Set Color Spaces In Lightroom


Color Management for Better Prints


Lesson Info

Set Color Spaces In Lightroom

So these are color spaces and I'm gonna show you in the software, how to see what color space you're working in. In just a second. Lightroom, LR. Lightroom uses ProPhoto RGB, in other words, it's just like baked into the program. I think it was very wise on Adobe's part to say Lightroom has no color space, well it has a color space, but Lightroom's basically gonna allow photographers to bring in anything into this software package and they don't even have to think about it, if it comes in as sRGB, if it comes in Adobe RGB, great, We can handle all of the colors there. And we'll even let the photographer make manipulations on the photo to go outside of their original color space as long as it stays within ProPhoto RGB. Photoshop is different in that in Photoshop, you need to tell Photoshop what color space you're working in. So you guys probably all know this, that Photoshop is a different program than Lightroom. Photoshop can be used by all sorts of disciplines, not just photographers,...

graphic artists, and video editing, and all kinds of purposes, book layout, GIF generation, Photoshop is this massive program, so Photoshop needs to be much more flexible than Lightroom, Lightroom is really designed to be primarily an image editor and an image developer, 'kay? So we'll just stay in ProPhoto, but Photoshop on the other hand, well, it needs to fit so many people. For example, the books that you buy, the color space on those books is totally different than Adobe RGB, or sRGB, they have these color spaces like CMYK, you know, international offset color press Heidelberg version 13 ton (claps) system, you know? I'm making all that up, but you get the idea that color space can be based on all kinds of things, not just Adobe sRGB or ProPhoto. That Canon printer, that s1000, has an ability to print all sorts of different types of colors, but the colors it can produce depend on the paper you're printing it on. Different paper can result in a different red showing up, the same red number coming out on a matte is different than the red coming out on a glossy, and that's different than a red coming out on a smooth fine art. So when we talk color spaces, when we send the profile to the printer, we have to tell it what color space it's going to, and that's smooth fine art Canon PRO-1000 inkjet printer. That'll make more sense in just a bit. So in Photoshop it's user defined, 'kay? You have to define it and I'm going to show you in the software package the actual page where you go to to define that. So Photoshop, you're gonna go to Edit, Color Settings, then you're gonna go to your Working Spaces, and then I'm gonna recommend that you choose Adobe, and I'll do the mouse clicks here in just a second, I'm gonna recommend you choose Adobe, then we're gonna set our policies, 'kay, our working policies. And then we're gonna choose the engine. And all of you are sitting here going uh, okay, sure. It'll make a lot more sense in just a second when we go there. So let's go to the computer. And then after I do this, we'll open it for questions, okay? I'm just gonna drag a photo into Photoshop. Okay. First thing, 'cause this is very instructive, all right, so what I just did, I was in Lightroom and I dragged this photo from Lightroom into Photoshop, just quite literally from the grid in Lightroom, I just went bloop, right down onto my Photoshop icon, and now it's gonna open it up in Photoshop, and it says bong, warning, the document Elena Blair6-OKAY TO PRINT.jpg (laughs) she gave us permission to make this print, great, it has an embedded color profile that does not match the current RGB working space. So there's a profile mismatch, the file that Elena sent me has some certain color profile. And it actually tells me, embedded, it's sRGB IEC61966-2.1. That's the sRGB standard color profile that I told you was made in, now I forgot the year already, 1996, by HP and Microsoft. Okay, interesting, so she sent it to me as an sRGB color space but what am I working in, Adobe. So there's this decision that we have to make. Hey Mike, I sent you this small color space. Okay, but you're working in this little bit bigger color space, what do you wanna do, do you wanna stay in the small space or bring it into the bigger space. There's no one answer for that. In general, though, my answer is we'll convert it to my working space. I've already decided that I like Adobe RGB and I'm gonna get that into Adobe RGB using the color engine. Hmm, okay, I'll show you the color engine in just a second. We're gonna lift the hood up and look at the engine all right? So this is a profile mismatch warning and I'll show you how to set these up, you always want this to happen, that's my opinion, you always wanna know, what was the color coming from and what is it going to. So I'm gonna click okay, in other words, convert it. Go ahead and convert it to Adobe RGB. Ah, hey, it still looks like a photo. Excellent. So if I mentally go back a slide in my presentation, those steps I wanted to show you were to go to the Edit menu so we're gonna go to Edit, and then we go to Color Settings, and that's down lower, Color Settings, Color Settings, there we go, and it's Shift Command K for those of you who are keyboard shortcut gurus. Color Settings, voila. All right, and just so everybody knows, in the keynote in the presentation documents for the class, that anyone who's signed up for the class you're gonna get this, I have this slide, an image of this slide, in the keynote, so you can remember exactly how I set all of these. So we start out here in the Color Settings, and we're going to make adjustments here so that it fits our workflow. Custom, in other words, Settings or Custom, this is like a preset and if you go into here, you'll see all of these different types of preset, like North American Prepress 2, Japan General Purpose 2, European Prepress 3, so there's these industry standards and most of those are designed for book publishers and four color offset printing CMYK type stuff. We don't deal with that what we do, typically what we're doing is RGB, RGB printing 'kay? So we have to be concerned with the RGB color space. I'll just show you what I clicked on, so here's RGB, I click on that, oh my goodness, and this is where the overwhelming thing happens is like, oh, there's Adobe RGB, well Mike said that was good, click. And that could be your answer. But if you want to know more, look here, we've got Apple RGB, we've got ColorMatch RGB. Oh, there's that ProPhoto thing, I could work in ProPhoto, I could work with sRGB blah, blah, blah, I could work with ARRI camera LogC3, Canon, I could work in all of these color spaces. And now your brains are probably starting to explode going wait a minute, how can I work in a Canon printer color space in Adobe Photoshop, that's weird. But you can, you can say, oh, the color space I wanted to find to work in isn't this kinda neat looking triangle, it's the Canon printer which is a blobby shape. You know, so you could choose to work it pretty much in any color space that you wanted. But for us as photographers, I recommend Adobe RGB. And that's right here, at this date and time, when we're 10 years on, this is gonna change. We're probably all gonna switch to ProPhoto RGB in the future. Okay CMYK, well this is all the companies making book prints and all of that stuff, so we don't even have to really worry about what's set there, don't even worry about it. You're not gonna do your own CMYK conversions until you know what you're doing, so for now, don't even worry about CMYK. Grayscale, just keep it at Dot Gain 20%, that's kind of an industry standard, most of the time when you make a black and white print, I know this sounds weird, but you're actually still working in RGB, you're still working in color. Most pros who do black and white prints, let's say for example this image, this is from a DIY book, and I converted this to black and white, but I worked on it as a color image in the background and I made all my settings in the black and white mode but I still had all the color data behind it. So that's an important thing for black and white photographers, always shoot your photos in color so that you have all three color channels to work with in black and white. Okay, don't worry about Spot. Truth be told, I'm not even exactly sure what we do with the Spot Gain stuff, so, like I said, Photoshop's used for all kinds of people, all around the world. Next, Color Management Policies, this is cool. What do you wanna do when something comes into Photoshop and is different than your working space? Just like that photo we got and I brought into Photoshop, it was in sRGB now it's gonna convert to Adobe, well I want it to convert to Adobe, so I can say Off, in other words, don't do anything. Whenever it comes into Photoshop, just keep it whatever it was, hmm, kind of rolling the dice there. Preserve the Embedded Profile, which is the same thing. Or Convert to Working RGB, I like to convert to my working RGB, so I'm going to convert it to Adobe RGB. CMYK. Well, you're not gonna do your own CMYK conversions, at least right now, so you can kind of ignore this, but just to be consistent, I set everything to convert to that working space. So Convert to Working CMYK, and then Convert to Working Gray. Now these little check boxes down below, what do you do when there is a profile mismatch, do you want to be notified and I say yes, I wanna know what's going on, because sometimes I don't want it to convert, sometimes I do, so I always say ask me, so Ask When Opening and then Ask When Pasting. So image you're taking a sky from this photo, and a head from that photo, and a flower from that one, and they're in different color spaces, well you want them all to match when they finally get to the end document. So even when copying and pasting, you wanna know. And then missing profiles, this will happen if you download something from the internet sometimes, there's just no profile attached to the image. So what do you wanna do, do you wanna attach a profile to it, yes, so ask me. The engine. Oh man, I like engines. (laughs) Choose Adobe (ACE), rather than the Apple or if you're on a Windows machine, I think there's a Microsoft engine, I can't remember. Choose the Adobe engine, so what is the engine? Okay I am going to go back over to this photo here, actually we'll use this red one, let's say that this red is out-of-gamut, 'kay? And now we need to move it into some other gamut, so let's say it was Adobe and now it needs to be smooshed down into sRGB. Well we had this color red, that was, you know, I'm gonna make this number up, red number 10. And now because it's going to sRGB it has to become red number eight. What does that conversion? Do you just chop it off at red number eight, or do you take all the reds and kinda relatively move them all in kind of an equivalent percentage down so they all kind of smoosh together relatively, see that word, relatively? Eluding to the next thing you're gonna see. Relative Colorimetric, right? So what's that engine look like, how does it get the colors from this space or even expand them out, if you start with green number six, how do you expand that out to green number eight? You know, what process, what engine, do you want to do that. Well that's the Adobe color engine, ah, A-C-E. Intent, how do you want that engine to work? Do you want it to work on unleaded gasoline, premium gasoline, what octane, right? There's two rendering Intents that we should use as photographers. Relative Colorimetric is one, and Relative Colorimetric is more of a mathematical approach, 'kay? Or, Perceptual. And Perceptual is kind of feely touchy, touchy feely. Perceptual is more along the lines of maybe what a human would perceive as being natural or normal, 'kay? Which one's the best, I don't know. Really truly, I don't know, it's either or. Sometimes the mathematical approach is best, but now that I'm a recovering engineer, I've realized there's some value in feeling, you know, and so sometimes Perceptual makes more sense and it just depends on every image and every paper, you never know, so sometimes we print two and say, ah, this one's better, that one's better. So Perceptual or Relative, don't use Saturation or Absolute and I don't have enough time to go into why, but just know that those are generally bad choices for the engine to operate with. Black Point Compensation, yes, use that, it helps your blacks be solid and confident. And dithering, yes, use dithering to help the graduation between those subtle reds appear smoother. And then I don't even know what this one means, Compensate for Scene-referred Profiles. I don't know, don't ask me any questions on that 'cause I can't answer it. (laughs) I get to deny, plausible deniability on a lot of this stuff. And then Advanced Controls, I don't do a whole lot here, this is newer in the world of Photoshop since, I don't know, Photoshop 3 or 4, I don't remember. But Blend Text Colors Using Gamma, someone told me I should have that checked, okay. I don't do a lot of text and graphics work in Photoshop but go ahead and set that to 1.45. We're ready, your Color Settings in Photoshop are now ready to go. I'm just gonna click OK. And what you did right there was mind numbing but important. And you only have to do it once, 'kay? So I want you all to go home tonight, or tomorrow morning, get some sleep and then come back tomorrow, and go into Photoshop and set those Color Settings just like I had you shown there, that'll go a long ways to helping your colors be consistent across the board. Cool. So let's go back to this presentation. So again, those are the settings and the general selections you're going to make. And then I've got that screenshot for you all, so there's that screenshot showing you everything I just demonstrated, Adobe, Ask, Ask Me, Adobe ACE, and then Relative Colorimetric. Great. Let's go ahead and ask some questions, 'cause I bet there's one or two questions about this, anything in the room, yeah? If you're gonna print a photo and you know you're gonna print it on that Canon, would you still edit in Adobe RGB space or would you go, since you're on the Canon, select that profile and then you don't have to worry about, you know, you can see exactly what colors you're getting. Great question, and I'm struggling with how to answer it with a definitive answer. In general, in general, the way I work, is I just work in a color space and Adobe RGB is close enough to the output of a Canon PRO-1000, that I'm just gonna work in Adobe RGB, 'kay, it's close enough. I'm mean, there's some reds that can be produced by the Canon, actually it's generally the greens, so there's probably some greens that the Canon produce that's a little bit outside of the Adobe RGB. But you know what, most of what we see as humans, are contained well within the sRGB color space. Almost everything we look at, all the colors in this room, my facial skin tones, I don't know, the yellow on that box, it's all contained in sRGB. So sRGB is almost all you really need, right, so now imagine you're working in sRGB, I'm sorry, your colors would exist just fine in sRGB, you're working in Adobe, and then you're gonna print out in this bigger, we'll call it the Canon space, no worries, 'cause the Canon can actually put ink on paper and produce all of the colors that you're working in just fine. Does that make sense? So when it matters, like when I'm shooting the print off to some weird paper type, that's when I do my SoftProofing. Usually, if your screen is calibrated, you can print to a glossy paper and not even worry about it 'cause the colors and the contrasts and all that's gonna come through just fine. It's always when you're kinda going to these weird paper types that you have to do this other color space stuff. Huh, that was a long answer. Just work in Adobe and then if you have any concerns do the SoftProof thing that I'm gonna show you in just a little bit.

Class Description

Knowing how to control and see color is essential in making quality prints. Mike Hagen will walk through the entire color process for getting prints to look the way you envisioned. He'll discuss the techniques for calibrating your monitor, color management and color space.


Cheryl Tarr

I enjoyed watching this. Mike is an engaging instructor. Very clear and easy to follow. I was somewhat familiar with the various color spaces but this solidified my understanding. I now have some 'next steps' to improve my printing, thank you!