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Color Space sRGB or RGB with sRGB Monitor

Tinkerbell

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I am hoping someone might be able to put some clarity on this nagging question for me regarding color space. I have a 100% sRGB monitor only and RGB is not applicable at all. I understand the difference between these two modes and the preferred color space in Lightroom and Photoshop is RGB1998. When your monitor is only sRGB, what color space should I be editing in then?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated and thank you.
 
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Let's make a distinction between Color Profile and working Color Space. Your Monitor is probably set to some version of sRGB color profile. That means that it can not display colors outside of that envelope. There are 4 overlapping envelopes that are important
  • sRGB is the smallest and typical for traditional monitor displays
  • Adobe RGB is a little larger and shows more colors than sRGB. It is comformable to Print media and important if you want your image printed.
  • DCI-P3 is the newest monitor display standard . It has been used by the motion picture industry for a number of years and is currently used in all Apple monitors.
  • ProPhotoRGB. This is the largest envelop and contains colors that fall outside of the envelopes of all of the other color spaces.
Programs like Lightroom and Photoshop make color computations on pixels. These could fall outside the smaller envelopes. Lightroom uses ProPhotoRGB as a working colorspace. Photoshop can use that or other smaller working color spaces. You should use ProPhotRGB for Photoshop. It will be the only colorspace available in LR.

In your Camera, you want to shoot RAW as the data has no color profile assigned until it is converted to RGB. If you import RAW into LR, it will be converted to RGB using the largest envelop ProPhotoRGB. When you export your derivative image, you will want to assign a color profile based upon the intended purpose of the exported image. sRGB if you are sharing the image with the public and have no control over the colorspace used by monitors that are not yours. SRGB is the generic screen media color Profile. If you are planning to print and don't have a color profile for the characteristics of the printer being used, the create the file to be printed and use the generic print profile Adobe RGB. If you are sending a file to Photoshop or other Pixel editor you should assign ProPhotoRGB color profile to the export file (if the image editor can accept ProPhotoRGB.)
 
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The color space of the monitor is irrelevant for the color space of the image editor. Differences are dealt with by color management. Lightroom edits in its own color space and that is something you can’t change anyway, so don’t worry about it.
 

Tinkerbell

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Thank you so much for your reply. If I understand this correctly Lightroom's default Color Space is ProPhotoRGB and can no longer be changed to anything else like you could do in earlier versions. If Lightroom then uses ProPhotoRGB as their default color space, is my sRGB monitor then correcting the colors for showing on my monitor since it can't show anything else ? Then am I seeing the colors correctly? I take it then I should change the color settings under edit menu - color setting - working spaces RGB in Photoshop from sRGB to ProPhotoRGB and also change it from North America General Purpose 2 to North America Prepress 2.
 
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Thank you so much for your reply. If I understand this correctly Lightroom's default Color Space is ProPhotoRGB and can no longer be changed to anything else like you could do in earlier versions. If Lightroom then uses ProPhotoRGB as their default color space, is my sRGB monitor then correcting the colors for showing on my monitor since it can't show anything else ? Then am I seeing the colors correctly? I take it then I should change the color settings under edit menu - color setting - working spaces RGB in Photoshop from sRGB to ProPhotoRGB and also change it from North America General Purpose 2 to North America Prepress 2.
ProPhotoRGB is a huge color space. It's so large that there isn't a monitor on the planet that can display it all. Color management makes sure that you'll see the colors as correctly as possible, within the limitations of your monitor. The color settings in Photoshop are not relevant for this, because they only apply to new documents. What happens to existing documents -such as photos coming from Lightroom- is determined by the Color Management Policies, further down in the same dialog. Set these to 'Preserve Embedded Profiles' which means that Photoshop will not change the color space of incoming images.
 

Tinkerbell

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Then I will leave the Photoshop settings as they are. Thank you so much for clarifying this for me.

I do have another question though if you might be able to answer. I am considering purchasing another monitor and I am looking at the BenQ240 24 inch monitor. Would you or another body else have any input on what would be a good one and one that they actually use for editing. The one that I am actually using is a very low budget one and not sure if getting a better one will make any difference. I do calibrate the one I have now but not sure if it really does calibrate it. Thank you again.
 
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I don't know the BenQ, but of course a better monitor will give you the advantage of seeing things more closely to what they really are. Like I said, you always see the image within the limitations of your monitor.
 
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If I understand this correctly Lightroom's default Color Space is ProPhotoRGB and can no longer be changed to anything else like you could do in earlier versions.
Lightroom has always created RGB images from RAW using ProPhotoRGB as the processing color space. When you export a derivative you can set the color profile as you have always. And Here you should use something to match the capabilities of the destination media. Most destination Media can not handle ProPhotoRGB However, as I said earlier, if you are going to further process in another app that does accept ProPhotoRGB (like Photoshop) then you should keep the output with as large a gamut as can be produced.
 
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Then I will leave the Photoshop settings as they are. Thank you so much for clarifying this for me.

I do have another question though if you might be able to answer. I am considering purchasing another monitor and I am looking at the BenQ240 24 inch monitor. Would you or another body else have any input on what would be a good one and one that they actually use for editing. The one that I am actually using is a very low budget one and not sure if getting a better one will make any difference. I do calibrate the one I have now but not sure if it really does calibrate it. Thank you again.
Good calibration hardware and software should show you your monitor's profile both before and after calibration. If you are still on a budget and want to upgrade, Dell has some decent models in its line-up as well as a few other brands. I like NEC monitors for their hardware and calibration software, but they can be a bit more expensive unless you can catch a good sale. You should consider if you want a wider gamut monitor that can fully display Adobe RGB or if you want to stick with sRGB. In either event, good calibration hardware/software helps if you are concerned about color consistency.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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