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2 hours ago, Marianne said:

 

I'm not sure why you don't think my test wasn't objective? I downloaded an image that was uploaded as AdobeRGB and it opened properly in that color space and looked perfect when I soft-proofed it. I didn't print it since my photo printer is currently on the fritz. 

 

I'm interested to see what you've found but I'd like to understand why you are discounting my observations. 

 

 

Perhaps Mr H is wondering about your Color Management Policies.in Photoshop? What happens when you open an image in Photoshop depends on the Color Settings,  Color Management Policies. If set to Convert to Working RGB and your Working Space is Adobe RGB, then it will convert to Adobe RGB regardless. If set to Preserve Embedded Profiles then you will definitely see how the image was tagged. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Personally I wasn't clear whether this image that you downloaded was an image that you or perhaps your client had purchased, so the final version that is supplied to the client, which is why I asked the question earlier in the thread. Also you say that it opened perfectly in Adobe RGB, but did it have that colour profile? It may seem pedantic but I think it's quite important.

 

EDIT:  Last month, I downloaded a file as a "client" would from Alamy and that is the file I thought that I was checking. It had AdobeRGB as the imbedded color profile. Unfortunately, it turns out that while I checked the color profile correctly, the image that I checked was the edited file which I had saved with the Alamy file name, but it was not the original that I downloaded from Alamy. The file that is in my downloads folder, which has not been edited, is, in fact, untagged.  I thought I was checking the unedited file. So, it appears that the files are untagged. It still looked fine and seemed to have a full range of colors, but I don't have the original to compare it to. The original file and the backup were both damages, which is why I downloaded the full resolution file. 

 

Even if Alamy leaves the files untagged, AdobeRGB would be my preferred color space,  even if I was shooting RAW with jpegs for fast upload to Live News, so images can be both printed or used on the web. I'm guessing that for breaking news it may not matter to a publication if they need an image right away, but with many of my Live News images selling years later, sometimes for peanuts but also for $$$, I'd rather provide AdobeRGB. It's the color space my publication clients (magazines & calendars mostly) prefer, so using that color space makes the most sense to me, and my images look fine on Alamy, so I don't intend to change what I'm doing. 

 

But I'm sorry I goofed by check the wrong file. It appears that all the files, previews and full resolution, are untagged. 

Edited by Marianne
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

Perhaps Mr H is wondering about your Color Management Policies.in Photoshop? What happens when you open an image in Photoshop depends on the Color Settings,  Color Management Policies. If set to Convert to Working RGB and your Working Space is Adobe RGB, then it will convert to Adobe RGB regardless. If set to Preserve Embedded Profiles then you will definitely see how the image was tagged. 

 

I have been using Photoshop for over a decade, and shortly after I began working as a photographer, I spent two years working as a digital tech doing color correction for  a food photographer, so I understand how it all works.  While I currently have AdobeRGB set as the working profile, since I have been processing stock photos, Photoshop is set to warn me if image is not in that profile and then gives me the option to preserve the profile or convert it to the working space. So, I did not just assume the profile was AdobeRGB because it opened in AdobeRGB. Hope that clarifies things. 

The untagged low res image also opened in fine in AdobeRGB, but I was aware that it was untagged, as I mentioned. I also opened it in sRGB and soft-proofed it in both color spaces and the image looked fine either way. 

 

 

Edited by Marianne

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23 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Terribly sorry I wasn't meaning to imply your test wasn't objective or to discount your observations. However I am repeating with both an sRGB and aRGB version of exactly the same image, which I think is different to the test you mentioned, or have I missed something? I'll also be quoting the image references so others can compare for themselves, as well as using an industry standard target.

 

Mark

 

No need to apologize, I realize that I was assuming you'd all know that I had checked the color space properly since I mentioned that the "client" download was AdobeRGB and the preview image was untagged, without providing my bona fides by setting out how I have Photoshop set up vis a vis color management. I don't have any sRGB images uploaded to Alamy to test because, as Allan notes, early on we were told to upload AdobeRGB and that has always been my practice. 

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11 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

I have been using Photoshop for over a decade, and shortly after I began working as a photographer, I spent two years working as a digital tech doing color correction for  a food photographer, so I understand how it all works.  While I currently have AdobeRGB set as the working profile, since I have been processing stock photos, Photoshop is set to warn me if image is not in that profile and then gives me the option to preserve the profile or convert it to the working space.  So, I did not just assume the profile was AdobeRGB because it opened in AdobeRGB. Hope that clarifies things. 

The untagged low res image also opened in fine in AdobeRGB, but I was aware that it was untagged, as I mentioned. I also opened it in sRGB and soft-proofed it in both color spaces and the image looked fine either way. 

I hope you didn’t misinterpret my intention there. I have the utmost respect for you and your knowledge believe me.  I was just pointing out that it is easy to forget one’s color settings and reading between the lines in Harry’s post I figured that might be what he meant. I lost the thread of this thread way back and am too busy to delve deeply into it enough to figure what is going on. I should have stayed silent. Back to work. 😀

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Just to clarify further, on my MAC, before I open an image in Photoshop, I can highlight it and see whether or not it has a color profile assigned. When I highlight an image that is untagged in Photoshop, it shows (RGB) as the color space, but it is missing a color profile, which is listed below the color space when an image has a color profile imbedded.  What we are really talking about here are color profiles (AdobeRGB vs sRGB) and not color spaces, which for both of these would be RGB. 

 

I believe I used the two terms - color space and color profile -  interchangeably.  

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, MDM said:

I hope you didn’t misinterpret my intention there. I have the utmost respect for you and your knowledge believe me.  I was just pointing out that it is easy to forget one’s color settings and reading between the lines in Harry’s post I figured that might be what he meant. I lost the thread of this thread way back and am too busy to delve deeply into it enough to figure what is going on. I should have stayed silent. Back to work. 😀

 

No worries - I did not take offense. It was a very good question. I just wanted you to understand that I was aware of how it all works and that I did not make that mistake. I'm way too busy too and shouldn't be wasting time here but I'm procrastinating from work I'm just not in the mood to do ... better get back to work myself. 

Edited by Marianne

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1 minute ago, MDM said:

 

Perhaps Mr H is wondering about your Color Management Policies.in Photoshop? What happens when you open an image in Photoshop depends on the Color Settings,  Color Management Policies. If set to Convert to Working RGB and your Working Space is Adobe RGB, then it will convert to Adobe RGB regardless. If set to Preserve Embedded Profiles then you will definitely see how the image was tagged. 

 

I'll be inspecting the metadata of the downloaded images to confirm if have embedded sRGB or AdobeRGB profiles.

 

I am hoping to load 4 images (my original sRGB and AdobeRGB and the high res downloads from Alamy) as layers into a single PS image so I can easily compare them (by turning layers on and off, by using difference mode and possibly by creating composites). Do you have any advice on how I should set PS CC colour management so that each image (layer) is correctly rendered according to the profile it contains. Obviously I have PS CC set to preserve embedded profiles, but which working colour space should I use?

 

Mark 

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I just realized that I was mistaken when it came to the "client" file that I downloaded from Alamy. Egg on my face. I edited my earlier post to reflect this. I checked the wrong file. 

 

Here's what happened. I downloaded a full resolution file about a month ago when the original and the backup were both damaged. Then, the other day, I downloaded some previews of zoomed images to do a google images search. When I saw this thread, I figured I'd open them and respond to the questions asked. When I went to open the full resolution image to check it out for this thread, I now realize that the version I checked was the one I had previously opened in Photoshop last month.  I edited the file info, then saved it with the same name Alamy gave it, but in a different folder. I later made other changes and saved it using my own naming conventions. When I checked it out for this thread, since it had the Alamy name, I thought I was opening the original downloaded file, but I must have been mistaken since, just now, I went into my downloads folder and found a copy which is, in fact, untagged. 

 

I'm wondering if Alamy leaves it without a color profile so that if uploaded to the web the different browsers will automatically assign a profile to it and it will look better than a color managed image? I don't think that ticking "don't color manage" strips out the color information that is already there? I'll leave that to those more knowledgable than I am. 

 

 

Edited by Marianne

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10 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

Yes, having located my two test aRGB/sRGB comparison images I don't see much difference which is why in the back of my mind I've thought that they are probably doing things right, converting to sRGB before stripping is OK for previews I would say. I'm particularly keen to see what profile, if any (!) your download images will have and then we might actually have an answer to the question about which profile to use when uploading. Good stuff.

 

The test images have now passed Alamy QC and just been keyworded so hopefully should appear on sale tomorrow.

 

The image Alamy refs are W2BEBH and W2BEBF, so an Alamy search for W2BEBH OR W2BEBF should bring them up as side by side thumbnails. The image captions give details of the processing used for each image.

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)

Deleted (double post)

Edited by M.Chapman

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3 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

I'll be inspecting the metadata of the downloaded images to confirm if have embedded sRGB or AdobeRGB profiles.

 

I am hoping to load 4 images (my original sRGB and AdobeRGB and the high res downloads from Alamy) as layers into a single PS image so I can easily compare them (by turning layers on and off, by using difference mode and possibly by creating composites). Do you have any advice on how I should set PS CC colour management so that each image (layer) is correctly rendered according to the profile it contains. Obviously I have PS CC set to preserve embedded profiles, but which working colour space should I use?

 

Mark 

 

 

I believe that if you layer photos with two different color profiles into a Photoshop document, you will get a warning that there is a profile mismatch for one of them, no matter what color space you choose. So, I believe it would make more sense to open each in the color space it is tagged with, however, as it appears that the files will be untagged ... my suggestion would  be to assign AdobeRGB to the AdobeRGB file and assign sRGB to the sRGB file and then look at them side by side, as two separate images. 

 

I assume you realize that even if your working space is AdobeRGB, you can set up Color Proofing for each color profile, and then view both images in each. When you go into View and do the Proof Setup and then Proof Colors, it will let you use a different profile for each image and then you can compared AdobeRGB to sRGB. You will need to chose profiles that you've calibrated. You can then compare them to your originals - so you'd have 4 photos open - to see if untagging them has made them change.

 

I assume that many clients will be viewing the images on uncalibrated monitors, so this also may be why Alamy leaves them untagged. 

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19 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

The test images have now passed Alamy QC and just been keyworded so hopefully should appear on sale tomorrow.

 

The image Alamy refs are W2BEBH and W2BEBF, so an Alamy search for W2BEBH OR W2BEBF should bring them up as side by side thumbnails. The image captions give details of the processing used for each image.

 

Mark

 

It will be interesting to view them side by side online and see if they look different, and which looks better. Thanks for the info. 

 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Marianne said:

Well, I just realized that I was mistaken when it came to the "client" file that I downloaded from Alamy. Egg on my face. 

 

Here's what happened. I downloaded a full resolution file about a month ago when the original and the backup were both damaged. Then, the other day, I downloaded some previews of zoomed images to do a google images search. When I saw this thread, I figured I'd open them and respond to the questions asked. When I went to open the full resolution image to check it out for this thread, I now realize that the version I checked was the one I had previously opened in Photoshop last month.  I edited the file info, then saved it with the same name Alamy gave it, but in a different folder. I later made other changes and saved it using my own naming conventions. When I checked it out for this thread, since it had the Alamy name, I thought I was opening the original downloaded file, but I must have been mistaken since, just now, I went into my downloads folder and found a copy which is, in fact, untagged. 

 

I'm wondering if Alamy leaves it without a color profile so that if uploaded to the web the different browsers will automatically assign a profile to it and it will look better than a color managed image? I don't think that ticking "don't color manage" strips out the color information that is already there? I'll leave that to those more knowledgable than I am. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info. Yes, it's too easy to get confused. Some of my earlier comparisons in PS might have been wrong too because I maybe had PS set wrong (see my question above). But I am confident that the two images I've just uploaded to Alamy were created correctly (one with fully sRGB workflow, the other with fully AdobeRGB). I'm also confident that the lo-res preview images I downloaded previously from Alamy didn't contain colour profiles (which now agrees with your observation). I also suspect that the image data they contain has been converted to sRGB, so it's strange that they don't include the profile. I expect (I don't know how to prove this) that Alamy are also using sRGB versions of our images for the thumbnails and zooms so that AdobeRGB images don't get dulled by users non-colour managed browsers. My test images should show if the zooms and thumbnails of AdobeRGB and sRGB images look virtually the same but won't prove that they are sRGB. I wonder if I've still got an old non-colour managed browser around on my Windows XP VM perhaps?

 

I think it's good if Alamy use sRGB for download previews as this will render more reliably on the wide variety of browsers and image viewers there are out there. Personally I think Alamy should offer customers high res downloads in either AdobeRGB or sRGB with the default being sRGB. "Hi fidelity" customers with critical applications can select AdobeRGB to benefit from the wider gamut (and presumably will have a proper colour managed workflow). But for general use (and maximum robustness/compatibility) sRGB is better. 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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Posted (edited)

I was so careful to check the color profile properly, but that doesn't help if you're checking the wrong file LOL. 

 

It will be interesting to see what your experiment shows. 

 

This has me wondering if Alamy's leaving images untagged is preferable for some reason? I have to think that Alamy is doing what is best for their clients and as they are still aimed primarily at the editorial market, I'm guessing that converting the images to sRGB would not be a good choice for print clients. I assume that sRGB thumbnails look best online, however, the colors I see online on my MAC are sometimes different than the colors I see on my husband's PC - so perhaps leaving them untagged lets the browser render the images in a manner that works well in any browser and on any platform since the browser is doing the rendering? Am I wrong? I wish Alamy would pop in here and give us some guidance, especially if their advice has changed. Perhaps when I have time I'll do some research into why you would tick "don't color manage." 

 

Don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean that I think I should upload untagged images - I'm still going with AdobeRGB - but I'm wondering why Alamy leaves them untagged. 

Edited by Marianne

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3 hours ago, Marianne said:

It appears that all the files, previews and full resolution, are untagged.

Crikey Marianne, I'm sorry that you've ended up writing so much in response to my innocent couple of questions. It's obviously unusual for any of us to be downloading high resolution files as a customer would so i just wanted to make sure that I was understanding you correctly. Also if that was the case, and it was of course, I was very interested to know if it had a Colour Profile. Thanks to Mark's efforts I think we'll soon have a complete answer but I think it was important that he tested two downloads, one for an image that was uploaded with an sRGB profile and also one uploaded with an Adobe RGB  colour profile in case there are different outcomes.  I'm intrigued to find out what he discovers. 

 

I'm not particularly surprised or alarmed that the previews don't have colour profiles but I hope that where necessary they have been converted from Adobe RGB to sRGB before the profile has been stripped. I will be surprised though if the high resolution customer downloads don't have a colour profile and I agree with you that perhaps it is easiest to inspect this before loading them into Photoshop, on a Mac using Commad-I or alternatively on a PC you can look at 'Properties' > 'Details' > 'Color representation'. That way you can be sure that nothing untoward or unexpected has happened in Photoshop.

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Posted (edited)

W2BEBH and W2BEBF have now gone on sale so I've purchased and downloaded hi-res versions (personal use option). If you want to see them side by side then do an Alamy search for W2BEBH OR W2BEBF

 

Purchased hi-res and preview files have been downloaded (and immediately write protected so I can't mess them up), and all relevant files are now available here https://postimg.cc/gallery/2nzbzqgo0/ There are 6 files. The original aRGB and sRGB jpgs I uploaded to Alamy, and downloaded preview and purchased download images of each from Alamy. I've checked some of the files and confirmed (with Windows FC /B command) that if I "download original image" from postimg they are identical to what I uploaded to (i.e. postimg don't alter them).

 

My immediate observation is that Alamy's downloaded previews and purchased downloads contain no colour profiles irrespective of what was uploaded (sRGB or aRGB).

 

I'm struggling to make sense of what Alamy has done to my images. The only way I can get the downloaded images (preview and hi-res) to render closely with the originals is to load them into PS and assign an sRGB profile.

 

My initial reaction is that Alamy have converted both my uploaded images to sRGB and then stripped the profiles, but I'm not an expert.

Can anyone else take a look?

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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37 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Can anyone else take a look?

Thanks for doing this Mark, I can't look at them in any detail for an hour or so but I've downloaded them and can of course confirm that the purchased images have no colour profiles.

 

I find that extraordinary.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Thanks for doing this Mark, I can't look at them in any detail for an hour or so but I've downloaded them and can of course confirm that the purchased images have no colour profiles.

 

I find that extraordinary.

 

I do too. It's not consistent with Alamy's statement about using AdobeRGB. I wonder if this applies to "personal use" downloads only? 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

I wonder if this applies to "personal use" downloads only? 

 

It does fit in with Marianne's experience when Alamy  provided her with a high res to replace one that she had lost. If I understood her correctly she knew that it should be Adobe RGB so assigned that profile and all was well, a picture buyer wouldn't have that luxury. However your thinking at the moment is that the underlying profile might be sRGB.

 

It's often been said that this has been discussed loads of times on the forum before but I've never seen anyone definitively prove that the customer receives an image with no colour profile.

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison

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Posted (edited)

Further testing on my part indicates that Alamy has most likely converted both the sRGB and aRGB versions of the image I uploaded to sRGB and stripped the profiles before providing for download as either preview or hi-res personal use. If I convert my original of W2BEBF (which is AdobeRGB) to sRGB in PS it becomes an exact colour match with the hi-res image W2BEBF I downloaded from Alamy.

 

Can anyone else confirm my view?

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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45 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Can anyone else confirm my view?

 

For what it's worth having now had a chance to look at them I think that the purchased images are sRGB images with the colour profile removed, in other words I agree with you and the aRGb image has been converted to sRGB and then had the profile removed - but it needs someone else to come in to look at your downloaded files afresh.

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

For what it's worth having now had a chance to look at them I think that the purchased images are sRGB images with the colour profile removed, in other words I agree with you and the aRGb image has been converted to sRGB and then had the profile removed - but it needs someone else to come in to look at your downloaded files afresh.

 

There are small differences in some of the colour numbers on a pixel level between the two purchased files but how could you tell if Alamy had converted to sRGB or simply removed the tags? You could try doing the same with the original images I suppose. It is an interesting experiment and I would love to have the time to play around a bit with it but to be honest I think people might be overthinking this. It is probably only relevant to buyers who are intending to print the images at high quality in a colour managed workflow where Adobe RGB  is much better than sRGB. If it was really important from a business point of view, then I think Alamy would be on top of it. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, MDM said:

how could you tell if Alamy had converted to sRGB or simply removed the tags

 

Good to have some fresh input because as it has become such a long thread it is easy to not see the wood from the trees.

 

I will tell you my thought process, , happy for you to pick holes in it. Given that the downloads do not have a colour profile then I assign one to them, either aRGb or sRGB to see if the appearance in PS changes dramatically, suggesting that would not have been the native colour space. As I have stated above somewhere, if you assign sRGB to an aRGB file there is quite a dramatic difference and I did not see this.

 

As for overthinking, why not embed a colour profile in the file? What has suddenly become unacceptable about a colour managed workflow?

 

If Alamy no longer request aRGB then I can see that makes sense for them, more images become available to them and contributors aren't deterred through having to tackle the thorny issue of colour profiles. But then does that mean they no longer deliver images with an aRGB profile, in which case why are people wasting their time uploading as aRGB?

Edited by Harry Harrison

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

Good to have some fresh input because as it has become such a long thread it is easy to not see the wood from the trees.

 

I will tell you my thought process, , happy for you to pick holes in it. Given that the downloads do not have a colour profile then I assign one to them, either aRGb or sRGB to see if the appearance in PS changes dramatically, suggesting that would not have been the native colour space. As I have stated above somewhere, if you assign sRGB to an aRGB file there is quite a dramatic difference and I did not see this.

 

As for overthinking, why not embed a colour profile in the file? What has suddenly become unacceptable about a colour managed workflow?

 

If Alamy no longer request aRGB then I can see that makes sense for them, more images become available to them and contributors aren't deterred through having to tackle the thorny issue of colour profiles. But then does that mean they no longer deliver images with an aRGB profile, in which case why are people wasting their time uploading as aRGB?

 

I am incredibly busy at the moment so just dipping in and out of this thread and haven't had time to really analyse what is being said and done. I did have a quick look at Mark's images and it was interesting but it was a quickie.

 

I'm guessing it doesn't matter to most buyers, as the end usage is probably not colour criticial. Looking at Mark's images, I doubt that any buyer would be too concerned about which one to buy as the differences are hard to see (for me in any case) even on my wide gamut monitor. Differences can be detected using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop.

 

Also a lot of photographers are not using colour management anyway so it probably simplifies things for Alamy not specifying anything. And it's not wasting time uploading Adobe RGB - it is just part of the normal workflow if that is what one does. I am not arguing for it but I think it is probably not that important for a lot of stock images to implement colour management. I wonder what Adobe themselves do. Now there is an additional experiment for the inquiring mind. 

 

 

Edited by MDM

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