Need help with camera AND processing settings (RGB)

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by mitsugirly, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Let me start by saying...this is a long post, but I wanted to explain everything so that I could get the correct advice. So bare with me please.

    I'm having a discussion with someone about my settings on another board and it has become VERY confusing as to what I should have not only my camera but my processing (PS3 and lightroom) settings on.

    It started with a picture I posted that ended up looking TOTALLY different and dull compared to the picture that I processed. I ask what the reason behind that could be. This has happened to me once before and no matter what I did, it would not show up online the way it looked when I processed it.

    I was told it was an issue with my color space or color profile.

    I was reading something and it was telling me that the best pictures had to be programed a certain way in PS and lightroom. Here's the link that I went off of. Lightroom Queen Blog » Blog Archive » Why do my photos look different in Photoshop?/
    So I changed my settings to that thinking I would get a better picture.

    The other poster told me: "They should be in the sRGB color space. I noticed that the link you posted chose the prophoto colorspace. While prophoto does have the widest gamut (range of colors), it also results in a larger file and does not display properly on the web unless it has the profile imbedded in it AND it is viewed through a color-managed browser."

    Also, in order for others to view the real picture, they must have their color managed browser set to view the tag in the picture.

    It was recommended that I shot in sRGB on my camera for the best picture. I shoot with a Sony a300 and the only option I've found on it is Adobe RGB. My instruction book on the camera says:
    "About Adobe RGB color space:
    Adobe RGB color space has a wide range of color reproduction, compared to sRGB that is the standard color space of the digital camera. If the main purpose is to print out the image, especially when a large part of the subject is vivid green or red, Adobe RGB is more effective than other sRGB color modes. <---this sounds opposit to what the poster is saying.

    When I went to my lightroom to change the settings to sRGB I got the following message:
    The sRGB color space cannot encompass the full range of colors available within Lightroom, PSD can be less efficient than TIFF with respsect to metadata updates. When saving from Photoshop, please be sure to use the "Maximize Compatibility" option in Photoshop. Failure to do so will result in images that cannot be read by Lightroom.

    So then it was suggested to change everything to match my camera settings...which means set lightroom and PS to adobe RGB (1998) settings which I did.

    Since I can only shoot in adobe RGB, then I was told to save the pictures using the "save for web" dialogue box in PS to convert the photo to sRGB.

    When I tried to save it this way I got: "The image exceeds the size Save for Web was designed for. You may experience out of memory errors and slow performance. Are you sure you want to continue?"

    I was told "In CS3, there is a small arrow below the "save" "cancel" and "done" buttons that you click and then choose "convert to sRGB." I also click the "embed color profile" or "embed icc profile" checkbox to select it. This will mike you file a few K larger, but I think in portrait/landscape photography it is worth it."

    In PS3 for me and the save box...
    There is only a save and cancel button. No done button.
    There are no options to save to sRGB on there.
    It says Save Options:
    As a copy <---you can use
    Alpha Channels <---it is grayed out
    Layers<---this box is checked already
    Annotations<---grayed out
    Spot Colors <---grayed out
    Then there is a Color:
    Use Proof Setup: Working CMYK <----this is grayed out
    ICC Profile: Adobe RGB (1998) and this is checked.
    Those are the only options I have



    I am soooooo confused on what my settings should be. Could someone help me out with all this? What settings should my lightroom and PS3 be on and how should I be saving this in order to view on the web?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The best way to get un-confused is to do your own research.

    By relying on other people telling you what to do you never learn W H Y things work the way they do.

    Color Space on Wikipedia.

    Scroll down to Color Management.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow you have been fed some misinformation.

    1. ProPhoto is NOT a larger size. It's just a different way of mapping existing colours to the values they expect. That is also the biggest problem. A ProPhoto JPEG file will look worse than a sRGB JPEG because standard 8bit JPEGs can not display enough colours to cover the possible ProPhoto range. End result is posterisation. But that problem is nothing to do with your issue here.

    2. Set to view the tag in the picture is a nice way of putting it. Firefox is colour managed. But it's off by default. There's no menu option to turn it on, you have to dig through the gritty about:config settings which are dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You can safely assume that NO ONE on the internet is using a colour managed browser and you'll be fine. I say this because is it worth getting 10000000 complaints just so 1 person sees the wider colour gamut?

    3. The poster was right. The gamut sizes are: sRGB (standard and standard for a reason), AppleRGB (never used), AdobeRGB (about the largest space you'll find a printing company will support), and ProPhoto (fun in theory but really so not worth the effort).

    4. Your camera settings have nothing to do with Lightroom. Lightroom edits RAWs. That is it bypassess all your camera settings. The colour space is chosen by the device / program which converts the RAW sensor data. If you shoot in JPEG Lightroom ignores it's own settings and works in the JPEG colour space set in the camera, if you shoot in RAW then Lightroom works in it's own special colour space and saves in the space you select or edits in photoshop in the space you select.

    5. Why can you only shoot in AdobeRGB? At the bottom of the post I'll tell you why you should consider just not worrying about all this crap.

    6. If you convert to sRGB then you don't need to embed the colour space. This is entirely redundant. Images without a colour space are assumed sRGB. And no embedding the sRGB colour space won't make a difference to your landscapes. If the image is converted so sRGB what you effectively end up with is the same result (possibly slightly worse) than if you'd just used sRGB to begin with. It's the lowest common denominator.

    6. You will always get a "this image exceeds the size" warning unless the image is of a size normally used on the web. Like 1024x768. You can ignore this. It just means the dialogue will be a bit slower to respond.

    7. The dialogue details you've listed are in the "Save As" box not the "Save for Web and Devices" box. The dialogue for save for web and devices is hugely complicated showing all your jpeg settings, resizing options, along with a preview window and file size estimates.

    8. I have no idea why I am numbering these :)



    Ok so that's each point addressed now let me tell you something about colour profiles.

    sRGB is THE standard. Not A standard. It's THE standard. It is the only standard you can reliably use when you give a file to someone without asking them beforehand "Do you support embedded colour profiles". This means if you do not use sRGB your colours will end up dull if you, send your image to a friend who views it in a non-colourmanaged viewer (most viewers), if you upload it to the web at a site like flickr, if you upload it anywhere on the web that does support it but someone uses a non-colourmanaged browser (effectively all viewers), you will get limited results with most common printing companies, and beyond that you will get very limited results with most images too. * more on this in a sec.

    You can not view the extra colours. Ok that's a broad assumption. But do you have a wide gamut screen? If not then anything you see on the screen is sRGB regardless of how you process it. So there's a tick missing in every box now. You can't view the extra colours on your computers, your friends are likely to get downright wrong colours, and your printing company is likely to screw it up. In fact the only time you can benefit from the extra colour is if you take your photos to be printed in a professional lab with people who know what they are doing, and discuss your colour and printing requirements beforehand. But even then the limiting factor before you take the ink colour into account is the paper. Matte paper and standard photo gloss have a colour gamut that is barely larger than sRGB. One process that does have a larger gamut is those metallic looking finishes created by the ilfochrome process. Have you ever printed a photo like this? Neither have I.

    Ok so you can't view it, show it, or print it without getting expensive. (ok you can in each cases but I'm assuming you're like the 99% other people on this forum, you don't have the special gear and you don't spend oodles of cash on each photo to print it). Well one thing to note is that most of the colours you see occurring in nature actually fit nicely into the sRGB spectrum. Some notable ones that don't are Lasers, LEDs, .... the occasional over extreme sunset where sRGB may just not be quite yellow enough, but really for most images you will find things fit just nicely into sRGB.


    My advice: Set all settings to sRGB. If you one day take that one really colourful photo you think you may take to a pro lab, then by all means change the settings back before processing the photo. In Lightroom if you keep the RAWs you can do this at any time.

    If you have a wide gamut photo use AdobeRGB. There's no point to ProPhoto with the current technology. Maybe in 10 years when we all have OLED screens ProPhoto will show us that maybe the sunset was just the tiniest smidgen more yellow then we first thought, but right now there's no point.

    When saving a widge gamut AdobeRGB file, use the Save for Web and Devices dialogue to save it, and select convert to sRGB.

    If you need to use the normal Save As dialogue then FIRST click Edit -> Convert profile and select sRGB, and the perceptual rendering intent.

    If you must work on an AdobeRGB file leave it in 16bit colour mode. Don't convert to 8bit, don't save to JPEG (it's 8bit). As you lose the ability to reproduce all the colours. If you have a gradient like a sunset in your image you may lose the smooth tones and be worse off than if you just stuck to sRGB.

    In case reading all that didn't scare you away read this: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...prophoto-colour-management-general-worth.html Something I wrote with comparisons showing exactly what you are missing by not using wide colour gamuts.

    Welcome to colour management hell.
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The truest part of that entire post. *headdesks* This is my least favourite part of photography (is it bad, then, that I still like learning about it, just not dealing with it?).

    I think if I ever see posts asking about colour management, I'm just going to link this from now on. Great post Garbz.
     
  5. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Garbz-Now that's a post that was easy to follow and understand the reason behind it.

    I THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I've read things until I'm blue in the face...but all it did was boggle my head. Very nicely done.

    I have promptly set my PS and lightroom settings to sRGB.

    One last question. I will be sending photo's to a prolab and was actually preparing my first "batch" last night when this entire color thing stumped me again.

    My lab processing off course in sRGB. So how do I save this? I know I've changed everything to sRGB in processing now...so does that mean that when I just click the "save or save as" button, it's now saved as a sRGB? Or do I have to do something different. I'm asking this because in the save box, down below the only option under color says: ICC Profile: Adobe RGB (1998) and it is checked. The lab said they must have it as a sRGB profile. How do I go about doing that?
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok if it says ICC Profile AdobeRGB then the working profile for the image is AdobeRGB. But don't worry you do not need to open them in Lightroom and start over :)

    Click Edit -> Convert to Profile, and select the sRGB profile from the drop down list. If the picture doesn't change when you tick preview you have done everything right, if it does change then play with the "rendering intent" settings.

    When you then go to save the final image it should say ICC Profile: sRGB IEC blahblablah. I suggest leave this ticked but feel free to uncheck it since the obvious assumption is that any image without an ICC profile follows sRGB (but don't ever not embed a profile if not working in sRGB, or you'll end up with dull colours.)
     
  7. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Great thanks. I figured that's what you do (I read something about changing the convert to profile last night). But I wanted to make sure.

    You've been a GREAT HELP!!! :hug::

    Hopefully I don't have any more problems. :lol:
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're welcome. You will have problems though. Everyone does. Colour management is a nightmere. The "my photos look dull when I upload them" threads are posted here at least every 2 weeks.
     

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