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Thread: Only sRGB for Color Lab Printing (workflow question)

  1. #1

    Default Only sRGB for Color Lab Printing (workflow question)

    Hi all

    I understand that color labs only accepts digital files with sRGB color space. One of the major local color lab told me that if we send in files with Adobe RGB color space, they will actually have to convert our files into sRGB instead.

    Since most of us know that editing is best done in Adobe RGB color space, as taught by most Photoshop trainers and authors, I personally set Adobe RGB as my standard working space in P.S.

    However, I need some clarifications on the followings.

    1. After editing the colors to my satisfaction in Adobe RGB color space, which is also my standard working space in P.S., everything looks great. Colors are rich as I want them to be.

    2. However, once I convert my image from Adobe RGB to sRGB, the colors changes and become less saturated and less vibrant. Actually, quite dull in comparison before the conversion.

    Now, my questions are:

    1. After converting from Adobe RGB to sRGB, which results in 'duller' colors on my caliberated LCD, should I further edit the colors, like boosting up the saturation to compensate for the differences?


    2. If my intention is to have the images printed by a color lab, should I perform all editing in the sRGB color space right from the start? Will this lead to more accurate results?

    I hope you guys will enlighten me.

    With thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Default Re: Only sRGB for Color Lab Printing (workflow question)

    This could be due to rendering intent. Try Relative Colorimetric. It preserves within-the-gamut colours and clips those which are out of gamut. You don't have to be concerned much about clipping. Unless you are using top of the line multi thousand dollars wide gamut Eizo or NEC panel, you can't see those out-of-sRGB-gamut colours on your LCD anyway.

    Perceptual intent is not a good choice since it is prone to compressing gamut causing desaturation, and you should avoid the other two intents when working with photographic images.

    You can continue editing in Adobe RGB and preferably in 16 bit. This way you'll preserve colours which can't be reproduced by sRGB, but can be printed by a typical home photo printer or displayed on a better LCD panel. Just do the conversion into sRGB before sending files to photo lab. Typical steps should look like:

    1) Convert to sRGB using "Edit -> Convert to Profile..." menu command.

    2) Export resulting image into JPEG. Doesn't mater "Save for Web..." or "Save As...", because your lab assumes that all files are in sRGB no mater what.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Hitz; 18th September 2007 at 02:54 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Only sRGB for Color Lab Printing (workflow question)

    Thanks Hitz. I'll try your recommendation. Have a nice weekend.


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