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View Full Version : "Working" Color Space - sRGB, Abobe RGB, and ProPhoto RGB


StealthLude
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 05:12
After getting Lightroom, I decided to make my working color space Pro Photo RGB per Light Rooms recommendations.

I understand that sRGB is pretty much the standard for web, and almost all printing labs that I go to.

I soon found out after sending a photo for print with a Pro Photo RGB color space that photo colors are not correct...

The last step prior to printing, I have been been taking the photo (in Photoshop) and then using the Convert to Profile feature in Photoshop to sRGB right before printing.

I just wanted to see what you guys like to use. I am obviously trying to achieve the max quality and color gamut during editing, but is the last step of converting the profile the correct process?

If not, what do YOU do?

islandphoto
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 05:16
I'm not very good at this, sorry! But thanks for the question - I'll be following the thread for advice :)

René Damkot
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 05:20
You might want to read this (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=296149) thread, and follow a few links from there...

I convert to sRGB for web / mail.
Mostly I use AdobeRGB (8bpc or 16bpc), occasionally ProPhoto or WideGamutRGB (16 bpc off course)

tim
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 05:55
Read the color book I recommend, see link in sig below. If you use ProFoto RGB make sure the color space is embedded and your print shop supports that color space, otherwise it'll look crappy.

BestVisuals
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 05:56
Shoot the color space that everyone uses - sRGB. AdobeRGB is a bigger color space and can cause banding and loss of gamut when converting to sRGB. I've seen people want to get "all the colors possible" by shooting color spaces larger than sRGB but it's not smart to do that for 99% of photographers out there. Here's why:

1) sRGB has more colors than your computer monitor or virtually any photographic printer can produce - you're already losing some range

2) your eyes could not distinguish the additional colors in a colorspace bigger than sRGB. You can't even SEE what a 16-bit color representation would show you!

3) Unless you're using a highly specific printing process like Hexachrome (six ink, highly expensive process), you'll always have to convert to sRGB anyway

Don't waste time shooting anything other than sRGB - you can't see the extra colors, you can't print the extra colors and you'll always have to convert to sRGB to show, display or print your work anyway.

René Damkot
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 06:53
Sorry, but 1) and 2) are not true.

pturton
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 09:11
Sorry, but 1) and 2) are not true.

René, you are correct.

After shooting my images with camera defaults and converting the RAW images to Prophoto, I convert to sRGB for Web and print. And I can see the difference in images that I've sent through sRGB vs Adobe RGB or Prophoto. The differences may be subtle in most images but they do exist.

Jon, The Elder
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 09:12
Oh Boy...here we go again.

René Damkot
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 09:19
:lol:

In2Photos
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 09:23
After getting Lightroom, I decided to make my working color space Pro Photo RGB per Light Rooms recommendations.

I understand that sRGB is pretty much the standard for web, and almost all printing labs that I go to.

I soon found out after sending a photo for print with a Pro Photo RGB color space that photo colors are not correct...

The last step prior to printing, I have been been taking the photo (in Photoshop) and then using the Convert to Profile feature in Photoshop to sRGB right before printing.

I just wanted to see what you guys like to use. I am obviously trying to achieve the max quality and color gamut during editing, but is the last step of converting the profile the correct process?

If not, what do YOU do?


You didn't mention what you were doing in Photoshop after adjustng in LR but if you are just using PS for converting you can do that in LR during export. I think all the rest of your questions have been answered by others more qualified than I.

BestVisuals
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 10:30
Sure they are. Check the color space diagrams - every one I have ever seen shows the printer color space smaller than the sRGB color space, and the monitor color space even smaller.

As for printers, I have personally called all the labs I use to verify this and they have told me PERSONALLY that they would be lucky to even APPROACH the sRGB color space in accurate reproduction.

Sorry, but 1) and 2) are not true.

Graystar
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 11:44
removed

René Damkot
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 11:47
Check the color space diagrams


Not sure what you have been looking at... Click here (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sRGB-AdobeRGB1998.htm), scroll down to 'in print', and have a look at the gamut of a High end inkjet printer... It's bigger then AdobeRGB in some colors.

Quote: "We see a big difference in how each printer uses the additional colors provided by Adobe RGB 1998: The Fuji Frontier only uses a small patch of yellow in the highlights, whereas the high-end inkjet printer exceeds sRGB for colors in shadows, midtones, and highlights. The high-end inkjet even exceeds the gamut of Adobe RGB 1998 for cyan-green midtones and yellow highlights."


sRGB originated as the 'average' monitor, so most monitors color spaces would be about as big as SRGB. Some can display the entire AdobeRGB gamut nowadays. (Big $$$ though)

Here (http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/prophoto-rgb.html) is another link.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:08
Hi Stealth - I posted this in another thread and apologize to those who have to suffer through it a second time (TOO BAD!! :lol: :lol: ) but it may help you out a little...

Basically, most of use should be shooting sRGB for the general type of work we do, unless we are making certain unique specialty images. A couple of weeks ago I attended one of Will Crockett's Shootsmarter seminars and he did a nice job of explaining which color space is best for a particular situation.

sRGB - This is the best choice if you are doing Wedding, Portrait, Senior and a lot of "general purpose" photography. This is what the commercial pro labs usually want to receive, and it will give you accurate screen to print matching. It's color space is "smaller" than what is contained in an aRGB profile, but printers are typically set up to deliver excellent results with those files.

Adobe RGB (aRGB) - this profile has the larger color space of the two, and is suitable for fine art prints, offset lithography printing, commercial product and architectural photography. Typically you may see ad prints with more vibrant greens, yellows, etc. that seem to jump off the page. These were likely done in aRGB, not the sort of thing you necessarily want for bridal gowns and wedding day photography.

You will get images from using either of these, but some results will be poor if you make the wrong choice. For example if you send an aRGB profiled print to a an output machine - Walmart Fuji Fronier, your printer or some other device - likely the colors will be somewhat muddied, or just not as vibrant since that type of printer was expecting an sRGB file.

Another suggestion which I've stated before is to have your lab provide you with a test print and disk with that file on it. Using the "stare and compare" method of cheap and dirty calibration can often get you quite close in the ballpark. - Stu
- Stu

Sathi
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:12
Can someone shed some light on this for me...

If your printer can print colors that the monitor cannot display, and you use a colour space that allows it to take advantage of those colours, how are you suppose to know what your print will look like and how can you account for what your output will looks like when you do certain things in photoshop like increasing saturation? Just print up a 4x6 and see if it looks ok and then go from there?

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:20
Good questions Sathi..... simple and complicated all at once ;) . For those that are very demanding of 100% right on color matching (not me, I'm pleased with something pretty close) I believe there are printer/paper/ink profiles that allow for EXACT color matching.

For most of the rest of us there is monitor calibration, done with either software tools like Adobe Gamma (mediocre at best) or hardware calibrators (best method) like the Eye One and other hardware devices. I use a hardware calibrator and get things pretty close.

There is also the method of having the lab send you a standard print and the file that goes with it. This way you can do a "stare and compare" between what you see on the screen and what you're holding in your hand.

Printing yourself a 4x6 "test strip" may or may not work out depending upon the consistency and reliability of the pros at your commercial lab.

Can someone shed some light on this for me...

If your printer can print colors that the monitor cannot display, and you use a colour space that allows it to take advantage of those colours, how are you suppose to know what your print will look like and how can you account for what your output will looks like when you do certain things in photoshop like increasing saturation? Just print up a 4x6 and see if it looks ok and then go from there?

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:23
Now somebody help me out please. What is Pro Photo RGB ? I don't get out much :D and have not done any experimentation with LR.

Is that something new that lightroom has recently come up with? I thought the major "players" were sRGB and aRGB. What does Pro Photo RGB give us that the others don't? - Stu

René Damkot
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:28
What about ProPhotoRGB? (http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/prophoto-rgb.html).

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 12:44
Thank you for the link Rene - interesting read; it explains things in fairly clear terms.

Clear enough terms that I don't see myself realistically using it for the type of work I do, which is wedding, social event and some (not huge) landscape and street photography. For all of the above and my lab sRGB serves my clients and myself quite well. I don't use aRGB now so cannot imagine considering ProPhotoRGB for my workflow.

The seminar I attended discussed aRGB and gave me a sense of just how LARGE a color space that is. And Pro Photo RGB is even larger yet. :rolleyes:

What about ProPhotoRGB? (http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/prophoto-rgb.html).

ohtoberich
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 13:58
I checked the color space diagrams for the Noritsu 3101, Fuji Crystal Archive Type 1 Lustre (which they have at Costco) and it exceeds sRGB in the yellow and blue dimensions. It's even more than Adobe RGB, though ProPhoto covers everything. You'll need a VRML plugin to view the three-dimensional gamut.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/tools/printer_gamuts/gamutmodel.php?CS=0&CR=3&TC=74&Submit=Build+Model

Given that, I usually export from lightroom in sRGB because Elements 2 won't handle 16-bit color.

ohtoberich
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:02
Oops, I had meant to post that earlier but René already answered...

FYI, it seems a good idea to use sRGB if you're output is 8-bit, otherwise it seems you're spreading a limited number of colors over a larger colorspace.

ProPhoto RGB contains colors beyond the range of human perception!

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:26
Not too mention that aren't you going to end up with absolutely HUGE files? it takes me a fair amount of time now to FTP my sRGB JPG's to the lab via DSL. And they are about 3-6MB each. I could only imagine what would be required for ProPhoto RGB.

............FYI, it seems a good idea to use sRGB if you're output is 8-bit, otherwise it seems you're spreading a limited number of colors over a larger colorspace.

ProPhoto RGB contains colors beyond the range of human perception!

In2Photos
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:31
Not too mention that aren't you going to end up with absolutely HUGE files? it takes me a fair amount of time now to FTP my sRGB JPG's to the lab via DSL. And they are about 3-6MB each. I could only imagine what would be required for ProPhoto RGB.
Why would your file sizes change because of color space? The file is essentially still the same, just a different "code" for the information. 8-bit to 16-bit should change the size, but I am not sure about color space.

coreypolis
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:34
you work in prophoto in LR no matter what. I choose to work in it in PS too, but thats it, you don't send that to anyone or print it directly, you still convert to sRGB for sending out or convert to the ICC profile of the printer.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:37
Well, maybe my understanding of this is screwed up then :rolleyes: and I'm mixing my 8-bit and 16-bit files here for a bad comparison.

I guess I assumed that the ProPhoto RGB file would be 16-bit (maybe this is where my mistake is) which would be WAAAAY bigger than the 8-bit sRGB file that I generate.

Why would your file sizes change because of color space? The file is essentially still the same, just a different "code" for the information. 8-bit to 16-bit should change the size, but I am not sure about color space.

In2Photos
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:38
Well, maybe my understanding of this is screwed up then :rolleyes: and I'm mixing my 8-bit and 16-bit files here for a bad comparison.

I guess I assumed that the ProPhoto RGB file would be 16-bit (maybe this is where my mistake is) which would be WAAAAY bigger than the 8-bit sRGB file that I generate.
No you might be right. I don't know, that is why I asked.:) Hopefully someone can answer this for us.

Sathi
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:38
Good questions Sathi..... simple and complicated all at once ;) . For those that are very demanding of 100% right on color matching (not me, I'm pleased with something pretty close) I believe there are printer/paper/ink profiles that allow for EXACT color matching.

For most of the rest of us there is monitor calibration, done with either software tools like Adobe Gamma (mediocre at best) or hardware calibrators (best method) like the Eye One and other hardware devices. I use a hardware calibrator and get things pretty close.


Thank you for your response. I am with you, I am not obsessed with 100% accuracy. And I don't expect to much as I calibrated using Adobe gamma and work under incandescants. If the print comes out looking good and reasonably close to my original intent I am happy. Especially considering my monitor is glowing light and my printer sprays dye onto a piece of paper i'm amazed its even as close as it is.

Having said that I have a problem :)

I convert all my pictures from raw into aRGB which is also my working space under photoshop. I used to print directly from photoshop to my canon i960 and I remember the prints being a very close match. I have recently picked up a pixma 9000 pro. If i convert the image to srgb, change the mode from 16 to 8 bit, and save as a jpg canon easy photo print gives me an image that is an almost spot on match with the screen. If I print as is with no convertsion I get very oversaturated colours.

Since I tend to be Johnny oversaturation to begin with, this added vibrancy makes the pics look cartoonish. Its a PITA to convert to sRGB and canon recommends I print with aRGB, any ideas?

A few things I should mention:

1) Greens seem to be the most effected. Is this maybe because my i960 didn't have a green tank and just wasn't able to print my whacked settings to their fullest suck potential?

2) My server and my workstation both run linux. I have windows XP running on the server as a virtual machine in vmware so I can print with the canon driver. On my work station I am printing to the server with photoshop running under a virtualized XP as well. I'm not sure if that could have any effect even though I doubt it.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:40
OK - it's starting to slowly sink into the old slow brain. Thanks Corey. I was not even aware it was an option in PS which is what I use. I'd set up my parameters once and don't usually look at those menus. But now you've all got me curious. ;)

you work in prophoto in LR no matter what. I choose to work in it in PS too, but thats it, you don't send that to anyone or print it directly, you still convert to sRGB for sending out or convert to the ICC profile of the printer.

Sathi
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:42
Well, maybe my understanding of this is screwed up then :rolleyes: and I'm mixing my 8-bit and 16-bit files here for a bad comparison.

I guess I assumed that the ProPhoto RGB file would be 16-bit (maybe this is where my mistake is) which would be WAAAAY bigger than the 8-bit sRGB file that I generate.

What I got out of my research on ProPhoto RGB is that it really needs to be used in a 32 bit environment to avoid certain problems associated with spreading the gamut too thinly over 16bit.

Control Group
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:44
Regarding color matching using the Adobe RGB - if you've got wads of cash you don't know what to do with (perhaps you already own the entire L lineup?), you can get monitors that cover the entire aRGB gamut.

For only $5,000 USD you can get an NEC Diamondtron 22" CRT, which handles more than 97% of aRGB.

Of course, if that's not good enough, there's always the Eizo Coloredge 22" LCD that does 100% of aRGB, and will only set you back $6,000 USD.

emurph2
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:49
Look what happened to me:

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m213/emurph_2006/web-Kelly_07-Edit2.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m213/emurph_2006/web-Kelly_07-Edit-Edit.jpg

I uploaded the first one thinking it would appear as the second one, which is how it looked on my monitor. I'm glad I found this thread and understand why. I fixed the problem now and love the program.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:50
WOW!! I had no idea. If that's the case then those files will be even larger.

For some high end product shoot where technically perfect color rendering needs to be 100% right on, that would be a candidate. My brides though are very pleased with my plain old sRGB. :lol:

What I got out of my research on ProPhoto RGB is that it really needs to be used in a 32 bit environment to avoid certain problems associated with spreading the gamut too thinly over 16bit.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:53
Erica - so I'm guessing the muddy looking first shot was aRGB and the second one is sRGB?

In2Photos
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 14:55
Erica - so I'm guessing the muddy looking first shot was aRGB and the second one is sRGB?
The first shows an "Uncalibrated" color space and the second is sRGB.

sapearl
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 15:01
Well, at least I was half right Mike :lol: .

The first shows an "Uncalibrated" color space and the second is sRGB.

Sathi
13th of April 2007 (Fri), 15:18
For only $5,000 USD you can get an NEC Diamondtron 22" CRT, which handles more than 97% of aRGB.

Of course, if that's not good enough, there's always the Eizo Coloredge 22" LCD that does 100% of aRGB, and will only set you back $6,000 USD.


SOLD! :)

tzalman
14th of April 2007 (Sat), 04:42
The first shows an "Uncalibrated" color space and the second is sRGB.

Well, at least I was half right Mike

"Uncalibrated" was the Exif term used until a couple years ago for anything other than sRGB, so it could very well be AdobeRGB.

René Damkot
14th of April 2007 (Sat), 05:51
Well, Jeffreys EXIF viewer (http://regex.info/exif.cgi) reports on the first one:
"Embedded color profile: “ProPhoto/ROMM"

On a side note: AFAIK, ProPhotoRGB is used in 16bpc. Only 32bpc I know of is when doing an HDR merge.

StealthLude
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 19:27
emurph2,

Your photos are the exact reason I started this thread. When I was doing some print for work a custom who had some portraits taken, I got the same result as you.

Since I tooked funny after uploading to Costco, I decided to print on using ProPhoto ICC embedded, one with ProPhoto and no ICC profile.

Then a fully edited ProPhoto image, with a final step of convert to sRGB with ICC attached, and one w/o.

I was quick to learn that the converstion to sRGB for printing at most common labs like costco, mpix is manditory. Their systems print 8 bit sRGB only.

The conversion isnt a problem, but I still and will always store and edit my photos using 16 bit ProPhoto RGB as my working color space in Photoshop when importing photos from Lightroom.

One thing that comes to mind when doing prints, is how much color or color change am I going to see when doing this conversion. I know my monitor cant display true ProPhoto RGB, but just like shooting in RAW, I dont want to loose and data that may come in handy when doing edits.

Ive also read something, somewhere that your working color space should depend also on what type of work you do. Ive been told for portrait work, its best to use sRGB.

For Product, landscape, and other things like that, aRGB or ProPhotoRGB would be best.

Can anyone confirm this?

sapearl
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 19:39
Stealth, maybe you're referring to my post from two days ago (scroll up several posts). It talks about what space is best suited for a particular type of photography. The sRGB space likely applies to most of the work that most of us here do.

Most labs want sRGB. You may give them something else, but they will disappoint you with their results.

........Ive also read something, somewhere that your working color space should depend also on what type of work you do. Ive been told for portrait work, its best to use sRGB.

For Product, landscape, and other things like that, aRGB or ProPhotoRGB would be best.

Can anyone confirm this?

StealthLude
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 19:45
sapearl,

I applogize, It was from your post on page 1. Ive been reading so much about I forgot that I read it on my own thread lol.

I find this topic very intresting, and more I read about color management, the more I understand how important it is to learn. Im just trying to see what you guys are doing in your workflow. Why, when, and how.

jbimages
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 19:49
The first shows an "Uncalibrated" color space and the second is sRGB.


The first one is ProPhoto RGB according to the EXIF data (read with a hex editor as Opana EXIF reads "uncalibrated" if its not sRGB)

StealthLude
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 20:06
The first one is ProPhoto RGB according to the EXIF data (read with a hex editor as Opana EXIF reads "uncalibrated" if its not sRGB)

and if you take the first one, open it inside photoshop, 1, the colors are corrected since the program knows how to display that color space.

and two, is another way to confirm the prophoto color space is embeded.

StealthLude
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 20:10
Wow,

I just noticed that opening the prophoto image inside photoshop or lightroom, the colors and everything looks WAY better. The gradations and all that stuff just look cleaner, but the sRGB convert looks harsh.

Maybe it is better to use sRGB for portraits.

sapearl
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 20:35
That's OK.... been there, done that more times than I can remember :oops: .

There's so much useful information floating around here it's often hard to remember where you saw a helpful tidbit :lol:

sapearl,

I applogize, It was from your post on page 1. Ive been reading so much about I forgot that I read it on my own thread lol..............

Graystar
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 20:46
removed

StealthLude
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 21:28
Very soon now we’ll all be using HD Photo and scRGB, and none of this will matter anymore! Woohoo!

:p


You will when you print on a printer with a gamut that cant support your color space :lol:

Graystar
15th of April 2007 (Sun), 22:10
removed

ohtoberich
16th of April 2007 (Mon), 00:27
Stealth: Costco uploads printer profiles at drycreek photo (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/), and if you convert straight from the ProPhoto to an 8-bit printer profile you'll probably get the best results when you send it to Costco for print (and tell them not to adjust the colors).

From what I think I understand, the reason sRGB is generally preferred for portraits is because they're less likely to have extreme colors. If all the colors fit inside the sRGB gamut, then you'll have more values for better gradations. Adobe RGB takes the same number of colors and spreads them out more so you'll get a wider range (for the same number of bits), but more space between the colors because there are only the same number of colors. But in a landscape photograph, maybe you'll be willing do that tradeoff.

Of course, for web and some labs, sRGB is the best option!

Real Word Color Management (by Bruce Fraser) is supposed to be a good book on color management.

tim
16th of April 2007 (Mon), 00:55
Real Word Color Management (by Bruce Fraser) is supposed to be a good book on color management.

It is, be prepared to spend a bit of time reading it, color's not so simple.

In2Photos
16th of April 2007 (Mon), 07:51
It is, be prepared to spend a bit of time reading it, color's not so simple.
Yeah, I am struggling getting through the first chapter.:confused: And Ithought it was going to be a fun read.:rolleyes: :)

tim
16th of April 2007 (Mon), 16:03
Chapter One is the fun easy reading part of the book!

In2Photos
16th of April 2007 (Mon), 17:14
Chapter One is the fun easy reading part of the book!
Then I am in big trouble.;)