Color Management Featured Article

VIDEO: sRGB and Adobe RGB Color Gamuts Explained

Have you wondered what the difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB profiles? There both RGB aren’t they?

Yes, they are both RGB, but they areĀ completely different in color appearance. It’s interesting to note that the same RGB color values will display completely different colors on your monitor.

As a general rule, I will use sRGB for anything that has skin tones or the image contains a softer mood. I use Adobe RGB for landscape, food, architecture and any other natural setting where I want maximum color.

Watch and listen to the differences explained in 3D wire frame of the color volume for each profile.

By using Adobe RGB you will obtain much richer color on press when printed on coated stock.

Questions? Leave your comments below…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]

Today we’re going to explain the differences between the two common RGB color profiles, sRGB and Adobe RGB. Right now you’re looking at 3-dimensional wire frame of the sRGB color profile.
[00:18] If we take a look from the top down, along the bottom you’ll see an outline in two dimensions of the size of the color gamut.

[00:30] Within Color Think, we can quantify the number of colors in the gamut. You’ll notice here that the gamut volume is approximately nine hundred thousand different colors. A very big color profile.

[00:45] sRGB is known as the lowest common denominator so depending on whether you have a high-end Eizo monitor or low-cost Dell monitor, whatever it happens to be, it kind of dummifies the color so that the color looks consistent on each of those devices.

[0:01:00] Now when we move up into the Adobe color profile, (going to turn on here) notice along the bottom that it’s gotten much larger and you can see all along the bottom here, especially in the cyan and the green, that it’s pretty much proportional in that you can see its much larger.

[0:01:20] What I’m going to do here is I’m going to turn up the opacity and you’ll notice that the Adobe RGB color profile will pretty much encompass the entire sRGB profile. And notice how much larger it is now. And to give you an idea as far as to quantify the colors within Adobe RGB, we’re looking at 1.3 million colors. Almost forty five percent more colors them which you’re going to get with sRGB.

[0:01:50] Now how does this apply within Photoshop working with your images? I’m going to boot-up Photoshop and hide the background. And you’ll get an idea when I bring in an image here, the image looks really good.

[0:02:08] This is shot outdoors and we’re going to assign our profile. You’ll notice right now that we are in the sRGB color space and the image looks very good. If we toggle into the Adobe RGB color space, notice what happens with the color.

[0:02:28] The color greatly enrichens and it makes it much more lively. You’ll notice where our sample points are that the data itself will not change. So we’ll toggle back and forth and notice the color shift but the data itself did not change. That’s important to note because what’s happening is the Adobe RGB color profile is sending a different signal to Photoshop to display the color in a much more vibrant color space.

[0:02:57] Personally when I do anything with portraits or skin, I will use the sRGB color profile and if it’s outdoors or food or architecture I will go with the Adobe RGB profile to get a much more vibrant looking print when i go to press.

[0:03:16] So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and leave a comment.[/learn_more]


Fitness model photography courtesy Mike Byerly Photography