I have a wide gamut monitor (HP LP2475w) which has already been calibrated. My question isn't so much about that, but the settings I should be using inside of Photoshop (CS5). As far as color settings (ctrl+shift+k) goes, what am I supposed to use? I have sRGB as the rgb working space right now. (never use CMYK), Gray % Spot = dot gain 20%, and preserve profiles are ticked on for all 3. Am I supposed to be using Adobe RGB in RGB working space to get the most out of my monitor? I'm asking because it would be embarrassing if I had a wide gamut monitor and am working within a sRGB color cap. Please enlighten me with the proper photoshop color settings, so that it works well across the board (browser compatibility, etc)
As a FYI, I am a professional digital artist who specialize in illustrations for print campaigns. So far from what I've seen, whatever's been printed out of what I produce from this monitor has come out pretty much looking the same, so I'm not worried about that. Again, I just want to make sure I'm not careless and am using settings which doesn't make use of a wide gamut monitor.
Thanks for your input in advance!
Unlike standard gamut monitors you will be able to see 30-40% wider color range by using the entire color space of your monitor which is closer to Adobe RGB color space. What color space you choose to use depends on how your images will be used. Images can be converted to their closest match from one color space to another. Converting from narrower to wider color space can give exact match but doesn't take advantage of the additional colors available. Converting from wider to narrower color space can not exactly match colors outside of the narrower space but will get the best possible colors available.
One of the advantages of wide gamut monitor is that it can display 100% accurately narrower color spaces like sRGB while a lot of standard gamut monitors will struggle to do that.
Well, since your monitor covers Adobe RGB it's a shame to waste it on sRGB content. But to be clear, you won't see any difference unless you have colors that actually exceed the sRGB gamut.
But that's not really what matters. The point is that if you work for offset, the final CMYK target very likely has a gamut that can only be fully represented in Adobe RGB. In Europe, for example, the de facto standard is ISO Coated v2 (eci) (300%), with a gamut that translates very well into Adobe RGB.
So by working in sRGB you are limiting yourself and excluding perfectly printable colors.
For this type of work a wide gamut monitor is a godsend, because you can actually see on screen all the colors that are printable. Soft-proofing to final CMYK, while working in Adobe RGB, will give you a very good preview of how the final result will look.
As for browser compatibility with a wide gamut monitor, you need a browser that is fully color managed. That means Firefox or Safari. Even so, these will only display tagged content correctly at default settings, images that do not have an embedded profile will appear oversaturated. Fortunately, there is a "hidden" setting in Firefox that will assign sRGB to untagged material, so that it displays correctly even on a wide gamut display.
Thanks Emil and D Fosse, for your input.
So I should:
- Set default workspace color profile to Adobe RGB
In that case, should I have "preserve embedded profiles" or "convert to working rgb" ?
also, are there any settings that I should have specifically when I save images for web? I usually use "embeded color profile" as well as "convert to srgb" when I save imagse for web.
"Preserve embedded" is always the best IMO. You can convert to Adobe RGB as needed. New files will be Adobe RGB.
For web, yes, you're doing it the right way: convert to sRGB and embed. People's setups are of course all over the map, so you have no control over that. But with sRGB (and embedded profile) you conform to the least common denominator, so to speak.
Strictly speaking you don't need to embed the profile, some people don't. But then it will display correctly only insofar as the monitor matches sRGB exactly. Few monitors do; and wide gamut monitors not at all. Embedding the profile is a safeguard.
I think a lot of users believe that the Color Settings have much bigger role than what they actually do most of the time.
When working with images you have to be always aware about the color space the image is currently displayed in.
In Photoshop the displayed color space of an image is obtained in the following order of priority:
1. from the choice in View > Proof Setup menu when the View > Proof Colors is checked.
2. when the Proof Colors is off, from the embedded profile.
3. when the Proof Colors is off and when the image is without a color profile (untagged) from the Working Color space selected in the Color Settings.
This image shows how to check the color profile of an image - I keep it permanently on.
As you can see, the color spaces selected for working spaces in the Color settings affect the display of images only when they are untagged (without color profiles). The color settings also set the default choice of a color space when you create a new document but you can always select another color space form the Advance section of the dialog that appears when you choose File > New. You can also assign a color space to any image by using Edit > Assign Profile. So, if you never work with untagged images, you really don't need to care at all what your working spaces in your Color Settings are set to. You can use the Color Management Polices in the Color settings as a tool that will ask you what to do when you have profile mismatch when you paste. Personally I never use these because I'm always aware of the color space of the pasted content. Also the conversion method set in the Color Settings will be used when pasting. If you want different conversion method paste the content in a new document created with the color space of the clipboard content and then choose Edit > Convert to Profile and after that copy and paste in the desired document with the same color space.
Good point about WG showing all the CMYK gamut.
For all you other jaded viewers, I have a book, "Digital Color Management" (Homann), that says and shows that it doesn't matter what you start with or how you manage it as long as you do it right, when going to print.
for even wider range of colors, consider using ProPhoto, of course being aware of outputs not typically able to use all the colors...but it is a wider gamut than AdobeRGB1998 and many pros use it successfully.