What Is The Best Color Space For Photography

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LrColor direction is a huge topic in its own right, only Lightroom handles nearly of information technology for you. Information technology’s only when yous come to export photos that you need to pick the right color space for your purpose. So, here’s a quick introduction to the subject. If you’d like to learn more, Jeffrey Friedl wrote an first-class article on color spaces, which you lot volition find at:
http://www.lrq.me/friedl-colorspace

What is color space?

All photos are fabricated up of pixels, and each pixel has a number value for each of the color channels (red, greenish and blue). For example, 0-0-0 on an 8-bit scale is pure black and 255-255-255 is pure white. The numbers in betwixt are open to estimation. Who decides exactly which shade of green 10-190-10 equates to? That’s where color profiles come up into play: they define how these numbers should translate to colors.

Some color spaces contain a larger number of colors than others, and so we refer to the ‘size’ of the color space. If a color in your photograph falls outside of the gamut (expanse) of your chosen colour space, it’s automatically remapped to fit into the smaller gamut.

Lightroom is internally color-managed, so as long as your monitor is properly calibrated, the just times you need to worry about colour spaces are when you’re outputting the photos to other programs. This may be passing the data to Photoshop for further editing, passing the data to a printer driver for press, or exporting the photos for other purposes, such every bit e-mail or spider web.

Where do I choose the color space?

In that location’southward a few places you might demand to choose a color space for your photo…

In the External Editing Preferences, to determine which color infinite is used when passing the photograph to other software (Lightroom Classic only):

Besides in the Export dialog:

Finally in the Print module (Lightroom Archetype only):

Which color space should I cull?

Your chosen color space will depend on why the photograph is leaving Lightroom. Is information technology for further editing in other software, or every bit a finished epitome?

sRGB
is a small color space, but it’southward the most widely used. It’south a corking choice for screen output, emailing or uploading to the web. It’s likewise the safest pick if you don’t know where the photos will end up.

Adobe RGB
is a slightly larger color infinite, but it’southward a good choice if you’re sending photos for printing at a color managed lab, if your editing software can merely handle 8-bit files, or if you’re saving as JPEG.

Display P3
is a wide gamut color space used on the latest Apple devices. It’s a like size to Adobe RGB, simply it’due south shifted slightly towards reds/oranges and loses some of the greens/blues. It’south primarily useful when exporting photos for display on the latest Apple tree devices.


ProPhoto RGB

is the largest color infinite available in Lightroom, and so it’s the best choice when transferring photos to Photoshop or other photograph editing software (as long every bit they’re color managed). ProPhoto RGB doesn’t play well with 8-flake though, because yous’d be trying to jam a big gamut into a small bit depth. This can can atomic number 82 to banding. So stick with sixteen-flake while using ProPhoto RGB. ProPhoto RGB photos look boring and flat in programs that aren’t color managed, such as spider web browsers.

Other (Lightroom Archetype Export/Impress merely) allows you to select other RGB ICC profiles installed on your organization. For case, some professional labs may request that you lot convert the photos to their own custom ICC profile. To do and so, select
Other
from the
Color Space
popular-up, add a checkmark next to your custom contour and then press OK. Your custom profile is automatically selected in the pop-up.

Whichever color infinite you cull to use, e’er embed the profile. A digital photo is only a collection of numbers, and the contour defines how these numbers should exist displayed. If there’south no profile, the programme has to guess—and oftentimes guesses incorrectly. Lightroom always embeds the profile, only Photoshop offers a checkbox in the
Save As
dialog, which you need to exit checked.

For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, seeAdobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.

If yous accept the Photography Plan, then also equally Classic you have access to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem including the mobile apps and web interface. For more information on these apps, see
Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.

Notation:
purchase of these books includes the offset yr’due south Classic or cloud-based
Premium Membership
(depending on the book purchased), giving admission to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the applicative Lightroom version if you hit a trouble, and other bonuses.

Nosotros as well have a special bundle offer for the 2 books. This includes Premium Membership for the showtime year as described to a higher place for the whole Lightroom family!

Originally posted xiii December 2022, updated March 2022.

Source: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/color-space-use/

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