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Support for wide gamut images


M.Chapman
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Now that wide gamut displays and fully colour managed browsers are becoming widespread - Is it time that Alamy stopped converting all submitted images to sRGB and then stripping the colour profile information? Ideally Alamy would support uploaded images with sRGB, AdobeRGB and P3 profiles which should retained and then included with the purchased image. This change would slightly improve the colour fidelity of new* "wide gamut" images uploaded to Alamy and supplied to customers. (*Unfortunately this change would have no effect on the existing image library as any wide-gamut colour information has been lost when they were converted to sRGB).

 

Any thoughts?

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:

Now that wide gamut displays and fully colour managed browsers are becoming widespread - Is it time that Alamy stopped converting all submitted images to sRGB and then stripping the colour profile information? Ideally Alamy would support uploaded images with sRGB, AdobeRGB and P3 profiles which should retained and then included with the purchased image. This change would slightly improve the colour fidelity of new* "wide gamut" images uploaded to Alamy and supplied to customers. (*Unfortunately this change would have no effect on the existing image library as any wide-gamut colour information has been lost when they were converted to sRGB).

 

This is surely the way for any forward-looking library to go but I think it might be a challenge promoting those wider gamut images when the quality difference is difficult to explain to the average buyer, and even harder to demonstrate, or even to the average contributor. On the other hand I know that I've seen specialist fine art libraries making it clear that all their images are Adobe (1998).

 

I think for a long time experienced long-standing contributors would always upload as Adobe (1998) and I think it was a surprise to them when you made your discoveries. I wonder if it's possible that the wider gamut images are still sitting on the server just as they were uploaded and they are only converted to sRGB on download. No way of telling I suppose.

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30 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I wonder if it's possible that the wider gamut images are still sitting on the server just as they were uploaded and they are only converted to sRGB on download. No way of telling I suppose.

ISTR that Alamy stated that the images were converted on receipt.

 

Mark

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6 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

ISTR that Alamy stated that the images were converted on receipt

Shame, I wonder if any other libraries are more enlightened when it comes to wider gamut images, I suppose if they were we couldn't discuss it anyway. My impression in your previous investigations was that Alamy didn't even want to raise the subject of colour profiles with the buyer, and latterly with the contributors,  going as far as stripping the profile altogether as you eventually managed to discover. Perhaps other libraries are the same and they would need to consider if it would give them a competitive advantage. Logically, to discerning buyers, it should of course. When I worked at a small picture library back in the day contributors had to submit as Adobe RGB (1998), they were converted to sRGB but this was made clear, as was the fact that wider gamut originals were available. I think Alamy operated in the same way in those days but it seems that train has now left the station.

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I found Alamy's response on this from 2019

 

If Alamy did start supporting and preserving wide gamut colour profiles, maybe they could add a filter to the search page for "wide-gamut imagery"? Images would be automatically checked on upload to confirm the use of a wide-gamut colour space (e.g. AdobeRGB or P3) and to check for the presence of colours that are outside sRGB colour space. These images would be automatically tagged as wide-gamut and the profile preserved. These images could be selected using a filter on the search page or maybe the thumbnail border colour could be modified to denote "wide gamut" images?

 

Mark (just musing and trying to think of ways Alamy can try to stay "upmarket")

Edited by M.Chapman
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