July 25th, 2012, 06:29 PM
Thanks Andrew. I'd like to shoot raw, but #1 there's are few programs that support it and #2 I have very little experience with raw processing. As far as printing, I wouldn't mind doing it myself, but there are times when I print somewhat large and I'm not sure if a printer such as the one you mentioned will print large. (Of course I could always send the larger one's out).
Originally Posted by Andrewteee
July 25th, 2012, 08:24 PM
After the last discussion on colour management I ended up almost finishing a short paper on the basics. I should get it done in the next decade or so. But in summary.
1. There's nothing wrong with either sRGB or shooting jpegs *IF* you're getting the results you want. Yes, there are more available colours (mostly to do with saturation of colours) in a larger gamut, but sometimes that just doesn't matter. If you're happy, you're happy. The advantage of working in sRGB is that you have a simplified workflow. Images will look pretty much the same on any medium as the colours don't need to be remapped and you can send the same file to any lab because they can all handle the sRGB space easily. Almost every printer made today has a device space larger than the sRGB working space. Arguably, some subjects may be better shot in a smaller colour space. If the colour range of a subject fits comfortable within a smaller gamut (a studio portrait, for example) a smaller gamut may give you better transitions in tones. Landscapes, especially ones with the intense tones of dawn or dusk, are probably best shot in a larger colour space and bit depth than jpegs allow.
2. If you're using Aperture for your jpegs, you already know how to process raw files. The program has basically the same controls. You'll just have a larger colour space and bit depth to work in.
3. Bit depth and gamut work together to determine the smoothness of transitions from one shade to another. Andrew is correct in that a smaller gamut will have smoother transitions than a larger one if the bit depth is the same for both. Just because you have a huge gamut doesn't mean that you have access to every point in that gamut. If you're working in 8 bit you'll have 16.7 million desecrate points to work with, regardless of the gamut. Increase that to 12 bits and you have 68 billion discrete colour points to work with. Which leads to point 4.
4. The biggest limitation of jpegs is not the gamut they work in. It's the bit depth. You literally have 1/4096 of the available colour points to work with compared to 12 bit. Even if you continue to use sRGB as a working space you'll see a big difference if you can shoot at a higher bit depth (your camera can see either 10 or 12 bit depending on the processors and 16 bit for some MF cameras). But jpegs HAVE to be 8 bit. So it becomes VASTY more important to get it right in camera if you're a jpeg shooter as there's less information in the file and they tend to fall apart more easily when pushed and prodded in post processing (even ignoring the damage that compressing and uncompressing the file has when you open and save it). In most cases I would recommend that you worry less about gamut and more about bit depth. Bit depth will make a bigger difference, especially in larger prints.
5. Here's a screen shot of the gamut plot for my MacBook Pro screen (the current iMac, despite its IPS panel, isn't much better than this because it has a cheap controller card and awful bit depth)
As you can see the gamut of the screen is very close to the sRGB working space. But they're not equal. Even my screen shows some colours outside even aRGB. Your monitor profile will try to map all colours into the space covered by BOTH the device profile (monitor) and working space (sRGB in your case). If you're happy with what you see on screen at this point the you can save to sRGB (your current screen) with confidence. If you can't get the colour saturation you want then you need to be working in a bigger colour space. You may be able to visualise what those extra colours will look like. Some people say they can. But after 15 years of fiddling with profiles and colours I still can't. My other screen displays 100% of the Adobe RGB colour space (aRGB). In 90% of my images it makes very little difference (portraits, studio lighting shots).
Monitor calibration is the most important step in the process, which you have done. You're now working to an industry standard. If your lab is decent you should be able to download the printer profiles for their printers and soft proof the end results on your system. Then you'll actually be able to see if their printer can capture all the information you send them faithfully or whether it will be remapped. If they don't have profiles available you're better off in sRGB anyway as at least you'll know what you're getting. You will be somewhat limited by the 8 bit depth of the files, especially if you print big, but they will look better than an aRGB file in 8 bits. People won't miss the colours they can't see, but they'll sure notice the banding if it occurs.
Last edited by flash; July 25th, 2012 at 08:36 PM.
July 26th, 2012, 02:37 AM
thanks for your very clear and informative post, Gordon!
July 26th, 2012, 10:26 AM
Wow Gordon, thanks for the detailed reply! I'm starting to get a better understanding of this. When I calibrated my monitor, the graph showed that my current monitor was only showing less than 70% of sRGB! Maybe I did something wrong, but it seemed pretty straightforward. This is why I'm looking for a better monitor.(any suggestions here)? In order to get a better bit depth, I need to shoot raw and export as a 16 bit file? Unfortunately, the xpro1 has little in the way of raw processing software available and I've also read that the raw files are hard to get right. I'll probably start shooting both JPEG and raw and see if I can work with both to see if it's worth the extra effort for me to shoot in raw and then process. More to learn! I like your idea of downloading the printer profiles from the lab that's doing the actual printing and soft proofing for correct end results. Great suggestion! You've made a very difficult thing for me to understand quite a bit easier. Thanks again for such a helpful reply, it's a huge help! Kris
July 30th, 2012, 02:50 AM
Ok. I was inspired. I've completed a short article on an introduction to colour management. If you haven't implemented any colour management in your photographic workflow or you're wondering how to get started in colour management without a degree in mathematics, give it a read.
wedding photographers - commercial photography - central coast - sydney - newcastle - hunter valley Flash Gordon Photography
July 30th, 2012, 02:54 AM
Last edited by flash; July 30th, 2012 at 02:57 AM.
July 30th, 2012, 02:57 AM
No. You did nothing wrong. 70% is the historical norm for Apple. It's only in the last 18 months they've made screens with more than 80% of sRGB. Even the IPS screen iMacs have quite small gamuts and low bit depth. There's more to a screen than just the panel itself. Although they've always been touted as the OS for designers and artists this has been because they've had a good policy in implementing colour management, not because they've made great screens. I'm no longer surprised by the Mac fanatics (I use Mac, so....) who think that Mac systems come calibrated from the factory or that they have the best screens money can buy. They don't.
Originally Posted by winginkris
As for a screen. Dell are good but cheap"er". NEC are great. Eizo are the pinnacle but pricey. There may be others but they're the ones I've owned.
July 30th, 2012, 03:44 AM
You're a Novocastrian??? *waves*
Originally Posted by flash
and really thanks for your very helpful colour education! But I cant het the link to work on my ipad in chrome... Ill see what happens if i access via the app
Last edited by kyteflyer; July 30th, 2012 at 03:46 AM.
July 30th, 2012, 03:47 AM
Nope. The Central Coast. But I shoot about a dozen weddings a year in Newcastle and a dozen in the Hunter. It's only an hour*ish* driving. *waves back* ;-)
Originally Posted by kyteflyer
July 30th, 2012, 04:11 AM
Lol, yeah saw that when I got to the end of your colour tute - which was most appreciated by this colour managemennt n00b :)
Originally Posted by flash
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