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Color managing

From: Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

Video: Color managing

Color management is one of the biggest challenges in digital imaging. The trick is to get the colors that you see on your monitor as you're preparing a photo in Elements to match the colors that a viewer sees in the final output file whether that's a print or a file on a computer screen. This is a challenge, because color is just a set of numbers that has to be interpreted by devices like computer monitors to produce a color that we can see and each device, whether it's a monitor, a camera, a scanner, a Desktop printer, interprets color numbers a bit differently because each device is just a machine that vary slightly from each other device.

Color managing

Color management is one of the biggest challenges in digital imaging. The trick is to get the colors that you see on your monitor as you're preparing a photo in Elements to match the colors that a viewer sees in the final output file whether that's a print or a file on a computer screen. This is a challenge, because color is just a set of numbers that has to be interpreted by devices like computer monitors to produce a color that we can see and each device, whether it's a monitor, a camera, a scanner, a Desktop printer, interprets color numbers a bit differently because each device is just a machine that vary slightly from each other device.

So that's the problem of color management. What's the solution for Elements users? Elements helps you deal with the color management challenge by honoring an industry-wide color management system that relies on color tags. A fancier name for those is ICC Color Profiles. These color profiles are small bits of information that can be embedded into an image that describes where the color numbers in the image come from and what actual perceivable colors those numbers are meant to represent.

So the color profile determines how the colors in an image will look when the file is opened in Elements on your screen. Where does color profile come from? The color profile may already be embedded in a file when you open it into Elements, having been embedded there by a camera or scanner or someone else's image processing software if someone else already worked on the image. A file that has a color profile embedded is called a tagged file. Depending on the color settings that you choose, which I will show you in just a moment, Elements will either honor an embedded a tag, or it may discard an embedded tag, or it may convert the tag to another one.

If a file is untagged when you open it, Elements may assign a tag to it depending on the options you choose in the color settings. So before you start working in Element's editor it's important to open the color settings to choose how you want Elements to handle tagged and untagged images when you open them. The color settings are located in the Edit menu here. When you get a chance read through all of the explanation here. But here is the upshot. I suggest that you choose only one of two options here.

If what you do is primarily prepare images to be printed, then choose this option, Always Optimize for Printing. With this option if you open an image that is not tagged, Elements will assign the Adobe RGB (1998) profile to that image and that's a nice broad profile that's just right for printing. Alternatively, if you generally optimize images for display on a computer screen, for example on a web site, on a social media site, as an E-mail attachment, or maybe even as a PowerPoint presentation, then choose Always Optimize Colors for Computer Screens.

If you choose that and you open and untagged file, then Elements will assign the sRGB color profile to that image and that's a color profile that's optimal for images that are going to be shown onscreen. I don't suggest that you choose No Color Management. If you do choose No Color Management, then you're allowing Elements to display colors using whatever idiosyncratic way your particular monitor displays color and that is not going to be the way that colors will be displayed almost anywhere else, on someone else's monitor or in a print.

When you choose No Color Management, there will be no color tags attached to your photos and so the next device down the line, like a printer, will have no information about how you expect the color numbers in the file to be interpreted. I also don't suggest that you choose Allow Me to Choose. If you do that, every time you open a file that doesn't have a color profile, Elements will ask what you want to do and that means you're going to have to decide over and over. So I'm going to leave this set to Always Optimize for Printing. Now this isn't a permanent choice.

If tomorrow, I'm working on some files for the web, I can always re-open this and change to Always Optimize Colors for Computer Screens. But I'll click OK with this set to always optimize for printing which is the choice based on the Adobe RGB (1998) color space. Now let's see what happens when I open files that have different tags attached to them. First I am going to open a file that I know already has an Adobe RGB (1998) tag embedded in it.

Down here in the Document information field, I click the arrow and I'll choose Document Profile and now I can see that Elements is treating this as an Adobe RGB (1998) file. What happens if I open a file that has another profile embedded in it, an sRGB profile? In this case Elements is honoring the sRGB profile. Even though it knows that I'm optimizing files for print. That's how that particular option deals with photos that have a different profile from the Adobe RGB profile.

Now let's see what happens if I open an untagged image. This image had no color profile embedded in it when I opened it and so because of the choice that I made in Elements' color settings, Elements assigned the Adobe RGB (1998) color profile to this image. In addition to choosing color settings, when you go to save the file you have a choice to make about whether you want a color profile to be embedded in the saved image so that the next device down the line, like your printer, knows how to reproduce colors to match those that you saw when you are working in Elements.

So as an example, with this file, I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save As and down here in the Save Options, in the Color field, there is a check mark next to ICC profile: Adobe RGB (1998). If I leave that checked, then this ICC profile: Adobe RGB (1998) will be embedded in this file when I save it. So that when I send it to a color managed device like my Inkjet printer, the printer will see this color profile.

Later when I go to print this image, if I print out of Elements, I'll find settings in the Print dialog box that also relate to color management. There is one more thing that I suggest that you do if you really want to take advantage of the color management system I described. That is to calibrate and profile your monitor. Calibrating your monitor will set it back to standard settings and generating a profile for your monitor will describe how your particular monitor interprets color so that your display is as accurate as possible.

The way to calibrate and profile your monitor is to purchase and use a hardware calibrator along with software which you can buy from a number of different third-party manufacturers and web sites. If you do that along with choosing the correct color settings, you'll be increasing your chances that the color that you see any images here in Elements is reproduced on your printer or on other color managed output devices.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 15454 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
      52s
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at Photoshop.com
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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