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04-09-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
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Colourspace issues

I'm just curious...

I shoot with the AdobeRGB colourspace for the wider colour gamut, but when I come to print out some of my tweaked shots, they turn out less than impressive, even after the printers were advised to make colour and brightness adjustments.

I have minimal printing knowledge and so am unsure as to why when shooting with a wider colour gamut I'm getting poor prints. The printers advised me to start shooting in sRGB to correct the problem, as their printers are calibrated to sRGB colourspace. I've not tried this yet but don't understand why that would be necessary to get better results.

Can anyone shed light on this issue?
Thanks.

04-09-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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The problem is likely one of calibration and profiling. If you do not use a color managed workflow your prints are almost guaranteed to not look like they do on screen. The simplest thing to do is get an inexpensive monitor calibrator, use a color managed photo app, and get some paper specific color profiles for your printer. Yes, that is the simple route. The complicated route is to get a complete hardware profiling device to calibrate your monitor and profile your printer and papers yourself. Either way, make sure your photo app is color managed.

Okay, there is a simpler way. Shoot in AdobeRGB and convert to sRGB when you print. I wouldn't shoot in sRGB because you may end up with a more capable printer down the road. Also, if you shoot raw that color space setting on the camera doesn't mean anything.
04-09-2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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AdobeRGB = you get very very good results by doing it all by yourself with correctly calibrated equipment, paying very careful attention to all the details of correct AdobeRGB workflow. If you make a mistake you get very bad results.
sRGB = you get reasonably good results whether you do it yourself or send it to somewhere else to be printed. As long as your monitor is reasonably well calibrated you get what you see.
04-09-2008, 10:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The printers advised me to start shooting in sRGB to correct the problem, as their printers are calibrated to sRGB colourspace. I've not tried this yet but don't understand why that would be necessary to get better results.
Like they told you, if they're using sRGB, then you must send them sRGB files ! You don't have to shoot sRGB, but make sure to convert to sRGB before sending the images to the printer.

The reason you're not getting sub-par results is that the image you're sending (AdobeRGB) contain more colors than the printer can handle (sRGB). That's simplifying things a bit, but basically correct.

PS.: unless all your equipment (most notably your monitor) and software support AdobeRGB, you're not seeing the "true" colors of your photos at any time.

04-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
Ash
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Original Poster
Thanks for the comments guys.

Yes I shoot raw and save the JPEGs as AdobeRGB, having calibrated my monitor to use this colour gamut. All my own equipment handles AdobeRGB and I'm very pleased with the results on screen. It's the photo lab that I wasn't aware of...

My local printers are a medium sized photo lab I had thought would be able to handle AdobeRGB - not so according to them. I take it then that an AdobeRGB capable printer can do a better print than an sRGB one (Apologies for my ignorance), in which case I'll look out for another printer to do the job.

Dave, what is the monitor calibrator you suggest? Hardware? My iMac monitor has a software monitor calibration which includes colour amongst many other things. Is this helpful in this regard? And by a colour managed photo app, what do you mean? IsPhotoshop's Adobe RGB settings enough for what you're suggesting?

Thanks again for all the info.
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