Prophoto RGB – it's great but…

Many pros love working in the 16-bit colorspace Prophoto RGB. It’s a great color space, but there’s one gotcha:

Before you can upload your photos to your SmugMug site, you’ve got to convert them to sRGB.

A pro emailed our help desk, wanting to know why her baby shots were “green.”

after using Photoshop edit>convert to profile>sRGB:

Be sure you’re showing your clients the very best.

Published by

Chris MacAskill

co-founder of SmugMug

5 thoughts on “Prophoto RGB – it's great but…”

  1. Is there a reason why the upload tools/backend processing can’t recognize images which are tagged with a different colorspace and convert automatically?

    I’ve read the FAQs on “why you only need sRGB” on the SM site, and I agree that there’s no point in going higher if EZ Prints doesn’t support it. Still, it’d be more convenient if we could work in aRGB, or even ppRGB and not have to worry about accidentally forgetting to convert when we upload.

  2. The most recent Photoshop User magazine had an article about automatic scripting in photoshop. I wonder if anyone could create an easy script that would convert an image from Prophoto to sRGB before the file is saved? If not it’d be easy to set up an action associated with an f key that would automatically convert the colorspace and bit-depth.

  3. I wonder how folks would feel if we converted to sRGB for them, on upload – not just the -S, M and L files but the -O file, the original.

    I’m all ears here!

    — Andy

  4. Andy – It seems perfectly reasonable to me: bottom line is that you will *not* get the prints you want if you accidentally upload something in anything other than sRGB. It makes perfect sense that images tagged with a non-sRGB colorspace be converted using something on the backend – may even save you some support calls about “bad color prints”.

    If you simply skip the conversion on sRGB tagged and un-tagged images (which implies sRGB, IIRC), users wouldn’t be “forced” to go through the conversion if they for some reason would prefer to handle it themselves (in PS, etc).

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