pixelbase's blog


posted by pixelbase, Jan 30, 2007 2:52 PM — 12 comments

Photoshop's default color space is quite possibly the worst color space for professional photographers (and maybe even web designers). It was actually designed for use by web designers and mimics an "el cheapo" monitor from a few years ago.

You do not want to use this color space, especially if your photos will end up in any kind of print publication.

Instead, consider using my space: Adobe RGB (1998). This setting produces a wider gamut of colors and is probably the most popular RGB setting for photographers.

For Mac, press shift > apple > K, for PeeCee, press Shift > Ctrl > K to bring up the Color Setting dialog box. In the Working Spaces section, from the RGB pop-up menu, choose Adobe RGB (1998). Click OK and you now have a whole new gamut of colors to work with!

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1. posted by rubenshito, Jan 30, 2007 7:04 PM

great! thnx...
but... any tip about the other settings in the Working spaces section? CMYK etc..
thnx in advance.

2. posted by pixelbase, Jan 30, 2007 11:48 PM

Thanks for the comment!

The CMYK working spaces are standard color spaces. Choose the one that matches your printing conditions the closest. For the best match, ask your printer to send you a profile of its proofer.

The Gray working space lets you specify a dot gain percentage for printing, or a gamma level for viewing images in Grayscale mode.

The Spot working space is similar to Gray working space, but lets you choose a dot gain for spot channels and duotones.

Color Management Policies are simply a set of rules for opening files with and without embedded profiles. Unless you have a pressing need to choose otherwise, keep the default settings (Preserve Embedded Profiles for RGB, CMYK, and Gray).

For more detailed information about dot gain, gamma, advanced options, and what to do for profile mismatches, look for my upcoming post titled, "WORKING SPACE!".

3. posted by kayceeus, Feb 9, 2007 10:40 PM

I do photomanips that have great color in Photoshop but when I put them on the web they look much lighter and washed out, any suggestions? BTW I do use the RGB 1998 settings already.
Thank you!

4. posted by gerund, Feb 11, 2007 8:24 PM

FWIW in reponse to Kayceeus,
SRGB is the standard color space used by browsers.
While adobe rgb is an expanded colorspace and supported by adobe applications, most computer monitors do not support it nor do browsers support it. SRGB is the established color space to use for all but the few who have the equipment from camera to monitor to application to printer to support the adobe colorspace.
Otherwise one gets precisely what you describe, a lighter and washed out looking photo.

5. posted by macgreen, Feb 16, 2007 10:54 AM

kayceeus, rule of thumb for putting images on the web, Convert your images color space to sRGB.

The best way to do this and preserve colors is to choose the Image >Mode > Convert To Profile and choose sRGB. (using Photoshop CS / using CS2 this option has moved into the Edit menu)

I have noticed if working on an Adobe RGB (1998) color space image and use the Assign Profile dialog that there is a shift in colors. No noticable shift when using Convert option.

My advice would be the last step you choose before Save For the Web is to make sure you run the Convert To Profile and select sRGB. Heck why not save this step as an action.
You should end up with the correct colors as you had before you uploaded to internet.

Hope this helps.

6. posted by lovegrind, Feb 28, 2007 1:54 AM

if you're from europe go to www.eci.org (european color initiative)

go to downloads and download the latest .icc profiles for professional printing

ECI_Offset_2007.zip for the cmyk
space .. and ..
eciRGBv10.zip for the rgb space ..

7. posted by cafe-ole, Apr 18, 2007 5:15 PM

thanks for the tip :)

8. posted by danmarshal, Apr 26, 2007 3:32 AM

The problem with doing anything for web is that the vast magority of people out there don't have profiled monitors. This means that your best bet is simply to make everything bright, saturated and with high contrast. For web based stuff, SRGB is the prefered working space as mentioned before.

For gloss printed material stock, using a SWOP profile is fine for most prepress needs as the magority of printers out there don't actually use custom colour managed workflows... Shocking I know, and it restricts your total ink coverage quite severly, but that's a fact of life. The last firm I worked for for example had a 2.4 million dollar Roland press, but was using a colour profile for a Heidelberg MO cause they were too cheap to get a colour technician in to do the job propperly. Clients just didn't know the difference or didn't care. I'm glad I work for the newspapers now!

9. posted by Serenesta, Jun 6, 2007 2:45 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how I come across the answers to my most difficult queations, without looking for them. I;m so thankful to you right now that I have to explain. More than a year ago I noticed this 'problem' with Adobe. After slaving over several graphics in Adobe (after switching from PSP), I noticed that my graphics did not look the way they were supposed to, the way I made them look in Photoshop, when not in Photoshop. I searched for months and months for the reason for this and a way to fix it, but to no avail.

So, here I am, more than a year later and after giving up, I find you, the answer to my prayers, lol.

Thank you!

10. posted by sagriffith, Aug 10, 2007 10:36 AM

If you work in other Adobe software, I'd suggest setting all your profiles in Bridge instead of just Photoshop. That way everything uses the same settings, so you'll be less likely have to have nasty surprise when you get your masterpiece back from the press or see it on the public Web.

11. posted by conceptbrc, Jan 29, 2008 10:41 PM

I think the best you can do is to use no color correction in programs and calibrate the entire system.

There are a lot of utls to make that. In mac i suggest color sync.

I have almost 30 different settings and I change that to accurate colors for every kind of work

12. posted by tenyomelim, Sep 9, 2008 11:23 PM

Wow, I never knew that! Thanks, I'm going to give this a try! ^_^

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