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Color management: something to try

PAStime

Kingston, CA
2670 posts

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009
Sun 25-Sep-11 11:40 PM

Hello,

I am trying to learn about color management. It is more difficult to set up than I thought it would be! After a fair amount of reading I understand the theory. What's not clear to me is what settings to make in each tool. I'm still not there.

Here is something I did today which was a learning exercise. You might want to try it. It's a simple test and if the results aren't what you expect (as happened to me), a little unsettling:

1. Save a JPG with sRGB data and with an sRGB profile embedded in it
2. Display this image in all of your favorite tools at the same time (for me that is Capture NX2, Photo Mechanic, Corel Paint Shop Pro X3 Ultimate, Qimage, Firefox, Safari, IrfanView and a few more).
3. Make all of the images full screen and then step through them sequentially. They should all look the same! Do they? For me they all did but only after some color management tweaks in some of my tools.
4. Repeat the above but with an image which contains aRGB data and an embedded aRGB profile. Do they all look the same? For me they all did except for IrfanView. The image in IrfanView looked somewhat desaturated. IrfanView is not a color managed application - I believe that explains that.

Let me know if you try this and what happens.

One of the things that puzzles me is that in Corel PSP and Qimage, the images look correct if in both of those tools I set the tool to not specify or use the profile for my monitor (a 27" Dell U2711). I think the logic here is that Windows 7 is managing the data stream to the monitor and if these tools are asked to do that as well, there's double data conversion going on. This setting may be a hangover from pre-Windows 7 or XP days.

Cheers,
Peter

G