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Confused by embedded color profile vs. working space

May 9, 2012 3:58 PM

Tags: #photoshop #color_profile #srgb #color_space #lightroom4 #pro_photo_rgb

If you know that the destination of a photo is ultimately going to need the sRGB color profile (uploading book to blurb), and you are going from Lightroom to Photoshop ("edit in Photoshop CS5") do you "Convert document's colors to working space" of sRGB?


This is what I have been doing, but when the photo is saved (in Photoshop) and then I view it in Lightroom, the photo looks completely different & gives me Exposure warnings.

Is this because Lightroom is showing me the photo with the color profile of Pro Photo RGB?


If yes, do I leave the photo alone, knowing that it should print correctly by Blurb &/or view correctly on a website?


Thanks for any help you can give me!




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    May 9, 2012 4:07 PM   in reply to lvinnv

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    May 9, 2012 4:24 PM   in reply to lvinnv

    The "working space" is the colour space a program uses internally.  Lightroom always uses Pro Photo RGB, there's no choice.  With Photoshop you can choose Working Space:

    I'd recommend ProPhoto, if only because that's what LR uses, so it avoids any change of working space.  I would also choose "Preserve..." in the options below, and check all the "Ask When..." options (so it warns you when something funny happens).


    If you save in Photoshop, and then re-import into LR, and it looks different, then some colour space mismatch might have happened.  The problem is likely to be in Photoshop (as there aren't any options in LR you can get wrong!)  Make sure the Photoshop "Color Management Policies" are as I've got them above.  It shouldn't matter what colour space the image is in when you import back into LR, so long as there's an embedded profile.  The embedded profile merely indicates in what colour space the image is.  LR takes note of the profile, and when you work on the image in Develop Module, it converts internally to ProPhoto RGB (but LR never alters files except metadata - if you import an sRGB jpeg then it stays sRGB - LR converts to ProPhoto RGB only for internal use). 


    When you save the image in Photoshop, if you want it in sRGB:

    • either use Save for Web... (and make sure "Convert to sRGB" and "Embed profile" are checked)
    • or use Edit... Convert to Profile (not Assign Profile) and then save. 


    Does that help?

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