Monday, December 05, 2005

An astoundingly clear description of color gamuts and best practices for OS X

I've spent a small amount of time in the morass of color management over the past few years. Just enough to spot something very interesting in this occult domain.

This Aperture article is one of the best simple descriptions I've ever seen: Aperture: Color and gamma settings for print and web.

It does hint at some bugs in Aperture and OS X. For example, I think the recommendation to 'set gamma to 2.2 and white point D65 and never change it' is related to a bug in color profiles and fast user switching -- if not other color profile bugs. (A gamma of 2.2, by the way, will make the entire OS X interface look a bit odd. A seperate kb article mentions how the intersection of color profiles and external editors can crash Aperture ...)

I set my camera to sRGB, my screen to sRGB with Gamma 2.0 and white point D60, and cross my fingers and pray. For JPEG, with its inherently crummy color tables, this is probably good enough. It's a compromise between the Windows and Mac worlds. Pictures will look a bit dark on Windows and will print a bit dark from most print services.

I suspect that when OSX for Intel comes out, Apple will quietly change the hardware and OS to the Windows Gamma. It's about time ...

Update 12/20: Alas, introduce Photoshop and the view is murky again ...

No comments: