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color space in Elements

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2003, 11:16 AM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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color space in Elements

I need to send a finished image to a lab with a Durst Lambda for enlargements. After upsampling in Qimage, I notice that my files are in an "untagged RGB" colorspace. This may be why I have had trouble getting my calibrated monitor to match some lab prints. I use "no color management" in Elements.
Can I embed a generic sRGB colorspace into my images using Elements 1? Would this make printing more consistent?
Any other workflows for external enlargements using Elements?
Thanks
www.pbase.com/reimar
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2003, 12:53 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Untagged RGB would most likely not be a far cry from sRGB. There is really no better choice if an image comes in untagged unless you have reason to believe otherwise...in other words, not tagging it is pretty safe.

As far as embedding, limited color management will embed an sRGB profile. I am not sure exactly what you gain. That is, unless there is a profile that the manufacturer recommends.

You may want to review the sections on pages 23-24. There is also discussion in the previous 2 (or 3) newsletters about color management.

Is there a recomendation by the printer or service?
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2003, 07:36 PM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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I calibrate my monitor using eye-one display. Images look great on screen when I'm done. I like your work flow of leaving color management off in Elements, Richard. When I use limted (sRGB) or full (AdobeRGB98) management, the colors and contrast of my images are all wrong.
My problem is getting a lab to print the same thing I see on my screen. I've been to one lab and looked at my images on their expensive calibrated monitors and it looks just like at home. But prints were too dark and lacked greens. They suggested I embed my profile, which turns out to be my monitor profile if color management is off.
Is this recommended? Is embedding my monitor profile putting my images in a colorspace their printer driver/profile can recognize and print accurately?
My new print service recommends AdobeRGB98, but will take sRGB. Should I send them untagged images or images with my monitor profile embedded?

I haven't been getting the newsletters - I don't know why. I'm going to go look for those now.
Thanks
Reimar
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Old 12-26-2003, 10:28 AM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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Having read the newsletter articles, I'm still left with my question. It seems to me that my camera sRGB colorspace is different (and hopefully wider) than the standard sRGB that "limited" color management provides in Elements. It is also different from adobeRGB. Of course I would like to stay in this colorspace for both my home printing (which is fine) and external enlargements.
Leaving my images untagged has resulted in inconsistencies at one lab. They claimed to be able to print a perfect match to the monitor image. In the end they could not manage this.
My question is: would embedding my monitor profile in the file I send to the lab increase my chances of a match with my home prints and my monitor (and web) views?




(Just for fun - anybody see the Epson print add in photo magazines where they make a big deal about seeing not a pterodactyl, but a kite that looks like one? Notice the overleaf that is supposed to match the right side of the image? The colors don't match! The Epson ad can't even manage to color match! Clearly, color management is 90% voodoo)

www.pbase.com/reimar
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:27 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Did I misunderstand you or did you say here that the lab can get the image to look like yours on screen but cannot print it out correctly? it would be one of two things:

1) the lab has a color issue in that they are maintaining color management incorrectly. (possible)

2) You are looking at the image in RGB and expecting an RGB result, rather than a CMYK one. CMYK is never really as vibrant as RGB, though you can enhance the result. Have you printed at home with satisfactory results? if so, i suggest 1 is the problem, if not, is 2?

let me know.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2004, 08:14 PM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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Yes, the images looked perfect on their monitor but prints were off. Prints are very good on my Epson at home. I no longer use this service. Other large-format printing places, and my stock photography site are asking for images in AdobeRGB.
I see now that embedding a profile in my cameraRGB images using PE1 (either sRGB or AdobeRGB) is not the answer. I need to convert to AdobeRGB with an appropriate rendering intent. Elements won't let me do that will it?
Unless you have a suggestion, I'm going to try to fiddle with conversions in my printing program, Qimage.
Thanks
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:46 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Quote:
Prints are very good on my Epson at home.
If this is the case, then a profile is obviously not the answer--unless you are using a profile at home. Are you? If so, which? If none, why do you suppose that you are getting the right results at home, and the service can't?

The words in my book are not just words I came up with, it is how I work. While it may be more important to consider profiling when sending an RGB image to a service, is it also more likely that the service will just use the image as you provide it. If it is not coming out in the same way that you provide the proof, it is their problem, not yours. They need to know how to best handle their equipment...and if they insist on converting to AdobeRGB, then they should use Photoshop and do it. If a file comes in untagged, it would make sense to assume that it is sRGB, and not anything else. Fact is, not everyone has Photoshop or even Elements, so depending on the client to provide AdobeRGB is unseemly. if you haven't embedded a profile, they shouldn't just assume it is AdobeRGB...that makes little sense. It will also dull the color if they treat it that way, and people providing files from other sources than an Adobe product (e.g., most digital cameras), will consistently achieve mediocre results. That would not be really good for business.

Be all that as it may, if you REALLY REALLY want to embed AdobeRGB and convert your sRGB image, you can do it in the following way...Note, I do not necessarily recommend this.

1. Open your image and be sure it is either sRGB or untagged. You can do this by opening the image with No Color Management, and then either embedding the profile using Save As or not. Close the image.
2. Change the elements settings to Full Color Management.
3. Open the same image to embed your AdobeRGB profile (see note below).
4. Save the image using Save As and be sure the AdobeRGB profile box is checked. Use another name when saving (not for yourself, for the file).

Note: if your image is already AdobeRGB, nothing will happen. If it is sRGB, or untagged, the file will be converted to the AdobeRGB color space and tagged as AdobeRGB when saved as an RGB image. You can see the difference on screen by closing the image, changing the color management yet again to Limited Color Management and opening both files (the original and the AdobeRGB file).

My caution here is that the one file might look better than the other (it can go either way, depending on the color and how good your correction skills are), but I am not sure that is reality. What you just did was use a profile for color correction, and THAT is somewhat unsavory. If you like the second result, there are better ways to control this manually. Note all the correction techniques in the book. You will also note that if you drag one image into the other (hold shift and use the move tool), the color of the added layer will view the SAME as the image you dragged it into. this is the result of the active profile affecting the image display. In other words, NOTHING changed in the numbers for the image...they are different representations of the same thing. The point: if the image is corrected optimally in sRGB, it should not improve when chaged to AdobeRGB. Your job in correction is to make the image the best you can...failing that, it is bad technique to rely on profiling to improve it. The latter seems less like what you are trying to achieve than what the service is.

My question at the service would be "Why are you using AdobeRGB, and how do you enforce that?" Forgive my skepticism, but I expect they will not have a viable answer.

That help?
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2004, 06:42 PM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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I don't use any profiles other than my monitor profile. I have tried several printer profiles and found they produced poor results. I have this idea that I'm working in a colorspace defined by my camera. By trial and error, I've got my printer to reproduce my on-screen results using the color slider settings in my print driver. I suspect external labs may not know what to do with the numbers in my cameras colorspace. I have given up on external printing for the time being.

I appreciate your thorough response - here is what I get:

All my work is done with "no color management" in the color settings. I hardware calibrate my monitor and use this profile globally in Windows for all my applications. My finished images are untagged RGB TIFF files from my Nikon CP4500 which ostensibly produces an sRGB file. I then followed your directions by changing color settings to full color management, open the file, save as another name and check the AdobeRGB box. When I open both original and the image "converted" to AdobeRGB at the "limited" setting, both images look identical. And wrong. If I change the color setting back to "no color management" in Elements, both look perfect. It seems that re-saving the file with Adobe checked didn't have any effect.

Note that when I'm in the "no color management" setting, and "save as" I have the option of checking a box for color that is the ICC profile for my monitor! I never check this box to embed my monitor profile.

If a stock agency says "we will only accept images in the AdobeRGB colorspace, I'm stuck. I'm still not sure I can do this conversion and retain a semblance of the image's color integrity. Nor do I see any choices about rendering intents in Elements. I don't think I want to embed any profiles.
I'm doomed, right?
I don't even want to look at the price of PS CS.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2004, 07:33 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Embedding a profile should actually not change the image, it should only change the way that it is previewed and used. That is, an RGB value for the fifth pixel in the top row will have the same values whether you embed the AdobeRGB, monitor RGB, or sRGB...if you just embed the profile. The idea of using profiles in a better sense is to embed the profile to help describe your working space. If you WORK in Adobe RGB, and you don't embed the profile, your image will come out pretty wacky because the service will probably assume sRGB (and your previews will have contained your image to the monitor space, if you created a custom monitor profile).

If you are following me, the service that is asking for AdobeRGB is pretty lame. It just doesn't matter. If you want to supply Adobe RGB, work with full color management. That way you are working in the Adobe RGB space and tagging the image as Adobe RGB. The only problem there would be if the service you use ignores or drops profiles. In that case, you get different results than you would expect. If you want to embed AdobeRGB after the fact, tag the image as sRGB when saving, close, change color management settings and re-open. The tags will change, and not the image. In other words, it just doesn't matter. If you are using a profile to convert the image, that is color correction by dice roll.

To be quite frank, an awful lot of fuss is made about profiling, when in the end there are only so many color combinations. There are certain people who may make a fuss about it because they don't understand it, and others because they want it to seem like magic so you pay them a lot of money to use it correctly. CMYK is CMYK no matter what you do to profile your image. If you optimize the image for CMYK print, you will probably want to do that by working in CMYK, not RGB. CMYK is a limited color set, and the results will not get better than CMYK just because you tag an image. You monitor profile is the important thing here, and the more accurate that is, the better your preview.

Don't get me wrong: the way you use color management IS important, but randomly assigning a profile is probably poor judgement.

There is no need to move to CS for what you describe. If you do, you will have a whole new set of problems, as you will need to master CMYK and understand that as well. The Hidden Power of Photoshop CS can help (http://aps8.com/hppscs.html), but I don't think you need to turn to CS because some service suggests you embed a profile. You can do that with what you have -- if you choose to listen to them. If you are submitting stock photography and they require an AdobeRGB file, embed the profile using the previously described method. Working in AdobeRGB may be the right solution for you. However, experience suggests everything I have already suggested in the book.

This seems to be going round-and-round at this point. What is it that you expect to happen when you embed the profile?

Let me know.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2004, 02:57 PM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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I think I'm beginning to get it. If I need to end up in AdobeRGB, I should start my editing in that space. For my existing images in untagged sRGB the conversion will be rather imperfect. I'm going to leave this for now and go take some pictures.
Thanks for your help Richard.
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