Color Space?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eyeye, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    I have to beg forgiveness as this hasn't really made much of an appearance on my photo radar yet and I know so little about it, I am not even sure where to begin.

    Would some kind person explain, in modest terms, what sRGB and Adobe RGB mean and how they differ?

    Muchas Gracias!
     
  2. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Color space is an artsy term for what is essentially a color specification. The specification defines what colors will be available, how many colors are available and what are the range of the colors, amoung other things. The range of colors is called gamut. sRGB and AdobeRGB are similar color spaces, however AdobeRGB has a wider gamut.
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The gist of it is sRGB is the standard colour space. It defines how red for instance the value of RGB(255,0,0) is. AdobeRGB is a wider space. That means that the same value is a more pure and redder red.

    What this means for you is a headache if you start playing with it. sRGB is the standard. It is the only one that reliably works, that is used by all software. Most computer monitors display exactly the sRGB gamut, and all software which doesn't understand embedded ICC profiles renders colours under the assumption that they are sRGB.

    Furthermore even though the camera can capture more pure colours than the sRGB, many scenes fall nicely into it, including some of the very colour photos that can be seen on the net. Wider gamuts are harder to display (wide gamut displays are expensive), more expensive to print (pro labs), and introduce a huge headache if you don't involve colour management in every step of your workflow.
     
  5. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    That's true if you just don't want to bother with color management. I perfer to start with the best image I can get, so I have my camera, Photoshop and Lightroom set to AdobeRGB. When I need to output a file to a device that requires sRGB I convert it to that color space. Not really a problem, but you have to be aware of the need to do it.
     

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