Color Space - a quick and easy guide

October 30, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

There is an incredible amount of information on color spaces and working spaces for editing and printing photos, and it is a nightmare to sort through everything. Over the past few months I finally started to figure it out so I will try to pass on the information that I have learned. 

1) there are many options for color spaces, but the primary ones are adobe RGB and sRGB. sRGB is used for displaying images on the internet and most printers have their printers calibrated for this as well. Because of this, many people choose to have their color space set to sRGB. The reason to use adobe RGB is that the range of colors is much greater. 

2) I decided that I should use abobe RGB as my color space because in landscape photography we want the colors and details to shine through as much as possible. However, the problem that I encountered was that in photoshop the image looked great and then when I uploaded it to the web all of the colors changed and it looked desaturated. The video below describes very well how to convert your adobe RGB image into sRGB for the internet or for print without losing any color.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdQj7gN_85M&feature=em-share_video_user

3) It is important that you set both your RAW editor and photoshop to the same color space. Initially I had the RAW editor set to adobe RGB and photoshop set to sRGB. Therefore, when I imported the photo into photoshop the colors looked desaturated.

4) How to change color spaces:

- In the RAW editor for photoshop the color space is located on the bottom center of the screen and is in blue. Just click this and choose abobe RGB (1998).

- In photoshop go to edit then go down to color settings. In the color settings box that pops up select RGB and for the working space select adobe RGB (1998)

5) Converting image for web display:

- Go to file then save for web and devices. A new window will open and there are a lot of different settings. There is a box on the right side that says convert to sRGB. Make sure that this is checked. On the upper left side there are 4 tabs. original, optimized, 2-up, and 4-up. The optimized option should be selected. 

- Please note that for this option the file size should be small which requires the image to be resized. This is important, but warrants another blog post.

6) Converting image from adobe RGB to sRBG for print:

- Go to edit then convert to profile. A new box will open and you should select the profile as sRGB. This will change the color space while retaining the same colors. If you were to use the edit - assign color space you will have the same problem with desaturated colors. 

I hope that this helps.

 


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