16 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2013 3:45 PM by Lundberg02

    Trying to Understand Color Management

    pintree3 Level 1

      The title should have read, "Trying to Understand Color Management: ProPhoto RGB vs, Adobe RGB (1998) my monitor, a printer and everything in between." Actually I could not come up with a title short enough to describe my question and even this one is not too good. Here goes: The more I read about Color Management the more I understand but also the more I get confused so I thouht the best way for me to understnand is perhaps for me to ask the question my way for my situation.

      I do not own an expensve monitor, I'd say middle of the road. It is not calibrated by hardware or any sophisticated method. I use a simple software and that's it. As to my printer it isn't even a proper Photo filter. My editing of photos is mainly for myself--people either view my photos on the net or on my monitor. At times I print photos on my printer and at times I print them at a Print Shop. My philosophy is this. I am aware that what I see on my monitor may not look the same on someone else's monitor, and though I would definitely like if it it were possible, it doesn't bother me that much. What I do care about is for my photos to come close enough to what I want them to be on print. In other words when the time comes for me to get the best colors possible from a print. Note here that I am not even that concerned with color accuracy (My monitor colors equalling print colors since I know I would need a much better monitor and a calibrated one to do so--accurately compare) but more rather concerned with color detail. What concerns me, is come that day when I do need to make a good print (or afford a good monitor/printer) then I have as much to work with as possible. This leads me to think that therefore working with ProPhoto RGB is the best method to work with and then scale down according to needs (scale down for web viewing for example). So I thought was the solution, but elsewhere I read that using ProPhoto RGB with a non-pro monitor like mine may actually works against me, hence me getting confused, not understanding why this would be so and me coming here. My goal, my objective is this: Should I one day want to print large images to present to a gallery or create a book of my own then I want my photos at that point in time to be the best they can be--the present doesn't worry me much .Do I make any sense?

      BTW if it matters any I have CS6.

        • 1. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
          JWadical Level 1

          Shoot raw files. Then you don't have to worry. Future is secure.

          • 2. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
            Lundberg02 Level 3

            Does your camera shoot RAW?

            You should at least do a monitor calibration using one of the free software calibrators.

            You're very confused.

            You 're using way too much club for your hole right now.

            • 3. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
              Jeff Schewe Level 5

              Oy vey...

               

              First off, a non-profiled display is essentially worse than useless...it may well lead you astray…it may lead you to make changes that are in the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Visual calibration and profiling is not the way to go if you care about what your images look like.

               

              Second, you don't indicate how you are printing…and whether or not you have accurate ICC profiles for your printer. How do you set up the Print dlog in Photoshop? Managed by Photoshop or by the printer?

               

              At this point it really sounds like you are flailing around and really don't understand what you are doing…there are plenty of resources out there to better understand a color managed workflow. The odds are, you won't get a lot of useful answers here other than some resources to read up and learn. This is a useful resource from Gary Ballard.

               

              Read some of that and get back to us...

              • 4. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                pintree3 Level 1

                To all of you thanks.                              First off yes, I now have begun shooting in RAW. As to my future being secure because of me doing so let me just say that once I work on a photo I don't like the idea of going back to the original since hours may have been spent working on it and once having done so the original raw is deleted--a tiff or psd remains. As to, "You 're using way too much club for your hole right now."  I loved reading this sentence :-) You wanna elaborate? As to the rest, monitor/printer. Here's the story: I move aroud alot, and I mean a lot in other words I may be here for 6 months and then move and 6 months later move again. What this means is that a printer does not follow me, at times even my monitor will not follow me so no printer calbration is ever taken into consideration but yes I have used software monitor calibration. Having said this I must admit that time and again I have not seen any really noticeale difference (yes i have but only ever so slight) after calibrating a monitor (As mentioned my monitors, because of my moving are usually middle of the road and limited one thing I know is that 32bits per pixel is a good thing).  As to, "At this point ....you.....really don't understand what you are doing." You are correct--absolutely-- that is why I mentioned me doing a lot of reading etc. etc. Thanks for you link btw.

                Among the things I am reading are, "Color Confidence  Digital Photogs Guide to Color Management", "Color Management for Photographers -Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users", "Mastering Digital Printing - Digital Process and Print Series" and "Real World Color Management - Industrial Strength Production Techniques" And just to show you how deep my ignorance still is, What did you mean by 'non-profiled display' or better still how does one profile a display?

                • 5. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                  Level 5

                  pintree3 wrote:

                   

                  …once I work on a photo I don't like the idea of going back to the original since hours may have been spent working on it and once having done so the original raw is deleted…

                   

                  Hmmm.  In the days of film, were you also in the habit of discarding your negatives?  

                   

                   

                   

                  One of several good reasons to keep your raw files—which are your negatives—is that newer technology may allow you to obtain a better rendering down the road.

                  • 6. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                    Level 5

                    As to calibrating and profiling a display monitor, and to understand the basics of color management, start by reading this site:

                     

                    http://www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html

                    • 7. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                      Lundberg02 Level 3

                      "Too much club" means you don't need CS6. You only need good calibrations and a RAW processor, not the elaborate tools and production orientation of CS6.  You would be well advised to keep your raw files as stated above.

                      If you have to use on hand monitors and printers, buy a Color Munki spectro (not the colorimeter) and take it with you.

                      • 8. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                        Jeff Schewe Level 5

                        pintree3 wrote:

                         

                        And just to show you how deep my ignorance still is, What did you mean by 'non-profiled display' or better still how does one profile a display?

                         

                        Trying to profile a display by eye results in a display profile that is essentially useless...you may think you've used some sort of process to calibrate and profile your display but you are kidding yourself.

                         

                        If you want to have any real control over your images, you need to invest in a hardware calibrated display. The hardware can do what your eyes can't. And if you don't have an accurately calibrated and profiled display, you may as well give up getting any sort of optimized image control over tone & color.

                        • 9. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                          pintree3 wrote:

                           

                          To all of you thanks.

                           

                          Is there a reason you marked you own post as "correct"?

                          • 10. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                            pintree3 Level 1

                            In answering, "Is there a reason you marked you own post as "correct"? "  It was a mistake and unfortunately I could not see an undo button. Sometimes my fingers (mouse) work faster than my brain. The word "correct" is also a verb which can mean "to correct" and hence that is what I wanted to do 'correct' my mistakes--which were then done by 'editing' my mistakes. My apologies.

                            • 11. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                              conroy Level 5

                              There should be "Unmark as Correct" at the bottom-right of the post which you mistakenly marked correct. Click it.

                              • 12. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                                pintree3 Level 1

                                Good point--but yes, in the days of film I did get rid of negatives I felt sure I would never use  or want. But I get your point, most were kept. The thing is, in the days of film things were expensive whereby I would click 4 or 5X, for ex. at a flower now I can and do click 20 X or more. The result is a lot of pictures. My philosophy is the less the better. As my collection grows, it takes more and more time to find something, look for something, compare something and so forth. It is easier to search and go through 250 pictures of red roses within 2,000 flowers as opposed to 1000 roses out of 4,000 flowers.  Yes, this perhaps implies I am not as organized as some people (true) and lazier than some people (also true) but that's who I am--but your point is well made

                                • 13. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                                  pintree3 Level 1

                                  Yes, I have been thinking of such a thing but why 'ColorMunki' why not 'Spyder 4' which seems to do the same thing but is a lot cheaper? Actually it be nice if someone in China decided to manufacture something similar this way we could buy it for $19.99  :-)

                                  • 14. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                                    Lundberg02 Level 3

                                    Because the Color Munki spectrophotometer model will calibrate whatever printer you are forced to use, and the Spyder colorimeter won't.

                                    • 15. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                                      Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                      Actually, the ColorMunki Display only does displays...is the one that does display and printers. The difference in the price is $169 for Display and $449 for Photo.

                                      • 16. Re: Trying to Understand Color Management
                                        Lundberg02 Level 3

                                        I believe you can get if for 378.