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Hi all,

 

(Digression: A quick "thank you" to all who replied to my first post - sorry I am so tardy but I shall reply soon. Appreciated.)

 

(Apology: I have searched for colour spaces but not found this - apologies if this is a duplicate question.)

 

Situation: I have just started using Affinity by importing seven similar tripod-shot rural photographs, each 1/3rd of a stop separated, for the purpose of bracketing and / or HDR. All were shot using Adobe RGB Colour Space. However, I notice that Affinity seems to be operating in sRGB.

 

Questions: (i) How can I avoid Affinity converting to sRGB? and (ii) How can I ensure I am always operating in Adobe RGB whilst in Affinity?

 

Your help will be much appreciated. Thank you in anticipation. MBF.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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Preferences > Colour > set colour space to Adobe RGB

You have quite tight bracketing, I would prefer much wider steps.

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Set your color space to Adobe RGB. You can do it globally or on a per document basis. Preferences for global, all future documemts, Document set up for the per document basis (and do it before any importing). At least if APhoto, which is what I suppose you are using, is like AD.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Hi MBF, & welcome to the forums.

 

Are you sure the photos have an embedded "Adobe RGB (1998)" color profile? Do you have any other app that can display the color space & profile info to make sure this is true?

 

I ask because Affinity Photo should use a photo's embedded color profile if it has one when opening the file as long as it is available on your system. AP includes an official AdobeRGB1998.icc profile resource (possibly with an icm extension for Windows?) so that should be no problem.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Hi Fixx and Mike W; thank you both very much. I shall make those adjustments after this reply.
 
Yes, I am using it for photographs (or images which started-out as photographs). 
 
Apropos bracketing. Well, I shot the image today in bright sunlight but distant tree-clumps had dark parts. Metered zero (based the 50% grey equivalent of new vegetation - thanks Mike Browne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HxUeMdP7fg for that!) actually returned a reasonable image but I just wanted to pull some elusive definition from sky and darker vegetation etc, plus some sharper focus overall. I was not after a killer HDR masterpiece, as the scene was just a tranquil rural chalk downland. But I do take your point apropos wider bracketing for more drama.

 

Once again, many thanks chaps. Really appreciated.

 

 

Hi, R C-R - we cross-posted, so I'll append my reply here.

 

Thanks... well I am not especially technical in these respects, so you might be right. But I have just checked and these results emerge: Camera menu is set to Adobe RGB (though I do not know to which year the protocol refers). But everything I shoot should be in Adobe RGB. However, I was wondering if that only applies to Jpegs - as I was using a set of RAW (CR2) images. I then checked ACDSee - which I use extensively. In the photographs' properties, under Canon Maker's Notes, it again says "Colorspace (spelt the American way) Adobe RGB" - but again it does not mention a year. I shall check Canon's website next. Damn, they do not mention a specific year, either. Can I assume it is 1998, I wonder?

 

Again, much appreciated. Off to try to reconfigure my Affinity programme. And thank you for your warm welcome, too.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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But I do take your point apropos wider bracketing for more drama.

 

It is not for drama (app adjustments make that), but just to cover all dynamic range with fewer exposures. Of course you can cover dynamic range with small step bracketing, it just may take many shots. I though have no knowledge what is the exact optimal overlap but I think HDR is quite forgiving and uses anything it can get.

 

But everything I shoot should be in Adobe RGB. However, I was wondering if that only applies to Jpegs - as I was using a set of RAW (CR2) images. 

 

RAW images have no colour space, thus camera colour space setting affects only JPEG. RAW images get a colour space when development app attach one to them. It is usually the working colour space which you indeed set global in preferences.

 

If you redevelop your files with right colour space you should get embedded proper Adobe RGB space and somewhat wider colour gamut. This may or may not make a difference depending your images and what end use they are intended.

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Fixx, thank you so much for that info; very helpful.

 

HDR: I do not do a lot but I did find when I used -2,-1,0,+1 and +2 stops I had quite dramatic results. On this bracketing, I used seven images from -1 to +1 in thirds, with less drama. But (i) the image itself is not especially dramatic and (ii) the range of -1 to +1 is axiomatically smaller than that of -2 to +2. Thus, I take your point as partially correct - viz it is the processing itself which adds drama. However, I suspect the range does, too - which is different from what I said before - so, yes, I was incorrect.

 

Apropos the RAW colour-space not existing. No, of course it doesn't. What an idiot. I shall hit myself with a foam-rubber tripod (one should not be too reckless). If RAW had a colour-space, it would not be RAW, would it? That was the colour-space of my brain-fade. Thank you for not calling me an idiot - though I have now done so.

 

Apropos final use: Need images available for professional printing for A4 through to A2 at least, perhaps even A1 if I'm lucky. I have printed a bridge camera's 16mpix output on A3 and it was grand, so now I am using a very low-end crop-sensor DSLR, at 18Mpix, I would hope to be able to reach A1. I hope to upgrade to a 24Mpix Crop-Sensor soon. (ie: Bridge - Fuji HXR; Present: Canon 1200D; Future: Canon 80D - or 90D?). I know full-frame is the tempting target but I can afford lenses etc easier on APS-C. Should I win a lottery, the Canon 5D and its lenses will be on my Day One shopping list. Sorry, I digress - anyway my printers like Abobe RGB, plus a load of other things in pre-prep before I send them the files.

 

I have, as you suggested, re-developed using Adobe RGB. Thank you so much.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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MBF,

 

In case you have not noticed this, if you are using Affinity Photo to develop RAW files, you can set the color profile individually for each photo if you want. In the Basic Studio panel, near the bottom is a Profiles section, which allows you to choose a different output profile from the default set in preferences.

 

Might be useful if you want to compare the results of using different profiles....


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Hello, again, R C-R; thank you for this.

 

Thank you for that tip. Yes, I had set it globally. Now you have explained, I shall be able to experiment on an ad hoc basis, which is great.

 

Much obliged.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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When I shoot RAW or am handed RAW images from a client (which is rare as they come from professional photographers), they end up as ProPhoto tagged images (and in the case of being handed shots from professionals, they are almost always ProPhoto images). This is among the largest RGB color spaces and is most useful for me. Any post-developing color correction or other image manipulation is done in this color space.

 

From there any color profile conversions are for specific purposes. For instance, for web or low-res pdfs, I'll convert a copy to sRGB or allow the conever sion to happen at pdf creation. For print work to digital or offset devices, I'll convert a copy to Adobe RGB.

 

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Hi MikeW,

 

Yes I have seen videos representing the gambit of Pro - it is huge, far dwarfing Adobe RGB, let alone sRGB. But I do wonder if it is not over-kill. You are probably far more technically-aware than I but I understood that ProPhoto was little-used because it does not really have any applications - i.e., as you indicate, sRGB is ideal for electronic media and Adobe RGB for print media. But where does that leave Pro? I suppose, as Adobe RGB - though larger - does not cover all the area of sRGB, then Pro enables one to select the full-range of either from it.

 

I know ACDSee uses Pro as an operating gambit for RAW processing, so maybe I am inadvertently using it already? If so, there is no reason I should not change Affinity to Pro, instead of Adobe RGB, then (as you say) simply export in the required format. I wonder if it is worth it? Food for thought. Thank you.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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Short of converting raw into the sub formats directly, ProPhoto is the largest space, so all the as-shot color detail is retained in my working format. Each sub format ends up discarding color in different ways. ProPhoto is a means to an end, a working format with the largest gamut is all. If I step on the colors too early in the workflow then I am baking in later changes I could not get back.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Hello, again, Mike.

 

Absolutely - which is why I like Adobe RGB. I have just re-watched the video and it seems I was wrong, (I keep being disproved) sRGB is completely covered by Adobe RGB. Given that - and seeing output is never larger than Adobe RGB's gambit (Hope I am ok with that one) still unsure what role Pro has? I do see in theory it is great but if we do not have the technology to print nor display it, why use it? One answer might be that, in the future, such technology will exist and our images can then shine even brighter. But for the here and now?

 

For anyone interested, there are many vids but this is the one to which I refer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKX08oOTMkk. That YT page has plenty of links to other vids, too.

 

My workflow (prior to Affinity) is: transfer pix from camera to hard disc. Import into ACDSee Ultimate 10. Rename all files, correct JPEG orientations if necessary, separate RAW images from Jpegs (I shoot in both together). Delete unwanted RAW files - I always keep a Jpeg copy. Select images for work. Open that RAW file, edit / develop etc, saving at intermittent stages as lossless TIFF. Finalise and take a 25% Jpeg copy for the gallery (which, until now, was Adobe RGB). Each photograph converted to an image (ie processed) is then saved in an individual folder. For worked images, the process may take as little as thirty minutes (excluding original shooting) to several days of work. So maybe Pro would be good!


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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Like I wrote, it isn't an end format. It's a working space (for me) that represents the raw data itself better than the lower formats. And I work with 16 bit images as much as possible using LAB for adjustments where appropriate.

 

But yeah, unless someone is throwing gobs of money at an art print to a 12 color Epson inkjet or the like, then the file will eventually be stepped on to a smaller color space. But if I need to tweak an image, it's back to the ProPhoto version to make edits, then back to the end 8 bit and Adobe rgb for print and sRGB for lesser output formats.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Can a twelve-colour Epson utilise the full Pro? I thought even such printers worked in Adobe RGB? Great if I am wrong, as high-end giclee prints are my target.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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Usually they will want an Adobe rgb tagged image. However, if they are using a Mac from which to print, they should be able to utilize 16-bit images. So do check with whomever will be doing the printing. And while you're at it, do follow their guideline for the preparation of the art, including final icc profile. They will likely have profiles made for their print environment that will include the specific paper& inks.

 

The Epson will amaze you. They are quite something with well prepared images.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Thanks Mike.

 

Yes, you're absolutely right: they do require specific profiles to match the paper. I have had prints produced on photographic gloss paper (Fuji) and rag papers (German names) - very different profiles. And, yes, the results are stunning (and very very expensive!). But, as you say, I've always been asked for Adobe RGB - never Pro nor sRGB. I don't use Macs myself but all the printing firms seem to. (Ironically, I never switched to Macs because I became hooked on Serif software, which was for PC only). And you're also right about Epson machines - vast things which resemble wallpaper printers. I have been printed on HP too but Epson with their stunning multiple inks seem the best to me. And the cost of those machines and consumables is staggering - hence the price charged to me per print. I have had a tour of a printing firm, too - fascinating.

 

Well I have learned much. Thank you Mike and all, vastly appreciated.


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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I use to print 16-bit Adobe RGB with Epson 3880, and sometimes reduce the size by converting to 8-bit and/but I do not really see the difference in resulting quality. I doubt there would be difference between printing Adobe RGB and Pro Photo either. We are talking about hifi here I think.

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As far as I remember, Adobe RGB was very (and I mean VERY) marginally better when converting to CMYK because it covered slightly more of the ranges of both the RGB Display and the CMYK inks. It helped conversion because it saved "clipping" the colour range at both the display process and the print process. 

 

I had a Canon photo printer with extra colours in green and red and it was better, sometimes, as CMYK can't produce greens and oranges (especially) very well. 

 

Wide Gamut RGB. and Pro Photo RGB all hold quite a lot more more green information than sRGB but If your file is being printed in just CMYK inks (as they almost inevitably are) I simply don't see how the results could be any better, or only by a tiny amount. However, more information in the file does allow you to colour adjust the file and still keep range. Once you have clipped the edges off a photo, it's impossible to get it back.

 

So unless your printers specifically ask for it (and bear in mind they might do that simply because they have heard somewhere that it is better) stick to sRGB. I certainly met plenty of printers who had a very "BASIC" understanding of the technologies involved between camera and press). Some are geeks too though.

 

As I have said before though, 99.9% of people will never know and of the .1% that's left, 99% won't care. If you have that 1% as a customer, maybe it's time to change careers ;)

 

One slight drawback of holding more information than you need is what to do with it? Do you ignore it when you print or try and compress the extra information into what you can use. Some uses of Adobe RGB have resulted in poorer results than if it was sRGB. Like trying to print at very high LPI values. More is not always better.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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This is a fascinating discussion; thank you all hitherto. I posted simply asking for instructions as to how to implement Adobe RGB on Affinity-Photo but have been fascinated and instructed by so much more from your replies.

 

My understandings (correctly or not so), prior to this discussion were: 

 

(i) Colour-Spaces are a digital way of determining the range (gamut) of colours available with various technologies.

(ii) The largest colour-space known is a human's good eye-sight, which technology has not yet emulated.

(iii) Each colour-space is a sub-set of another, though there may be a lower colour-space oozing from the boundary of a supposedly wider one.

(iv) In descending order of scope, the major colour-spaces are: ProPhoto (Can be digitally specified but is unviewable by any current technology, screen nor printing); Adobe RGB (High-end Printing, some high-end screens); sRGB (screens); CMYK (General Printing).

(v) It is best to work in the largest colour-space possible - ie ProPhoto, then de-scale to the required lower gamut, depending on what output is required. That way, all options are kept open and no available colours are lost during editing / processing.

(vi) However, since the wider the colour-space, the larger the file, why not just work in Adobe RGB - the largest reproducible colour-space?

 

(NB: V and Vi are counter-arguments.)

 

Consequent to this discussion, I am somewhat persuaded the work in ProPhoto - perhaps in the hope that one day technology will be able to reproduce it. I use a massive amount of hard disc space anyway and I am only thinking of those, relatively few, files on which I am working - not the zillions of photographs I never process.

 

I do take the point of those (thank you Fixx and toltec) who argue that visible differences are minute - indeed, they may not be visible at all. And, intellectually, you have a good point. I guess I just post-process relatively so few files that I might as well treat those with the luxury process "just in case". Yes, I may be wasting disc space but, otherwise, I do not think I have much to lose.

 

Apropos printing firms - I do confuse which technology they use. All I know is the ones who have done work for me use big Epson machines which look like wall-paper dispensers, on large metal cradles and use several ink cartridges - ten-plus? I seem to recall - very impressive and expensive anyway - several £ thousand apparently. And they do ask for Adobe colour-space input and some specific paper profile (varies depending which paper I select). Confuses the heck out of me but, with their help and indulgence of my ignorance and confusion, we have some fab results. But I am not in a position to judge their knowledge - I just realise it is far superior to mine and I rely on examples and testimonies for guidance.

 

Toltec - thank you for those extra details (eg green value) - very interesting and much appreciated. Fixx, thanks again :)

 

In the blackness of space maybe no one can hear you scream but in the confusion of colour-space, well...


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...

- Jaques's speech from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II; Scene VII)

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sRGB can display more information than the eye can see or a printer can print. 

 

I have always worked in sRGB. No one ever new ;)

 

These days so much is done on the Internet and sRGB is the best format for size - re reproducible colours.

 

I'm sure someone will disagree :(

 

Of course, if your high end digital camera produces RAW files in Pro Photo do the colour adjustment in that. When you are happy, then is really doesn't matter. IMHO


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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I'll disagree for ya...

 

The 12 color Epson can do a remarkable hi-fi color print, as well as black prints. One cannot attain such color reproduction using sRGB as the source.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Yes but I was talking about CMYK printing and the limitations of that, or even RGB displays for internet work.

 

I while back, had an eight Canon Photo Inkjet (i9950) with Green, Red, Photo Cyan and Photo Magenta inks on top of CMYK and that was marginally better, especially for greens and oranges.

 

Twelve colours is just being greedy ;) But is it better with Adobe RGB?

 

Interesting that the newer Canon Pixma Pro 100s have two different greys as well as black to do better black and white. What happened to green?


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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There are 3 each, CMYK on the printer I am referencing. The tonal range, the dynamics, and the fluidity is not reproducible on other off-the-shelf print devices. The only way to get the high dynamics on say a gray image with great detail throughout the shadows, mid and highs is to use 4-6 spot color blacks--and that is expensive. (Really, the spots are not all blacks, there is a silver, etc used.)

 

If you force the gamut from a well taken image to sRGB, then of course there is lesser differences (though there are some). We're not talking about traditional, 4-ink systems.

 

The thread was about color spaces and working in them and why choose one over another. The/An answer is because RAW has no color space. A well taken RAW image with high dynamics in it has more information than can be represented. Choosing the highest bit and color space for the space from which to work early in the process retains as much color as possible.

 

Then, when one has a target printer, that is the time for which to change and edit in the required color space on a copy of the master image. And only then. Like what was written before, if that target is the web, then sRGB is what is appropriate. If the target is traditional offset, then I would use Adobe RGB throughout the work-flow until it hits the RIP for companies that prefer RGB to the RIP. If for digital presses, then might as well do sRGB as well.

 

And, as mentioned, if the target is hi-fi, then use what they recommend and use their supplied profiles for final editing of a copy of the ProPhoto image. Likely most all use Adobe RGB, some have requested the ProPhoto. But no matter, if the image is a high-dynamic image or a gray image with both high contrast and detail, one is going to get the best print from anything other than sRGB.

 

But all this is moot if one is not shooting RAW with a quality camera and developing in a decent RAW editing environment and saving to the highest possible working bit-depth and color space. (Well, one can also shoot film and go that route but add in drum scanning to high bit-depth and to a color space that accommodates the dynamics.)


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Yes indeed, RAW images have introduced a whole new element.

 

As you say, work with what you have and convert it as late as possible depending on where it will end up.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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