• 01-20-2009, 08:02 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Which RGB Is Best For You?
    I've known all along there are differences between general photography and that shot specifically for publication, and I wanted to share an important difference I just learned about color space settings. Below is a paragraph in the guidelines I recieved from one of the largest international stockphoto agencies in the world.

    "Donít forget that we want the photos be in the Adobe RGB 1998 colorspace because it is ideal for photos that will be transformed to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), the colorspace used in the graphic arts industry. We will apply the appropriate color profile for viewing photos in Internet, the sRGB IEC61966-2.1, as it reflects the normal characteristics of a PC monitor. Therefore, we need your photos with High Resolution and in a colorspace such as Adobe RBG 1998 and we will take care of making them look great on Internet."

    Most cameras come with an sRGB default setting, and for posting to the internet or having regular prints made, this is best, but for those here who aspire to have their work used in advertising and other commercial mediums, it's best to change the color space setting to aRGB.
  • 01-20-2009, 08:17 AM
    dhyravy
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Ron, that is in fact the case for publications. Adobe RGB has a much deeper color gamut than sRGB but doesn't work well for prints and the web. Most printers have their color space setup for sRGB. You can get an icc profile for most labs and use it in PS for soft proofing. This lets you see what the end product will look like using the color gamut of the printer being used to make the prints. Many large publications that I sometimes deal with want both a RAW and a JPEG of each image so that they can match color to their presses.
  • 01-20-2009, 08:42 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    I remember I tried shooting in aRGB shortly after I went digital and didn't like how it looked on the computer screen. aRBG images look a little lighter, and the colors, especially the redish hues, looked muted. So I've been shooting everything in sRGB. This doesn't mean all my best shots are not the best they can be for commercial use, because in PhotoShop, I can convert any image, even JPEGs, to aRGB, or from aRGB to sRGB, as the case may be.
    Because my primary purpose is shooting for publication, I plan to set my camera's default to aRGB for all my shooting (so I have to do as little as possible in PS or LR, which this big photo agency also suggests), and then try to remember to covert it to sRGB when I post something online.
    Another point I learned from these guidelines:
    I've sensed all along that it would be a mistake to post my best shots here, or anywhere else on the internet, so I have posted only outtakes. This agency wants all rights and warns that posting images on the internet can ruin that deal.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:00 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Thanks, DH. Digital is so confusing, because there are so many ways to present one's images, and various publications request different formats. It all seems to depend upon the software being used to read images on the other end. Not all of them are equiped to read RAW images from every camera maker. JPEGs not only are requested by most of my markets, they are preferred, even for covers. But higher paying and more sophisticated companies often say they prefer TIFF (according to Photographer's Market). I did, however, have one client say they preferred RAW.
    What I'm trying to figure out is the best way to shoot to cover all bases and future possibilities. At this point, that is shooting in both RAW/JPEG with the color space set to aRGB. That way any conversions or alterations I have to make in PP are for lessor publications where quality is less critical.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:07 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Another thing I've learned from these guidelines, which are quite extensive and have answered nearly all the technological questions I've had, is that a photographer should: "Always sharpen your images in the camera before sharpening them in PhotoShop. Images always look better if you sharpen them with hardware (in the camera) rather than software (in PhotoShop)."
  • 01-20-2009, 09:14 AM
    Photo-John
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Ron-
    Hope you don't mind I moved your post to the Digital SLRs forum. I think it's a better fit here.

    Color profiles and color management can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of variables, including how you have your computer monitor set up, the color settings of Photoshop (or whatever software you're using), and whether other people have their stuff set up correctly. Two basic rules I think we should all be following are:

    1) Use Adobe RGB because it's a larger colorspace. You may not need it today. But you should always be shooting for the best possible image quality. If you shoot in sRGB, you are compromising the ultimate quality of your images. It's easy enough to convert them to sRGB if you are going to upload them to the Web or for some reason need that profile.

    2) Get your monitor properly profiled and get your computer's color settings right. You mentioned that Adobe RGB didn't look right on your computer screen? That's probably because your computer isn't set up to correctly display it. I have my Photoshop colorpsace set to Adobe RGB and that's how I view all of my images. That's the way I view them when I need to know I'm seeing them correctly. It's when they're being set up for the Web that I convert them to sRGB and then I know they won't look right on the monitor. There is a way to "proof" them on the screen, though. Everyone whould also calibrate their computer monitor with a profiling system. We just published a review on the X-Rite ColorMunki. You can read that review to get a better idea of what's involved. But basically, if you want predictable, accurate color, you need to calibrate your monitor with a dedicated profiling device. This used to be really expensive. But it's not so bad anymore. And if correct color and density are important to you, this piece of equipment is just as important as a good lens.

    Thanks for starting this thread, Ron. You're posting good stuff! Glad to have you on the site!
  • 01-20-2009, 09:17 AM
    Photo-John
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ron Kruger
    Another thing I've learned from these guidelines, which are quite extensive and have answered nearly all the technological questions I've had, is that a photographer should: "Always sharpen your images in the camera before sharpening them in PhotoShop. Images always look better if you sharpen them with hardware (in the camera) rather than software (in PhotoShop)."

    I disagree with this. Sharpening should be done specific to each image and the final output. You can't do that in the camera. I sharpen each image separately, at the final output size. If you don't want to do any post-processing, then in-camera sharpening is your best bet. But if you want the best possible image quality, you sharpen specific to each image.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:25 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Another thing I have suspected all along, and now feel pretty certain about, is that for the best images, it is best to devote most of one's attention to getting as much right as possible when the shutter is released, and while it may be fun to play around in PS or LR, when shooting for publication, the less one does in PP the better.
    I realize that most here aren't really interested in this kind of thing. Now that I have most of this figured out, I'll stop bothering everyone here with dumb questions about technology and shooting for publication. I realize I have probably worn the patience of some a little thin. But I want you to know that many of you have been instrumental in helping me understand all this and changing my mind about some things. Thanks.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:35 AM
    Photo-John
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ron Kruger
    Now that I have most of this figured out, I'll stop bothering everyone here with dumb questions about technology and shooting for publication. I realize I have probably worn the patience of some a little thin. But I want you to know that many of you have been instrumental in helping me understand all this and changing my mind about some things. Thanks.

    Ron-
    No - keep posting! This is good stuff and I'm sure there are other people in the same shoes as you, trying to figure out the same stuff.

    As far as post-processing goes, I don't know if I agree. Of course, it's absolutely true that getting it as close as possible in-camera is a top priority. But no one should be worried about using all the tools that are available to them. I come from a custom photo printing background. And I can tell you, there's a ton of work done on the best photos you see. I see the RAW image and a piece of film as just a starting point. You get the best possible image you can with your camera, and then you squeeze as much as possible out of that original. To leave your image as the camera captured it is to let a bunch of camera engineers (or if it's film - chemists) decide how your photo is going to look.

    When it comes to publication guidelines, I think they're often designed for the convenience of the publisher, not for the best image quality. I have found myself at odds with magazines before over this. They've asked for RAW files and I won't give them RAW files. I shoot with a final image in mind and the RAW is just my starting point. If I give someone a RAW file, what they print won't even be close to what I envisioned. I think Ansel Adams compared the print to a performance and the photographer in the darkroom was like an orchestra director. There's no reason to expect that someone else will interpret and "perform" your images the same way you would. I want complete control.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:38 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Thanks very much, John. You already answered a question I was going to post in another thread about the best software for calibrating one's monitor. Someone, probably you, posted that for me a long time ago, but I couldn't find it (lost patience for searching).
    And I appreciate your input about sharpening an image in the camera. I can do that with mine, but I'm looking at a small LCD screen, which I don't trust. So, while this big stock agency suggest sharpening in the camera first, what I planned to do was automatically sharpen images in the camera the smallest degree allowable, then do any fine tuning required later in PP's much larger image, after downloading. Sound like a plan?
  • 01-20-2009, 09:54 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Thanks again, John. I'm reluctant to trust someone else to get from a raw image the same things I envision, too, and don't like the idea of sending them just that. I worked as the editor of a high-quality magazine for a few years (well before digital or the internet), and I only had one assistant on staff, so I also functioned as the photo editor, from selection through press proofing. Color correcting chromolons was, and still is, the most challenging and mysterious aspect of the whole thing, and I'm perfectly willing to leave those aspect to someone who does just that for a living. From that aspect, I want to concentrate on shooting in a way that offers them the most quality and latitude to begin with.
    But I'm pretty sure I know more about cropping and composition than some techno-geek, and would like to keep control, or at least make suggestion about those aspects. That's why I really like DH's idea of including both RAW (or TIFF) and a processed JPEG image on CDs.
  • 01-20-2009, 09:55 AM
    Photo-John
    Stock Agencies
    Ron-
    Stock agencies - oh boy. I think they are generally idiots when it comes to image quality. Unless something has changed recently, they base all of their standards on film scan information from 10 years ago. And those standards don't really apply to digital images. If you want to sell through them, you've got to follow their rules, of course. But please don't consider them experts, by any means. They've got their own best interests and convenience in mind, not yours.

    For color management, I don't know if the ColorMunki is the best product out there. Our reviewer had some real issues with it. I've been using the Spyder for years - I think I've used every version of it. And it's always worked well for me. The software can be a little clunky, but I've found that to be true for all color management software. But ultimately it does a good job of calibrating your monitor. I've also used older X-Rite monitor calibration hardware and it's worked well for me, too. Basically, just get something and use it. No matter what system you use, if you calibrate with monitor calibration hardware, you're going to improve your color and the ultimate quality of all your photos. We actually have a color management review section, although not very many people have posted reviews. But here it is:

    Color Management Reviews >>
  • 01-20-2009, 09:59 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    But again, no matter what one does, everything in the final image is dependent upon what is placed upon the sensor when the shutter button is pressed. Garbage in, garbage out.
  • 01-20-2009, 10:14 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    John said: "Stock agencies - oh boy. I think they are generally idiots when it comes to image quality."

    I don't think this one is, John. The first paragraph of their guidelines is all about how and why digital is better than film, and they suggest that instead of scanning old film images that it is better to reshoot them with digital.
    And then in the section about sumbitting digital images, they make a rather condescending and telling statement:

    "Despite all of the digital technology available, there are still some people who don’t use the FTP to send their photos and need to send them via CD, DVD, or Hard Drive. There are some special situations which require this like a very high number of High Resolution files to send or a poor internet bandwidth or just because the world is formed of all kinds of people, some even still buy film…"
  • 01-20-2009, 10:34 AM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    You can say that again, John: "Color profiles and color management can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of variables, including how you have your computer monitor set up, the color settings of Photoshop (or whatever software you're using), and whether other people have their stuff set up correctly."

    Beyond what you stated, I've learned to stay completely away from color correcting on intricate levels, because I learned that when I was impersonating a photo editor years ago, that when I adjusted the cyan, magenta or yellow, it not only affected that color (RGorB), but the hue of every color gradient in the spectrum. (Black was a little more simple.) I know enough about color correcting to know it is best left to the real pros.
    In another thread I asked about the relationship of saturation/contrast/exposure, because this is another aspect that affects the color spectrum. The more I learn about it the more I realize it is beyond me, and to think that I understand all the variables is about like thinking I understand the universe because I can see the moon.
  • 01-21-2009, 04:49 AM
    Martin Brazil
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Interesting thread Ron. Talking about using software to adjust your monitors colour made me smile because mine keeps going green and I have to beat it on the side in a certain place to get it to come back to normal. Its jumping back to green more often now and I have to beat it harder to get it to come back. I don't think colour calibration is an issue for me just now, lol.
  • 01-21-2009, 06:23 AM
    Cathathome
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    To say that colour management and profiles is confusing is an understatement lol

    Nonetheless, I found this thread very interesting and helpful. I shoot in aRGB because I like to print my images and found that sRGB makes a mess of the colours on paper. Getting the Printer/paper profiles right are another issue altogether :rolleyes:

    Usually (unless I forget) I'll convert the colour profile to sRGB when I'm planning to post an image online for friends/family, because I know the colours will work better.

    Monitor calibration is a problem for me since my working computer is a laptop and the screen has limited options for calibration. One day I'll get myself a nice big monitor...

    Ta,
  • 01-21-2009, 11:46 AM
    Medley
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ron Kruger
    Another thing I've learned from these guidelines, which are quite extensive and have answered nearly all the technological questions I've had, is that a photographer should: "Always sharpen your images in the camera before sharpening them in PhotoShop. Images always look better if you sharpen them with hardware (in the camera) rather than software (in PhotoShop)."

    I've posted a response in your saturation/contrast thread, but I wanted to reiterate here that I'd could not disagree more with this statement. This is reminiscent of saying "don't adjust the image in pp, because you'll just screw it up." Sharpening in camera uses the same process as sharpening in pp, but you have no way to modify the result. As I mentioned in the other thread, the results almost always need modifying due to the fact that they're counterintuitive.

    For a visual check on the difference between aRGB and sRGB, open Photoshop and bring up the color-picker by double-clicking on the foreground color. Now check the "Only Web Colors" checkbox. You've just changed the color-picker from aRGB to sRGB. Which set of colors would you rather shoot with? Which set would you rather use to print?

    One of the few areas that I will accept the cameras conversion over Photoshop is that if you KNOW that the image is going to be posted on the web, and you're absolutely POSITIVE that the image isn't one that will be printed at any point, then shoot in sRGB mode. The color reproduction is generally better than shooting in aRGB and converting.

    I also agree with John in not releasing my Raw images. Unless I'm doing HDR work, I use the histogram to shoot my Raw images as over-exposed as possible without blowing out the highlights, and then adjust the exposure in pp. Doing so forces some of the digital information down into the darker areas, improving shadow detail by a visible margin in most cases. In my case, the Raw image looks nothing like I want the final image to look!

    - Joe U.
  • 01-21-2009, 12:29 PM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Excellent information, Medley.
    I don't like the idea of sharpening in camera (haven't really tried it yet), because the camera's LCD is small, and I don't trust the image for adjustments that critical, though it isn't bad. I also suspect the advice from this agency concerns more sophisticated professional cameras. My camera is on the borderline between avid amateur and entry-level professional. At any rate, I'd much rather do such adjustments on the much larger computer screen, and your comments about "control" enforce that.
    It's really valuable to get varying opinions from such knowledgeable and experienced people on this site.
    You also make a valid point about over-exposing RAW images slightly (instead of under-exposing them the way I do) and then adjusting them in PP to retain detail, but I'm going to have to give that one some more thought.
  • 01-21-2009, 12:49 PM
    Singletracklovr
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Ron-
    No - keep posting! This is good stuff and I'm sure there are other people in the same shoes as you, trying to figure out the same stuff.

    Hi Ron, I could not agree more with John on this.
    I am not new to photography but very new to digital photography and I have followed your posts all over this site. Your questions and discussions have really helped me get a better handle on all of this. I even build a tripod for my kayak after reading about your method of shooting from the water.
    Thank you and thanks to all who took the time to answer and discuss the topics Ron has brought up.

    Bob
  • 01-21-2009, 01:20 PM
    SmartWombat
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    I shoot now in Adobe RGB, because that's what the agency wants.
    They're just in the process of changing their submission requirement to JPEG.
    - Clients don't require .TIFF
    - It uses less of their disk space
    - they now require pixel dimensions, not file size

    So at least out outlet for images is enlightened !
  • 01-21-2009, 05:10 PM
    Ron Kruger
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Thanks, Bob. We're in the same boat, or kayak. I've been selling illustrations for over 30 years, but only went digital last year, so I'm trying to lean the technology. I've been one who not only whats to know what to do, but why.
    I have thought about attaching a tripod, or one of those window-pod type things, to my Poke Boat, but always felt the instability of the craft would render it useless, and my Poke Boat is a whole lot more stable than a kayak. Who's that working out?
  • 01-22-2009, 07:45 AM
    Singletracklovr
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ron Kruger
    Thanks, Bob. We're in the same boat, or kayak. I've been selling illustrations for over 30 years, but only went digital last year, so I'm trying to lean the technology. I've been one who not only whats to know what to do, but why.

    An IMO you are asking all the right questions. In fact I didn't even know there were different RGBs or that I should use different setting for the web vs print. Then there's monitor calibration, OH MY!

    I have a question for you about posting some of your images. I understand photography is your vocation and do to copyright issues you can't post some of your work.

    Maybe thru this technology we are learning you could dumbdown the image or change it just enough that a hacker could not use the image and the copyright is protected. What do you think?

    In case you don't know, many of us would love to see some Kentucky Wildlife.

    Dumbing down a jpeg might even be a subject worth discussing on PR. Ill try a forum search. Maybe Photo-John or one of the mods could offer some ideas on watermarking or keeping the quality high for PR viewing but copies and screen prints would be useless.

    Quote:

    I have thought about attaching a tripod, or one of those window-pod type things, to my Poke Boat, but always felt the instability of the craft would render it useless, and my Poke Boat is a whole lot more stable than a kayak. Who's that working out?
    I use a Wilderness System 12' Yak the model is a Pungo. Very stable when seated. This yak has a large cockpit. Sorry no pict of the tripod yet all my lakes and streams are frozen in January. Basicly I have a tripod leg just under each armpit and one thru my legs. Two of the legs are velcroed to inside of the cockpit so nothing can fall out. The camera sites on a ballhead for paning and fine adjustments. I can't wait for the ice to melt and the wildlife returning.
    http://gallery.photographyreview.com...edium/Yak1.JPG
  • 01-22-2009, 11:15 AM
    dbutler
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    I use Prophoto, myself. I find that I capture a lot more of what I want that way. When I submit to agencies, what I get back seems much better because I had so much more to work with from the start, no matter what colorspace they work in.

    I used to kill myself trying to capture images perfectly at the moment of capture when I was a youngin. But the day I heard about how much PP Ansel Adams spent time on, and about how many thousands of images he would not allow the public to view because he could not get them right (by his definition), I felt like I was finally free. I finally relaxed and allowed that there was no 100 percent in any of this. I enjoy my images so much more now. And the time I spend on PP make me feel like the image is even more mine,since I am not simply relying on the camera manufacturers interpretation of the scene.
  • 01-22-2009, 11:44 AM
    SmartWombat
    Re: Which RGB Is Best For You?
    Well you can get small hand-held gyroscopic stabilisers for video cameras, combine that with a mount onto the boat and it would take out the pitch, roll, and yaw.
    You'd still be left with vertical and horizontal movement, and I'm not sure if a steadicam type of mount will deal with that.

    It won't be cheap though.
    Replacing the motor skills of a human never is :thumbsup: