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sRGB vs Adobe RGB, understand somewhat, trying hard to figure it out...

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by mf44, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    Hi folks,

    I'm sorry for this somewhat stupid question, but I'm so perplexed. I've been reading up on colorspace now that I just setup a smugmug account. I've run into a few problems. When I uploaded my photos, they were in Adobe RGB (because that's the default I guess?), and when I looked at the thumbnails, some were very washed out. The original looked fine, though. I learned this was because I am using Safari, which is the only browser (I think) that doesn't strip color space info. I've come to the conlcusion that I need to get everything to sRGB for the web, as well as for printing, and so I researched that a bit.

    Basically, I've come to the conclusion that Adobe RGB is a great color space, but HP and Microsoft (I think) needed to make a dumbed down color space for monitors that couldn't handle it. This is where sRGB comes into play. My question is, since sRGB is the averaged, dumb downed version, do I adjust my photos in that or in Adobe?

    Basically should my workflow have me converting to sRGB before or after I adjust levels, etc? And shoot I now be shooting in sRGB?

    I apologize for all the questions. I am so immensely confused, and now I finally understand why there are so many huge books out there on colorspace.

    Thanks everyone in advance, I really appreciate it.
  2. Hi!. There are no stupid questions at the cafe. What most folks do is convert their images to sRGB prior to uploading. I do all my work in Adobe as well as print in it.

    Anyway there are very knowledgeable folks here who can give you the precise answer.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2005
  3. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    yes, that is pretty safe option.
    No, to printer profile if available; if it is not availavle - do not use that printer / service.
    In Adobe RGB, if you use "standard" NC workflow; in ProPhoto, if you use Adobe CameraRAW.
    You can use any one of these:
    "Real World Color Management", Second Edition, by Bruce Fraser et al;
    "Color Management for Photographers : Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users", by Andrew Rodney;
    "Understanding Color Management" by Abhay Sharma
  4. Don't worry, these are not stupid questions! I would recommend that you convert to sRGB only as the final step before uploading; using a wider gamut such as AdobeRGB for most other operations. Like Iliah said, try to print using a profiled printer if possible, and use software that knows how to deal with those profiles when you can. To get the most out of your important photos, shoot in RAW format so that you can choose your output and make adjustments with the most amount of data. If you tend to nail your exposures when shooting, you won't need to do that as much. If you like (or need, like me) to adjust exposure on shots during post processing, shoot in RAW as much as is feasible.
  5. I too convert to sRGB as the last step before saving as a JPEG. Good luck.
  6. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    There are too!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  7. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Thanks for asking the question Mike.
    I was just about to set my 70s to Adobe RGB in the 'Optimizing Images' section of the menu. Page 56+ of the handbook, for those looking for it.

    Ignorance breeds fear.
    Knowledge breeds confidence.
  8. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    OK, now it's starting to make sense to me. I'm still running into some problems, though. I've got it so I convert to sRGB as my last step before saving my copies that I want for smugmug. I then upload the photos and take a look at them. The thumbnails and smaller sized versions are still off in color from the original. I know this is because I am using Safari, but I was under the impression that switching the original to sRGB would correct this.

    For example, in this gallery, http://mf44.smugmug.com/gallery/777855 all the photos look washed out to me until I open the original sized photo. But for everyone of these, I went to Edit: Assign Profile in CS2, and made sure the radial for Working Profile was selected and it said sRGB. Is this right? When I go to the "Profile" radial and select Adobe RGB from the drop down my image gets super saturated, so I assumed I was doing the right thing.

    Is smugmug doing something when I upload? I really want to make sure this is curable before my one week trial expires.

    Thanks again!
  9. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    No, it is not. Please use "Convert" rather then "Assign"
  10. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    Iliah, thank you so much! That's it!

    Thanks, everyone, for all the help, this has been a huge benefit to me.
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