Should I be working in Adobe RGB or in 16-bit ProPhoto RGB?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kkamin, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    I currently work in sRGB and am wondering how much I would benefit from working in either Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB? And what the benefits would be.

    I don't have the best editing environment, I do my PP work off a Macbook, so I realize, like many laptop users, I am using a 6-bit display. But I'm sure many people who use ProPhoto RGB work from 8-bit per channel displays and still reap the benefits. But my display is still of concern.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    i work in adobe rgb. prophoto is good too, but my camera doesnt natively support it, so i use adobe.

    srgb sucks. u should switch to one of the other 2 immediately.
     
  3. I used to feel about SRGB that way too, but it works better for the Web. If your colors are coming out dead when posting to your site (and Flickr, etc) or for laptop-based client presentations then move your color space to SRGB.

    For printing I still prefer AdobeRGB.
     
  4. the iconic image

    the iconic image TPF Noob!

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    Ding Ding Ding.. We have a winner.. Iron would correct.. Most computer monitors cannot see the AdobeRGB setting difference. SRGB is fine for web use. Use the Adobe setting for prints and make certain the monitor you are using for post is calibrated to keep from being surprised at how your prints look when you get them..

    the Iconic Image
     
  5. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    if u cant see the difference, then use adobe rgb. better to use it in the first place and downgrade to srgb later. u can always downgrade from a higher setting, but u cant upgrade from a lower setting. web is all fine and dandy, but if u wanna print and/or make money, u better use adobe or pro.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The benefits you gain come from how you display your images. If you post your pictures on the web your benefits are precisely zero, if you show your friends your images on your monitor, zero, if you run your images from a stock standard inkjet printer, zero, or even if you go to cheap mum/pop labs to do your prints, zero. If you take your image to a professional lab who provide you with a profile for soft proofing, and print on very nice and expensive printers often using a chemical process to make the final print then there's a good chance you may be able to squeeze a bit of extra yellow out of your sunrises. Sometimes you'll get a bit more out of greens and blues for man made objects too, but typically if you shoot plain landscapes you may be back to zero again.

    Should you be working in a wider colour space? Up to you. Personally I do but only for the initial processing, and only because quite simply Lightroom doesn't give you the option. It'll work in MelissaRGB regardless, and the integration with Photoshop in ProPhotoRGB is seamless. One thing I don't do is store in wide gamuts.

    To get this out of the way first, maybe 1 or 2 images per year end up being put through a process worthy of a wider colour space. The rest end up on the internet, display to friends, or fired out as 6x4s in a momandpop lab and the wide colour spaces make no difference to them. This is one reason why I don't save wide gamut images. The other reason is that I store JPEGs. I don't re-edit images, and JPEGs are only 8bit. 8bit is enough to cover the visible shades of the sRGB space, but no further. If you're going to be storing wide gamut images, TIFF, PNG or anything else (JPEG2000 if you're game).

    On that note there's the bit per channel business. This is a completely separate thing from wide colour gamuts. It's possible to have wide colour gamuts and low bits per channel display (and the first OLED screens are like that). What this causes is wonderfully saturated colours, but bad looking gradients as the displays can no longer represent every colour and as such you see step changes in gradients rather than smooth colours.


    So to finalise this though. Suppose you have a killer sunset image that has a wide gamut and you want to print it at a nice lab. You can edit and work with AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB (use 16bpp though, not 8), but you won't be able to reap the rewards on your screen as you're editing. The photoshop's soft-proofing and gamut warning indicators can help you work, but you may be a bit in the unknown not knowing precisely how saturated your colours will be.

    The resulting print may be fantastic.

    Again it's up to you how much effort you put in. There are benefits to be had, but also problems that arise and need to work around.

    I suggest you read the 3 part intro to how colourmanagement works on Cambridge in Colour before you sink your teeth into how to do it:
    Digital Photography Tutorials

    Cameras don't natively support any profile. Cameras have their own profile. Conversion is done during the processing of the RAW frame. Whether this goes to AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB makes no difference.

    Also every wonderfully bright and saturated image you've ever seen on the web was sRGB. Yes its slightly more limiting, but it far from sucks. It defines the current world we live in, and the display 99.9% of us use. Not using sRGB becomes a royal pain in the arse especially if you're new to colour management.

    Understand colour management first, then use it. There's no point in for instance saving AdobeRGB JPEGs. That would yield worse image results than straight out sRGB JPEGs due to the larger gamut in the same bit depth.

    While I agree you shouldn't limit yourself. Suggesting this openly to someone who doesn't understand colour management will only fuel more and more of the "why do my pictures look dull when I upload them to flickr" posts, of which there are way to many to begin with.
     
  7. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Work in the highest whatever your hardware will support.

    If publishing to the web then drop it to 8bits/sRGB @ 72dpi.
    (remember to downsize with Bi-cubic sharper and only to sharpen after everything else is done when making web ready)
     
  9. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Surprisingly, Adobe recommends ProPhotoRGB over Adobe RGB.
     
  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you are going to Print ... check with your Lab.

    The Lab that I use (Silvano Color Lab) has info on their website to calibrating your Photoshop colour settings and profile so that it matches their system.
    They happen to suggest Adobe RGB
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Close on the opening line. If you're posting on the web your image needs to be sRGB, but it does NOT need the profile embedded. sRGB is the assumed space of any image when there is no profile, or colour management is disabled.

    1. No everything has a colour space and a bit depth. It has to in order to make sense of how to display the image. Computationally it's not easy to work in 10, 12 or 14 bit so the bitdepth in the images displayed and worked on in ACR is 16bit. The colour space is called MelissaRGB which is basically like ProPhotoRGB but has a linear gamma curve (since the RAW data from a digital camera is linear) This colour space is useless for anything other than processing RAW data. When you open the image in photoshop it'll be converted to the colour space you select.

    2. It'll prevent colour banding. Yes.

    3. Yes. Firstly if converting to 8bit AdobeRGB you'll introduce banding. It's subtle but it's there. If you can stay in 16bit and save in 16bit if you're using a wide gamut. Secondly you're opening the "Rendering Intent" can of worms. Depending on your options you can either clip out of gamut colours to the nearest sane value, or bend the entire saturation of the image to fit within the gamut. Read up on rendering intents and you'll find there is one that is most suitable for photography. I won't tell you which it is though since you'll learn so much more if I don't, and I'm less likely to blabber about something that may be debatable :)

    4. In the photoshop menu find "Proof Setup" click on "Custom". Select sRGB, deselect preserve RGB values. Click OK. Disable Soft Proofing in the menu. Enable the gamut warning. The resulting image would look like this: "http://www.gock.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/image-15.jpg" With the grey points representing the colours that fall out of the sRGB band.
     
  12. thoughtcryme

    thoughtcryme TPF Noob!

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    Garbz, everytime you post something, you answer at least 1 question in my list of things I need to understand better.
     

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