Toecabulary is the comprehensive glossary of photography terminology and techniques. Every week, you get to learn a new term defined and depicted in stunning photographs and videos. Click here if you wish to refer to this Dictionary of Photography in its entirety, or, click here to read all our weekly Toecabulary posts that discuss various concepts of photography in great detail.

If you have wondered what ‘setting the colour profile of a photograph’ means, today’s Toecabulary answers just that.

A colour gamut is simply the amount of colours a colour profile can understand. And the Adobe RGB colour profile, developed by Adobe Systems, has a particular colour gamut, or, can appreciate few million colours. It was developed to accommodate most of the colours achievable on colour printers.

Here, we have processed the same image in the two different colour profiles – Adobe RGB and sRGB. As it is evident, the range of colours in the Adobe RGB rendering is a rather wider one (more colours) than as rendered in sRGB.

However, to sum up, all web browsers do not support Adobe RGB. So it is important that you process them in sRGB to ensure they look the same on all browsers, and while processing them in sRGB, bring the colours as close to what you saw while making your photographs.

Adobe RGB

Here is a small video that illustrates the different ranges of colours available in the different colour profiles. The Adobe RGB allows for more colours than the sRGB colour space. It is clear that the sRGB gamut doesn’t contain all the cyan-green hues. The Adobe RGB clearly provides more colours to utilise, as it comprises slightly more than 50% of all colours in the visible spectrum.

And it is very important that you colour-calibrate your monitor, so that it renders these colours in the true sense. This way, you don’t get incorrect colours when you process your images to later print them or to share them on the web for people to see in different browsers across the world. Colour calibration is thus a very important requirement for you to post-process your photographs.

While the sRGB colour profile is the best to render images for the web, Adobe RGB is what you need to choose if you intend to print images with the real colours.

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