Digital Fundamentals – Color Spaces and Color Profiles
This video is available Free for Everyone.
Running Time: 8 minutes
This is an Adobe Photoshop Video tutorial that explains Color Models, Color Modes, Color Spaces, and Color Profiles. This is one of the modules from the Photoshop Basic 1 Video Course. I thought this video was a good example of the course content overall. It’s a little bit dry, but I hope you find that it gets right to the point, and educates in a clear, and easy to understand way.
Color Models (Color Modes)
While there are a few Color Modes (also called Color Models). Two of the most widely used is RGB and CMYK. RGB = Red, Green, Blue is the most widely used. Everything from cameras, to monitors, to printers understands it. Unless you are sending your files to a RIP (Raster Image Processor) for printing on a press, you should be working in RGB. Forget CMYK, leave that to the professionals who need it.
RGB – Red, Green, Blue is the most widely used. Everything from cameras, to monitors, to printers understands it. Unless you are sending your files to a RIP (Raster Image Processor) for printing on a press, you should be working in RGB. Forget CMYK, leave that to the professionals who need it.
CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black is used exclusively for outputting film (and/or plates) to be used on a printing press. If you do not know what it is, or what it’s used for, ignore that it exists.
Color Spaces (Color Profiles)
RGB Profiles – has hundreds of different profiles (also called Color Spaces) that can be found on the internet, and comes from your devices. Your monitor will have one, your printer will have a few, your operating system will supply a few more by default. RGB Color Profiles (Color Spaces) are everywhere. Even your microwave oven has one (I’m kidding). However, there are a few that are are simply standard, used universally, to make life a bit easier.
- sRGB – This is about as universal as it gets. This is generally used by photographers getting files ready for the web, or for digital print houses. Often, color conversions to it result in brighter, more saturated colors. Print houses like it because it results in better prints for novices.
- AdobeRGB – This profile allows for more colors than sRGB. Photographers often use this profile because it is widely accepted in the printing arena. It is capable of producing vibrant color like sRGB, however because the space is bigger, it often translates into what is perceived as less vibrant, more muted colors. This actually makes for a smoother conversion to CMYK than sRGB may create, because CMYK lacks all the punch, and often leaves colors very dull.
- ProPhoto – Has more colors theoretically than monitors can display, printers can print, and our eyes can see. For simply portraits, it’s a bit overkill. However, when I work on complex compositing, I prefer to have all the data available from the original shoot, and HDR renderings.
CMYK Profiles – While CMYK has does technically have Color Profiles (Color Spaces), they are usally specifc to the print shop, and on their specific printing press. The color profile is created by the specialist for that company. If you do not have access to that information, Photoshop provides several generic ones you can use, just to give you an idea.
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This Adobe Photoshop Tutorial answers the question: What are Color Spaces and Color Profiles? If you would like to learn more about Photo Enhancement from a Professional Retoucher, I offer Adobe Photoshop Classes. Please contact me today, and I will be able to add you to the schedule too. If you would just like to watch online videos, The Art of Retouching Studio offers many Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners and Advanced users.