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iMac/Mac Retina users, what color profile do you use for photo editing, and why?

Community Beginner ,
Mar 17, 2024 Mar 17, 2024

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Here’s my system:

 

iMac Intel Core i5 8ª Ger. 6-core 3 GHz 2019

Retina 5K 27” display

Mac OS 14.3.1

 

There’s 17 color profile options available.

I tend to use two of them as reference: iMac/native and sRGB (occasionally Adobe RGB too, which looks similar to iMac/native, but with less contrast).

 

If I edit for printing I just use the iMac/native color profile and pull the saturation quite a bit, because that’s how the Laserlab Polielettronica printing machine likes it. I’m ok with that.

 

The problem is when I edit images to be viewed in personal devices (smartphones and computers) and on the web.

If I choose iMac/native color profile and saturate the colors with no other reference in mind, and then switch to sRGB color profile, the images look way oversaturated.

But if I do the opposite - edit in sRGB color profile - then the images look undersaturated if I switch to iMac/native color profile.

Then, if I look at them on other people's devices, I get completely lost.

 

What color profile do you use, and why?

What’s your strategy?

Is it even possible to have a coherent strategy for your work to be reasonably close to what you created on your own computer?

Help!

 

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Mar 19, 2024 Mar 19, 2024

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@lama13 generally, for serious imaging work, we recommend calibrating and profiling the display screen using an external measurement device such as a colorimeter. This has become more complex with the XDR displays but all the same those can be better set-up up using a sensor. the basICColor display software I recommend for such jobs is, in my opinion, the way to move ahead. 

 

You should not be switching display profiles -  a display has one ONE correct appearance. To make files for handheld devices try converting your images to sRGB and saving with the ICC profile embedded. There will come a time when the P3 colourspace is the better choice, but for now sRGB works in most cases.

 

test P3 this way:

IF your main computer screen is correctly calibrated and profiled and if you save images with the sRGB ICC profile embedded they should reproduce well on an iOS or Android device. My iPhone X matches my calibrated Eizo Coloredge screen very well.

Here's an Adobe RGB image to try on the computer - and a P3 version for the 1Pad / Android / iPhone (view in a browser on the device)

With all set up correctly on your computer, these should match well

 

Here's some more info:

https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/ios/visual-design/color/

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
Help others by clicking "Correct Answer" if the question is answered.
Found the answer elsewhere? Share it here. "Upvote" is for useful posts.

 

To assess display appearance I use this 

Have you ever wondered how to KNOW whether your screen [or printer] is ACCURATE and not just 'pleasing'?
If so please check this out: http://www.colourmanagement.net/products/icc-profile-verification-kit

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
Help others by clicking "Correct Answer" if the question is answered.
Found the answer elsewhere? Share it here. "Upvote" is for useful posts.

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