Colour management; a few Q&A’s

Part 2 of our Learning Centre influenced blog posts follows on from last weeks ‘an overview of colour management’.

So, you now hopefully know what colour management is – roughly – but I imagine these have raised a few questions…

We talked about profiling in our previous post, but “how does your system compensate for the differences between profiles?”

“The straight answer to this is that it doesn’t! A monitor does not work to a colourspace rather it attempts to reproduce colour as closely as possible. This is exactly why monitor profiling is so essential. A monitor profile optimises your monitor to only produce colours it is capable of using the known data saved in the profile, thereby not creating colour distortions. Put simply without a monitor calibration device you cannot truly trust your monitor. If you do start  looking at rendering intents I would suggest further reading, however for most photographic work the perceptual rendering intent is suitable.”

I’ve profiled my monitor fine, but there’s this new sRGB and Adobe RGB thing, “what’s the difference between them and when should they be used?”

“The main difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB is quite simply the size – Adobe RGB is a significantly larger colour gamut.

“Advantages of using AdbobeRGB in photography are:

  • Blue/Cyan and yellow colours of increased saturation can be achieved in a photograph when printing from the AdobeRGB colourspace. The increased cyan/blue will be visually more noticeable than the yellow.
  • The flexibility of using other types of output device with the potential of future devices able to achieve more saturated ranges of colour.

“Advantages of using sRGB in photography are:

  • Many computer monitors will only display colours to a colour saturation as defined by sRGB. Therefore this is appropriate as it avoids colours that cannot be accurately displayed on a monitor.
  • Many cameras are configured to work as a default in sRGB. Avoiding conversions between colourspaces reduces the potential for errors.

“There is no single, correct working space to operate in and it depends on the type of photography you are undertaking but for minimum fuss and maximum control, use sRGB, however if you want to capture as much as possible and make amends to colour from the top down then using AdobeRGB may be just fine.”

The above was an extract taken from our colour management Q&A document which you can download for free here. You’ll also see an extra 2 questions on the pdf, which will be particularly useful if you’re a bit confused with CMYK/RGB printing, or are struggling to grey balance an image in Photoshop post-shooting.

As ever, if you have any questions or problems, comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *