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Question about color management

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  • Color Management: Question about color management

    So i recently loaded up Irfanview because the windows pic viewer was so slow...

    anyways, all of the sudden im seeing quite a difference in color on images when in photoshop vs when brought up in Irfanview.

    Furthermore, i uploaded a few to Facebook and on my work PC im looking at the images and they look washed out.

    1) I use spyder 2 express. Everything looks fantastic on my laptop and home PC when in photoshop... not 100% on the home PC, most of my imaging is dont on my laptop and proofed on the PC.

    2) My work computer is NOT calibrated, but pics ive worked on in the past look more vivid on my work PC than they do now.

    3) the only other change is i recently upgraded from a Nikon D40 camera to Nikon D90, and very recently i have pretty much completly switched to shooting RAW. For conversion ill load the RAW pics up in the bridge, make any adjustments and save them as 12 bit Jpeg.

    It seems the only place my images look right is in Photoshop CS3.

    is there something i can check in CS3 to verify the color settings? seems like it is OFF from reality


  • #2
    Re: Question about color management

    What color management policies are you using (Edit>Preferences>Color Settings). What is your working colorspace in Photoshop? Are you saving your images with embedded profiles and if so are they matched to your destination's color space, especially if that destination workspace is not color managed?
    Regards, Murray


    • #3
      Re: Question about color management

      It's hard to say, until we know a bit more or think on it some more.

      1) Irfanview is sort of color managed. (It's a bit hard to determine exactly what it is doing, as the help files are not all that informative on it's color management.) While it does allow you to define a monitor profile, it does not allow you to convert images to other profiles when opening, or to assign a working color space. Hence, it simply displays the file as it should be, then ensures the view is ported through Windows' CMM using the proper display profile.

      2) Irfanview can throw you for a loop if you have played around with the Image > Color Corrections dialog. While it's Ok to adjust an image there, be sure not to check the Save values on exit box. Otherwise, Irfanview will make the same adjustment to all images opened thereafter.

      3) Your Spyder only generates a profile for your monitor which corrects colors passed from Windows CMM to the monitor through the graphic card. The profile is used by the graphic card to make the necessary corrections. When a color value like (R:165, G:142, B:105) is sent from an application to the card, it knows to make a subtle modification, like (R:166, G:144, B:112). So, while using the Spyder is necessary, it does not ensure an application is going to make the image look right. The other color management settings must be in place and working correctly.

      4) Comparing images on your work PC can be tricky. A non-color managed PC will generally look more vivid. Unfortunately, color managed systems simply look a bit flat, especially when viewed without a hood or such.

      5) RAW files often look a bit flat also. Once you've generated a calibration file in ACR for your camera, then you can automatically convert them all at once. They will automatically look better in Bridge, since Bridge can read the conversion data on the fly.

      6) Do as Murray says and tell us what your color management settings are. Sometimes, just a small change from the defaults can alter the viewed results. Also, you can synchronize the color management settings across the suite. Access that setting from Bridge, edit > preferences > advanced.

      I know this doesn't solve anything, but maybe after a few more posts one of us will notice something and a light will come on.


      • #4
        Re: Question about color management

        wow thanks for the posts, i now know what i dont know. lol. Im at work right now, when i get home ill hop on the laptop and take another look through.

        the images from the D90 looked good across the computers when shooting JPEG, however i had a halloween party and ended up shooting raw..

        now that i think of it, when i shoot Jpeg i do a custom version of Vivid color setting with a little extra sharpness for general purpose photography.

        im thinking the raw does not work like this, ill have to check into it. I havent messed with raw much because it was somewhat of a pain in the butt to convert everything for Jpeg in order to be able to view it anywhere other than photoshop.

        recently i stumbled upon the fact that i can grab 15 raw images and tweak them all pretty quick and just save them as 12 bit jpegs.

        i wonder if it is the camera's color profile not being engaged when shooting raw. I can shoot raw and jpeg simultaneously so ill give that a shot tonight as well and see if there are major differences in color.

        ill also check my color settings. I dont know THAT much about color settings other than after i used the Spyder calibration that the prints i got back were far closer to what the monitor displayed

        i really need to figure this color management out before it comes to bite me in the butt


        • #5
          Re: Question about color management

          Originally posted by mistermonday View Post
          What color management policies are you using (Edit>Preferences>Color Settings). What is your working colorspace in Photoshop? Are you saving your images with embedded profiles and if so are they matched to your destination's color space, especially if that destination workspace is not color managed?
          Regards, Murray
          Ok this is how it is setup.

          Settings = North America General Purpose 2

          working spaces:
          sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (i do have a "Monitor RGB Spyder2 Express")
          U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
          Dot grain 20%
          dot grain 20%

          Color Management Policies
          RGB, CMKY and Gray = Preserve Embedded Profiles.

          I gotta be honest here, i dont have a clue as to what these mean. lol

          Any online sources to understand this better?

          Are you referring to the "Enable Color Management in Bridge" box? right now it is not checked.

          i have some books that went over color management, i really need to educate myself on this


          • #6
            Re: Question about color management

            Preserve embedd profiles is IMO correct. This instructs PS to keep the profiles that have been embedded into the file. This is a good idea because if PS screws up, or if you do, and improperly processes a file or does not recognize the color profile of that file, then the embedded profile will not be deleted.
            Now, under the "Color Management Policies RGB, CMKY and Gray = Preserve Embedded Profiles" there are 3 boxes. Do you have these checked? If not, then you should do so until you are really proficient in Color Management and even when you are, I would recommend leaving them on. These boxes tell PS what to do when you try to open a file whose profile is different from you working space. You are offered 3 options and you can make the appropriate choice. If you turn off these warning boxes then PS does what it wants to the profiles which could result in automatic conversion to another color space or it will assume the file is in your working colorspace even if it is not. So for example if someone sends you a camera file that is AdobeRGB and you are working in sRGB, your image will look noticeably different if PS treats it as sRGB.
            The only downside to leaving those 3 boxes check are that you will get a dialog box (with 3 choices) if you try to open a file whose profile is not the same as your working colorspace. You will not get the dialog box if there is a match.
            Regards, Murray


            • #7
              Re: Question about color management

              i would switch your working space to adobe RGB if you are shooting raw, does your camera allow you to change the working space of the images you shoot?


              • #8
                Re: Question about color management

                would you reccomend assigning a work profile to incoming images rather than convert ?
                2. Is PS doing a on the fly conversion to the working space if the profile is non matching?


                • #9
                  Re: Question about color management

                  Ralph, welcome to Retouch Pro. The Edit>Assign Profile command (or in the File Open dialog) is usually used to tell PS what profile an image was created in. This is usually used for files which do not have an embedded profile. When PS opens a file that does not have a profile, and if you have unchecked the boxes in ther Color Settings, then PS assumes that the file's porfile is the same as PS's working space and it treats the file accordingly. So for example if PS working color space is AdobeRGB and it opens an untagged jpg from a web site (which is almost always sRGB), and if you have turned off the warning boxes in Color Settings, PS will treat the file as if it were AdobeRGB and the result will be that the file colors look very different than they did on the web or on a computer where PS working space is sRGB. If the warning boxes are turned on, you have the options to: Not manage color, assign the proper color space, or convert the image to PS's working colorspace.
                  2. The answer to 2. depends totally on what options you selected in the Edit>Color Settings screen. Those are the guidelines PS will follow.
                  Regards, Murray