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So confused about color

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Terri French, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. I recently bought an eye-one display and calibrated my monitor. I take my photographs in RAW with a Nikon D70. The camera is set to Adobe RGB and I convert my photos in Adobe ACR using Adobe RGB colorspace. I convert to srgb before saving.

    When I look at the photos outside of Photoshop, the colors look different. What am I doing wrong? How do I use my calibrated monitor and have the colors look the same both inside and outside of Photoshop. I upload a lot of my pictures to the web and want them to look the same there as they did when I edited them in Photoshop.

    Do I have to set the colorspace of photoshop to the monitor profile? I am so confused. Any help you folks can give me on setting up Photoshop to use the calibrated monitor would be most appreciated.
  2. Color Management


    First why are you converting to sRGB to save? If you are printing at home leave it in RGB. If you are sending it to a lab for printing or for web use, shoot it in sRGB in the first place. Next, go to www.earthboundlight.com to the Photo Tips section, and read all you can about Color Management. Bob Johnson will get you all set up and you'll understand it a lot better. He is awesome when it comes to helping people understand this.

  3. Terri, there are lots of opinions as to color space but I have found the following to work well for me and to be accepted practice by many excellent photographer. I shoot RAW like you and do so in RGB. I do initial processing in NC leaving the color space in RGB. I save as a TIFF, still in RGB. I then process further and resize in PS/CS while still in RGB. Just prior to saving as a JPG I convert to an 8 bit SRGB image. This provides the best and most true colors for most printing and for posting on the net. White House Custom Color lab, which I use, specifies this color space as do many other custom labs.
  4. Terri,

    My process is very similiar to Gordon's. BTW, you can use PS to see a proof version in another profile.
  5. Hermie


    Jul 23, 2005
    Hi Terry,

    You didn't do anything wrong. It's just that Photoshop is a color managed application and your web browser e.g. is not.

    Without color management, when you send a RGB value of (255,0,0) directly to your monitor, YOUR display is only instructed to display ITS maximum red. This RGB value doesn't say anything on how this value is perceived by our eyes/brains, it's just volume information (max. red). This is what happens when you view pictures in your web browser. When you view the very same RGB value on another monitor it will look different because this other monitor has other characteristics.
    In Photoshop on the other hand, profiles are being used to first translate this value of RGB (255,0,0) into a perceptual model (the "Profile Connection Space", in Photoshop this is the LAB space) an next from this perceptual model into your monitor's space. In other words the RGB value contained in the source file has been given a perceptual meaning. When you now view this same RGB value on another monitor, also in a color managed environment, they will look about the same.

    When you are preparing pictures for the web, you'll be using sRGB, a standard developed by HP and Microsoft, that describes the characteristics of an average monitor (or as criticasters say a very bad VGA monitor, because the low end monitors are the restricting factor).

    Bottom line is that when you are working in sRGB, you are actually preparing your files for "the average monitor", NOT your specific display, which is good. As you are into photography I assume that your display is probably far from average and therefore not suited as a reference for the world-wide-web.

  6. Re: Color Management

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. It has been a hectic couple of days. Thank you so much for the link to Bob Johnson's site. Tomorrow, when I have some time, I will read it. I am learning so much here. Thank you again for your kindness in helping me.
  7. Thank you so much Gordon, for your information. Does White House Custom Color Lab have a website? I've just been using Sam's Club and Walmart, I'm sure there are better places. I live very close to a Walmart store and drive by a Sam's Club on my way home from work, so they have been very convenient. Thank you for letting me know your workflow. It seems to be a common one, from what I am reading. There has been some discussion about sRGB vs. Adobe RGB on dpreview this week. There is always lots to learn!!!
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    White House Custom Color: http://www.whcc.com/

    I'm thinking about sending them a couple images to print in B&W for an upcoming gallery show. They come very highly recommended by a few denizens here.
  9. What a great explanation. I really appreciate your time in writing such a great answer to my question. I think I understand much better now. I guess I had unrealistic expectations of what calibrating my monitors would do. I thought everything would be perfectly matched!!! I can see that there are limitations as to how far you can go in calibrating a laptop. My desktop monitor, although an LCD is much better now and I was able to get a much better color temperature on my laptop, as it was very cold before the calibration. Thank you again for all your help. I will definitely save this answer and forward it on to any others I come across who have the same question.
  10. Thank you Chris.
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Are you also befor you save to srgb for you net photos selecting IMAGE...MODE...8 BITS/CHANNEL
  12. Hermie


    Jul 23, 2005
    If she's saving to jpeg (not png/jpeg2000), she has to because jpeg doesn't support 16-bit.

  13. icetraxx


    May 7, 2005
    I'll toss in another big thumbs up for WHCC. I've been useing them for the past several months and the service is great. I have been submitting orders on Sunday night/ Monday and I'll have them in hand on Thursday. They require you to submit up to 5 photos for printing up to 8"x10" free of charge before you setup an account. This is to compare the pictures that they print to what you see at home on your monitor. They also send a photo pack that gives examples of all of the different types of paper and finishes that they offer. They just recently started taking Adobe 1998 color profiled pictures along with the SRGB.

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