[Digikam-users] Tutorial: Color Management, Camera Profiles,

elle stone jrle1 at twcny.rr.com
Mon Jun 2 21:42:12 BST 2008

Hi Paul,

Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> Hi Elle,
> Great work!  This cleared up a few questions I didn't even know I had! :-)


Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> Quite a number of times, I have gotten the Color Management bug.  I
> understand
> the rationale behind why one uses Color Management but, as usual, the
> devil is in
> the details.  I have never been able to make it all work.  It has been an
> unsuccessful struggle to get Color Managed images to look as good as
> unmanaged
> images.  

Could you please email me the details of what you do to produce a "CM image"
and an "unmanaged image"?  I am not sure the issue is "color management" per
se, but I am really curious and willing to see if I can figure out why your
results vary so much.

Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> May I propose a topic for installment #2? :-)
> I would love to see a step-by-step walk through of how to make Color
> Management
> work in Digikam, including screen shots.  Here are some proposed items for
> this
> walk through:

I would absolutely love to get Color Management working in Digikam.  If you
read my other recent posts, you'll see that there seems to be a problem or
two with the implementation of digikam color management.  At least it seems
so to me, though I haven't ruled out "user error," being a linux newbie and

Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> * Image comparison.  Show an image that was created in a color-managed
> workflow,
> and the same image not color managed.  If the improvement is quantifiable,
> the
> new user will continue reading

I am not so sure that a color-managed workflow will necessarily lead to an
improved image.  If your workflow isn't color-managed, then you are by
default working exclusively in sRGB (except for applying the right camera
profile, if you are starting with a raw file).  Many, many fine photographs
have been produced in sRGB and many professional photographers start with
the camera jpeg rather than a raw file.  Color management becomes an issue
if/when you want to step outside of the bounds of sRGB as your working and
output space. 

Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> * Monitor Profiling in Linux

A very good topic that I'd be happy to try to write up, especially if people
with the newer LCD monitors would speak up about their experiences and
procedures.  I'm still using a Sony Trinitron CRT.  When I switched to
Linux, being able to calibrate my monitor was my number one requirement, and
to my surprise and delight, Argyll does a better job than the windows
software I had previously used.

Color management, per se, might not lead to a better image, but I am
absolutely positive that using a calibrated monitor will improve your
images.  By the way, profiling and calibrating are two different things -
you will benefit from calibrating your monitor even if you don't "color

Let me explain the benefits of monitor calibration by way of examples.  My
husband wanted to use a picture I had edited on my computer (using my
at-the-time uncalibrated monitor) as "wall paper" for his computer.  Except
on his (uncalibrated at the time) monitor, the picture looked a ghastly
shade of blue.  I had to deliberately make it look really yellow on my
monitor to make it look good on his monitor.  

Another example - I had inadvertently set my monitor to be "too bright".  I
spent a lot of time working on the shadow details of a "fall foliage in the
city" type of picture.  I sent it to a friend, who reported back that all he
saw on his monitor was dark glop.

One last example - now that my monitor is regularly calibrated (CRTs
"drift"), images on photography websites look GREAT!  I had no idea how much
I was missing out on by using an uncalibrated monitor.  

Bottom line:  if your monitor isn't calibrated, then you really don't know
what your images look like!  Too bright?  Too dark?  Too blue?  Too yellow? 
Just right?  

Bugzilla from paul at waldoware.com wrote:
> * Obtain the Camera Profile.  . . . For example,
> http://staffwww.itn.liu.se/~karlu/div/howto/ufraw_with_canonSLR.php shows
> 7
> profiles available for a single camera.  What to choose?

Thank you for the link!  I finally found the elusive Canon Rebel XTI 6131
profiles!   I will definitely write up a little "which Canon profile" for


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