Power Users Clinic Choosing a Color Space

A color space is a standard set of color definitions. For example, when someone says "green," what do you envision: a lush emerald color, a deep forest, or a bright lime? Choosing a color space ensures that everythingElements, your monitor, your printersees the same colors the same way. When you choose a color space, you tell Elements which set of standards you want it to apply to your photos. There are only two color spaces that you need to concern yourself with in Elements: sRGB and Adobe RGB.

If you're perfectly happy with the color you see on your monitor in Elements and you like the prints you're getting, you don't need to make any changes. Otherwise, you can modify your color space in the Color Settings dialog box. Choose Edit Color Settings, or press Ctrl+Shift+K, and select one of the following

• No Color Management . Elements ignores any information that your file already contains, like color space information from your camera, and doesn't attempt to add any color info to the file data. For general use, you're probably best off starting with No Color Management. Then try the others if it doesn't work well for you. By the way, when you do a Save As [File —+ Save As], don't turn on the checkbox that embeds your monitor's profile into the photo file.

Your monitor profile is best left for the monitor's own use, and it can cause trouble when you try to print the photo.

• Always Optimize Colors for Computer Screens . Choose this option and you're looking at your photo in the sRGB color space, which is what most Web browsers use, so this is a good choice for when you're preparing graphics for the Web.

• Always Optimize for Printing . This option uses the Adobe RGB color space, which is a wider color space than sRGB. In other words, it allows more gradations of color than sRGB. Many home inkjet printers actually cope better with sRGB or no color management than with Adobe RGB, so despite the note you'll see in the Color Settings dialog box about "best for printing," don't be afraid to try one of the other two settings instead.

• Let Me Choose . This option assumes that you're using the sRGB space, but each time you open a file, you see a message box where you can switch to any of the above options on the fly

It's much, much easier to use Levels than to understand it, as you know if you've already tried Auto Levels in the Quick Fix window (Section 11.5.1 ). That command's great for, well, quick fixes. But if you really need to massage your image, Levels has a lot more under the hood than you can see there. The next section shows you how to get at these settings.

0 0

Post a comment