Windows Color Managment, Adobe Working Spaces, Adobe Gamma

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Andy Leese, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Andy Leese

    Andy Leese Guest

    I have decided to begin on the (seemingly) long path towards correct colour
    reproduction for my computer, in particular my monitor. I believe I
    understand the basics of 'colour management', but fail to see how all these
    little elements form 'colour management' in it's entirety.

    I use a Dell P992 monitor, NVIDIA graphics card running on Windows XP
    Professional. I have Adobe Photoshop CS2 (and have in the past utilised
    Adobe Gamma) and Adobe Illustrator CS2. The P992 monitor includes and ICM
    profile (which I'm not sure whether to use or not).

    I will try and split up my questions for clarity

    1. Windows XP > Control Panel > Display > Settings > Advanced > Color

    What is the purpose of this? The computer has automatically installed the
    ICM profile I mentioned early for the monitor. Is this not superseded by
    Adobe Gamma AND Adobe Photoshop Color Settings? If indeed this is of any use
    at all where does it fit into the equation of Colour Management?

    By default the ICM profile has been installed with the monitor driver. Is
    this the best profile to use for this particular circumstance? Or would a
    custom made version be better (i.e. Adobe GAMMA ICC profile, Eye-One Display
    2 profile etc.). I am unsure as to where to use the different profiles in
    each different case.

    2. Adobe Software - Illustrator CS2, Photoshop CS2 (Color Settings Dialog

    I am using as a
    tutorial to help me set up Adobe software and Adobe Gamma, which I'm hoping
    will be a good solution to follow.

    Am I right in saying Adobe Gamma simply alters the physical display
    properties of the monitor and nothing else, so that it resembles the optimum
    image to the eye? Is this independent from the 'Working Spaces' section in
    the Color Settings Dialog Box in Photoshop? What exactly is the function of
    this and again where does this fit exactly into the colour management

    I appreciate any information concerning this, since answers to these
    particular questions seem unavailable on the internet. Thanks in advance.

    Andy Leese, Nov 22, 2006
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  2. Andy Leese

    Mark² Guest

    Your first step should be to pick up a decent colorometer.
    I recommend the Spyder 2 from ColorVision.
    Mark², Nov 22, 2006
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  3. Andy Leese

    Rob-L Guest

    Rob-L, Nov 22, 2006
  4. Andy Leese

    Roy G Guest


    Your questions require a considerably longer answer than would be
    appropriate here.

    Ian Lyons site "computer-darkroom" has more than enough theoretical and
    practical info to satisfy your needs.

    If your Dell monitor is a Flat Panel, Adobe Gamma will not be a lot of use,
    you would really need a hardware calibrating device.

    There is no point in trying to do anything about colour management until
    your Monitor is known to be showing accurate colours.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Nov 22, 2006
  5. Andy Leese

    nick c Guest

    nick c, Nov 23, 2006
  6. Andy Leese

    Rob-L Guest

    On Nov 22 2006 3:55 PM, Roy G wrote:
    Here is the URL. Thanks for the tip!


    : the next generation of web-newsreaders :
    Rob-L, Nov 23, 2006
  7. Andy Leese

    Mike Russell Guest

    Hi Andy,

    Here's a procedure that should get you on track, without having to buy any
    additional hardware.

    Start by installing your P992 profile as your monitor profile. If you like
    the result, stick with it. This is controlled in the color tab or your
    display properties. If necessary, move the Adobe Gamma loader from the
    startup folder to another location, and reboot your system. Then run Adobe
    Gamma control panel, load the profile, and immediately quit without changing
    anything. This will ensure that Photoshop will register the correct monitor
    profile in its registry settings.

    Next, load or otherwise create a gray step wedge of 21 steps, and make sure
    that you can just detect the brightest and darkest squares, and that there
    is no overall color cast, or a cast affecting part of the gradient. I've
    created a step wedge like this, that also includes skin tones:

    Here is another recent test that uses gradients of various colors to test
    your video setup for banding.

    If the step wedge and gradients look good in Photoshop, you're golden. If
    they do not, download the following pair of free utilities, which will help
    to calibrate and profile your display:

    Many people choose to purchase hardware to calibrate their displays, but
    this is not necessary for single user systems where the extra time spent
    calibrating manually is less important than the budget. I also believe that
    it's a good chance for a hands on color adjustment experience to ensure that
    your monitor is set up correctly. Good images were being created long
    before monitor calibration gadgets arrived on the scene.
    Mike Russell, Nov 23, 2006
  8. Andy Leese

    Andy Leese Guest

    Thanks for the response. I have it in hand to get a monitor callibration
    tool Spyder or gretagmacbeth probably. my main question (and the question
    that I can't seem to find an answer to anywhre) is...

    What is the purpose of Windows XP > Control panel > Display > Settings >
    Advanced > Color Management ?

    It's a simple question, but I can't find the answer anywhere. If I am using
    Adobe Gamma (to make my monitor display colors correctly) and using color
    management in Photoshop etc... what purpose is this in Windows? What does it
    do that anything else doesn't do?

    I really can't find anything on its actual function in microsoft
    documentation and web sites etc...

    Thanks again...
    Andy Leese, Nov 23, 2006
  9. Andy Leese

    Roy G Guest


    From what I can make out, all that the Display Settings Colour Management
    does is to allow you to select which Monitor Profile is used as the Default
    for that Monitor.

    You also need to check that Photoshop is using the same Profile as its
    Monitor Profile.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Nov 23, 2006
  10. Andy Leese

    nick c Guest

    They're are useful settings that are generally good for the monitor
    being used. If one were not into graphics, these settings would suffice
    for general use. But they do not calibrate the monitor to display colors
    accurately in the environment where the monitor is being used. For
    example, I have calibrated the color temperature of my monitor to be
    5500K, in a moderately darkened room. The color temperature I have
    chosen to use as the calibrated mode for my monitor is close to daylight
    temperature and using that as a baseline for viewing my photographs, I
    can readily see the true effects of filters or just the ambient colors
    of the scene photographed.
    If you had the opportunity to calibrate your monitor (Adobe Gamma must
    be off and any other generalized monitor tool must be off during the
    calibration process) and compare the settings you're presently using to
    the new calibrated setting you have created specifically for the monitor
    used, you would see a difference in the display of colors. There may be
    major difference or there may be a minor difference, but there would be
    a difference. The difference would be seen from specifically customizing
    your monitor to your ambient working conditions as opposed to using a
    generalized setting that does not compensate for the brightness and
    color temperature of the ambient light in the room.

    I chose the gretamacbeth color calibrator over the spider 2 because the
    gretamacbeth will allow the user to choose one out of about 7 optional
    color temperatures when calibrating the monitor as opposed to the spider
    2 allowing the user to choose one color temperature from about 3
    offered. If one choses not to use the advanced mode of calibration, I
    believe the color calibrator will default to 5000k as the standard color
    temperature. I think the spider 2 will do the same; that is, default to
    5000k as the standard color temperature.

    Once having calibrated the monitor, reminders can be set in time periods
    of your choosing, to check the calibration thereby maintaining a
    constant standard color temperature, screen brightness, contrast, and
    tonal range.
    nick c, Nov 24, 2006
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