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Author Topic: What is your imaging color space?  (Read 8171 times)
Raw shooter
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« on: July 14, 2006, 07:50:10 AM »
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For years I have defaulted to Adobe RGB 1998, but recently have been using ProPhoto RGB when converting my raw files.  The prints, even using the Epson drive and Epson luster profiles, have been visually superior.  Am I am just imagining the difference?

My question to the long timers here; What is your workflow choice regarding color space and what are the benefits to that choice?
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Phuong
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 09:53:30 AM »
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the workflow color space of choice is without a doubt ProPhoto RGB in 16 bit mode and the most obvious benefit is avoiding posterization (which is even more important with BW images)
there has been many long discussions regarding ProPhoto RGB on the forum. you can use the "search" function to find them.
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bjanes
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 10:46:49 AM »
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For years I have defaulted to Adobe RGB 1998, but recently have been using ProPhoto RGB when converting my raw files.  The prints, even using the Epson drive and Epson luster profiles, have been visually superior.  Am I am just imagining the difference?

My question to the long timers here; What is your workflow choice regarding color space and what are the benefits to that choice?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70660\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I understand that in the upcoming Lightroom from Adobe, you can use any color space you want, as long as it is ProPhotoRGB. Does that tell you what the experts at Adobe think about working spaces?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 10:52:02 AM »
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I use ProPhoto (16-bit) as my working/editing space as well.
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Hendrik
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006, 11:02:11 AM »
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ProPhoto RGB has not always benefits, since all colors captured fits often in a smaller color space, like Adobe RGB or sRGB. I want to use a workflow that combines the benefits of a large color space (not throwing colors away) with the benefits of a smaller color space (finer control over color and tone, because the data points are packed closer together).

So sometimes I choose sRGB, sometimes Adobe RGB and sometimes ProPhoto RGB. Always using 16-bit channels.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2006, 11:13:37 AM »
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ProPhoto RGB has not always benefits, since all colors captured fits often in a smaller color space, like Adobe RGB or sRGB. I want to use a workflow that combines the benefits of a large color space (not throwing colors away) with the benefits of a smaller color space (finer control over color and tone, because the data points are packed closer together).

Unless you're working in 8-bit mode, there are no practical disadvantages (disadvantages that can be demonstrated in real-world use) to using a larger-than-strictly-necessary color space. Photoshop has many ways of making very fine adjustments (like adjustment layers with variable opacity) that make the "use the smallest color space that will hold all the colors" argument pretty pointless.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 11:14:18 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 12:53:22 PM »
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I encode RAW into whatever color space fits best for the scene gamut. Its often ProPhoto RGB but it could just as likely be sRGB.
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Andrew Rodney
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bjanes
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 02:38:56 PM »
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Unless you're working in 8-bit mode, there are no practical disadvantages (disadvantages that can be demonstrated in real-world use) to using a larger-than-strictly-necessary color space. Photoshop has many ways of making very fine adjustments (like adjustment layers with variable opacity) that make the "use the smallest color space that will hold all the colors" argument pretty pointless.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70690\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I had formerly thought that a large color space such as ProPhotoRGB could result in excessive gamut compression with perceptual colorimetric rendering to a smaller space, such as a printer, but this notion has been refuted by more experienced photographers in a recent thread. Some cameras may remap out of gamut colors into aRGB or sRGB with in camera JPEG, but Adobe Camera Raw and some other converters simply clip them. About the only disadvantage of ProPhotoRGB is the larger file size necessitated by working in 16 bit. If you need to convert ProPhotoRGB to sRBG for the web, colors out of the gamut of sRGB will be clipped, since there is no perceptual colorimetric with matrix profiles. However, table based profiles for the conversion are available.
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Hendrik
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2006, 04:36:13 AM »
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In a recent thread I asked this question, because I felt uncomfortable with always using the ProPhoto RGB doctrine. I also had the feeling I got sub-optimal results when I manipulated small-gamut images inside ProPhoto, although I haven’t done a side-by-side test.

One of my concerns were the tools of PS. High-bit editing gives you (much) more levels per color channel, but your tools in PS are not adjusted accordingly when you work with high-bit images. For example, when you select curves, you notice you still have 0 to 255 levels to manipulate. With a very large color space, even very small adjustments can give problems.

I was pointed to an article from Jeremy Daalder that describes perfectly what I already felt and even more.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2006, 08:13:51 AM »
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I always work in 16-bit mode, so the banding/posterization objection to using ProPhoto does not apply. You should do all your edits in 16-bit mode, regardless of your choice of color space.

The objections related to ProPhoto being larger than monitor gamut aren't particularly valid, either. Like printers, monitors are improving, so this year's out-of-gamut color may not be next year. If you have some out-of-monitor-gamut colors in an image, it's better to have a color space that can contain them without clipping. Say you have a image if a brightly-colored flower that has some colors that fall outside your monitor gamut and Adobe RGB, but within ProPhoto. If you edit in ProPhoto, even if the flower appears to be a clipped solid color on-screen, if you desaturate to bring the colors into the monitor gamut, you'll be able to see detail that was there all along that the monitor couldn't display. But if you use a smaller color space for editing, those colors will be clipped, and nothing you can do will get them back. You'll have an area of solid, detail-free color in your image. I really don't care if I can't see a color or not; if I can avoid clipping it by using ProPhoto, I at least have some real data to work with that I can edit to bring in-gamut if I need to.

As to the "precision of control" argument, can anyone give an example of a Photoshop tool that has unacceptably imprecise adjustments when editing in ProPhoto?
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2006, 08:34:56 AM »
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As to the "precision of control" argument, can anyone give an example of a Photoshop tool that has unacceptably imprecise adjustments when editing in ProPhoto?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70759\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Curves ... though setting the opacity to 50% helps. I've worked on images (reproduction of works on paper) where a single digit shift was too much. ProPhoto is a waste for many, if not most, real-world subjects. It's not the overall gamut that's vitally important, it's more what you do with the available gamut. Hopefully the issue of which working space to choose will become moot when Photoshop moves beyond 8-bit granularity for its tools.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006, 08:35:54 AM by Stephen Best » Logged
ddolde
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2006, 01:20:40 PM »
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I use Joe  Holmes' Ektaspace.  Read more here:

Saturation
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2006, 02:30:57 PM »
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I use Joe  Holmes' Ektaspace.  Read more here:

Saturation
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70786\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ditto -- same here.
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Hendrik
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2006, 02:39:16 PM »
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Well almost all tools with whole integer steps.

I always use 48-bit images, so long as I can, even up into the archive.

I choose a larger color space when I notice significant clipping of important details.

I don’t say: don’t use ProPhoto RGB.

What I say is, use Prophoto RGB unless your image fits in a smaller container.

I agree, if your intended output is printing now or in the future, the screen OOG colors are not (the most) important.

I experience occasional banding, even with 48-bit images. It’s an misunderstanding that it’s not possible with high-bit images. You can minimize these problems when you choose a container that tightly fits your image data. There are no benefits choosing an unnecessary large color space, unless you want to increase the the very saturated colors even more, but beware of science fiction colors.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006, 05:00:14 PM by Hendrik » Logged
tgphoto
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2006, 03:46:30 PM »
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I started with sRGB several years ago, as my camera was incapable of shooting RAW or AdobeRGB.  

When I moved on to a dSLR, I spent a brief time working in AdobeRGB, but quickly switched to ProPhotoRGB as my preferred color space.  I cna happily say I have never ruined an image in ProPhotoRGB due to posterization.

However, if your workflow is exclusively web-based, then the advantages of ProPhoto are moot.  I'm continually surprised to find photographers, most of them photobloggers, who shoot in sRGB unless they know they are going ot make a print of it.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2006, 07:29:30 PM »
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This whole argument of whether to use ProPhoto or not reminds me a lot of the endless Mac vs PC debates. Macs are CLEARLY better :-).

Here's a simple test to determine whether ProPhoto would be useful to you and the pictures you typically take. Fine tune your image in ProPhoto and then set Adobe RGB (or whatever) as the soft proof space and turn on the gamut warning. It helps to set the gamut warning colour to something like bright green (0,255,0). Look at the out-of-gamut areas and ask yourself whether these are "key" colour areas of your image, or merely inconsequential stuff in the deep shadows etc. Then repeat the soft proof, this time using your printer space to see if the clipped areas you identified as "key" can be actually printed. You may find that the "benefits" of using a large space such as ProPhoto are more abstract than real. Or you may find that you really need everything that the larger space can do. At least you'll be making an informed choice.
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SMGreenfield
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 08:18:25 PM »
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Here's a related question:

I'm planning on shooting RAW + JPEG on my new 30D, at least until I get into Lightroom or Aperture or something similar to ease the RAW workflow process and can go over to just RAW.

But, until I do -- IF I use Tiger's "Image Capture" to pull in the JPEGs, what profile -- if any -- should I "attach" (in the Image Capture options dialog).  If I'm shooting Adobe RGB on the 30D, should I attach that profile?

Used to be with my old D60 I had a specific "D60" profile (CanonD60-JPEG-1.6.icm).  I'd attach that and the JPEGs definitly looked better than with the standard sRGB profile.

If Photoshop CS is set to use ProPhotoRGB as its default RGB color space, should a ProPhotoRGB profile be attached to JPEGs via Image Capture?  

Or is all that just academic since the difference between RAW processing a 16-bit into the ProPhotoRGB space is going to be so superior to the JPEG as to invalidate any use of profiles with the JPEGs?

Stephen Greenfield
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2006, 10:13:22 PM »
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I'm planning on shooting RAW + JPEG on my new 30D, at least until I get into Lightroom or Aperture or something similar to ease the RAW workflow process and can go over to just RAW.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you're on Mac, download the Lightroom beta and just use this. Which workspace to use then becomes irrelevant. Watch the two videos to get you started:

[a href=\"http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/]http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/[/url]
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2006, 01:44:41 AM »
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I've had a question for quite some time concerning working space over personal taste in regards to color.

Is there any color in the natural world of large format landscape photography that when captured as it appears in nature clips when converted to sRGB? To be more specific why do all the well known landscape photographers inject so much saturation into there beautifully captured images as seen on their web sites? I sample with my Apple Colormeter and their is so much clipping of blue skys, redstone cliffs of Utah and Arizona, etc. I've observed nature by eye being an exphoto reatistic painter as well and I dont' recall colors that are that saturated.

My first introduction to LF photography was with Joseph Holmes work I first laid eyes on in a 2000 issue of Photo Electronics Imaging magazine. Since it was in the narrow space of SWOP, the images looked breathtakingly real with a depth and reach in and touch kind of presents  I've never experienced in a landscape photograph especially as it appears in a magazine. Went to his website years later when I could gain access to the web and was crushed by the oversaturated appearance of the same pieces and most but not all of his work and the flattening effect it gave viewed in sRGB.

I actually preferred the look of the desaturated SWOP versions of Joe's work. Many others that follow in his footsteps do the same thing to their images and I don't know if its a personal taste in color or the converting to sRGB that's the cause.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2006, 08:26:24 AM »
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I've had a question for quite some time concerning working space over personal taste in regards to color.

Is there any color in the natural world of large format landscape photography that when captured as it appears in nature clips when converted to sRGB? To be more specific why do all the well known landscape photographers inject so much saturation into there beautifully captured images as seen on their web sites

In short:

Yes. Anyone who photographs flowers, car shows, sunsets, concerts, or theater will commonly encounter colors outside of sRGB, and often outside of Adobe RGB.

And not all of those photos you see have had major saturation boosts. Sunset light on brightly-colored rock formations like those found in the Grand Canyon and elsewhere in the American West can result in some pretty vivid colors without artificial enhancement. In many cases, it's simply a matter of waiting for the right time of day and the right weather conditions.
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