Am I harming the overall color by doing the** above ?
Yes, conversions can be considered as detrimental to image quality therefore one should keep the number of conversions to a minimum.
Edit: Well, actually the »overall color« may be harmed less than other aspects of the image like gradients and details.
By converting to a CMYK-space intermediately you most probably simply clip (or distort) the color regions that would be out of gamut for the final space, too.
I would recommend a test:
Convert a copy of the original Adobe RGB image to the target profile, then convert another copy as you describe and superimpose them to be able to compare them as a whole and channel by channel.
.... The printer has given me a cmyk profile for their hp printers. ...
What color space they want the final image? In the color space of the printer or sRGB? If they want it in the color space of the printer, it really doesn't matter what color space you are using when soft proofing with the printer's color space. Probably they told you sRGB because it is most popular. And working on a wider color space makes sense only if you are going to use the image for other destination with wider gamut than the printer.
I noticed that just looking at the channels there was no difference by eye and then I decided to use the color info dropper in the rgb channel. The profile that was changed from Adobe to SRGB was slightly lighter by pixel count when I checked some of the colorful flowers in the image. There was a gamut warning on some of the green in the picture.
The conversion from adobe to srgb to working cmyk to srgb had a slightly darker flower pixel count but side by side without checking all the details they looked similar but if I was a artist I would notice the slight change in color on the flowers. No soft proof color gamut showing.
So I am assuming that converting to the CS5 cmyk must of marked the color pixels darker and when I went back to SRGB conversion and did a soft proof gamut warning nothing showed. So in essence I eliminated the soft proof color gamut (pixels that I would have to fix) that still shows in the adobe to srgb profile.
The printer of the 4 color press wants all images in srgb. That why I did the conversion from adobe to srgb. But if the color is very close to the test copy book I will leave it alone as the painter who I am doing this
work for said if it is a close match don’t bother to change the image.
Thank you for giving me a way to check it out.
I assume they want sRGB to fend off customer complaints. sRGB is such a small color space that further conversion to the target CMYK will not result in much additional clipping.
Try to think in terms of color spaces, then it will be easier to visualize. Small spaces, like sRGB or Web Coated SWOP, will fit entirely within a larger space like Adobe RGB. The other way around, however, will result in clipping. Once clipped, those colors don't come back.
The profile that was changed from Adobe to SRGB was slightly lighter by pixel count
Profile conversions change the read-out values; that's the whole point. Values change in order to keep the same color visually.
when I went back to SRGB conversion and did a soft proof gamut warning nothing showed
Because the colors were already clipped in the previous conversion.
**Accidently, I took a adobe 1998 profile image and converted it to CS5 working cmyk us web coated in photoshop and when I did a soft proof against the printers cmykprofile I saw no out of gamut spots. I then converted the image to srgb and did a soft proof with the printers cmyk profile and again I saw no out of game spots.
This would be expected...once you do a conversion from ARGB>CMYK, all the resulting colors of the CMYK would be withing the gamut of the CMYK profile. Taking a CMYK and going to sRGB would not drive any of the CMYK colors out of the CMYK profile unless you did some color correction while in sRGB. Again this is as expected...
In point of fact, this is a method I use when going from ProPhoto RGB to CMYK then from CMYK to sRGB for when clients want CMYK & RGB files. Once you've done the initial ARGB>CMYK conversion, you basically lock the color gamut to that of the CMYK profile. Since the printer is requesting sRGB images, you might want to consider the aRGB>CMYK>sRGB workflow. This will result in different colors than if you do an ARGB>sRGB conversion since a transform of an RGB to RGB profile will result in a single Relative Colorimetric rendering intent. Going from ARGB>CMYK you can use either RelCol or optionally use Perceptual as a rendering intent. Softproofing using the CMYK profile will aid in getting the best conversion. Although, you should be more concerned about the appearance of the resulting CMYK conversion not as concerned about getting all the colors into gamut. CMYK is such a small color space that the gamut warning may show a lot of colors out of gamut but it doesn't tell you what those colors will look like. That's what softproofing gives you.
I agree – I also have the test copy book that originally went in with adobe 1998 profile instead of srgb so that helps too.
As mentioned - multiple conversions are going to be harmful.
Just convert AdobeRGB (or whatever the document is already in) to the final printer profile.