5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2016 10:23 AM by thedigitaldog

    Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]

    praznin Level 1

      I've been using PS since ver 5.0 (not CS5, heh), but mostly as a web designer. I've made a switch to photography and retouching since then, and I mostly publish on the web, so sRGB is my go-to color space.

       

      Recently, I've bought the new Dell XPS 15 (9550), which boasts 100% Adobe RGB coverage, which is pretty sick for a laptop screen. So I've bought it, and grabbed the i1Display Pro to go along and to calibrate/profile my monitor.

       

      I'm super happy with the screen, it has really nice saturated colors and when I look at images on it and compare it to another laptop, it's night and day. However, I have an issue in my workflow now, especially since I'm a newbie regarding color management.

       

      I've noticed a problem when I was looking at a picture attachment in my browser (Chrome) - when I clicked on it and it opened a preview of the image inside of gmail, the colors looked flat and boring. When I downloaded the  jpg image and just opened it in the Photos app (I'm on Win10), the colors looked like "they should have looked". So I assumed that chrome just assumes the sRGB color space and doesn't apply my monitor profile, so everything looks dull. Is that correct?

       

      Anyway, the issue is that I don't understand how should I edit the photos then? I use lightroom in the beginning, and lightroom uses ProPhoto RGB as it's default color space - when I open the file in photoshop, should it stay in that color space for all the further edits, and should I leave the conversion to sRGB as the last step, or at what timepoint should I convert it to sRGB in order to retain as much color information as possible? The issue could be that I do all my edits in wide gamut, and then when I export it as sRGB, it could look wrong. I know a lot of folks don't have calibrated monitors, but I'd like that they could be able to view the images that I create the way they're meant to be viewed. A 1:1 equivalence is not possible, but I'm looking to the solution that's "as close as possible".

       

      Should I use "proof color" (with proof setup > monitor RGB or sRGB?) in photoshop or forget about proofing colors?

       

      Specific example:

       

      I edited the photo in lightroom, opened it in photoshop, did nothing, save as for web, jpg, convert to sRGB checked, embed color profile checked

       

      When I open this jpg file in the Photos app, the colors look more saturated than in photoshop (photoshop is identical to lightroom).

      When I send this jpg to my gmail account and open the preview of the file in Chrome, then the colors look less saturated than photoshop (and way less saturated when comparing to the photos app)

       

      So I have no idea which colors and saturation levels are "real"! I have no idea what my viewers are going to see on their end!

      And I have absolutely no idea why I get three different color/saturation outputs from one file. Which one is the most correct one? How should I process files in order to obtain consistent results?

       

      These are my color settings in photoshop, if they're important: https://i.imgur.com/VA5sjij.jpg

        • 1. Re: Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]
          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The answer to all this is very simple:

           

          A wide gamut display can only be used in a fully color managed environment.


          The application needs to remap the source data into your monitor profile and send that to your display. That's a standard profile conversion. Software that isn't color managed doesn't do this, and will display sRGB material oversaturated.

           

          The vendors should really do better at informing their customers about this. There's no way around it.

           

          In short, what you need to do is find and use color managed applications. For web, use Firefox set to color management mode 1 (google it). When you have to use non-color managed applications, just ignore the oversaturation. Most native Windows apps are not color managed, with the exception of Windows Photo Viewer - not to be confused with the new Photos app.

          • 2. Re: Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Just to cover the other questions:

             

            Proof is irrelevant and will only confuse you further. Proofing to Monitor RGB disables all display color management, making everything wrong. Proof is mainly for print, to check whether you have colors that can't be reproduced in print (gamut clipping in the print profile). If you have critical web content, proofing to sRGB could be useful, but mostly it's pointless.

             

            For web, convert to sRGB and embed the profile. Done. Whether other people have properly color managed setups is their problem, not yours.

             

            Lightroom outputs to ProPhoto by default, but you can change this to anything you want in preferences. Don't confuse this default with Lightroom's internal working color space, which is a custom color space with ProPhoto primaries but linear tone response curve (gamma 1.0). Lightroom's internal color space has no particular bearing or significance outside Lightroom.

             

            Your Photoshop color settings are fine. The important thing is to always keep color management policies to "preserve embedded profiles". This way the embedded profile always overrides the working space, and you avoid unpleasant surprises.

             

            And to sum up once again. Use color managed applications only, or as far as possible. As long as you have a good monitor profile, which the i1 gives you, these applications will display correctly. The others will be wrong. They will be wrong in any case, but a wide gamut display makes the point to more dramatic effect.

            • 3. Re: Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]
              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              D Fosse wrote:

              A wide gamut display can only be used in a fully color managed environment.

              Well if one is viewing similar wide gamut data (Adobe RGB (1998)) it will act the same as a non wide gamut display viewing similar sRGB-like data. But I'm playing devils advocate a bit, we need color management for either IF we hope to view our RGB values, among others, correctly.

              If I waved a magic wand and all the sRGB-like displays disappeared and were replaced with wide gamut displays, sRGB could go away, Adobe RGB (1998) would replace it but again, having color managed app's fixes the issues for all, as you explain. In that new world, sRGB would look awful un-color managed, Adobe RGB would look OK, just as we see today with sRGB.

              Frankly I can't wait for that day, I hope I live that long. sRGB is basically useless and suboptimal today, for anything but viewing images on mobil devices, the web, non-color managed devices that attempt to mimic sRGB.

              • 4. Re: Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]
                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Correct, if Apple didn't decide to muddy the waters with their DCI-P3 variety of wide gamut On those displays, anything non-color managed will look wrong regardless, including Adobe RGB, and you're really locked into functioning color management hands and feet.

                 

                I do agree with you of course. But I'm not confident wide gamut displays will reach market saturation within the foreseeable future. The only way to get there that I can see, is via color management becoming ubiquitous, used by all web browsers and major platforms including tablets and phones.

                 

                OTOH we see a similar situation with 4K. Basically backwards incompatible, and only made usable for now by temporary hacks in software (scaling). When we all have them the problem goes away of course. Maybe something similar will happen with wide gamut.

                • 5. Re: Color in and outside of Photoshop after calibration [newbie]
                  thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  D Fosse wrote:

                   

                  Correct, if Apple didn't decide to muddy the waters with their DCI-P3 variety of wide gamut On those displays, anything non-color managed will look wrong regardless, including Adobe RGB, and you're really locked into functioning color management hands and feet.

                  True. They are aiming at a different market and couldn't accept any color space with "Adobe" in the name. I haven't checked, but it would be interesting to see what DCI-P3 would look like un-color managed on my wide gamut display vs. Adobe RGB (1998). They are "pretty close."