Color Management for Photographers – Part One

Color control in the digital world can be a serious challenge. You can lock down your color, and reduce your time and labor costs by using a few simple practices:

If you shoot JPEG, and your camera allows it, try using Adobe 98 RGB rather than sRGB

If you shoot RAW, set your preferences in Adobe Camera RAW or other processor to use Adobe 98 RGB or ProPhoto RGB.

Calibrate your display! With newer LCD displays once a month will do the trick. 

Use Soft Proofing in Photoshop. Here’s a link to another page of mine that shows you how to do this. Soft proofing gives you an on-screen preview of what your image will look like, printed on the media you plan to use. Saves a ton of time and money on wasted proof prints.

When printing, use Application Managed/Photoshop managed color. You can set this is just about any image editing application you want to use – Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture.

Use the right ICC profile for your printer/paper combination. Just about every printer manufacturer provides a library of these on their web site, with instructions for installation.

The Adobe Photoshop web site directs us to install the profile into this directory path in Windows: WINDOWS\\system32\\spool\\drivers\\color folder (Windows XP) – or right click and choose “install profile”. On the Mac, the path is: /Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder or the /Users/username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder. Restart the application so it “sees” the new profile. 

More info in the next post!

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