Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Dealing with profile mismatches, part of Optimal Output with Photoshop CS6.
For a variety of reasons, you might open an image that has a different embedded profile than your current working space in Photoshop. And if you configure the color settings, so that Photoshop will let you know about that mismatch, it's very easy to deal with it. I'll go ahead and open an image here that has a profile mismatch. In this case the embedded profile is color match RGB but my working space is Adobe RBG. Photoshop asks what I would like to do about this situation. I can use the embedded profile, in other words, use color match RGB to interpret the colors in the image.
That means I would be using a different profile for this image than my working space. Which, generally speaking, is intended to provide a common color space for working with all of your images. I can also convert the image to my working space. In other words, converting from color match RGB to Adobe RGB. And in most cases, this is the options that makes the most sense. Because you've established a working space because it makes sense for your overall workflow. The third option is to discard the embedded profile, which means ignore the color information contained within a photo.
And arbitrarily use different values to interpret the RGB information within your photo. That probably doesn't sound like a good idea, and that's because I consider it to be a very bad idea. So, in most cases, I would use the Convert option. The only reason to use the Embedded option is if you've received an image from someone else that has been prepared in a different way. For example, a slide that has been scanned using a film scanner. Then you might want to take a look at the image with its Embedded profile. So that you have a better sense of what that image actually looks like. For the moment, I'm going to choose the Embedded Profile option. Not so much because that's what I actually want to do in this case. But mostly because I want to show you one other element of working with the Profile Mismatch.
I'll go ahead and click OK and the image will open. And you'll notice that in the filename for the tab at the end of the filename and the zoom percentage. We have an indication that this is an RGB image, it's in the 8 bit per channel bit depth mode. And there's an asterisk after that 8, inside the parenthesis. That asterisk means that this image has a different embedded profile than your current working space. So, just a little alert to remind you that there is a mismatch and that perhaps you want to do something about it.
If you decided this point that you'd like to convert the image to your working space, for example. You could simply choose Edit and then Convert To Profile from menu. Set the destination space to the working space. You'll notice that that option is listed at the top of the pop up. Of course, I could explicitly choose Adobe RGB as well. But I'll go ahead and choose Working RGB. I'll leave the conversion options set to their default values and I'll go ahead and click OK. And this image has now been converted from the color spaces it started with, color match RGB into my working space, Adobe RGB.
You'll notice on the tab for this document that there's still an asterisk. But note that this asterisk is outside the paranthesis, not inside the parenthesis. The asterisk outside the parenthesis indicates that this image has not yet been saved to reflect all of the changes that have been made. So, in this particular situation, I've converted from one profile to another. But I have not yet saved the image with that profile embedded. So, at this point, I would want to save the image and then continue working on it as I need to.
- Getting started with color management
- Early-workflow sharpening
- Output preparation
- When not to sharpen
- Advanced sharpening techniques
- Printing a photo