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Darren 05-23-2004 04:15 PM

Help With Color Space
I am having a lot of trouble getting my shots to look the same once they are posted as they do when I am working on them in PS, or even just viewing using the windows picture and fax viewer. I hope someone can help.

First off, once they are uploaded here, too often the colors have shifted and look more grey than when I am processing. Also, they often seem a little darker and less saturated as well. I know in the past, some of my problems were because I was posting shots in the Adobe RGB color space instead of sRGB. However, I still am having problems with sRGB images (different problems actually).

When I process a photo, I usually do all the processing (curves, levels, brightness, etc) and then change the mode to sRGB before saving as a jpeg.

Is the problem that I am doing the work in Adobe RGB? Would things be better if I immediately changed my TIF into the sRGB color space before doing any work to it?

Help will be greatly appreciated.

thien 05-27-2004 06:15 AM

Re: Help With Color Space
Hi Darren,

The reason for your problem is PS proof all the picture in CYMK mode which is a bit brighter (hence less saturated).

What version of PS are you using? PS 7.0 and CS (8.0) has the ability to soft proof your picture (View->Proof Setup). If you are using a monitor profile then you would want to switch to the Monitor RGB. This settings will use the ICC profile of your display for the picture and you essentially get what the windows picture and fax viewer shows. If you use Windows RGB then essentially you are using the sRGB colorspace which is the same as a Windows system without ICC profile in Display settings.


P.S.: Thank you for the recommendation of the guest house in Seam Reap. It was great :D.

Darren 05-27-2004 10:41 AM

Re: Help With Color Space
Thanks for your reply Thien. I tried what you said and can definitely see the difference. Does this mean that if I change the view to monitor RGB, I should be more or less ready to go in how I work on a photo that will be posted to the web? For working on a shot to be printed, I leave it at the CYMK mode, but for net work, change to that view and I should be more or less ok?

The odd thing is that a few months ago, I bought a new, better monitor, and while working on photos to print seems better, I am actually having more difficulty for net posts. Anyways, I will experiment a little more with this, it really seems you have set me straight. Thanks again.

Glad to know you were treated well in Seam Reap.

thien 05-27-2004 11:28 PM

Re: Help With Color Space
Hi Darren,

If you are using a custom calibrated monitor ICC or a generic monitor ICC profile shipped with your display then the monitor RGB is what you should use to work on your photo. When Windows is set to use an ICC profile, all "normal" application such as picture viewer or web browser will use it to display the color. Smartass application like PS allows you to switch display on the fly.

If you have a good or close cablibrated ICC profile then you should see a bit increase in saturation compare to Windows RGB (which is sRGB BTW) choice.

CYMK proofing (PS default choice) is used for prepress people for which the increase brightness is used to compensate for the paper reflectivity factor.

If you want to see what your print will look like, you can use PS Proof View feature to do that too. Just go to Proof Setup -> Custom then in the profile combobox, scroll down to find your printer. Et voila, you will see how the color gamut is converted to your printer on-the-fly.

If you have paper-printer duo ICC profile then you can see how they appear on each of them too. If they do not look right, you can duplicate the current photo, choose the profile that you want, tweak it untill it look the same as the original. Then in PS print dialog, in the Color Management option, you choose the paper-printer profile as your Print Space and in the advance printer option turned off all color management there. You will have a print exactly as you see on screen (provided that your monitor ICC is close to the real thing of course :D).


AdrianW 05-29-2004 02:59 AM

Re: Help With Color Space
Thien offers some good advice about colour spaces. I have some simple advice to add - preview the image by loading into your web browser before you upload it only takes a few seconds!

None of the browsers are ICC aware (yet)... I feel certain that's going to change in the not too distant future though :-)

Curioso 05-28-2005 02:13 PM

Re: Help With Color Space
I've read in Luminous Landscape that Adobe RGB is far more interesting than sRGB for post-processing. And that ProPhotoRGB is even better.

Do you use them ? Why ? It looks to me that it's tricky to find a unique way to process picture for both Web and printouts in Labs.

What is your usual workflow today when you want to make printouts in a Lab ?

Thanks in advance,


thien 05-29-2005 12:59 AM

Re: Help With Color Space
Hi Steven,

The answer of which colorspace to use is entirely dependent on the intended usage or on my laziness of the day :D.

sRGB: This is the colorspace that all color profile-blind application use in the Windows world. If I have to process a file to be only a monitor display or output to a usual commercial mini-lab such as Fuji Frontier. These files requires the minimal color processing.

AdobeRGB: This colorspace is a bit wider and works pretty well. Some Professional lab understands this colorspace and process it properly. If I have to use Durst Lambda or Epsilon printer, this is the profile that I use.

ProPhotoRGB: This colorspace is mainly usefull because the dye inkjet printer driver colorspace matches pretty well with this colorspace.

WideGamut: This is the profile I use for very demanding manipulation of color for really large blowup. Which means quite rare.

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