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Basic Colour Management: C1 & PS

Posted 07/02/2009 - 16:45 Link
Yes, Praxisoft (and WiziWyg) have disappeared.

Still, these days you are much better off getting something like a Huey - they really are very affordable these days! (When I wrote the original post, the cheapest colorimiter was about 200, IIRC.)

It'd be a good idea to get any of the devices listed here:
(That way you can always use ArgyllCMS software - which is rather good).
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Posted 07/02/2009 - 18:33 Link
Hi Matt. Followed your link. It was like reading a science paper. I just want to print a few pics for a photo comp. Using my printer colour management gives a dark pic. Disabling the printer colour management and using the Photoshop is very little improvement. Following this thread suggested setting up my display with a colour management programme such as wiziwyg, this being a free prog. Costs are relative to your resources. I cannot justify some of the prices being asked. Am I now stuffed and out of competing in photo comps??? regards Ron.
Posted 07/02/2009 - 19:57 Link
PM me your email address (or email me) and I'll forward you the WiziWyg for Windows XP (may have the Mac version too if needed).
A Huey costs around 65 (which isn't bad, TBH), but WiziWyg is going to be better than nowt

With any colour management you MUST start with your monitor first
(There may still be issues with the printer driver though too, but usually it's the monitor first!)
Other possibility is to borrow a Huey/Spyder etc from a friend etc and calibrate your monitor.
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Posted 07/02/2009 - 20:17 Link
I've just Google'd for you: Have a look at "QuickGamma" for Windows:
and the test chart:

Hope that helps!
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Edited by MattMatic: 07/02/2009 - 20:17
Posted 29/03/2009 - 00:09 Link
Thanks for the tut. Matt, in the past I have had to huff and puff while searching on google to decide whether it should be adobe and what would I be missing not choosing one of the others.

I am adding your words of wisdom to my photodata base so I will be able to act decisively

Thank you

Posted 29/03/2009 - 11:47 Link
Can you reccomend this quickgamma for a lap top monitor? I am afraid I am not very technical minded when it comes to PC stuff, would I find it difficult to use this programme? Is there a chance I could screw my monitor up using this? Is there any idiot proof instructions to follow that would tell me what to do?
There are three kinds of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't
Posted 02/04/2009 - 20:24 Link
Just stumbled on a nice visual calibration tool for Windows

More information at:

Does the same kind of job as WiziWyg did, and it's free
Should be better than nothing!
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Posted 11/04/2009 - 22:31 Link
Just thought I'd add an extra piece of information... black point compensation.

Having had troubles with my laptop LCD I found that it displays shadows rather badly - in the ephotozine test strip (at the bottom of the page) I could only discern perhaps the fourth black step. The darkest three are all pitch black.

This is with a properly calibrated and profiled LCD!

This led me to read some more on ArgyllCMS, plus some extra research. Turns out that Photoshop uses BPC (Black Point Compensation) by default. When edited in PS everything looks fine (unless you soft proof). Adobe effectively apply an adjustment to the display that makes all shadows, midtones, and highlights visible

BUT, not all applications apply BPC. Silkypix certainly doesn't, even with a profile applied. So getting shadows right is difficult in SPDS3 for me (with my bad LCD).

Adobe Lightroom does apply BPC (being Adobe).

Not sure about other apps....

So, if you're having issues with images displaying differently in colour managed applications - this may be at least part of the problem

Some information from Adobe here:

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Edited by MattMatic: 11/04/2009 - 22:31
Posted 12/04/2009 - 07:15 Link
This gets more interesting...
I created a 16 step black to white and first saved as a TIFF in sRGB. Loaded into various applications to see what the result would be. I get one of two results: either the first 4 shadows are all black, or I can see all steps. There are three possibilities as far as I can tell:
* No colour management - shows 16 steps
* Colour management - shadows black (with CM but no BPC)
* Colour management - shows 16 steps with CM and BPC.
This is how I see it at the moment...

Silkypix - with CM - shadows black.

CaptureOne 4 - with CM - shadows black.

LightRoom - not sure if it is CM aware (!!). There's no choice of which ICM profile to choose, but displays correctly.

IrfanView - not CM aware, but displays "correctly"

Firefox with CM as a TIFF - shows though QuickTime. Looks "correct", probably because QT is rendering with no CM.

Firefox with CM as a JPG - shadows black (FF is certainly rendering this through its own CM).

No wonder this laptop has been puzzling!!!
Also goes to show there's a difference between calibration and profiling

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Posted 24/04/2009 - 14:55 Link
More info (hope I'm not talking to myself here!) -
There are two types of monitor ICM/ICC file

There's the "regular" matrix/shaper type, and there's cLUT (Colour Look Up Table)

If the display behaves well then a matrix/shaper will do the job. This is the type generated in ArgyllCMS with "dispcal" (and quite likely by other colour profiling software).

The alternative is a cLUT type ICC file. This takes a bit more work to produce - ArgyllCMS certainly can do this (see the "Two Step" process in the docs). However, not all applications can handle the cLUT type tables

Still, it would appear from my initial checks that Silkypix does At the moment I now have Silkypix, Lightroom, Photoshop and Firefox (with sRGB non-ICC-tagged images) all looking the same and showing all shades! Hooray!

I'm just trying to get to grips with the remaining minor problems (it may just be that FF isn't cLUT aware, but only matrix/shaper). Hopefully I can put together a step-by-step guide on getting a reasonable calibration & profiling

Certainly my old Tosh is showing images better than it ever did before!

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Posted 24/04/2009 - 16:39 Link
A very interesting thread, Matt - thanks, as always.

Can I ask why is it - if you don't need to re-visit your monitor calibration once done - that Huey insists that you re-calibrate every two weeks?

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Posted 24/04/2009 - 17:06 Link
Can I ask why is it - if you don't need to re-visit your monitor calibration once done - that Huey insists that you re-calibrate every two weeks?

Calibration every two weeks is required for top notch calibration. The backlight & conditions will change gradually, and 2 weeks is the recommended interval.
However, in practice you can normally get away with a lot less (depending on how critical your colour work is). There's normally an option in the software to choose the interval. The ColorVision Spyder 2 Pro has the option (but it's not obvious).

Failing that it may be possible to remove the notification process...
All that kind of messing about is one reason I switched to ArgyllCMS - it gave me much better profiling than anything else I've ever used. And with the new info I'm getting (although complex) it's increasing the quality even more

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Posted 24/04/2009 - 19:05 Link
Interesting thread Matt. I might buy Spyder or Huey. I did have something similar, but it only worked on CRT's. My two Samsung monitors came with two calibration programes..... don't know why two. Natural Colour Pro and LCD Gamma I think they work with Huey... have to check on that.

Posted 26/05/2009 - 14:56 Link
MattMatic wrote:
In response to some other threads, I thought it appropriate to give a little guidance on the way you should set up a Windows machine for colour with Capture One and Photoshop.

First of all, you need to decide on a colour space you are going to work with (as a rule). I suggest one of three:
  • AdobeRGB: my preferred everyday choice. This can handle a good range of colours and is ideally suited for printing - both offset litho and modern inkjets (which have driver options for AdobeRGB)

  • ProPhoto: an astonishingly wide colour gamut. This can cover almost any colour you can see. However, because it is so wide you should always work in 16-bit per pixel mode, otherwise you risk posterisation. If you want to eek out every ounce of colour detail, or have absolutely precise adjustments in colour, then this is a great colour space.

  • sRGB: if you don't want to get bogged down in colour stuff, then sRGB is the choice for you! It's the gamut that the web uses, as well as most high-street and internet printing services. It's pretty cramped colour wise, but generally it will do fine (but this one is last on my list when it comes to editing images!).

Calibrate your monitor
An absolutely essential step! Preferably you should use something like a Spyder/Huey etc which will physically measure your screen and produce a profile. Failing that there's the free WiziWYG from - which is available for both Mac and PC (95,98,XP).

If you use WiziWYG, pick "Generic LCD" if you have an LCD monitor, and use D50 white point (but have very subdued lighting in the room), and 2.2 gamma.

Once your monitor is calibrated Windows will always display through that profile - you never need to reference the monitor profile again (it is used by the video driver, and once setup should always use it).

Setting up Capture One
Go into the colour management settings and set "Output destination (working space)" to your chosen colour space.
e.g. AdobeRGB

Never should this be your monitor profile or anything else. Capture One will translate the CCD information, using the "Camera Profile" you choose (e.g. Pentax istD generic v2) into that working space. This working space should be a standard - i.e. one of the three I listed above.

It's worth noting that you can try other "Camera Profiles" for your Pentax DSLR. Try any of the Nikon D100 profiles as they share the same sensor Capture One provides a "Portrait" profile that has much more muted colours. By changing the camera profile C1 is assuming the DSLR has a slightly different response - but still it will convert into the "Working space" - which should be AdobeRGB (or one of the others).

Setting up Photoshop
Go into the "Color Settings" dialog and, under "Working Spaces", set RGB to your chosen colour space.
e.g. AdobeRGB.

The "Conversion Options" can be set as follows:
Engine = Adobe (ACE)
Intent = Relative Colormetric
Use black point compression = checked
Use dither (8-bit/channel images) = checked

Under CS and CS2 there are "Soft Proof" options. For 99% of photographic work you should completely ignore this and not enable the Soft Proof! I'll can explain, but it's another huge chunk of info...

Saving for Web
If you are not using sRGB as your chosen colour space, then before you save for web you need to convert into the sRGB colour space.
Photoshop provides the option to do this under the Image menu (and annoyingly CS/CS2 puts it in a different place compared to PS7 and before).

I'll update this post with some more details later, but hopefully this should clear away some misunderstandings of colour!

Thank you Matt, most useful and informative, how do you rate the Wiziwyg? most colour calibrators I have seen are quite expensive IE. Colour Monkey
Not everything in life is Black & White, If only it were!
Kind Regards,
Posted 26/05/2009 - 16:09 Link
Thank you Matt, most useful and informative, how do you rate the Wiziwyg? most colour calibrators I have seen are quite expensive IE. Colour Monkey

Wiziwyg (and equivalent) are better than nothing They should get you at least in the "ballpark" and not massively out. But there will be a huge difference between Wiziwyg and hardware devices.
Probably the cheapest device is a Pantone Huey. (Personally I'd use it with the ArygllCMS system - which is superb, but requires command line work!). Colour Monkey has a broader market, IIRC, such as profiling printers and grabbing colour references from physical items (like fabric & walls).

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