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sRGB or Adobe RGB?

Justin Weiss , Apr 11, 2009; 07:19 a.m.

I'm using Lightroom on a wide-gamut monitor and editing RAW images in Adobe RGB color space. It's my understanding that this will make the photos look better when printed out on paper. I also exported a batch of these photos as sRGB jpegs and uploaded them to a website. Viewed on an ordinary monitor, the colors of these sRGB jpegs look dimmer and washed-out compared to the RAW images in Lightroom.

So, every time I edit images in Lightroom, do I have to choose whether I want them to look good on the web or on paper? Is there some way to make them look good on the web AND on paper? How do most people handle this problem?

Responses


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Michael Cockerham , Apr 11, 2009; 07:30 a.m.

I have a fully colour managed workflow, runing prints via ACR in Bridge through a RIP to a wide format printer. All the printing is through the Adobe RGB 1998 colour space (except B&W whihc is in Grey Gamma 2.2), and I have no complaints on print quality - the prints sing.
For web, files are converted to sRGB almost at the final stage, checking carefully for any significant shifts from out of gamut colours. Then I always export through PS "save for web" function. Bring up the "2 up" screen and you can check before and after views to see what effect the output will have. Make sure progressive is swtched off. In fact I have set up an action for natch converting files for web which is usually pretty reliable, and makes things quicker. You only have to keep an eye on those images that you know may have out of gamut issues. Hope that helps.

Justin Weiss , Apr 11, 2009; 07:46 a.m.

Thanks a lot for the quick answer. So I need to see if Lightroom 2.3 has a "save for web" function like PS (the older LR's did not). Otherwise, I guess I can bring the images from Lightroom into PS and export them from there like you said.

Michael Cockerham , Apr 11, 2009; 08:00 a.m.

Just checking - have you calibrated and profiled your monitor? If not, almost all your editing will be so much rummaging in the dark. Also, make sure that you are in fact working in the colour spaces you think you are. PS can have an annoying habit of returning to default colour spaces, and it is very easy to have the RAW interface set to another colour space than the one you think you are in.

Ellis Vener , Apr 11, 2009; 09:06 a.m.

Adobe RGB(1998) should not be used as the profile for your display. It is a device independent RGB color space. Get a Datacolor Spyder 3 or X-rite EyeOne Display 2 colorimter and related software to do a good job of calibrating and profiling your specific display device .

Justin Weiss , Apr 11, 2009; 10:26 a.m.

Yes, I did calibrate it (hardware calibration). It's an NEC 3090WQXi and I am using the NEC SpectraView II sensor and software intended for this monitor. So no problems there.

Ellis Vener , Apr 11, 2009; 11:22 a.m.

so you are not using Adobe RGB(1998) as your display profile? Correct?

Lightroom uses a variation of the 16 bit per channel Pro Photo color space as its working space. Basically it is Pro Photo with an sRGB like response curve. Not until you export from Lightroom is it that you assign Adobe RGB(1998) , sRGB, or Pro Photo as the color space for your TIFF, PSD or JPEG.

Lauren MacIntosh , Apr 11, 2009; 12:20 p.m.

In Lightroom 2.3 when you go to export the foto thats is where you make your choices for [s-RGB or RGB ]

Large photo attachment:
(choice -- 900 x 1440 photo)

Bill Tuthill , Apr 11, 2009; 06:51 p.m.

Michael, when you say the prints sing, how do you have them printed?  In magazines, you mean?  Recent inkjet printers support AdobeRGB but I have not heard that it significantly improves results.
Justin, rather than converting into an 8-bit colorspace like AdobeRGB, it would be better to have Lightroom print directly using your printer profile, if possible.  AdobeRGB contains blue-greens that sRGB (for Web) does not, but some inkjet printers have colors outside the AdobeRGB gamut (e.g. saturated yellows).

Bill Clark - Minnetonka Minnesota , Apr 11, 2009; 06:57 p.m.

Everything sRGB.

Works for me.


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