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Jan Anne

Cross Platform Color Profiling for the web....

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Guest Mike Buckley

I think Ann deserves a round of applause for such detailed, patient and knowledgeable responses.

Really.

Ann,

Your generosity and good intent to help others definitely deserves and receives my applause. However...

As much as I agree with Fred, I disagree with him to the extent that it really is unhelpful that you repeatedly write the same thing over and over again. We understood it the first time. Really!

I and others use Capture NX2 and edit images in sRGB because we have determined that it is a good fit for us. We probably do other things that you would never do. That doesn't make us wrong. That doesn't mean that we are so stupid or ignorant that we don't understand the issues you are generously bringing to light. It might instead mean that we simply don't feel the need for whatever reason to go to the extent that you do to achieve the very highest quality. When we do make that decision, it's not helpful for you to preach to us about the error of our ways as if we're going to go to hell for not arriving at the same decisions that you do.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that only ten percent of us have eyes that are capable of seeing the nuances that might seem absolutely blatant to you. I highly doubt that my eyes are as good as yours. I have read that only one out of ten human beings, if they were to stand in the batter's box, have eyes that are capable of seeing a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher toward his catcher. The other 90% will see the pitcher's arm in motion upon release and will hear the ball hit the catcher's mit. But those 90% will never ever see the baseball coming toward home plate.

Also please keep in mind that we also understand the very small amount of stuff that you repeat that is just plain inaccurate. We could repeatedly let you know about that, but I hope we don't and I certainly will not. Our repetition would serve no better purpose than your repetition. Worse, it would provide a horrible example.

To summarize: You have very effectively made your case. Now please let it go. Thank you for considering my request.

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Guest Mike Buckley

NOTE: This post may or may not be a bit off-topic.

Arthur,

I also use IDImager(now.. thanks to Mike  ;D) and I've reset the options to view the high quality image for raw files(not the embedded preview file).

IDimager uses the DCRAW engine developed by David Coffin to convert the NEFs. That engine may not render the image as accurately as instead allowing IDimager to render the embedded JPEG preview that has been saved by NX2. Once NX2 has saved an edited NEF, it stores a full-resolution JPEG in the NEF even if the image was captured by an old camera model that stores a lower-resolution JPEG. Naurally, it takes longer for IDimager to convert the NEF than to display the preview. All of that explains why I configure the program to display the preview, but do whatever works best for you.

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Guest Mike Buckley

Fred,

The following is excerpted from the Forum Rules: There are all sorts of

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Guest Mike Buckley

Ann,

I apologize for any of my comments that struck you as being discourteous or rude. They certainly aren't intended to be so in the slightest.

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Guest arthurking83

One thing I sometimes like to do, is to view my NEF files with other programs(eg. IDImager now) for their enhanced view and abilities, that other programs don't offer.

Opening an NEF file (edited in LightRoom3) resulted in seeing the unedited version only with something like FSViewer. Even with the embedded jpg file option enabled.. simply because LR didn't edit the NEF file. it made a series of edits only known to itself, and hence other software have no access to the edit data(back then.. approximately May-June).

Going by this workflow, one then assumes that to view your store of images, you need a program that is capable of opening the LR induced edit files as well as the NEF file, which doesn't seem to be an ideal solution. eg. portable image viewing software, such as FSViewer-portable, which you load onto a USB thumb drive.. etc.

if I'm at my friends place, and I'd just taken some photos and want to show them the photos(edited or not), I can easily palce them onto a USB drive and plug it into their pc, and not clog up their pc with superfluous software.

(mind you this experience was many months back and things may have changed now).

I see CNX's method as 'more ideal' as it keeps the edits contained within the NEF file, I don't have to produce jpg files of the raw files, as FSViewer can read the NEF files based on the embedded jpg file.. easy workable and effective.

I seem to also recall that Windows explorer never displayed edited raw files correctly if edited via LR3 either. It would only display the unedited version, whereas the CNX/VNX edited NEF would be displayed correctly in Windows Explorer(or photo viewer) if the Nikon codec was installed.

The adobe way means having to steadfastly adhere to the adobe method... for both editing and viewing.. the viewing part is what annoys me most.

I used the trial version of LR3 for a couple of months Fred, and the only aspect I actually did enjoy using(and wish that Nikon(or Nik Software) would do something about.. was the noise reduction tool! Brilliant. I was almost willing to part with some rare money to have access to this NR tool. Bibble was as good tho. But once again, I want to make my edits, and save them to the NEF file, so that when I view with another program the image is rendered as per the edit. Once edited, I basically forget about the image, unless I have it in mind to come back to it one day to print it, or re edit in a different manner.

Note CNX/VNX also allow these edit steps with back and forth variations and snapshots. I felt it was more integrated tho, as the edit steps are simple click of tick marks on the edit step. tick on, tick off kind of process.. and always remain with the file.

Backing up! you have to remember to back up the LR edit step list thingy.. which not being an adobe fanboy.. I could never get used too. They place the edit step XML thingy somewhere convoluted, and initially(for a simple country boy like moi!) used to Nikon workflows... these edit save files are easy to forget about! .. once again.. not ideal.

So, once I realise that LR3 is not for me, and I feel that it wasn't worth the expense, what do I subsequently do with the edited NEF files?(or more accurately, the NEF files edited in LR) that now all look unedited again? I remember ProPhoto was the default color space, or that I changed it, but all files were saved to a colourspace that was subsequently deleted off the PC, and not useful any longer as the colourspace info was encrypted in the LR XML file.. not the image.

Now, we are once again only referring to NEF/raw files. I have no interest in bitmap images, other than to display them or maybe one day print them out. If I lose any of the 50,000 odd jpg/tif files I have in storage, I would probably only laugh, and ask myself why didn't I do that earlier, eg. to regain some quickly diminishing space on my drives.

My only concern is for NEF files, as they're the key to the future. Easily converted into bitmap images and converted into any colour profile as the user sees fit(for whatever purpose).

I only wanted to see how IDImager displayed both the embedded preview file and also the actual NEF file, but I prefer the embedded preview file too.

This method is useful to quickly browse through the directories to see which images have or haven't been edited... but with the ProPhoto workflow, using the thumbnails to quickly determine the quality of the image is not helpful(other than to see that it was edited because of the colour shift!)

(for Nikon software users)

I still maintain that; as RAW images do not determine the colour space of the file itself, that the current colourspace used in the workflow is irrelevant and should be appropriate for all applications that will/may access the files!

If there is a need for higher quality colour space due to print needs, then it'd be more appropriate to convert to the required colourspace and save the resultant bitmap image in that manner.

It's handy to have access to the ProPhoto colourspace now, but in reality only for a final output file... not for general viewing.

note that all information pertaining to raw files and colourspace clearly state that raw files are colourspace independent, and that the colourspace ios determined by that chosen in the raw editor(on the final save), and that colourspaces can be easily changed without loss of colour fidelity. Ive seen this in an approximation, where swithcing between colourspaces and saving to various colourspaces basically makes no difference to the image on screen. This is vastly different from changing the colourspace of a tiff file or jpg file from sRGB to aRGB where the blues become purple and the reds look flat.

Note tho: if you use CaptureNX, and have a high quality adobeRGB capable monitor, then setting the workspace to use the adobeRGB colour profile may be advantageous. This is because CaptureNX will render a high quality 16bit tiff file as you work on the NEF file, and (going by both Fred's and Ann's comments on high quality monitors) should render an improved image as you edit.

Oh..and Mike. I will pick your brain on the intricacies of IDImager one day soon too.(in another thread of course).

ps. CaptureNX is hardly described as quick fix  or instant gratification .... and only a seasoned CNX user would understand this.

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I think we should extend the Code of Conduct to people's choice of Editor !!

Do NOT "diss" someone else's choice of Editor, OK ??

The Ergonomics of Editing are a PERSONAL choice.

I've used all the Editors (although I'm not too good in Lightroom at this point).

They all work well.

End of discussion.

There are only N number of basic edits you are going to do to a NEF anyway:

adjust exposure, set B/W points, deal with highlights/shadows,

tweak curve, tweak color, apply sharpness and maybe burn/dodge some areas.

All editors do this quite competently.

End of that Discussion.

Save your original NEF as a double or triple copy on different drives

and edit only a copy of that NEF.

No need for any fears or flapdoodle about NEF-original destruction.

It doesn't matter a flying fig whether or not the "sidecar" edits

are inside or outside the NEF-copy file.

End of that discussion.

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ha ! forgot about CM, so one more End of Discussion.....,

Colour Management Summed Up:

Shoot in colour space A.

In editor,  assign use colour space B.

For output, convert to colour space C.

There are arguments to be made for having colour space B = ProPhoto.

End of that Discussion.

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you must work for adobe is all I can figure out

else why are you so hellbent on pointing out Other Editor's shortcomings

to the detriment of what you hope to accomplish in knowledge dissemination .

sigh.

I have never prevented the "dissemination of knowledge", to my knowledge anyway. >:D

I would just suggest that if you don't know how to efficiently use a good editor like NX2

then perhaps it is best not label it as "deficient".

I don't diss Lightroom or label it deficient because I'm not yet adept at using it.

NX2 does not corrupt NEFs by the way they store edits.

NX2 has a quite usable GUI for those who have taken the time to learn it --

it's much easier than the infinite menuing system in the bloatware Adobe PS.

NX2 is extremely efficient to use because necessary basic edits do not

require layers & masking.

And, if you are not saving original copies of your NEFs, then you are NOT

protected from corruption (or loss) due to non-editing events.

The knowledgable amongst us save duplicate (or triplicate) copies

of our raw files as the FIRST STEP in the workflow.

And yes -- Seagate and Western Digital do indeed love me --

along with a few gazillion other photographers who practice good workflow.

I have indeed a couple of TB of stored files.

That is the way it should be.

Ask Bj

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Thank you Ann for all your insightful replies. I have learned a lot about colour management.

One thing I don't understand, though, is why you dismiss Lightroom as something aimed at the Hobbyist segment. In my opinion it works very well together with Photoshop.

When you prefer Bridge and ACR you should of course use that. However, it seems like a lot of people prefer the workflow in Lightroom. Is the quality of what can be achieved using Lightroom and PS any different than what can be achieved using Bridge, ACR and PS? Isn't it just a matter of very personal preferences regarding the layout on the screen?

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Guest James Fitzgerald

I'm starting to feel a little like Donald Rumsfeld here. (former US defense secretary)

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

Donald Rumsfeld

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We had this discussion before Ann and you promised me to be more considered for those with other needs or background as your own ;D ;D

You have all CS products running and have been doing so from day one because of your background. Some - like me - don't want or like Photoshop for many reasons, personally I detest it but won't argue with those whom like or use it, their choice.

I invested some considerable time and effort in CNX2 to understand it's capabilities, no it isn't perfect but it works pretty good for me and so far hasn't prevented me from getting the results I wanted.

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So I am not "dismissing" LR but simply saying that it incurs an extra cost which you could probably save if you already have Photoshop.

Thanks for clarifying. I should probably have read your post more carefully. I can only agree that it is very limited without Photoshop.

I didn't even consider the cost of Lightroom in terms of money. I don't find it very expensive compared to so many other things.

The real cost is all the time invested in learning Photoshop. I don't master the program yet and I still have a lot to learn. I do, however, think all the time I invest in the program is well spent! It is fun and as you and Fred Nirque have pointed out, the possibilities seem to be almost endless.

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As a creative person, I am very surprised that you haven't wanted to learn how to use PS

because it would expand your capabilities far beyond what a mere Converter can do

and I think that you would find the experience exhilarating.....

As that comment followed my post, I am assuming that the "you" is addressed to me.

I know how to use Photoshop CS.

I choose not to use the CS suites any longer as I find the experience tedious, not exhilarating.

I gave my CS setup to my cousin when I sold him my M8.

I prefer to use NX2 or Bibble 5 as I find them both to be superior - and simpler - products.

I haven't yet found anything I need to do to my photographs that can't be done in NX2 (or Bibble).

I am not a "hobbyist" although I do keep PS Elements on hand for making borders.

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Guest

Oh yeah, my ____ is better than your ____! Yeah! Yeah!

Come on folks, let this thread die, it's all getting a bit tiresome. Some people are just raw converter zealots and figure if you don't do it their way then you are wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth so let's move on and discuss something more important, like navel lint!

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However, if I can sometimes cause someone to just pause and question their accepted way of doing things

(and perhaps even expand their horizons a little?) that seems to me to be not too bad an idea either.

oh la !

I questioned the accepted way of doing things and gave away CS4 !!

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Darn. I really did preface my post - which appears to have started this barney - with the proviso that I didn't want to start a fight over NX vs Ps.

I don't mean to "dis" NX in relation to Ps, even if I sound harsh on NX. I think it was Arthur's posts which indicated an excessively complicated CM nightmare that prompted me to suggest perhaps the Ps alternative, again with the proviso that upfront time learning Ps properly was likely to be very time-consuming in itself.

I don't believe that most of the posters here are of such a hobbiest rather than serious user status that Photoshop should be classed as beyond them, and as I said, if you're serious about digital photography, then I honestly believe you do yourself a disservice by not getting a handle on Photoshop.

Programs such as LR, NX and the like are OK for getting your images out of the camera in usable form, but once Photoshop is learned (I won't say mastered - very few people have done that, and I'm not one either) the whole thing becomes a very smooth and contiguous flow that hugely expands the end possibilities. Rather than bumping from one thing to another, Ps really is designed to be just that - contiguous - and while I certainly don't like Adobe or its business ethic, the product is really as important to my photography now as was the choice of film and film lab back in those days. Yes, there are some things that 3rd party progs do a bit better, but usually only on the ragged edge of things.

People are welcome to stick with NX, LR or whatever, I have no problem with that at all, but if I think that they will be better off with a program like Ps - and this CM thread certainly has put forward a scenario where they would be - I, as Ann, will say so, and be willing to argue the point. I left most of this to Ann, because like it or not, she has the best handle on colour management and Photoshop of anyone I know that I am able to correspond with personally on any forum, and has over the years on the old Adobe Forums come up with pointers and solutions that have helped me enormously and saved me vast amounts of wasted time and materials.

On the old Adobe Forum we were also lucky enough to have Jeff Schewe and at times even Thomas Knoll as regular respondents, not to mention the years that Chris Cox would be always available talk one-on-one to people in his blunt but extremely knowledgeable way (before Adobe management shut him up for being too honest), which was all hugely beneficial.

Despite their links to Adobe, having people such as these directly available to answer questions and give direction was incredibly valuable and the 2008 implosion at Adobe Forums was indeed a sad time for those who gleaned - and gave - much knowledge on things to do with digital photography. It should not be dismissed that Thomas (and John) Knoll wrote the original Photoshop, and Thomas is still the ACR guru. Having direct access to this sort of insight was a truly great thing.

All of that said, I still return to my original point in this thread - colour management 2010 sucks. Big time.

In 2010 there simply should not have to be a thread on any forum that's headed "Cross Platform Color Profiling for the web".

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Guest

Darn. I really did preface my post - which appears to have started this barney - with the proviso that I didn't want to start a fight over NX vs Ps.

I don't mean to "dis" NX in relation to Ps, even if I sound harsh on NX. I think it was Arthur's posts which indicated an excessively complicated CM nightmare that prompted me to suggest perhaps the Ps alternative, again with the proviso that upfront time learning Ps properly was likely to be very time-consuming in itself.

I don't believe that most of the posters here are of such a hobbiest rather than serious user status that Photoshop should be classed as beyond them, and as I said, if you're serious about digital photography, then I honestly believe you do yourself a disservice by not getting a handle on Photoshop.

Programs such as LR, NX and the like are OK for getting your images out of the camera in usable form, but once Photoshop is learned (I won't say mastered - very few people have done that, and I'm not one either) the whole thing becomes a very smooth and contiguous flow that hugely expands the end possibilities. Rather than bumping from one thing to another, Ps really is designed to be just that - contiguous - and while I certainly don't like Adobe or its business ethic, the product is really as important to my photography now as was the choice of film and film lab back in those days. Yes, there are some things that 3rd party progs do a bit better, but usually only on the ragged edge of things.

I don't see the comparison frankly between CNX and PS. One is a raw developer and minor editor, the other is not a raw developer and major editor. So for me it is not either/or, it is both.

My workflow includes CNX as the raw processor and then PS to edit, layer, mask, apply plugins etc. for final output. If people want to use ACR as their raw developer then fine, I don't care and neither should anyone in this forum. Just because I use CNX as my editor of choice shouldn't mean it's open season from all the ACR fanatics to say I'm doing it wrong. And that's the rub here and why this wrangling has gone on and on.

I've been shooting professionally for 30 years and have many Fortune 500 companies on my client list. One common thread that runs through all of my career is and I'll quote from a Frank Sinatra song I did it my way. And if there is any lesson in life we all should learn it's, live and let live. Just like if someone wants to shoot with (cough) Canon (cough) who am I to say what is right for them. Just because some people berate the topic to death doesn't make them right, it just makes them annoying. Let it go people, let it go.

Ciao

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Only the hobbyist imagers segment though

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Guest

Actually Adobe just reported a big reduction in their sales forecast and the stock has plunged!   :) 

This thread has become an argument over how one gets good results -- not over how good the results are.

It's like saying that if you arrived at Rome via the wrong route, you cannot enjoy Rome.  >:D >:D

BINGO!

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Guest Mike Buckley

People are welcome to stick with NX, LR or whatever

The issue to me as a relative newcomer to Nikon Gear is that that really isn't true. The culture here is that people really aren't welcome to do that.

Instead, people are repeatedly -- and I mean repeatedly -- told the error of their ways. Consider the number of words, the dogmatic tone of the posts, or whatever you want to use as a benchmark of the amount of energy that has been put into this thread alone to convince people that using anything other than Photoshop is a bad decision. It has become a very fine line that separates the dissing of the non-Photoshop software from the dissing of the people who make the decision to use non-Photoshop software.

I, as Ann, will say so, and be willing to argue the point.

That has been made clear by example; there is no need to explicitly state it.

The problem as I see it is that this so-called discussion has gone beyond the limits of the forum rules: "Our tradition allows freedom of expression, while expecting restraint that preserves the peace. Nikongear is a place for discussion - not argument." I realize this is a grey area at best, but I really do think very little restraint, if any, has been made by the people who are promoting the use of Photoshop. One example of restraint would be to make the case once rather than repeat it over and over. Instead, I believe repetition of the same opinions and the so-called facts has become the hallmark of this thread.

Just my opinion.

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Guest Mike Buckley

I believe you initially have the very best intent, Ann. It doesn't come off that way once you venture into the realm of defining for others what the definition of success and failure should be. Without a clear understanding of my goals, you can't possibly know when I am bound to fail and when I am bound to succeed.

If you agree with me that tolerance is a characteristic of civilised and polite discussion, consider your remarks that you "have no tolerance for the 'Pursuit of Sloppiness and the Quick-Fix.'" This discussion in my opinion is no longer civilised or polite when people such as myself are being labeled as being in pursuit of sloppiness simply because our goals might be different than yours.

certain individuals...had the temerity to tell those of us that were discussing the issue that we should cease and desist because they personally had no further interest in the subject!

I have read the entire thread and I really don't remember anyone mentioning that. I realize that all things are subject to interpretation, so it might be best that we agree to disagree.

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Guest arthurking83

This has been an entirely civilised polite and technically important discussion until certain individuals (who apparently have no real interest in trying to understand the intricacies of using the correct Colour Profiles for different phases of production nor the importance of of embedding those profiles) had the temerity to tell those of us that were discussing the issue that we should cease and desist because they personally had no further interest in the subject!.....

And yet you yourself seem to be uninterested in the differences in how the various software programs achieve an end point.

The cease and desist is to simply stop the spread of misinformation about how colour profiles work, in our environment!(which in this instance is CaptureNX)

you said yourself in one of your replies that YOUR master file is a 16bit ProPhoto TIFF file.

To a CaptureNX user this file is an offshoot, a vastly lower quality conversion of the real master file. the NEF file as edited by CNX. This file is immune to the defined colour profiles you face with your TIFF file.

I've repeatedly said, I have no interest in tiff's or jpgs, or any other offshoot image file type, of inferior quality and possibility(for future proofing).

NEF images are not colour space aware.. not in CNX.. ever!

if you want to believe whatever old ways or adobe ways you prefer to believe in, then do so in your own space/time.. but stop spreading adobe's workflow practices where they don't fit.

the colour space of a final converted image can be set a the time of conversion, at the users whim... if the master file is an NEF ... using CaptureNX. There is no loss of quality, there is no loss of colour information! This is how CaptureNX works... this is why it edits the raw file 'directly'.. this is most likely the main reason us dedicated NX users stick with it.

If it doesn't work for you, that's fine, but you can't seriously expect experienced CNX folks to sit by idly while misinformation of their chosen editor is spread about so wildly.. do you?

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Please folks, let's keep the personal stuff out of this thread. It's about colour management, not who's right and who's wrong.

Those of us mature enough to digest the information provided in threads like this will be quite capable of finding what works best for us and what doesn't without any aggravation.

Thanks for all the input.

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I suspect that the only possible reason that you "dedicated NX users stick with it" is

because they are not well informed about the intricacies of accurate and reproducible Colour Reproduction in the various media!

oh bunk ! Enough already !!

Blanket statements are not useful nor are they helpful.

NX2 users are not any different from Adobe CS/PS users.

Some do know about colour management and colour reproduction and some don't.

NX2 is fully capable of complete Colour Management by way of

setting editing Colour Space, CMYK Sep. profile and printer profile.

During editing one can either "apply" or "convert" colour profiles

as needed for special cases or for output.

And there is a soft proofing option.

I am going to ask Dallas to close this thread.

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Once again here is the summary.

(And kindly note that the summary has nothing at all to do with any editor.)

Summary:

(1) Shoot in camera Colour Space A.

(2) Edit in Colour Space B.

(3) Convert to Colour Space C for output.

For good & valid reasons, B = ProPhoto RGB is recommended for Editing.

The most important thing is to choose your output Colour Space wisely.

For example, to display on-screen in a browser C = sRGB IEC1966-2.1 is the way to go.

P.S. For good & valid reasons, don't use "Nikon" color spaces in your editor.

Other programs might not recognize them.

Added:  For display on-screen in a browser do not strip your EXIF else some browsers might

not be able to read your colour profile info !!

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