Hello Steve,

Can you tell me why do you convert RGB to SRGB.  I just save all my files in Adobe RGB and then for web use to JPG. Is there an advantage of saving to SRGB.


Charles –

This is a good question.  I’m guessing that there are many out there with the same question and I’m thinking of doing a learning topic on color spaces (gamuts) in the near future.

Color space awareness is a big topic.  How to profile your monitor, set your programs to the same color space, your camera, etc.. is critical for the best results, and so others see the same image you’re seeing as the creator.

First, Windows PC browsers are not “color managed” and default to SRGB.  SRGB is the default color space for the web, and it’s also the default color space for most imaging programs, color profiles, and photo print shops where you get your images printed.  Firefox has a add-in to make it color managed, but few people know about it.  Mac browsers are color managed.

Everything, from your default profile, your imaging program, your browser, all of it needs to be set up the same.  Otherwise you won’t be getting the results you expect.

If you have your DSLR set to Adobe98 and its saving to jpegs, this would be counterproductive.  Jpegs on the web should be SRGB, print houses print jpegs in SRGB, and unless you own and print to a Adobe98 compatible printer.. you’re not accomplishing anything.,

If you have your DSLR set to Adobe98 and are saving to RAW files, then your RAW files simply default to Adobe98 inside the raw converter.  The raw files are simply “tagged” by the camera to let your raw converter know you desire Adobe98 as your color space.  RAW files are in fact raw data, and can be converted to any desired color space.

What happens.. is that many people import their files into Photoshop, or Elements, in Adobe98, and perhaps even have Photoshop/Elements set up to convert all imported files to Adobe98.  If you process the files in Adobe98 and fail to convert the files to SRGB before saving as jpegs.. the files will look flat.  They just won’t look right.

There are so many variables involved in this.. that it’s impossible to cover them all in an email.  You would either have to ask me very specific questions and build from that.. or bring your PC in so we could go over it together during a workshop.  Most workshop clients do bring their PCs in just for this purpose.

The best advice I can give you at this point, is to just go to SRGB for everything.  Set your camera to SRGB, Elements, all of it.. and chances are that then your saved jpeg files will in fact properly represent the SRGB color space.  There will still be the chance that an odd setting in one of your programs will off-set your wishes.. but this is the best I can recommend at this point.

If you’re shooting RAW.. then you’ll lose nothing by doing this.  You can always go back and reprocess a raw file into any color space you wish.  If you’re shooting jpegs.. the color space should be SRGB anyway.

Why do I use ProPhoto RGB?  Because when I process a file in Photoshop I process a Tiff.  So, I use a 16bit Prophoto RGB file to retain the largest color gamut and the largest amount of data in the file as possible.  Tiff’s also allow you to save your layers open for future adjustment.  Jpegs do not.

If I’m making the print myself I’ll print the Tiff file directly to my compatible printer.. which is a high end printer.

If I’m having an outside print house make my prints, and it’s a normal place using the standard Fuji Frontier system, then I’ll convert my 16 bit ProPhoto RGB Tiff files to 8 bit SRGB jpeg files.  The prints will be perfect.

Some high end professional print houses have equipment to take advantage of my 16 bit ProPhoto RGB Tiff files and know all about color spaces.. but these are specialty places and you have to know what you’re looking for.

Whatever you do, you need a consistent color space (gamut) across your workflow.. or your images will not look as you intend them to look.

I hope this helps



I have calibrated my monitor with the pantone spider, but I've notice that my monitor driver is set to a gamma of 1 (which is the default value) or should I set this to 2.2 which is the windows default, or should I uninstall this feature so that the spyder does all the work?

This is the first time I've seen this feature on a monitor.

Charles –

I’m not that familiar with the Pantone products.. but I can tell you that I set my monitors to 2.2..

Profiling software doesn’t need to be active to work.. it doesn’t work that way.  What it does is create a monitor profile and places it in your windows/system32/xxx/xxx/xxx folder.. so that when you boot the system picks up that profile as a default.  It might also install a reminder and splash screen in your startup folder.. but once the system is booted the only thing loaded is the profile.

So what you want to do.. ideally.. is make a proper profile and have it boot as the default.  The profile should be what works for you in the way of white point, gamma, and luminance.  The standard would be 6500/2.2/120.  I run mine at 5500/2.2/90..


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