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Archive 2013 · Help please - colour management probs...
  
 
elluDe
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p.1 #1 · Help please - colour management probs...




Would really appreciate it if someone could give me some pointers on colour settings in software.

I shoot both raw and jpeg pictures with my Canon camera (always in sRGB mode) and use a combination of Canon DPP, Photo Mechanic and Photoshop CS3 for processing the pictures. My basic workflow is to browse and select the ones I want in DPP, then use the program to crop, adjust exposure, white balance, etc before exporting the pictures as either jpeg or tif files.

Then I use Photo Mechanic to browse the exported file and often to add captions with the built-in ITPC editor. If pictures need further adjustments I do these in Photoshop (which I can launch from Photo Mechanic). For other shots the adjustments made in DPP are enough.

Mostly I will want to reduce the finished pictures to a smaller size for email or web use, and I normally do this as a batch using Photo Mechanic's 'save photo as...' feature.

My problem is trying to get the colour settings on all three programs to work together - especially for skin tones.

I always try to get the colour balance looking good in DPP before exporting any pictures I'm working on as jpeg or tif files. When I open them in Photo Mechanic, they look similar providing I've got the button pressed on (Turn colour management on). If this button is off then the pictures can have pale skin tones and slightly washed out colours. Providing the button is on, I get normal colours in Photoshop with I open pictures for further editing.

However, when I upload pictures to the web they often have the pale colours (viewing in Firefox), which is driving me crazy!! Sometimes its the other way round, pics that look good when editing can be way over saturated when viewed on the web....

My current settings are...


- In DPP, Colour Management tab in Preferences is set as follows...

Default Settings of Work Colour Space - sRGB
Colour matching settings - Use the OS settings


- In Photo Mechanic

In the Colour Management tab in Preferences

Default ICC profile if undetermined - sRGB IEC61866-2.1


- In Photoshop

in Edit, Colour settings, I have Working Space set to sRGB IEC61866-2.1



Would love it if someone could offer some guidelines on how to set these programs up so pictures I'm working on appear the same on the internet as they do on my own screen...?




Jan 14, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · Help please - colour management probs...


Do you have the Color Management features turned ON in Firefox?


Jan 14, 2013 at 01:49 AM
elluDe
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p.1 #3 · Help please - colour management probs...



Thanks for the suggestion. must confess I wasn't aware I could turn on and off colour management in Firefox. However, after a bit of checking I find that "gfx.color_management.mode" has a value of 2 (which means its turned on).

Maybe a better way to put my question is...

What are the best settings to use when saving a jpeg for viewing on the internet? (ie - so the colours look similar on most web browsers as they do in the programs mentioned above when on my computer). Does this, for example, involve using a profile of some kind or what are the proper settings to make in DPP, Photoshop or Photo Mechanic?

At the moment pictures do look similar when I view them in DPP and Photoshop. They also look similar when I view them in Photo Mechanic providing the little button Colour Management is switched "On". When its switched 'Off' then the pictures look to have washed out or pale skin tones in Photo Mechanic. I'm thinking this pale look is what most people would see using various browsers.

Hope that makes sense....

Now that I'm aware of the problem I tend to keep Photo Mechanic's colour management switched on (its the program I use for adding captions and reducing pictures for uploading or emailing, so I'm working with the finished look). Previously it was often off, so pictures I uploaded would maybe look over saturated in people's browsers - if they are not going to look the same as on my computer then I'd prefer they were too pale rather than too saturated.

Thanks...



Jan 14, 2013 at 02:26 AM
elluDe
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p.1 #4 · Help please - colour management probs...



Just after checking the properties for a finished picture and I see it has an embedded ICC profile "sRGB v1.31 (Canon) (embedded)". When I view this picture in Photo Mechanic there is a noticeable difference when clicking the colour management button On and Off.

When I save the same file without the ICC profile, it looks pale. However, the colours do not change when I try clicking the colour management button On and Off in Photo Mechanic.

Does that help provide a clue to what I need to do.....?




Jan 14, 2013 at 02:40 AM
theSuede
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p.1 #5 · Help please - colour management probs...


First, make sure that you understand the difference between "export space", "working space", "default color space" and "color matching settings"...

"default ICC if undetermined" is how a program interprets images that don't have any assigned/embedded color interpretation data
"default working space" is the color space in which a program works with the already interpreted data unless told otherwise
"export space" is the color profile in which your camera saves jpg, what DPP saves and what PS saves to file. This is usually your working space in PS.

Color matching settings is the way the system interprets (and sends to the monitor) data from a program that's already interpreted image data

So, to make something appear "correctly" on-screen, a program needs to:
a) understand the input data, the color space of the file you loaded into the program
b) know how to translate this into a presentation - this is a monitor profile, for digital images / web images.

To make several programs show the same result, both a and b needs to be checked as "ok".

So your problem can both be in the way one of the programs (most probably PhotoMechanic) interprets input data, based on the difference between "canon sRGB" and your standard setting in PM (which is sRGB) - or that you have a color management setting wrong (or that your monitor profile is buggy). One good thing to check is if an image saved from DPP looks identical on screen when opened in PS (open two windows next to each other).

PhotoMechanic have several current color management bugs. See this one as one example:
http://forums.camerabits.com/index.php?topic=7614.msg36241#msg36241



Jan 15, 2013 at 06:30 AM
 

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elluDe
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p.1 #6 · Help please - colour management probs...



Thanks for the reply theSuede - that is very helpful advice.

My aim is to have a workflow where pictures are saved with the best profile for uploading to the web or printing out at standard photo printers.

After playing around a bit more with the different settings in Photoshop, DPP and PhotoMechanic, I've found that DPP saves my photos with the profile "sRGB v1.31 (Canon) (embedded)" included in the picture. Providing I don't change this my pictures do look similar in all three programs. In Photo Mechanic, this depends on having colour management switched 'ON'. If switched 'OFF' then the picture looks pale and a little washed out.

So I'm thinking if I make sure to keep the Canon sRGB profile embedded in the picture, it should look similar to what I see on my screen when uploaded and viewed in a colour managed browser. If viewed in a non colour managed browser it should then the colours might appear pale (similar to what I would see in Photo Mechanic with the colour management button switched 'OFF').

Is that correct?




Jan 16, 2013 at 04:10 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #7 · Help please - colour management probs...


If the image gets more pale when switching the color management "ON", while the image is read as "sRGB", that means you're on a wide-gamut screen.

OR that PM is whacked up
OR that your monitor profile is whacked up.

When you look at your Photoshop settings, like here:
http://www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html
(scroll down to the headline "Monitor RGB = Default Monitor Profile = ICC Profile associated with your monitor") quite a bit down the page
-what does photoshop say you're using for your monitor?

The Canon sRGB is virtually identical to standard sRGB, which you can see if you open a file tagged with "Canon sRGB" in photoshop, and then go menu "Edit/Assign Profile" >> sRGB IEC61966-2.1. The image should look exactly the same before/after assigning the standard sRGB icc profile.

Also check that you don't have any kind of "soft-prrofing" active in photoshop - nothing should be 'checked" under the menu "View/Proof Colors"

An sRGB image that you can trust to show what it should on your own system is the best way to make sure general Web usage is smooth and problem free. But the embedded Canon sRGB isn't a very good idea, some systems that don't take well to custom embedded profiles would prefer just a tag with the standard IEC sRGB profile.



Jan 17, 2013 at 12:59 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #8 · Help please - colour management probs...


Yep, I use a wide-gamut screen, and the easiest way to tell an application isn't color managed is when the colors are more vibrant than they should be (this includes Internet Explorer btw - Firefox works fine). Btw, for DPP in particular, if you intend to view images with profiles other than sRGB you'll need to change the default color management setting on "For Display" from "sRGB" to "Use the OS settings", otherwise it ignores the monitor profile and renders everything through sRGB.


Jan 17, 2013 at 05:34 AM
elluDe
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p.1 #9 · Help please - colour management probs...


theSuede wrote:
If the image gets more pale when switching the color management "ON", while the image is read as "sRGB", that means you're on a wide-gamut screen.

OR that PM is whacked up
OR that your monitor profile is whacked up.



Actually the opposite happens. In Photo Mechanic, the image gets more pale when I turn colour management to 'OFF'. I'd prefer this as I'd rather a picture looked too pale, rather than too saturated, when viewed on a monitor that wasn't picking up the profile settings.

Also should have mentioned earlier, I'm using a Win 7 laptop computer which is normally hook up to a Dell 2412M monitor when working at home.


When you look at your Photoshop settings, like here:
http://www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html
(scroll down to the headline "Monitor RGB = Default Monitor Profile = ICC Profile associated with your monitor") quite a bit down the page
-what does photoshop say you're using for your monitor?



Ha, I'm just after checking this and the working space was set to Monitor RGB - sRGB IEC61966-2.1. I changed this to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 as the article recommends.


The Canon sRGB is virtually identical to standard sRGB, which you can see if you open a file tagged with "Canon sRGB" in photoshop, and then go menu "Edit/Assign Profile" >> sRGB IEC61966-2.1. The image should look exactly the same before/after assigning the standard sRGB icc profile.


I also checked this and you are correct. In Photo Mechanic, a test image looks almost identical with either the normal sRGB or the Canon version profile.

Also check that you don't have any kind of "soft-prrofing" active in photoshop - nothing should be 'checked" under the menu "View/Proof Colors"

I also checked this and found that, under View, Proof Setup, I had 'Working CYMC' checked. I think one option must be checked - would 'Internet Standard RGB (sRGB)' be a better choice?



An sRGB image that you can trust to show what it should on your own system is the best way to make sure general Web usage is smooth and problem free. But the embedded Canon sRGB isn't a very good idea, some systems that don't take well to custom embedded profiles would prefer just a tag with the standard IEC sRGB profile.

Okay, I guess the easiest way to change from the Canon sRGB to the normal sRGB would be in Photoshop, or can I do this in DPP?


You have provided some very useful information and I'd like to say thanks for taking the time to do so... Much appreciated




Jan 18, 2013 at 01:41 AM
elluDe
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p.1 #10 · Help please - colour management probs...


snapsy wrote:
Yep, I use a wide-gamut screen, and the easiest way to tell an application isn't color managed is when the colors are more vibrant than they should be (this includes Internet Explorer btw - Firefox works fine). Btw, for DPP in particular, if you intend to view images with profiles other than sRGB you'll need to change the default color management setting on "For Display" from "sRGB" to "Use the OS settings", otherwise it ignores the monitor profile and renders everything through sRGB.


Yes, that's one thing I did change in DPP. Sounds as if this might be more important if using a profile other than sRGB, but good to know!

Thanks




Jan 18, 2013 at 01:52 AM





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