2008 and still no Colour Management

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Garbz, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    <rant>

    Some of you may have gathered from 2 or 3 posts around the place that I am buying a new screen. Some of you also may have gathered that this screen displays 94% of the AdobeRGB colour gamut. This is great news. Technology is moving forward. We can all look forward to excellent colour definition, improved image quality, and greater accuracy when editing photos, even on a sub $1500 LCD panel. Then I woke up.

    There are 2 problems here the first being support:
    This isn't even limited to displays. Search this forum for colour management and you will get hundreds of posts "why do my images look fine in photoshop but look crap when uploaded". Photoshop is colour aware, and by default CameraRAW comes shipped with the AdobeRGB colour space selected. Lightroom comes shipped with the PhotoPro colour space as it's default. This is all good and fine, even if you can't display the colours when you take these files to the pro lab you'll get wonderful looking prints.

    Now ICC profiles have been around for ages and were even given ISO certification in 2005. That's 3 years. Since then there has been a multitude of releases From IE6, IE7, Firefox has been born and is at version 2, so why is it that IE8 and Firefox 3 Alpha only just became compatible. What's worse As of Firefox3 Beta 4 Colour management is DISABLED BY DEFAULT. How many users would know about the "about:config" page and to change the gfx.colour_management_enable boolean to true?

    While researching screens I came across the Dell 2408WFP. Lovely 24" screen for a fantastic price and a forum full of complaints that the reds look too red, and blues look too green, and why oh why does everything look perfectly fine when opened in Photoshop.

    This leads to the second problem in my rant. Transparency!
    Since 2005 there have been some major operating system releases. OSX came out and has gone through 5 or so updates. Vista (microsofts biggest and most craptacular OS to date) has also hit the shelves. That's 3 years after ICC profiles got ISO certification and NEITHER OS fully support colour profiles. Yes in OSX you can specify the profile and the OS will take that profile, but it does NOT mandate that applications support this profile. Vista goes one step further... er backwards. You specify the profile and ... NOTHING. That's right nothing happens. The OS lets the applications know which profile is preferred, but doesn't even take the step to adjust the desktop colour so they display correctly. How hard could it be to code a simple API to translate colours. Hell even Windows Picture and Fax viewer is profile aware, but only on the decoding of images, and not displaying of images. Which means an AdobeRGB image translates fine on an sRGB monitor but won't display any images correctly if you don't have an sRGB monitor.



    It's 2008. Good monitors and printers go far beyond the poor sRGB colour space and they will only become cheaper and better. The ICC profiles for AdobeRGB have been around for years. NTSC profile has been around even longer. And the entire process has been standardised 3 years ago. Pull you ****ing fingers out developers!

    </rant>

    Does anyone here share my colour management pains? :cry:
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    No.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Then buy a decent screen craig :p ;)
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    And I wish everyone would switch to jpeg 2000.

    Sadly, the reality is that the ability to set a color profile within a browser may actually create more, rather than less confusion- because it obviates the sRGB standard. This is a problem of lowest-common denominator in terms of monitor quality and profiling. Even if I could, say, get everyone who looks at photos on my website to set their browser to the profile I want, chances are a lot of them don't have monitors capable of displaying a portion of its color gamut...so what has really been achieved?
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm not going to argue with that. I am talking about a fundamental shift. Technology is changing. Yes right now they don't have a monitor to display the full gamut, but as I said Dell already have a 24" LCD in the sub $1000 range with a 94% NTSC coverage not even targeted at photographers, but at general consumers. I know 2 people who have it so far, and as I said their first complaint was that the colours looked wrong.

    So now there's a stalemate. Can Dell et al. sell better wide gamut monitors if world + dog complain about how crap their colour is because colour management is so complicated? They would need support from the OS makers for this.

    And that is the crux of my arguement. Why do current operating systems not support internal colour management when simple applications like Firefox 3, or Windows Picture and Fax viewer do? Internal OS support would fix the problems with screens, and a colour management API would give all developers no excuse for not using colour management.

    The key here too is this could all be transparent. You upload your photos in PhotoPro RGB, Firefox sees the images, passes it through the API to decode it, and the windows driver starts displaying, and in the process it uses the screen's driver to identify what the final colour profile should be.
     

Share This Page