Skill: Understanding RGB Color Profiles!

Learning About Color Profiles

One of the best things to learn the easy way is color profiles. If you have to learn this the hard way, you won’t be happy. Not at first anyways.

In Photoshop and some mid to high end cameras, there are different color profiles. So what’s the problem? Well depending upon how your going to use those images, you will have to convert them to the right color profile. If you want to get good results.

If you have ever had a print made and it just doesn’t look right, the problem isn’t your eyes or that you didn’t take a good image. The problem could be that the color profile is wrong for what you want to use it for.

There are standard color profiles that are most commonly accepted, one of these is the sRGB profile. Most people will never have to deal with this,   However if you have ever had to find out the hard way you know what I’m talking about.

Working with RGB Color Profiles

So which color space do you work in? If you want to do high end work and have the best colors possible, your likely working in Adobe or ProPhoto. The color space matters with your camera. The problem is that when you try to make a print of the image the colors don’t match and don’t look right.

This is because the color profile your using doesn’t match the output device color profile. Sometimes you have to contact the photo finisher to find out what will work with their system, but the standard is sRGB.

So what do I do? Well you want the photograph to be in the best color space possible right? Then you have to never convert your original photograph to a lower color space image and always save a copy of the image with the fewer colors of sRGB for displaying on screens or having prints made from digital photographs.

I have found that using Adobe Lightroom and the export function to be very useful. It will work for preserving the original image and converting the new image to .jpg and the right color space. This option is in the export dialog box in Lightroom. See Image:

For a really technical description of color profiles and there different uses and how to use them, see this link: Understanding Color Space .

Once you understand the basics it gets much easier to deal with!! Don’t forget to always properly convert your images to the right color space!!