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Ignore Exif and Elements colour management

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Old 06-14-2003, 08:12 AM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 139
Richard: Experiment results.
As far as I can tell, with the ignore EXIF plug in ON, case (a) and case (b) give the same results, images are identical - both asked me whether or not I wanted to embed the "callibrated profile', which seems to me to indicate that they are using the monitor profile I've set up as a workspace. (but I could be wrong there - and I'm really not sure what that means in practice). As I said in my first post, the images look different, particularly in the reds depending on whether I choose no - colour management (? workspace), limited colour management (srgb - it looks the same as if I had the ignore Exif OFF, so I presume that's right) or full colour management - (Adobe RGB, pronounced increase in intensity.) As long as I don't embed the profiles these changes are reversible on changing colour management. If I embed the profiles on saving the image then it becomes invariant to the colour management setting. And I can no longer get the option to embed anything other than the profiles that they are tagged with.....(unless I do a save as again without embedding, close and re-open...which appears to return the file to it original state)

To me that sounds as though as long as I don't embed any profiles when saving, I'm OK using non-colourmanaged settings. What else it means i don't know...

The problem of an image actually being saved by the camera in AdobeRGB, while being tagged as sRGB from the EXIF is, I believe what the EXIF plug-in is designed to get round - it leads to colour casts and oddities - with the full version of photoshop it's just a matter of manually attaching the correct profile on being asked when the untagged image loads. Elements is less transparent.....As my cameras appear to use something that was quite close to the sRGB they were being tagged with I didn't realise there was anything odd going on with Elements colour management until I actually removed the tags with the ignore exif thing. But as the cameras can't embed profiles or shoot in anything other than default colour space (whatever that my be! - the only clue I have is the sRGB tag in the EXIF ), it seems better to use the non-managed colour space (whatever that is...!)

Susan S.

Last edited by Susan S.; 06-14-2003 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:23 AM
Jeff F Jeff F is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 28
Thanks, Susan, for the link above and for sharing all of your experimentation results. Scores of people like me are sure to benefit. I would think that most everyone would like to start with an image that has not been "massaged" in some unknown way in the name of color management. I'm looking forward to trying some of my own photos now with the Ignore EXIF plugin.

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Old 06-15-2003, 05:17 AM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Jeff - I'm not sure at the moment whether I'm adding signal or noise to the issue with my experiments! But for my set-up, Ignore Exif and No colour mangement it seems to work better than not having Ignore Exif installed - I prefer how the images look colour-wise (in terms of comparison to both Real Life, and how they look in other programs and on print). I hope I have helped people rather than confused them....I've certainly been pretty confused myself this week!

susan S
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Old 06-18-2003, 07:11 AM
pmarchant pmarchant is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Reading, England
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An alternative is to use an EXIF data stripper on the image before reading it into Elements.

I use a program called Exifer for Windows which enables you to extract/insert the EXIF/IPTC data. This one is Windows only, but there are bound to be similar programs for the Mac.

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Old 06-18-2003, 07:51 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
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I do not use PSE, so please forgive any info which may differ from the full version which I use - but I thought I should add some comment anyway. This is more general info than specifics to a particular software application.

Even though EXIF colour space data is presented in Photoshop as ICC data - it is not actually ICC data. Photoshop substitues the sRGB profile when it finds the sRGB EXIF colour space tag (unless disabled via plug or patch).

Camera makers only thought of two possible options for describing the colour that the RGB numbers that the pixels represent - either sRGB or uncalibrated.

What is confusing is that _many_ cameras write the sRGB code into a file, even if it is not processing an image into this space!!! They should use the uncalibrated setting, but many do not.

So unless you actually know or like the effect that sRGB has when set as the colour description of the image - it may not be the best option to use.

I have some very 'heavy' links on this if anyone wants to know more, but that is the basic state we are in.

Does one trust a tagged ICC profile as being correct?

Does one trust an embedded EXIF colour space tag that reads as sRGB?

Does one trust Photoshop 7 when it says there is a sRGB profile tagged to the image - when there really is not and Photoshop is linking the sRGB profile behind the scenes to the EXIF data? <g>


Stephen Marsh.
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Old 06-18-2003, 08:08 AM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Thanks Stephen - you are confirming (I think!) the conclusions that I had come to via experiment in my long-winded fashion. Elements also shows the images from both my digicams as tagged with sRGB from the Exif data, unless I do something about it. And in Elements it is more confusing as colour management processes are even less transparent than in the full version - I think it's one of those things that by trying to simplify for non-experts, it's actually made it more complicated for anyone who wants to look under the hood and see what happens...
Susan S.
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Old 08-24-2004, 10:03 AM
Hans Spicar Hans Spicar is offline
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden.
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A solution

I have recently experienced similar problems after buying a new digital camera. My former camera worked perfect with both iPhoto and Photoshop Elements 2 but the new Olympus C8080 gave me poor colours. The camera does tag the files with sRGB but does not include the profile. Not even the included Olympus software handles this.

Experimentation a couple of days gave the following conclusions:
1. There is no visible difference in how Photoshop Elements 2 works with or without the ignore exif plugin.
2. Image Capture (included in Mac OS X) can embed a profile of your choice.
3. The real colour space of many cameras is bigger than sRGB. By embedding Nikon Bruce RGB I get much better results. Nikon Bruce RBG is somewhere between Adobe RGB 1998 and sRGB. Before saving images for the web in PE 2 colour saturation has the bee lowered with 10% in some colours in some images. Othervise the images may look oversaturated.
4. After download of the images from the camera to the computer you can import them into iPhoto with good colours!

Best Regards

Hans Spicar
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Old 08-24-2004, 11:59 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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>>The camera does tag the files with sRGB but does not include the profile.

By this, do you mean that it is included in the EXIF data only?

Certainly it could be (and is likely) that the original space is larger than sRGB. If you are not getting the right result, have you tried shutting off Color Management? have you entertained other color management settings? Can you forward an example file?

My guess is that using RAW files and the RAW plugin will get you better results.
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:17 AM
Hans Spicar Hans Spicar is offline
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How I embed colourspace

Olympus C8080 sets the exif data field to sRBG but does not embed a profile.

I have tried just about every setting there is… Photoshop Elements handles the images as sRGB even if colourmanagement is turned of.

iPhoto imports the images without doing anything with exif-data and does show the images with pale colours. It says the software version of the file is v757-75 which is the number of the camera software. If I use Image Capture and embed a colourspace the software version is QuickTime 6.5.1.

Photoshop Elements reads the exif-data and, if no colourspace is embedded, embeds the colour space that is specified in the exif-data. So in Photoshop Elements there is no problem but I use iPhoto to organise, publish and print most of my images so I have to create a easy workflow that gives good results regardless of the software I am using.

I have not tried using RAW files. The reason for this is that the camera gets looked 10 to 15 seconds during saving the files to the memory card. In most situations I just can’t wait that long.

I have uploaded four example files on my homepage. Nr 1 is how the file comes of the camera without any manipulation of exif-info or profiles. Nr 2 to nr 4 got a colourspace embedded importing them from the camera with Image Capture. Nr 2 got sRGB, nr 3 Nikon Bruce and nr 4 AO RGB Canon N. The last profile is custom made by my brother in law who is a professional photographer. The profile is made for compact Canon cameras to adjust the red tones. It is very close to Adobe RGB 1998. It also fits my Olympus very well!

Last edited by Hans Spicar; 08-26-2004 at 08:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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