If posting for web use, always covert image to sRGB. That will result in the most likely chance that a random web user will get close to what you saw - some browsers will recognize an embedded profile others may just assume it is sRGB, even if it is not. No browsers as a default assume a non-sRGB profile. Note convert means convert, not assigning a different profile.

Also keep in mind that every random user sees the same wrongness in everything on their monitor. Your images won't stand out as worse than others. Someone used to a wrong monitor will 'see' your image in the context of all other visual info on their screen.

Then you need to consider you audience. If this is 'art' you are presenting, make it your art to look exactly as you want it to, no compromises needed in color or contrast, etc. to fit a wide audience with a range of wrong monitors.

But if the image is not primarily art, but instead for example decorations or part of a web page layout, then you need to consider what that will look like on a range of wrong monitors and that the purpose/function of those components is not lost if the monitor is within reason too red or too dark, etc. So in this case you may avoid images with mostly dark and shadowy areas, or images with low contrast text.

This is all similar to the same issue sound artists face. Every playback system is different and the music created will sound different on each one. This is what mastering engineers help address. They have tools to help ensure that the playback will be reasonably OK across a range of audio systems, from 3" speakers to high end systems.

Another obvious aside, even printing on paper does not ensure people see the image the same way. There will be different lighting, different rooms, different space in which the print is viewed. All you can do is make the image look best in neutral bright light and hope that is how it will be displayed.

bronxbombers Forum Pro • Posts: 18,226
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

MattMurph wrote:

This all reminds me of what practically every stoner has said in their life. "What if my red, is your blue?" Or something like that.

hah, actually i've long wondered about questions like that

i mean how do you describe a color, there is no way to describe what red or blue or green look like or what sweet our sour taste like etc.

the way people often react in similar ways to colors makes you think most people see red as what others see as red but how do we really know? maybe people evolved to like certain frequencies and combos no matter how they actually see them

and then many people do have some form of color blindness and certainly see colors radically different from others for sure

on a semi-related issse they also they say people have slightyl different resposnses to spectral spikes and since different monitors may have the primaries spiking differently if they use different tech and/or materials even if a probe says they show the same color, people may not, in fact a probe can say a standard gamut monitor and wide gamut show the same thing and that a real life chart under proper color temperture lighting shows the same and yet to most people all three will look slightly different and even person to person the differeces each see will be slighly different, so they say the 3 prinary color management system is actually soemwhat flawed and only a full spectrum based approach would truly work

noisebeam Senior Member • Posts: 2,396
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

My left and right eye have a different WB.

Right one is more red toned than the other more blue, but this is only noticeable if I do a wink/wink comparison and think about it.

Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 3,237
Yes...

Petruska wrote:

you need as stated above by others, a calibrated monitor and a color managed browser such as FireFox and even then all sites don't adhere to the color standards, plus all your viewers need the same, calibrated monitor, color managed browser, etc.

A lot of photo critiquing on this site for wrong colors is in error if the viewer is using a non-color managed browser such as Internet Explorer.

I agree with you that there should be quick new standards for all hardware and software to get all this color management under control.

Bob P.

....basically, as long as you use sRGB for your web display. With aRGB you will get washed out images in all but color-aware applications - which rules out the great majority - and it sounds as if you have been posting some aRGB images.

aRGB and larger gamut color spaces such as ProPhotoRGB were designed primarily for printing applications. At this stage of the game, with your great frustration, I would stick to sRGB, where you can essentially forget about color management issues, assuming a calibrated monitor.

As you are concerned about printing in the future, by all means shoot both in JPG (sRGB) for the web, and RAW for the utmost flexibility in future printing, whose files can be saved in any color space and format you choose when developed - 16-bit ProPhoto is my choice, saved as TIF's.

Pete

pocketfulladoubles Senior Member • Posts: 1,986
Re: Yes...

Work in RAW and publish two images: ProPhoto (or Adobe RGB) for printing, and sRGB for the web.

bronxbombers Forum Pro • Posts: 18,226
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

noisebeam wrote:

My left and right eye have a different WB.

Right one is more red toned than the other more blue, but this is only noticeable if I do a wink/wink comparison and think about it.

come to think of it I have noticed the same thing to a slight degree myself

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,355
You posted to the wrong person, should be to the OP..

Bob P.

Ryan Mack Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

bronxbombers wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

My left and right eye have a different WB.

Right one is more red toned than the other more blue, but this is only noticeable if I do a wink/wink comparison and think about it.

come to think of it I have noticed the same thing to a slight degree myself

I get this a lot when I've got a window on my left and the sun hitting one eye and the other in shadow. For an long time afterwards I get very different white balances between eyes, and even a very different gamma response curve

bronxbombers Forum Pro • Posts: 18,226
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

Ryan Mack wrote:

bronxbombers wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

My left and right eye have a different WB.

Right one is more red toned than the other more blue, but this is only noticeable if I do a wink/wink comparison and think about it.

come to think of it I have noticed the same thing to a slight degree myself

I get this a lot when I've got a window on my left and the sun hitting one eye and the other in shadow. For an long time afterwards I get very different white balances between eyes, and even a very different gamma response curve

yeah sometimes I do wonder if it is not just something along those lines, i need to check it carefully some time, in fact i notice it to quite a degree now and i have been sitting with a window to my left shinging into my left eye and it seems it is there a lot more than it was last night, so this may explain much of it at the least

(although i suppose it could be that natural light has a larger spectrum and the differences are only in certain spikes, not present with fluorescent lighting)

Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,604
Re: Learned About sRGB and Adobe RGB - Feel Like Shooting Myself

MattMurph wrote:

This has turned my world upside down. First I noticed that a picture I edited in Photoshop looked awesome in PS, but dull on Flickr.

To ensure total consistency in all 'viewer' applications (e.g. Chrome, Explorer, FastStone as well as Photoshop), then the image must be in the "sRGB" colour space. If necessary, convert to "sRGB" colour space in Photoshop, using Edit-> Convert to Profile before saving. The saved image (JPEG) will look the same in any browser and any viewer, Photoshop etc. In other words you will get complete consistency between these packages. Note I said consistency - accuracy comes later!

The only exception is if you can ensure that everyone who views your images will be using a colour managed application, as this will do the colour space conversion for you (i.e. you don't need to explicity convert to sRGB in Photoshop).

Colour managed applications include Photoshop, Lightroom and some image viewers. The one which I use is FastStone and that has an option to enable colour management (by default it's disabled).

If you want accuracy as well as consistency, then you'll need to do all the above and calibrate and profile your monitor.

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?

You don't need to 'enhance' the image as such. If you want a close match between screen and print you must (a) calibrate and profile your monitor, and (b) you must ensure that the colour space of the image data is correct at the point it goes down the wire to your printer. This means doing a colour space conversion either in Photoshop (using the correct printer profile), or letting the printer driver perform the colour space conversion. (But not both!)

For printing, the "sRGB" has too small a gamut to take advantage of modern inks, it's usually recommended to set your working space in Photoshop to Adobe RGB or Prophoto.
--
Mike
http://flickr.com/rc-soar

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,355
Printer inks will not cover sRGB

and only cover a little better of aRGB in the cyan/green area. The printer profiles that I evaluated inclusing the Epson 4900 with the extra Green and Orange inks only cover about 70-75% of the sRGB and aRGB color spaces and and far away from the ProPhoto color space.

Bob P.

bronxbombers Forum Pro • Posts: 18,226
Re: Printer inks will not cover sRGB

Petruska wrote:

and only cover a little better of aRGB in the cyan/green area. The printer profiles that I evaluated inclusing the Epson 4900 with the extra Green and Orange inks only cover about 70-75% of the sRGB and aRGB color spaces and and far away from the ProPhoto color space.

many of them do cover an importna section of reds and oranges beyond sRGB though that can be very important for stuff like fall foliage, some of them have a little bump above sRGB in the lighter deeply saturated reds and oranges

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