Friday, June 20, 2014

Converting an Image from Adobe RGB to sRGB for Printing

I recently started using a professional online service to print my photos.  In doing so, I have done a lot of research regarding Color Profiles, soft proofing, calibrating, etc., to be sure the photos on my computer screen look exactly like the prints I receive back.

adobergbsrgbOne of the major things to consider when setting up your digital photography workflow is what color profile to work in.  The Adobe RGB color profile is a wider (more information) profile than the “standard” sRGB.  However, most pro labs will want your work in sRGB, thus, the problem becomes how to edit in Adobe RGB (so you can utilize all that juicy information) but serve up your photo in sRGB at the end without losing any image quality or experiencing any shift in color/brightness/depth, etc.

The simplest way to change from Adobe RGB to sRGB in Photoshop is to simply go to the “Edit” menu, select “Assign Color Profile,” and switch it to sRGB.  However, I find that when I do this, the changes I see are far to great to be satisfactory.

Luckily, Adobe Camera Raw has a much better engine to convert files.  The problem then becomes, how do I open a PSD file (assuming you are editing photos in Photoshop) in Adobe Camera Raw?

The magic lies in the “open as” command under the Photoshop “File” menu.  If you select “open as” then select Adobe Camera Raw from the “open as” menu in the dialogue box, you are able to open a .psd in ACR.  Then you can simply click on the information link at the bottom of the ACR window (the underlined link that shows color profile, bit depth, dimensions, and resolution) and change the Adobe RGB to sRGB (the click “open image” and save the image from within Photoshop however you’d like).

When I make the change from here, I see virtually no change in the image.