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Thread: Color Management - I'M CONFUSED!

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    Unhappy Color Management - I'M CONFUSED!

    Ok, I have been playing color management all night, and gee it's confusing!

    I noticed this with a set of images I took today. In zoombrowser, windows, dpp, and irfanview the colors are a bit washed out, the best way I could describe it is the skin tones are pale.

    I opened the image in Camera Raw 4.5 and it had much nicer skin tones and more warmth about it. Does this mean the camera is putting some color profile with the image and camera raw is reading it? So ok, I tweak a bit and click open image. Ahh! PSE7 opens it up and its back to pale again! Right, color mgt was turned off in PSE7. Turn it on and all looks nice again. I had a look around Camera Raw 4.5 and it appears you can not change how it displays the color, it seems the profile is on - full stop.

    Ok back to PSE7 and time to save for web...click and back to pale! right click the images in the previews and I can change from 'uncompensated color' to 'use document color profile' and it changes nicely. Ok I can deal with that.

    I then had a play with the 'ICC profile' ticked or unticked and saved a couple of images (one on and one off). In FF3.5 I get what I would expect, the one with ICC on looks warm, the one with it off looks pale. (I also found Arthurs color mgt thread and it appears I have color mgt working fine in FF3.5 - all good!) I've attached the images below (with the effect exaggerated) tell me if you see a difference or not?

    Now back to windows, irfanview, dpp, zoombrowser. Windows and irfanview I cant get to change, they just appear pale no matter what. I played with the color management settings in dpp and zoombrowswer, they seem to effect the raw files but not the two test jpgs I created before, they still look pale.

    Anyway, I have probably raised too many questions in one hit here, so I'll try and summerise...

    Obviously I want to edit and view my images at their best when on my screen, posted to the web and printed (I haven't even gone to printing yet, no doubt that will be another adventure!!)

    Before I go Can anyone tell me what the best way to manage all this might be?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mic

    Photography is the art of telling stories with light.

    www.michaelgoulding.com

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Mic, I am viewing these on a decent monitor using IE 8 ( don't ask ) and to all intents and purposes the two photos are identical. The skin tones look a little bit magenta and all over both photos look just a bit pink tinged but both appear the same to me.
    I hope someone can throw some light on it for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etherial View Post
    I noticed this with a set of images I took today.
    What color profile are they in and what format (RAW or JPEG)? Do they have color profiles included?

    Because...
    In zoombrowser, windows, dpp, and irfanview the colors are a bit washed out, the best way I could describe it is the skin tones are pale.
    This usually points to images shot in a large colorspace (AdobeRGB, Prophoto, or something else but not sRGB) that either have no profile included or they are being watched in non-color managed software. Now, windows and irfanview, AFAIK, are not color managed. DPP is, but only if you tell it to. Zoombrowser I don't know.

    Can anyone tell me what the best way to manage all this might be?
    Do yourself a favour and ask yourself why you would want anything but sRGB. If the answer is that you don't know, than simply work sRGB all the way. Shoot in RAW, convert into sRGB.


    Ow yeah, first image looks a bit more saturated than the second - especially visible on the orange in the cake. First one has an sRGB profile attached to it, the second has nothing. But... the process in PP might have been different for both?
    Last edited by jev; 26-07-2009 at 7:29am.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Hi guys, thanks for the reply. The photos look VERY different to me in FF3.5.

    It was shot with my Canon 450D in raw set on sRGB in the camera so I would have thought that no conversion needed?

    Both images had exactly the same PP until the very final step in PSE7 where it asks you if you wish to include a ICC profile in the file or not.

    I had color mgt turned off in all my programs, but it seems you can't turn it off in camera raw 4.5?


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    First image looks slightly more saturated to me as well. Especially if you compare the blues of the older lady's top against each other.

    The other thing I would ask, is are your used a colour calibrated monitor? If not, your monitor could affect how the final product is viewed by others.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Ok, after a solid 12 hours on this, I think I have fixed my issue. I don't exactly know why what I did worked but it seems to have. I installed a new monitor profile in windows settings for my monitor. It is "sRGB_v4_ICC_Preference". I turned off all color management in all programs (how I had it to start with) and now all the programs show the same image, including ACR.

    And now this thread, which showed a vast difference in color between the images, now appear just about the same. Interestingly if I change the PSE7 color setting from no management to optimise for lcd it doesn't change the image at all.

    So, I don't know why, or how, but at least across my system I have a level playing field which is what I should have had given I was working in sRGB everywhere. At least I know what I am adjusting in ACR will display the same in PSE7 and a browser. Interestingly the images you see in this thread appear very similar to each other, which is what I see now too. (If they look really different to you, maybe you have an issue?)

    Now I'm off to try and get these photos looking like something I'm happy with, but the life of the party, at 89yo, he probably won't care!

    I'd still be interested to hear any advice on how to manage the workflow or understand what I have been fiddling with.

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