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Author Topic: Lightroom and the Prophoto RGB colorspace  (Read 8972 times)
lumierephoto
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« on: March 24, 2007, 04:58:27 PM »
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I am new to using Lightroom and I must say I think it's a great product. I do have one issue with it ( so far ), and that is the color management aspect of it. I know that I'm not the only one and have read through many forums regarding this subject on this site and others. I would, however, like to address this to other photographers who've encountered the same problem.

The Prophoto RGB profile is really great for color and looks really great in Lightroom, but doesn't always translate well when exported to Photoshop because of it's larger color gamut. As far as I know, we can't even print at this level, right? I might be wrong. But, what is the point of keeping it in this profile if we can only view it in all it's gloriousness in Lightroom or other Adobe products? ONly as a master file I assume for the future generation of printers and if the color space of the web expands into a much wider gamut. That's all fine too. I suppose my question is for all the professionals on LL if they keep their files in this profile? I've found that if I export them to CS2 in Adobe RGB98 and let LR do the conversion that it works best.

I figure that if the color space of the web is in SRGB and output to RGB printers are closer to this gamut or AdobeRGB98 how is it possible to keep the profile Prophoto RGB throughout the workflow or an export to Photoshop when I'm going to have to convert it anyway. And when you do convert in PS from Prophoto to AdobeRGB98 it looks crappy.

I'd love to hear any workflows that other photographers that have been using Lightroom. I am new to working with the Prophoto RGB profile and ideally i'd like to see those colors on print and the web. But I suppose that is in the future.
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Carl Harsch
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2007, 05:25:20 PM »
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I maintain ProPhoto RGB as my color space in Lightroom as well as PS throughout the process.  ProPhoto RGB works just fine in PS.  Perhaps your color space managment is not set to properly deal with conflicting color spaces and that may cause issues.  I convert to sRGB for web/email purposes or if I were to be sending a print to a printer that requests a specific color space, otherwise I retain ProPhoto RGB colorspace.  I print on an Epson R1800 without converting from ProPhoto RGB color space and allow my printer profile to conduct the process.

You should not be seeing poor color following conversion from ProPhoto to another RGB color space.  I am not sure of why you're experiencing this without knowing your methods.  Converting to another RGB space is something that I typically do after completing color and  tonal edits, if needed.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2007, 05:57:41 PM »
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I maintain ProPhoto RGB as my color space in Lightroom as well as PS throughout the process.  ProPhoto RGB works just fine in PS. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108504\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is exactly my experience too. There's little reason it shouldn’t'.

There are two issues with ProPhoto RGB. One is its gamut boundaries are far larger than your display so there could be colors in the files you can't see. But you can print them depending on the output device. The other is you are working with a color space that defines color outside of human vision so its possible to define colors that are not even visible. Other than that, as long as you work in high bit (16-bit), it should behave just fine.

Need a smaller color space like sRGB (for say the web), just convert from ProPhoto and you're done.
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Andrew Rodney
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damien
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2007, 05:58:32 PM »
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I share some concerns. It is apparently impossable to display the full gamut of ProPhoto on a TFT or CRT display so we are left to guess what LR is doing to our files. Increasing saturation using the histogram as a guide will likely result in extreme colour within the file - still displayed as normal on the monitor. Then when the file is converted to another space all sorts of anomolies occour. Editing in ProPhoto is risky as you really have no idea of what you are likely to get in print. Until permanant soft proofing is part of LR it is a problem a lot of us pro's are struggling with.

I too would like to see and share workflow ideas.

Damien.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 05:59:25 PM by damien » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2007, 06:05:05 PM »
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I haven't seen any such anomalies and a lot of users have been working with ProPhoto RGB for many, many years. If there are risks, its not something that's on my radar or an issue I hear users complaining about. In fact, I have files that illustrate that ANY smaller gamut working space will produce issues like banding after editing unless the file is encoded into ProPhoto ROB (16-bit).
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Andrew Rodney
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lumierephoto
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2007, 07:08:55 PM »
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OK. Maybe I should let you know which equipment I'm using. I have a PC, Sony Artisan monitor, Gretag Eyeone2 display for calibration, Canon 30D and PS2. And now Lightroom but I just started using it. I do work in 16-bit.

Actually, my issue isn't when I export a file embedded with the ProphotoRGB profile to Photoshop CS2. The color is fine on screen. My monitor is quite good actually for those who are familiar with the Artisan. The problem is when I convert to Adobe 1998 or SRGB. Completely desaturates and and clips colors big time. It is a problem for me because I don't have an Epson printer or anything at home. I have to use a lab. I was actually at hard copy proofs to test my display and they said their color space is SRGB. So, I need to be able to convert. Or should I just leave it and let their lab do the conversion? My guess is that it won't look pretty.

Also, for just converting from Prophoto to sRGB and then, voila, you're done. That doesn't work for me. Even, in my old workflow, from when I used Digital Photo Professional to convert from RAW or CR2 files  then I exported to Photoshop. My color space in photoshop is Adobe 1998. When I 'save for web' there is still a little tweeking that I have to do to make it look as close as possible to the 16-bit TIF embedded with Adobe98. BUT, it is possible and much easier because the difference between Adobe 1998 and sRGB aren't as vast as Adobe98 and Prophoto.

This is the kink I'm trying to work out. Maybe the Prophoto profile has been used for years but it is new to me. I've always used Adobe1998 because of it's safer ability to convert to CMYK. I've also been an owner of Martin Evening's Photoshop books and have my color management set up like him because he is a fashion/beauty photographer mostly and I do mostly that as well.


But maybe I'm missing a step here? That's why I posted. To see what other photographers are using as a workflow for Lightroom.
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lumierephoto
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2007, 07:16:45 PM »
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I maintain ProPhoto RGB as my color space in Lightroom as well as PS throughout the process.  ProPhoto RGB works just fine in PS.  Perhaps your color space managment is not set to properly deal with conflicting color spaces and that may cause issues.  I convert to sRGB for web/email purposes or if I were to be sending a print to a printer that requests a specific color space, otherwise I retain ProPhoto RGB colorspace.  I print on an Epson R1800 without converting from ProPhoto RGB color space and allow my printer profile to conduct the process.

You should not be seeing poor color following conversion from ProPhoto to another RGB color space.  I am not sure of why you're experiencing this without knowing your methods.  Converting to another RGB space is something that I typically do after completing color and  tonal edits, if needed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108504\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

OK, so what would be the correct way to setup Photoshop CS2 that way the color spaces don't conflict? Just to be sure you understand, I don't have a problem with Photoshop reading the Prophoto profile. The problem is with the conversion once it is edited. Can I keep it in Prophoto when I take it to the lab even though their colorspace is in sRGB?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2007, 07:19:12 PM »
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I share some concerns. It is apparently impossable to display the full gamut of ProPhoto on a TFT or CRT display so we are left to guess what LR is doing to our files. Increasing saturation using the histogram as a guide will likely result in extreme colour within the file - still displayed as normal on the monitor. Then when the file is converted to another space all sorts of anomolies occour. Editing in ProPhoto is risky as you really have no idea of what you are likely to get in print. Until permanant soft proofing is part of LR it is a problem a lot of us pro's are struggling with.

I too would like to see and share workflow ideas.

Damien.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108508\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Monitor gamut is narrower than ARGB(98) as well, so even if you use that there may well be colours in your file that the monitor cannot display. However, it is not usually a problem. When you increase saturation the change in saturation of the colours the monitor can display shows, and you can normally evaluate immediately whether your adjustment will yield a satisfactory print - if the rest of your colour management is correct.

This ProPhoto business is a heavily over-blown issue. How often have you converted a file from ProPhoto to another space and had "all sorts of anomolies"? Can you post some examples? I've converted plenty of photos for web viewing and commercial lab printing from ProPhoto to sRGB with no such problems - except of course the gamut is reduced and sometimes you can see the *perfectly normal* effect of that fact.

I edit in ProPhoto routinely, do my final edits with Soft Proof active, and there are NO surprises coming out of my printer attributable to ProPhoto. So are you saying editing in ProPhoto is risky because a known authority in digital imaging has said so, or because you have actually suffered the consequences of these *risks*? I ask because it is alien to my own experience, but at the same time I acknowledge the extreme rhetoric that this issue has generated.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Carl Harsch
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2007, 07:28:42 PM »
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If your printer requests that you submit in sRGB, don't send them another color space.

When you open an image from Lightroom into Photoshop, what is your default working space?  How do you have your color mismatch settings set?  Do you get notified of a color mismatch and, if so, how do you treat that file?

Could you expound upon the problems that you're seeing when converting color spaces from ProPhoto to sRGB?  When you convert to sRGB, are you using the "convert to color space" tool or the "assign color space" tool?  (You should be using convert, not assign)
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lumierephoto
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2007, 08:56:15 PM »
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Monitor gamut is narrower than ARGB(98) as well, so even if you use that there may well be colours in your file that the monitor cannot display. However, it is not usually a problem. When you increase saturation the change in saturation of the colours the monitor can display shows, and you can normally evaluate immediately whether your adjustment will yield a satisfactory print - if the rest of your colour management is correct.

This ProPhoto business is a heavily over-blown issue. How often have you converted a file from ProPhoto to another space and had "all sorts of anomolies"? Can you post some examples? I've converted plenty of photos for web viewing and commercial lab printing from ProPhoto to sRGB with no such problems - except of course the gamut is reduced and sometimes you can see the *perfectly normal* effect of that fact.

I edit in ProPhoto routinely, do my final edits with Soft Proof active, and there are NO surprises coming out of my printer attributable to ProPhoto. So are you saying editing in ProPhoto is risky because a known authority in digital imaging has said so, or because you have actually suffered the consequences of these *risks*? I ask because it is alien to my own experience, but at the same time I acknowledge the extreme rhetoric that this issue has generated.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108518\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, thats great that you have a successful workflow for years using Prophoto as your color space and you have all the knowledge about it. Congrats. What I'm asking is HOW or WHY it has been sucessful and how to create a successful workflow using it. What I'm possibly doing wrong? These are my questions. Not how much everyone else is doing it so right and how much more you know than I do. This is literally my first edit using Lightroom. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe internet forums were created for people to help each other and share knowledge. Not to show off how much you know.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2007, 10:23:11 PM »
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Well, thats great that you have a successful workflow for years using Prophoto as your color space and you have all the knowledge about it. Congrats. What I'm asking is HOW or WHY it has been sucessful and how to create a successful workflow using it. What I'm possibly doing wrong? These are my questions. Not how much everyone else is doing it so right and how much more you know than I do. This is literally my first edit using Lightroom. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe internet forums were created for people to help each other and share knowledge. Not to show off how much you know.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108540\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You are misunderstanding my intent. I was responding to Damien. He said he wanted to share workflows - I thought that meant he wanted to know what other people are doing that works, so I told him. Nothing more intended than answering what I thought was his interest. He made statements about things happening in ProPhoto of which I had no similar experience, so I thought it would be of interest for him and perhaps others to know that his experience is not necessarily shared by others. This can be important information for anyone wanting to solve a problem - to know whether it is generic or applicable to him/them alone - then one needs to look for particular rather than generic reasons. I find it very valuable for others to tell me they don't have problems I have - it gives me important direction where to look for the answers - i.e. inward rather than outward.

I thought that Carl and Andrew made the most important suggestions to address your initial questions starting this thread, therefore no need for me to repeat that stuff.

You did ask whether others keep their files in ProPhoto even though the current generation of printers cannot reproduce all those colours, so I responded to that by telling you and other readers that I do and it works. You seemed to be canvassing for that info so I gave it. No offence intended, believe me!

Going back to your issues (not Damien this time), you have pinpointed your problem to be big-time desaturation and clipping moving from ProPhoto to ARGB98 or sRGB. The method you use to do this could be part of the cause. Could you post the step-by-step procedure you have been using to convert, what dialog boxes, what choices etc. The answer may be found in an analysis of the details of the workflow. Part of the answer could also simply be that some clipping/compression is inevitable, and indeed, you need to make tweaks to the sRGB file to get back to the appearance you like before sending the files to print.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2007, 05:01:13 PM »
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I edit in ProPhoto routinely, do my final edits with Soft Proof active, and there are NO surprises coming out of my printer attributable to ProPhoto. So are you saying editing in ProPhoto is risky because a known authority in digital imaging has said so, or because you have actually suffered the consequences of these *risks*? I ask because it is alien to my own experience, but at the same time I acknowledge the extreme rhetoric that this issue has generated.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108518\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mark, If I understand your first line quoted above you soft proof to avoid surprises. I'd like to be able to do that in Lightroom to avoid having to shunt every image through Pshop with soft proof turned on. I'm all in favour of ProPhoto if I can see what I'm doing.

I really appreciate you sharing your experiencies of this working space as I do see it as a way forward.

Damien.
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2007, 05:16:27 PM »
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In the past I have found 'relative colourmetric' to give the most pleasing results when converting portrait and wedding files from AdobeRGB to sRGB. It has to be a one size fits all aproach for me with the quantity of files I routinely have to convert. I currently have 22,000 pictures on my wedding website alone.

I will modify my Photoshop colour settings to use ProPhoto as my working space and to preserve enbedded profiles. I'll let you know how I get on. The proof of the pudding will be in the final prints. I'm shooting a couple of models tomorrow as part of a lighting workshop so this will be an ideal situation to check out the colour workflow of Phase One P25 RAW into Lightroom through Photoshop CS2 via FTP as sRGB and onto RA4 print.

Mark, do you use Relative Colourmetric or Perceptual for your conversions to smaller gamut profiles? Or do you have the luxury of deciding on an image by image basis?
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H1/P25 -35mm,80mm,100mm,210mm
Nikon D200 - 17-35,28-70,70-200VR all at f2.8
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2007, 05:18:11 PM »
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Hi Mark, If I understand your first line quoted above you soft proof to avoid surprises. I'd like to be able to do that in Lightroom to avoid having to shunt every image through Pshop with soft proof turned on. I'm all in favour of ProPhoto if I can see what I'm doing.

I really appreciate you sharing your experiencies of this working space as I do see it as a way forward.

Damien.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108642\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Damien. I agree ProPhoto is the way forward because there is evidence that the current line-up of professional printers can "see" somewhat beyond ARGB(98) for parts of the color gamut. And I agree it is ideal to see what we are doing! Unfortunately, your observation about the lack of soft-proofing in Lightroom is also correct - we don't have it yet. This is a well-known issue amongst the Beta testers and Adobe (I'm not one of them but I've conversed with a couple who are) and there is reason to believe that it will be one of higher priority items addressed in forthcoming up-dates. If I remember correctly - there is so much content there - Michael and Jeff also discussed this point in their Lightroom Video series - I believe in the second to last Download under Printing.

I've bought Lightroom, poked around in it, and I think it has tremendous potential for traction going forward, but frankly I'm still working mainly in Photoshop because the Camera Raw Beta in CS3 does what Lightroom's Develop module does - it's a tremendous toolset, and within Photoshop I have access to PK Sharpener and Softproofing without any round-tripping between applications. I think for the time being this is a practical "no compromise" workflow.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2007, 05:26:30 PM »
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In the past I have found 'relative colourmetric' to give the most pleasing results when converting portrait and wedding files from AdobeRGB to sRGB. It has to be a one size fits all aproach for me with the quantity of files I routinely have to convert. I currently have 22,000 pictures on my wedding website alone.

I will modify my Photoshop colour settings to use ProPhoto as my working space and to preserve enbedded profiles. I'll let you know how I get on. The proof of the pudding will be in the final prints. I'm shooting a couple of models tomorrow as part of a lighting workshop so this will be an ideal situation to check out the colour workflow of Phase One P25 RAW into Lightroom through Photoshop CS2 via FTP as sRGB and onto RA4 print.

Mark, do you use Relative Colourmetric or Perceptual for your conversions to smaller gamut profiles? Or do you have the luxury of deciding on an image by image basis?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Damien - I like your approach - try and see if you like. The only way in the final analysis! For conversions, because I'm not doing photography under any commercial pressure whatsoever I do indeed have the luxury of deciding on rendering intent image by image. But nonetheless I stay mainly with Rel Col. That said, I don't convert large volumes of photos to JPG so I haven't experimented with rendering intent for that purpose, therefore I can't be of much guidance on that specific issue. (I've done enough conversions to know however that RelCol hasn't been a problem for me so far.) As you have that requirement, I think the best approach is what you are doing - select a range of typical photographs (but they must have out-of-gamut colours otherwise the test is of no use) and experiment both ways - RelCol and Perceptual, see which gives you better rendering of the OOG colours, and check whether either messes-up any in-gamut colours, then select accordingly. You may find it possible to delineate a set of conditions for which RC improves on P and conversely one where P improves on RC, then batch them accordingly and have two algorithms on hand for handling the option.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2007, 06:59:07 PM »
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In the past I have found 'relative colourmetric' to give the most pleasing results when converting portrait and wedding files from AdobeRGB to sRGB.


That's good because you can't get a Perceptual or Saturation rendering intent dong such conversions. Matrix profiles only have one table, the colorimetric and despite what you select in Photoshop, that's all you can get.
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2007, 07:14:54 PM »
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I'm shooting a couple of models tomorrow as part of a lighting workshop so this will be an ideal situation to check out the colour workflow of Phase One P25 RAW into Lightroom through Photoshop CS2 via FTP as sRGB and onto RA4 print.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try and pop something in the scene that's got a lot of saturation (lilies, very vibrant color clothing etc). Even a Macbeth Color Checker might be useful. If the scene gamut falls within say Adobe RGB (1998), you'll never see the effect of a larger space like ProPhoto RGB.

Let's hope Version 2 of LR has soft proofing! I think Adobe wants to do it. They just didn't have the time for V1.
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