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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
By choosing the proper color management settings in Elements, you can ensure that the colors you're viewing on screen are displaying, as accurately as possible, a true representation of what your photos will look like when printed. You can maintain color consistency from your monitor to your inkjet printer by embedding color profiles in your images. The data contained in the color profile describes the color behavior of the specific device. This acts as a set of instructions for your monitor to refer to in order to display color accurately. With this movie I would like to show you how to choose color management settings in Elements. Now this may seem really technical, but it's also very, very important. So we need to take the time to take a look at these color settings.
Lets' go under the Edit menu and choose Color Settings. All right, that brings up this dialog box and we have some options in here. We need to read through this very carefully in order to understand exactly what they are controlling. It says, Choose how to manage color in your images, No Color Management and if we choose that option, it says "Note" at the bottom here. "Note: The No Color Management setting will ignore and discard embedded color profiles if they exist." All right, that means that if your images when you open them up, if they have a profile already embedded in it, it's going to discard it. It's going to remove it.
The other settings will utilize embedded profiles or convert to sRGB or AdobeRGB if the embedded profiles can't be supported. All right, now these are the two main profiles that they are talking about. sRGB is considered to the web standard profile for displaying images on a screen or on the web or on any device that has its screen. AdobeRGB is preferred for printing. So these are the big two that we're talking about. So in Elements, we're stripping things down to either no profile, sRGB, which is for web, or AdobeRGB, which is for print.
All right, now you have different options as to how these are handled, again with No Color Management, any embedded profiles would be ignored and discarded. Okay, so when you take an image with your camera, generally the sRGB color profile is automatically applied to it. So most of your images will have the sRGB profile applied. That's something to keep in mind. However, if you're not using color management, it will be ignored and discarded. Now, the Always Optimize Color for Computer Screens option says here "Computer screens are capable or reproducing all the colors within the sRGB color range;. This setting will keep all the colors that you see on screen within that range ensuring an accurate display for any device that supports the sRGB color space," which is pretty much all of them.
So you know you're safe if you're planning to use your images only on screens. on computer screens or really anything that uses a screen. It could be a cell phone or it could be a digital photo frame, sRGB is the standard for that and in that what it's set up for now. Read this sentence again. 'The other settings will utilize embedded profiles or convert to sRGB if the embedded profiles cannot be supported.' This means that if we open up an image that doesn't have a profile applied, it's going to apply sRGB. All right, always optimized for printing.
This setting will display your photos based on the colors within the AdobeRGB color space commonly used for printing images. So if you think you're going to be doing more printing than computer screen display, then you should choose this option, Always Optimize For Printing. This one, if you open up an untagged image, that means an image doesn't have a profile applied to it, it's going to apply the AdobeRGB profile. And then the last option is Allow Me to Choose. It says, "This setting assumes sRGB but will allow you the flexibility to pick AdobeRGB if a profile is not present. When you save the file, the profile will be saved with the image." So here if you open up an untagged image, you have your choice, and it will display a warning dialog box when you try to open the file.
So that's what happens with these options. Let's leave this one turned on, just so you can see what happens when we open up an untagged image. Let's click OK. Before we go and get an untagged image, I want you to understand that you can identify the color profile of the specific image here in Elements from the bottom of the document window. Currently by default, if we click on this right facing arrow, we're viewing document dimensions in that area to the left of the arrow. We can change that by choosing Document Profile and there is the sRGB, that's what the camera assigned to this image and I haven't changed it. If I wanted to, I could go under the Image menu and choose Convert Color Profile and either remove it to make it untagged or apply the AdobeRGB profile.
So if I know I'm going to print this and I want to do view on screen in order to accurately represent what those color should look like, I can choose Apply AdobeRGB profile. Now it says Adobe down here, AdobeRGB. Now you can also identify color profiles in Bridge, so let's take a look in Bridge. Click on the Bridge button, we will go in here. You can see here is that blue iguana image, here is another blue iguana image, notice over here in the Metadata panel, we have Color Profile and there is the current color profile, sRGB.
Let choose another image, same one, sRGB. So, most of these are going to be sRGB because that's usually what the camera assigns, unless you've set it up in your camera do assign something else as some camera's allow you to do that. If you know that you're going to printing most of your images, you could set it up to save them as AdobeRGB. All right, let's take a look at this image up here. This one's actually untagged, I know it says Color Profile sRGB in here, but I know for a fact that it is untagged because I untagged it personally. I'm going to go ahead and double-click it to open it up in Elements and here we go Missing Profile. This profile doesn't have a color profile associated with it.
What would you like to do? Do you want to leave it as it is and don't color manage it or do you want to optimize the colors for computer screen display or optimize the colors for print output? Okay, again sRGB and AdobeRGB. So in this instance I'm going to say, Optimize Colors for Print Output because I generally like to print my images. I want to get a screen display that's going to represent that as closely as it possibly it can using AdobeRGB. Always take this action and don't show me again. If I want to do this every time for untagged images, I have the options to turn this on. I don't think I necessarily want to do that, I like being asked, so I'm not going to turn that on and I'm going to click OK.
Now, it opens up the image and what does it say here? AdobeRGB. It went ahead and applied that just like we told it to. So it's important to maintain color consistency with your images, whether you're going to be printing them or you're going to be displaying them predominantly on screen. It makes sense to setup your color settings appropriately even before you start working with your images, very important to do this.
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