Question about color spaces

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Jon_Are, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    I shot some flower images in the summer and I'm just now getting around to printing a few of them. Trying to, that is.

    The colors are way off - muddy, etc. - and it sure looks to be a color space issue. Here is what I've done to process them, please tell me if I'm missing something:


    • Shot in RAW, imported into LR2
    • Edited in LR
    • Sent to Photoshop CS4. On the way there, a window popped up saying: "The document has an embedded color profile that does not match the current RGB working space. Embedded: ProPhoto RGB. Working: sRGB." My options were to use the embedded profile, convert to the working space, or discard the embedded profile. I chose to convert to the working space, after which it loaded into PS.
    • Once inside PS, I went to Image>Mode and changed it from 16 bit to 8 bit.
    • Next, I saved as a JPG.
    • Then I printed.

    So, how did I screw up the colors?

    Thanks!

    Jon
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Were you printing from home or sending it out to a lab?

    When exporting from LR, you should be able to choose the color space, so try choosing sRGB at this point.

    Either way, since you are not doing any editing in Photoshop, why bother to include that in the workflow? You can print (to printer or file) right from LR.
     
  3. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the response, Mike.

    Printing at home.

    I tried that, the colors were bad. I thought if I sent it to PS and converted to sRGB that might fix the color problem.

    Bottom line: colors are bad whether printing from LR or PS.

    My Nikon D80 is set to sRGB; shouldn't that indicate that PS won't ask me if I want to convert the color space?

    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Are you sure that your printer is set up & working properly? Are you using the proper inks & paper?

    Printing right from LR should avoid the color space issue because there is no changing or converting that you do. So that makes me think the problem lies elsewhere.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is always a change in colour space when you print. In the LR case it's from the Working space (MelissaRGB in lightroom) to the printer profile (selected by the printer to suit the paper).

    To answer the question, first tell me what screen you have. If you have a wide gamut screen you will noticeably see a loss in colour when converting from a large gamut to sRGB. In this case your solution is professional printing services, or you're making a mistake in print settings.

    If you have a normal screen like 99% of us, then your problem really is some settings when converting the colour spaces or printing.

    Do you lose colour fidelity when going from Lightroom to Photoshop and converting to the sRGB space? Try setting Lightroom to export in sRGB.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    But that's all taken care of by LR and/or the printer drivers/software....isn't it? It's not something that we could screw up (is what I'm trying to say).
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Normal screen.

    Nope. Whatever I do, wherever I'm at, the color looks great on screen.

    LR was already set to export in sRGB.

    So I checked all the settings I could think of checking:

    Camera (Nikon D80): Color mode: IIIa (sRGB)

    Lightroom: Edit>Preferences>External Editing>Color Space: sRGB (File Format: TIFF, Compression: ZIP)

    Photoshop CS4: Edit>Color Settings>Working Spaces>RGB:sRGB
    Edit>Color Settings>Color Management Policies>RGB>Convert to working RGB
    File>Print>Color Management>Profile: sRGB
    File>Print>Color Handling>Printer Manages Colors
    File>Print>Printer Profile>Working RGB – sRGB

    I don’t know of any settings anywhere else to check; as you can see, I’ve got sRGB set wherever you look.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lightroom yes. It's photoshop I'm more worried about.

    How normal? Pass us a model. There are plenty of "normal" Dell screens with wide colour gamuts that cause this problem. I'm pressing this issue most of all because it's a likely source of the problem. The printer should handle most colour management itself, and your photoshop / workflow seems to be right too. However if you have a wide gamut screen, yet photoshop thinks it is a normal screen, then the picture on the screen will look more colourful than it actually is.
     
  9. RobSylvan

    RobSylvan TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like it might be a print settings issue. When printing from Lightroom, in the Print Job panel you have 2 options:

    - Managed by printer (printer driver controls the color)

    - Select the printer profile that matches your paper/printer combo (Lightroom controls the color)

    What printer are you using? Some printers when "Managed by printer" is selected have trouble printing from Lightroom. In my experience the best results usually come from selecting the profile (via the Profile drop-down menu in the Print Job panel) that matches the paper type and printer model.

    It is also important to turn off all color adjustment in the printer driver when a profile is selected in Lightroom or else both Lightroom and the printer driver attempt to manage the color and a bad print will result.
     
  10. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, guys. I'm at work now but will reply from home tonight.

    Jon
     
  11. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Alright, I'm back.

    My monitor is a Dell E207WFP.

    My printer is an HP Officejet 6110.

    Still experimenting.

    Jon
     
  12. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Here's what I've done today:

    First, I installed a new color cartridge, just in case.

    Then I converted a photo into three separate jpegs, one each sRGB, Adobe RGB and ProPhoto RGB. I printed out a sample of each of these from within LR.

    Well, they all look like crap. the sRGB and the ProPhoto look similar and the Adobe RGB looks hideous.

    I have a backup printer that I may hook up tomorrow and try printing these images just for S & G.

    I haven't solved my problem, but I am learning some stuff.

    Jon
     

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