Colour Space: Understanding it, and how does it impact me?

Understanding Colour Space

Colour Space at initially sounds so dull and confusing, something you could easily gloss over while shooting.  The colour space is actually the range of colours available to your camera, with AdobeRGB having 35% more colours than your sRGB space.  

So why are we talking about AdobeRGB and sRGB? If AdobeRGB has a wider colour spectrum then should I not use that.

Well no. What’s the intended purpose of the photo?

AdobeRGB is for those who do a lot more print work which needs a wider spectrum of colours.  Think of it like the CMYK of photos.  I made this mistake with the photo below, it was shot and exported from Lightroom in AdobeRGB, and when uploaded here converted to sRGB (the left image).  The right Image is a more accurate depiction of the original edit.

Gemma Thorne, Slowly But Surely, Shot by Taylor Tudisco, TM Tudisco


Even better is that it was shot in Jpeg… I digress. 

How do I assign Colour Space?

On the Sony Menu – It’s on the ‘Quality/Image Size2’ menu

On Canon – It should be on the First Menu and about the fourth option

In Lightroom – On export go to the File settings and you should be able to change that under ‘Color Space’

And bonus: Usually the colour space is only assigned at Export if you’re shooting RAW

In Photoshop – Go to ‘Edit’ – ‘Color Settings’ and change it under the ‘RGB’ dropdown

When doing prints, by no means is this the only thing you have to think about.  I had a chat with my printer the other day and it was totally eye opening the amount of stuff that often goes under the radar.  I would totally recommended having a chat to someone before printing photos, just to clarify and because they each have different preferences for files being sent to  them.  

My only other tip is to make sure the Colour Spaces are synced across all platforms, especially when importing a photo into photoshop.

I totally hope this has provided some form of clarity on the topic.

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The Cold Unknown, photo by Taylor Tudisco

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