I wanted to touch on a topic which I raised during a talk at the WAPF Merredin event last weekend (HUGE thanks to everyone that attended
During my section of the talk, I mentioned that I work in sRGB because of issues with converting back to sRGB after working in other colour spaces.
I was wondering what people's experience is regarding some of these issues and points
- I realise that sRGB is more restrictive than Adobe or prophoto and the resultant pixel loss is clearly evident on things like levels histograms (fractured lines etc). There are so many reasons theoretically to work in a less restrictive colour space.
- However, when working with 16 bit TIFFs, I find I rarely encounter issues with posterisation from the editing process and if I do, it's probably because I'm pushing the file too close to it's pixellated life anyway and should probably reconsider.
- Despite browsers having the ability to handle other colour spaces, many sites such as 500px which provide thumbnails are affected by the colour space of uploaded images (eg. on 500px I uploaded images in adobe98 only to find that the thumbnail looked bled dry but the actual uploaded image looks good). The printing lab we use also work preferentially with sRGB.
- When initially working in Adobe98 , I have found issues when converting back even at the last stage , that the contrast and colours become duller than those I was working with which then adds an extra step to attempt correcting it for output.
- Conversely I have not had any issue with working in 16 bit and converting back to 8bit for output in terms of image quality hence I made that change to our workflow a couple of years ago after discussion here!
To summarise my thoughts, I would love to be able to work in a better colour space than sRGB but I find that by doing so I haven't found any 'real world' benefits in terms of allowing me to do more to images than I otherwise would. The end result looks great in photoshop but translating that into output then adds another step at the end of the process to convert the image to sRGB and restore its appearance. I'm wondering if I'm fixing a problem I don't really have if I try to change workflow again.
Have you had experiences where the theoretical pixel loss from colour manipulation in sRGB has been evident in the actual end result for output?
Love to hear your experiences and I would also love to be swayed to work in a colour space other than sRGB !