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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
You may recall the end of the last exercise we were mystified by the fact that our optimized JPEG image High-quality- pont.jpg is so much more vibrant than our original image 1770x780 photo.tif, when the two images should look identical. This optimized image should not grow in saturation. It should not all of a sudden blossom and suddenly turn into a crazy orange aqueduct for example. So here's what's going on. You may recall that the Save for Web dialog box goes ahead and automatically converts images to the sRGB color space.
Meanwhile, our original image was set in the Adobe RGB color space. Now, contrary to what you might be seeing onscreen or at least what conclusions you might draw from what you're seeing, the Adobe RGB space is a heck of a lot more colorful than the sRGB space, which appears more colorful inside of this image. Well, the reason it appears more colorful is this. I want you to take a look at the Title bars for a moment. Notice the original image ends with RGB/8, nothing else inside the parentheses and then an asterisk outside the parentheses.
That asterisk outside you may recall, tells me that I have unsaved changes, because I changed that date inside the File Info dialog box a while back. But otherwise there's no special color stuff going on, and so we know we're working in a managed environment, and we know we're working with an Adobe RGB image, because we ourselves are working in Adobe RGB. Whereas this image here the High- quality-pont.jpg image, it ends with RGB/8# hash sign or pound sign or number sign or whatever you want to call it.
That means that there is no color profile associated with this image. So this is a sRGB image that we are seeing in the Adobe RGB space. And it brightens up, because when you convert from the high color world of Adobe RGB to the low color world of sRGB, then Photoshop needs to enhance the colors so that they survive the transition to everyone else's regular old consumer monitors, and that they still see the same old great colors that you were seeing inside a Photoshop.
But when Photoshop sees this image, it goes, huh, no profile. Well, I'll just show it in the default space which is Adobe RGB and all of a sudden that magnifies the colors like crazy. So what do you do if you save an image from Save for Web? And then you want to open it and take a look at it inside of Photoshop and you want to see accurate colors. Well, as soon as you open the image you would go up to the Edit menu and you would assign this image in sRGB profile by going down to the Assign Profile command. And if you load Deke keys, you have a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+F2 or Command+F2 on the Mac, and that brings up this dialog box here.
Right now this document is not being Color Managed, so we're just seeing it in Adobe RGB. You could assign Adobe RGB, but that's not going to make any difference, instead you want to assign the sRGB profile, and if you don't see it right there, then you click on the pop-up menu and you'll see that it's the last of the RGB workspaces. So, go ahead and select that. It's sRGB IEC61966-2.1. That's what's it's been for years now. And if you have Preview turned on you can actually see the colors decline.
This was before and this is after. So things look better now, they look the way they're supposed to look in the first place. Click OK, and you can now see that our two images match, this is the original image that is being managed in the default workspace Adobe RGB, and this is the optimized image that's being managed with some other profile, because I can see an asterisk after the 8, and I just happened to know that it's sRGB in this case. We also have unsaved changes which is our assigned profile. After you get a look at your image, you decide you like it, you're not going to make any changes to it, because then you need to have to save those changes using the standard Save command, or go back to Save for Web, and heap on more compression, you don't want to do that.
You'd always make the changes to your original image and use Save for Web to re-optimize. So once you're done looking at the image, you would just close it by clicking on its close box, and then you would say, No, I don't want to save the changes. You definitely do not want to save the color profile with the image, because you'll have to re-compress the image and that could only make the image worse. So, click on No, or press the N button here on the PC, click on Don't Save or press the D button on the Mac, and that's how you accurately view an un-profiled sRGB image here inside Photoshop.
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A: These days, it's easier to assign the workflow settings manually. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Color Settings. Then change the first RGB setting to Adobe RGB, and click OK.
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