1. Is there any benefit to using the ProPhoto color space when one's monitor is only standard (sRGB) gamut?
1a. Ditto Adobe RGB with a standard gamut monitor.
- What is the use of retaining more colors if you can't see them?
2. Are there any possible DISadvantages to using a wider colorspace than you can see?
3. If printing, how can you softproof your photos and visualize the printer output, if the file contains colors you can't see on your monitor?
Those color profiles are system based ad can be foud in Photoshop. But, I have never used any of those profiles for any of my moitors. The color space is RGB. You can build an .icc profile for your monitor when you calibrate it. Let me address each of your questions...
1., 1a.) As stated above, I am not aware of a way of spplying a ProPhotoRGB to a monitor. That goes for sRGB and Adobe RGB. How many colors you can see depends on your graphics card that is driving the monitor. Some plain jane monitors only display a few thousand colors where others can display millions.
2.) Yes. And they are obvious. That's why you calibrate the monitor to work within your applications. Even then, there are some colors viewed on the monitor that simply cannot be reproduced. Even on the best systems out there. The key is to control your display color through calibration and, during the calibration process, you store and apply a calibrated profile to your monitor, you can even ame it whatever you want and select it to be used by your display. In this process, you typically see colors that align with your workflow, whether that be photographic or graphic arts.
3.) You are confused. There are calibration applications that can give you very realistic expectations when viewing a file and then printing that file. A good workflow gives you the best of both worlds. But, like I explained in #2, some colors on screen cannot be printed. You are talking about two totally different color spaces, one transmissive ( monitor ) and one reflective ( print ). I personally do not like the term "softproof" or "softproofing". The day I depend on my monitor to proof a job no matter what it is is the day I succomb to mediocrity ( sorry for the spelling, it's late ).
I hope you get an idea of what I am driving at. Let me know if you have any other interesting questions.
It goes without saying that I fully agree with John Danek in never depending on soft-proofing alone to judge color quality. There are no substitutes for the actual printed proof.
Now that you mention it and since having read the original post again, I assumed the post'r was attempting to use an RGB profile with their monitor. Station_Two brought this to my attention. The questions could also be interpreted as a person using ProPhotoRGB in Photoshop using a limited screen view. If that's the case, I agree with Station_Two's response to the questions.
It's called rendering. Look it up.
There is confusion because the question in your Original Post is phrased very imprecisely,
Are you referring to using the Prophoto RGB color space inside Photoshop as your Working Color Space? (Which is fine.)
The reason I'm asking for clarification from you is because the thoughtful answers by John Danek in reply #1 seem to be predicated on an interpretation of your question to mean you're talking about using PrpPhoto RGB as your monitor profile, and that would be massively wrong! Equally wrong would be to use sRGB or Adobe RGB as a monitor profile.
ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB and sRGB are standard color spaces, and they are defined as DEVICE-INDEPENDENT color profiles. They should absolutely never, ever be used as monitor profiles.
A monitor profile must always be a DEVICE-DEPENDENT color profile, specifically describing your monitor color response characteristic. It should be the profile you obtain after you calibrate your monitor, preferably with a hardware calibrator puck like the Eye-One (i1), Datacolor Spyder or X-Rite ColorMunki, then save that profile and set that saved file as your Monitor Profile in Photoshop.
Of course it takes an experienced and knowledgeable user to work with ProPhoto RGB as a color work space despite the fact that your monitor cannot show you all the colors. That's where Photoshop's Gamut Warning (in the View menu of Photoshop comes in. You need to know how to use the Soft Proofing capabilities of Photoshop. Even though your eyes cannot see all the colors on the monitor, they can see the gamut warnings (definable in preferences, gray by default) on the monitor, and your printer can certainly print more colors than the monitor can show you, even wide-gamut monitors.
Of course this is relevant to printed output. If you work exclusively for the web or for screens, then you can use the lowest common denominator, the narrowest color space of all, sRGB. For some or many of us, only the photographic print matters and in that case only the ProPhoto RGB must be used. Otherwise, you're discarding a lot of color quality in your printed images.
In sum: Yes, of course there are advantages and benefits in working in ProPhoto RGB, with the caveat that you must know exactly what you're doing.
As the mantra goes, "real men only use ProPhoto RGB".
So, please clarify exactly what you meant to ask. Thank you.
I don't even know how a colorspace could be "applied to a monitor," and apparently neither does Mr. John Danek; so I'm unclear how my first question could have been interpreted as asking about that; but anyway, I will rephrase it more precisely. To wit:
Is there any advantage to using the ProPhoto RGB color space in Photoshop (or any other photo editing software,) when one is using a (calibrated, of course) standard gamut monitor?
I belive my followup questions are adequately clear. To repeat them for convenience, I asked:
I don't think it matters, but if it helps clarify anything, I am using:
- Dual but unmatched Standard Gamut monitors, both with IPS screens.
- A Datacolor Spyder 3 Elite to calibrate
- I was using Intel HD3000 Integrated Graphics until recently, when I installed an AMD Radeon 7870 graphics card
- Lightroom 3 (will upgrade to 5 when it comes out), and I just got Photoshop (CS6), but haven't used it yet. I've edited mostly w/ GIMP, Various Topaz plug-ins, Hugin, and Portrait Professional.
- I will be printing on a Canon Pixma Mark II (which I haven't set up yet, and I've never printed anything at home to date.)
Tom, with due respect to the answerers so far, please understand that color management discussions often take on an adamant tone, and they more often turn ugly than not, because 1) it's a complex subject that requires a great deal of knowledge to fully grok, 2) it can't really be taught on a forum (that's experience talking), 3) the terminology can be confusing and not everyone uses it properly, and 4) everyone's needs are a little different.
My short answer to your query is this:
Really, this is because only YOU can define your needs for output.
If your ultimate work products (images) need to express your imagery in a greater gamut than sRGB, then you probably ought to consider using a color space with a greater gamut to process them. Actually DOING this will show you in practice how various components deal with out-of-gamut issues.
Things to think about: Will your images ALWAYS be printed on your Pixma? Will you sometimes send them to a pro lab with greater capability? Will you expect to re-print images you've processed today at some time in the future on a device with greater capability?
There is no one "set it and forget it" way to approach color-management. All the options are there for a reason. It defies being oversimplified!
And keep in mind that if you keep your original data (e.g., raw files), there is always the possibility you'll be reprocessing them from scratch in the future, at a time when your equipment and skills are even better. I mention this, because it has been not only a possibility, but an actual reality for me over the past several decades. This says that any decision you take today isn't terminal; you may well revisit your workflow choices again and again.
Many people will try to answer queries about color-management with "DO IT THIS WAY!" kinds of advice. While they mean well, that kind of advice makes the tacit assumption that their needs and choices apply perfectly to you, and that's not always the case. As you have been doing, keep working to get your head around the issues, and you'll ultimately settle on configuration options and workflow practices that suit your needs.
>> It defies being oversimplified!
It is the theory that decides what we can observe: Albert Einstein
I don't expect to get a complete color space education in this thread, or on this or any forum; and that is why I kept my question simple and specific. I think it's capable of being adequately addressed here by some of the very knowledgable people who frequent this forum; keeping in mind what a very smart man by the name of Albert Einstien once said, "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
Please don't read things into my question that aren't there. The question is independent of me and my workflow or intentions. Higher quality is a "benefit." Lower quality is a disadvantage. Makes no difference is neutral.
If it helps clarify anything, though again, it is irrelevant to the question, I am interested in the highest possible quality now and in the future. However, I don't currently own or intend to soon buy a wide gamut monitor or a better printer--but I very well may do so in the future. The question, again, slightly rephrased, is simply:
Is there any benefit or disadvantage, to using the ProPhoto color space in Photoshop or any photo editing software, when one's monitor is only standard (sRGB) gamut? If so, what are they?
It is necessary to read more into your question.
You don't seem to have separated the concept that the monitor color space and the document working space aren't really connected. Gary's speaker analogy is a very good one.
If you process your images in high bit depth, and so that you stay within the working color-gamut during photo processing work (i.e., avoid channel clipping), then output them on a device that can portray colors beyond the gamut of your monitor, then you may be able to find an advantage in using a wider gamut working space because your prints may carry more color than you'd have gotten if you'd limited your work to the sRGB color space.
Ever walk through a craft show and see the several different booths where they have poster prints, and maybe notice that the images all look more vibrant or "alive" at one of the booths as compared to the others? That person may have chosen to carry a wider color gamut all the way from capture through to print.
Are you looking for a technical discussion of the disadvantages vs. advantages?
Ugh, that article brings into play the concept of how internet browsers interpret color spaces, which may serve to confuse things. Jokes about Einstein aside, the world of color-management is NOT expressable via a simple equation. You have a lot of things to keep in mind. There are bunches of configuration options and ongoing choices for a reason. And there are exceptions you have to memorize.
Browser (or other application) color management (or lack thereof) could well be pertinent if Tom were processing images for web publication. Or if he expects to eMail images to others. Or... The list goes on.
Again, only Tom can really define what his needs for output are, and how he's willing to work, so as to help make a determination whether editing in a wide gamut color space has advantages that outweigh potential disadvantages, such as the ability to use non-(or partially-) color-managed software, posterization due to using 8 bits/channel, gotchas from publishing in a color space other than intended...
Perhaps describing use cases might be helpful... Would it be useful to describe the differences two hypothetical people might experience if Person A has chosen to work on photos in ProPhoto RGB, while Person B has chosen to work in sRGB?
Beyond the theory, there are practical considerations, and a LOT of your choices depend on finding a practical way to work. For example, while it might be easy to tell someone to always use Save For Web and convert to sRGB before publishing an image, in practice sometimes people forget and accidentally choose File, Save As, JPEG, which can either embed no profile or embed the working space profile - which may not have been what was intended and may not be interpreted properly.
Y'know what, I think I should just duck out of this thread. I don't feel like getting into any more arguments about what's "right" or "wrong" when there is no such thing, only intelligent choices that require a much greater than 6-year-old intelligence to understand.
Best of luck to all.
If you start with RAW, you open in ProPhoto 16 bit, period. The working space in PS these days should probably be aRGB perceptual. Your monitor must be calibrated. Your printer should be at least six ink.
Read. Learn. Print.
If you start with RAW, you open in ProPhoto 16 bit, period.
Oooops! That's inaccurate, Richard.
Your image will open in whatever bit depth and color space you choose in Camera Raw's Workflow Options.
What I think you probably meant is that the internal working space of ACR is ProPhoto RGB or, more accurately, an equivalent thereof (except for the gamma, which is linear internally in ACR, and 1.8 in ProPhoto RGB).
That's a most powerful argument militating for using ProPhoto RGB as your Photoshop working space.
But the image will open in Camera Raw in whatever space you choose in that ACR Workflow Options dialog.
…The working space in PS these days should probably be aRGB perceptual…
Nah, real men use only ProPhoto RGB.
Really, Adobe RGB is too narrow for print. Only ProPhoto RGB in 16 bits can contain all the range of colors that a digital camera sensor can capture.
Excerpt below from:
The ProPhoto RGB color space, also known as ROMM RGB (Reference Output Medium Metric), is an output referred RGB color space developed by Kodak. It offers an especially large gamut designed for use with photographic output in mind.
The ProPhoto RGB color space encompasses over 90% of possible surface colors in the CIE L*a*b* color space, and 100% of likely occurring real world surface colors making ProPhoto even larger than the Wide Gamut RGB color space.
The ProPhoto RGB primaries were also chosen in order to minimize hue rotations associated with non-linear tone scale operations.
One of the downsides to this color space is that approximately 13% of the representable colors are imaginary colors that do not exist and are not visible colors. This means that potential color accuracy is wasted for reserving these unnecessary colors.
When working in color spaces with such a large gamut, it is recommended to work in 16-bit color depth to avoid posterization effects. This will occur more frequently in 8-bit modes as the gradient steps are much larger.
[paragraph spacing added for legibility on screen]
Yes I meant ProPhoto 16 bit in ACR workflow, and I also meant save as aRGB perceptual from ACR, but if you think saving as PP is right I will hear and obey, master. I have fooled around with ProPhoto as a printerr profile and I like it. I don't see that inkjets will do much in the green but maybe the yellow orange is worth it.
Tom needs to understand profiles as device independent and device dependent entities and how to apply them before he asks more questions.
Well, Tom, you think your questions are adequate and specific enough; I don't.
But then, I think my answer does address your question in its entirety; you don't.
Therefore, we are at an impasse.
I'll just point out that there is at least one misconception on your part, namely that you seem to think a "wide gamut" monitor encompasses all printable colors, and that is not the case. Period.
Even with a "wide gamut" monitor you'll be working with printable colors that are still outside the gamut of that "wide gamut" monitor. So you do need to know exactly how to work around that.
In sum, yes, there are benefits of working with ProPhoto RGB, of course!
Disadvantages? Sure, if you don't know what you're doing!
If you're striving for the best quality, you have to understand that the answer is inevitably tied to your workflow and the equipment you can afford.
I fully agree with Noel that teaching you all about color management far exceeds the scope of this or any other forum. Noel is also right in pointing out the practicably inevitable souring of this type of discussion.
At this point, I'm out of here.
the wider-gamut, high-bit color spaces are useful for utilizing the hardware that can capture them, and editing/archiving in those color spaces is useful for preserving as much information as possible...
if you were in the audio recording business, and had the equipment to record/edit in a much higher professional quality than current consumer players can output, would you not
the only thing your monitor (and printer) do is allow you to 'proof' your theoretical source colors (i wouldn't think too hard on this one any more than if your stereo speakers aren't playing every sound)
but personally, i kinda like short direct answers when i'm lost because it's nice to know where i made the wrong turn or simple directions how to reach my destination most effectively
I recently found myself looking for a new monitor and found this thread after the same question came to my mind. I had a slightly different slant on the question, but I believe it's the same principle Tom was asking about. After some thought I think I've arrived at the answer so I'll post it here in case either:
a) it will be helpful to anyone else wandering this way, or
b) I can be told I'm talking rubbish.
From what I can gather, if an image has an Adobe RGB color space, and is viewed on an sRGB device, the colours will be under saturated.
I wondered (and I presume Tom does, too) that if you are in your photo editor of choice, editing an Adobe RGB image on an sRGB monitor, whether the same principle would hold.
This obviously can't be the case, as if you made the colours look right on your monitor and saved it that way, then it would effectively save an over-saturated image as far as the Adobe RGB color space is concerned.
This would also essentially be like trying to paint the Mona Lisa through a veil where you can't see the real colours that are being painted.
For this not to be the case, there must be some real-time conversion going on (either in the editing software, the OS (drivers?) or the hardware itself). There must be some interpolation-on-the-fly that converts between the image color space and the hardware one if they are different at the point of editing.
At least that's how I think it works. Can someone confirm?
You never bothered to read this whole thread, did you?
At the risk of sounding presumptuous for quoting myself, but for the sake of efficiency, I would direct you to posts #15 and #16 of this thread.
trying to explain wrote:…or
b) I can be told I'm talking rubbish…
Yup, that would be the correct British term. We call it garbage in my neck of the woods.
Honestly, you need to do a lot of reading on the subjects of printing, color management, soft proofing and gamut warning.
Add first Bruce Fraser and then Andrew Rodney respectively as keywords to your searches.
You never bothered to read this whole thread, did you?
Yes, and like Tom I find most of the answers obscure and unhelpful (though probably not deliberately so).
Maybe my conclusions are incorrect, but it cannot be the case that the monitor you are editing on is treated as just another sRGB output device. If that was true, as stated above, all editing done in another color space would be wrong if not impossible to do.
trying to explain wrote:…but it cannot be the case that the monitor you are editing on is treated as just another sRGB output device…
You really are completely ignorant of the subject.
You don't have a clue as to calibrating and profiling a monitor, nor how the resulting and saved profile is used by a color managed application like Photoshop to convert the image sent to the monitor, nor what soft-proofing and out-of-gamut warning do.
It's impossible for you to learn this in a forum, or to follow anyone's explanation. That's why you can't follow this thread.
Good luck in your studies.