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12-18-2014, 07:52 AM   #1
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Color Space

So I've been using darktable for a while now and other then the slight brightness difference between computers the pics look good. Well tis the season and I went to the local Kodak instant picture machine to print out some pics for the family and every single pic looks EXTREMELY over saturated. Looked on line and someone was saying something about saving pics with wrong color space. What color space should I be using.. and is there an easy fix for all my pics(50 gigs of jpgs) or am I screwed?? Thanks for any help in advance!

12-18-2014, 08:02 AM   #2
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My first inclination is to blame the kiosk.

As for colorspace, sRGB is the least common denominator. It has a relatively narrow gamut (less colors), is supported by most devices and is the default for in-camera JPEG on Pentax cameras. Where things get sticky is when you edit in a color space with a wider gamut (more colors) and save to that same gamut. In general, saving or exporting to sRGB is fairly safe. I found a short article in the darktable user guide:

Darktable User Manual: 3.4.3.

For a more complete discussion on color management in general:

Tutorials on Color Management & Printing

In case you have not noticed, this is a complex, deep, and messy topic.


Steve
12-18-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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Almost all photo print places (including Adorama, Snapfish, and other online services) have their equipment set up for sRGB. If you are in the wrong space (e.g. AdobeRGB or ProPhoto), your pictures would have come out dull, rather than oversaturated.

The machine that printed yours is probably calibrated to boost the colors in the photos it prints, since that's what most consumers think looks good, and changing the color space probably won't help you in this case.
12-18-2014, 08:31 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Almost all photo print places (including Adorama, Snapfish, and other online services) have their equipment set up for sRGB. If you are in the wrong space (e.g. AdobeRGB or ProPhoto), your pictures would have come out dull, rather than oversaturated.

The machine that printed yours is probably calibrated to boost the colors in the photos it prints, since that's what most consumers think looks good, and changing the color space probably won't help you in this case.
Well we are talking about buying a printer for the house.. will I have the same issue with it or is colorspace selectable with household printers..

12-18-2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In case you have not noticed, this is a complex, deep, and messy topic.
+1
Complicated even more by our reliance today on proofing and developing on monitors (RGB) and then printing to ink / paper (CMYK).

My workflow (just what I do, not saying it is right) is to work in Prophoto colorspace for post processing in Lightroom and / or Photoshop. Printing locally is done from Lightroom with printer profiles that match the paper used. But anything sent out to another lab is exported as sRGB unless they request otherwise. It is important to know what the lab uses internally, (almost always sRGB) so you can best match what they are going to use. If you are going to use a particular lab often it is worthwhile finding out what setting sthey recommend and making an export preset that matches those. At least in LR, I assume Darktable has a similar function.

---------- Post added 12-18-14 at 07:37 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by coliver80 Quote
Well we are talking about buying a printer for the house.. will I have the same issue with it or is colorspace selectable with household printers..
If you are printing in house you should obtain the printer profiles for that printer and the paper you will be using. LR gives you the ability to softproof using that profile to make a reasonable showing on screen of what it will look like on paper.
12-18-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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As stevebrot said, sRGB is the lowest common denominator of color spaces. It's is relatively small, but most printers can't print much beyond that space anyway, so that is what normally yields the best results from a consumer photo lab.

The weird thing is if you accidentally submit a photo in a larger color space (and remember that sRGB is one of the smallest), then your prints tend to come out looking muddy and dull, not over saturated. I think perhaps your lab has a vivid color option enabled on their printer. I have such a feature on my Canon Pixma. You never know with consumer photo labs, there are just so many variables. Even if you do everything right at your end, there still a chance that the 18 year old who squeaked by with a C in art class may be running the machine that day. If you have mission critical photos, I would send them to a professional lab. It will cost a bit more, but to me a poorly printed photo is as bad as one that is completely out of focus.
12-18-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by coliver80 Quote
So I've been using darktable for a while now and other then the slight brightness difference between computers the pics look good. Well tis the season and I went to the local Kodak instant picture machine to print out some pics for the family and every single pic looks EXTREMELY over saturated. Looked on line and someone was saying something about saving pics with wrong color space. What color space should I be using.. and is there an easy fix for all my pics(50 gigs of jpgs) or am I screwed?? Thanks for any help in advance!
Assuming you had exported your image files with the sRGB colorspace, my guess is that auto color correction is the cause of your problems. Or not having auto color correction activated on the kiosk. Try both ways and see if it makes a difference.

M
12-18-2014, 09:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
My workflow (just what I do, not saying it is right) is to work in Prophoto colorspace for post processing in Lightroom and / or Photoshop. Printing locally is done from Lightroom with printer profiles that match the paper used. But anything sent out to another lab is exported as sRGB unless they request otherwise
That is my process as well. Shoot wide, work wide, and publish to suit the target.


Steve

12-18-2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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Is Dark Table like an open source lightroom?
12-18-2014, 10:05 AM   #10
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Color management can be a beast... Some of the colors captured in a photo can not be shown on screen, some can not be printed.
If you convert your photos to sRGB they can still include color information that is not printable. Also many photo services targeting the casual market offer automatic photo optimizations or even use it as default (at least here). Maybe something like this was active?

I use a online print service that not only accepts ProPhoto RGB etc.but also publishes their printer profiles, too. That way I can use softproofing and professional printers. It's more convenient than a own photo printer for me.
12-18-2014, 12:09 PM   #11
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Thanks to all as always for the great info!

---------- Post added 12-18-14 at 02:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Is Dark Table like an open source lightroom?
Yeah. Its a great program!! Check it out..

darktable | the photo workflow software

All my stuff(just a hobby) is here..
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78994628@N02/
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