Ok, so I am asking this question because I am literally at my wits end with this color management stuff. I have become so confused in the past few days that I can’t even think straight. Anyway, I am hoping you all can help me “understand” how it all work. Let me start with some background information (since I know it will probably be asked)
- am a photographer, I utilize Lightroom 4 and CS3 (I know its old but I am planning on getting CS6 soon).
- put my pictures on the web that I will assume will be viewed on multiple different browsers.
- also will be sending my pictures to print at mpix or whcc. I may decide to print my own but haven’t really made that determination at this point.
- have a mac book pro that I work from.
Ok, so I need to get a monitor to work with but I am unsure if I should just buy the thunderbolt mac monitor or get a wide gamut monitor. I have heard so many people say that the wide gamut monitors just messed them up. Also, I am bit confused on the nature of monitor profiles and how they work with photoshop and lightroom. I would assume the monitor applies a profile at all times? I also don’t understand the existence of the prophoto and wide gamut profiles for the mac monitors… they clearly are not wide-gamut monitors, so how do these profiles exist for them, and why would they be useful (if you set the profile to prophoto for example, it is all washed out as expected). Are these profiles “assigning” a profile to the color? I am assuming so because if they were converting them to just a standard rgb then you wouldn’t have the faded colors (correct?).
I just am so nervous that I am going to create something that looks great in Lightroom or Photoshop but that looks awful on the browser, or worse, on a different monitor (standard monitor) and I would have no idea that it looked bad. Or, if I send something to a printer only to get a mess back.
Also, please let me know if I correct in this. If I am in photoshop and I have an untagged image (send via a friend), and lets just say it is really a prophoto image (although my friend didn’t tell me) and I say to assign the prophoto profile (upon import to photoshop). If that truly is the correct profile, the image should look correct. Now consider two scenarios from there: 1) I embed that profile in the image, if I upload that to the web (I know to be cautious, you should always use srgb for web), if the person has a color managed browser, the image would properly appear, because the browser would recognize the profile (in this case “prophoto”) and convert it to whatever it needed to be. But, if it was not a color managed browser, I run the risk that the web browser will just assign a profile, which will wash the photo out most likely, correct? Ok… and scenario 2) after I get the image from my friend and assign the prophoto profile (since that is the correct profile the image was actually created in, although it was untagged when it was sent to me), the image will look correct… BUT, is photoshop displaying the prophoto profile, or is it converting to RGB for my viewing, or is my monitor converting it to rgb for my viewing? I guess I just don’t understand how the monitor fits into all of this. You HAVE to use your monitor to see your images, and since most monitors (including my current one are standard gamut) it would make sense that you actually can’t see anything in the prophoto profile, and you are truly looking at an srgb profile since that is all your monitor can display.
Oh ya, and what benefit is the color match rgb? It seems everyone speaks of the srgb, prophoto, and argb.. but never some of the others.. so maybe I am just lost. I would even appreciate a link to some tutorials if you think those would be helpful.
I am seriously confused.. I would really appreciate the help.