Rich B Young


Installment 4: Color Management for Digital Photography


What is your understanding of "Natural" Color in photography?

We assume, by setting our cameras on 'Auto White Balance', we'll capture 'natural color.'

Guess What?

Every Camera Manufacturer has their own idea of "Natural Color", resulting in a marked variance in color from one camera to another!

It is a major problem...


Regarding Digital Photography in general,









Step 1: Calibrate your camera by 'assigning' the color profile,






Find where to do this in your particular camera. Here we see how

it is assigned in a Nikon DSLR:

in 'shooting menu', select 'color space'



in color space, select 'sRGB', Click "OK", and you're done.

Again, please note that most cameras are already set for sRGB

out of the box.



Step 2: Assign sRGB as the color space for your computer



With Microsoft Computers having Windows 7:

GO TO "CONTROL PANEL" and click on "Color Management".




You will see this window. It verifies that sRGB Color Space is already selected!



(It is essential that you CALIBRATE YOUR DISPLAY, rather than use it

as it came out of the box!)

In this same window you are provided a Windows 7 procedure for

Calibrating your Display (Monitor).





I prefer a 3rd party Color Profiling System.

Here is one, less than $100.

It consists of hardware (color photometer) and software specifically

designed for display calibration.




With software installed on your computer, you affix the device as shown:




After following the on-screen instructions, the system begins displaying

a series of colors (red, green, blue, white, and neutral gray) for the photometer to 'read'.




When the process is over, you are given the opportunity to view a 'before and after' image.

I prefer calibrating using skintones which are an excellent litmus test for color calibration.

(Included in this image is a Macbeth Color Checker that we use for

further refinements in our work)


If you haven't already calibrated your display (monitor),

the colors on this website likely are skewed!


Step 3: Calibrate your OUTPUT DEVICES by 'assigning' the color profile,



A. Printer:




My Epson Printer, in conjunction with Photoshop CS6, is calibrated for sRGB.



Here is a 'screengrab', showing sRGB as selected.




B. Outsourced Printing:




C. Web:

The main page of my Blog.

Note how close my hardcopy print corresponds to the Web display...

Proof of my accurate and uniform Color Calibration and Management

via my




I conclude "Color Management" by saying (for the benefit

of advanced photographers) I am fully aware of other Color Profiles available that have wider gamuts being used professionally.

For my purposes here, I decided to "Keep It Simple", and only describe

the universal Color Profile originated by Microsoft/Hewlett Packard.


Richard B. Young