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Phase One effects no colour correction

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19 comments

  • Drew Altdo
    I'm not sure who told you this was better but they have a very interesting definition of "better". 😉

    The ICC profile, "No Color Correction" is just that, no color correction and as such is not a color managed workflow.
    You can certainly use an ICC profile that is more appealing to you than the default custom made profiles, but to not use any Profile is a very haphazard way of working.
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  • Lube Saveski
    So using no profile isn't ideal.
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  • Drew Altdo
    Using No Profile is working without color management.
    Color management is essential for quality results and one of the basics for Photography workflow.

    So, that is correct... it is certainly not ideal.
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  • dale11833
    I've had good results with no cc and just adding saturation, curves, and levels adjustments. I've worked with London based people that seem to like this route.
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  • Peter Jones
    Hello Lube

    There is a multi-million pound colour management industry out there trying to persuade us that we should have the latest gismos and software to ensure we have the 'right' white balance and consistent colour profiles in our workflow.

    I have tried most of them. When in doubt I have gone back to the camera manufacturer's own software, for example DPP for my Canon 7D. More often than not there is not a lot to choose between the outputs, provided I start with a white balance setting that makes the image look right to me. All the rest is tweaking here and tweaking there.

    So, if most of your work is in a controlled lighting environment and you and your clients are happy with the results, fair enough. "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

    Having said that, the most useful tool for me in Cap1 is 'User Styles' where I store files with graduated effects such as colour temperature, contrast and HDR settings. Then I can hover the mouse pointer over each setting and quickly scan them to home in on the 'best' one.

    Of course, if you use the 'No Profile' setting in Cap1 you are relying on the in-camera settings for white balance, etc. But presumably you do not play around with these? I recall reading somewhere that it is quite acceptable to set the camera WB to 5200K and just leave it there. At least you will have a consistent starting point!

    Perhaps something here will be of interest to you.

    Peter
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  • Lube Saveski
    Thanks for the advice Peter. I have been working with C1 since version 3 and i have always used a profile for my starting base then adjusted the images as i saw fit. Just was queries when i was told to try not to use a profile at all as a starting point as someone else was doing this for one of my clients which i found difficult to do maybe because im so use to using the camera profiles.

    Styles i dont use so much but thanks for your advice.
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  • chageotri
    Hi, I have a further question concerning this thread: "Phase One effects no colour correction".

    Recently I followed a tutorial about how digital cameras perceive colour and how by means of signal processing these colours seen by the camera are then processed into colours that correspond to the human vision of them.

    It was explained that the RGB filters used over the sensor are of the broadband type, designed so that they gather optimal light energy, all while avoiding too much overlap between the red, green and blue portion of the spectrum. This overlap causes the colours to look unsaturated. So the filters used in the filter array are not ideal. That is why a matrix is then applied to these R, G and B signals in order to restore the saturation in accordance to human vision.

    In laymen's terms: the RGB signals recorded by the camera are only good for processing purposes but look dull and unsaturated to the human eye.

    Now to my question: are the colours that we see when applying "Phase One effects no colour correction", the colours that the camera sees without the (device specific) matrix applied?

    A further question: What is the absolute zero starting point of Capture One? When am I looking at the bare RAW state? Would this be: Base Characteristics set to - no colour correction and linear response (no gamma correction) and further more no settings applied (no sharpening, no levels or curves, etc.)?

    Thanks in advance for your reply,

    Cha
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  • Peter Jones
    Hi there, especially Drew!

    Clearly there are two schools of thought. On the one hand Phase recommends "proper" icc profiling using their profiles and colour adjustment tools from start to finish. Other software such as DxO do the same.

    BUT, in both cases there is an alternative - to turn off (or, rather, not turn on) icc profiles. This has been my preferred workflow for some time, with Cap1 and with DxO. Why? Because I find the colour base straight from camera (set at colour temp. 5200) is superior to anything the software companies provide. Each company has its own ideas about what output colour tones should look like, which are virtually impossible to remove/correct further on in the workflow.

    I used to use the technique known as expose to the right, to "just" retain highlight detail. But this tends to create cast/tint issues in the highlight colours. I have now switched to expose to the left, to ensure the output is well-grounded in the darks. I use a spot exposure meter to check the EV of the highlights and reduce this by one unit in the camera settings, bracketed +/- one EV. Then, selecting what looks like an overly-dark image, with DxO or Cap1 I can confidently "build up" the colour base using the saturation tool and RGB levels. In my hands this route reproduces the colours "as seen" rather than those that DxO or Cap1 want me to see, and which I am forever fighting to "get right". Any subsequent tweaking is very minor. (In fact I wonder whether many of the colour issues raised in the Cap1 forums arise from using images that emphasise the highlights at the expense of the darks - just a thought.)

    I hope this contribution is of interest.

    Peter.
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  • chageotri
    Hi,

    @Peter: Maybe you will find this article interesting: http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf

    regards,

    Cha
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  • Ian Wilson
    chageotri wrote:
    Hi,

    @Peter: Maybe you will find this article interesting: http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf

    regards,

    Cha

    That's an interesting article. Thanks.

    Ian
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  • Peter Jones
    Thank you Cha.

    Thank you. A technical article I can actually understand! Yes, ETTR is what is recommended. But it is flawed because, in my experience there is often a long tail into the far-highlight end of the image. And I suspect this is where many of the colour cast issues arise. (Perhaps including the Canon 7D2 issue in Cap1?)

    I have just done a major shoot in Hay on Wye - buildings, shop windows, landscapes. I am MUCH more comfortable exposing to the left, where I find the camera's histogram is reliable, which is more than can be said for the highlight end.

    Peter.
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  • SFA
    To try to be fair to as many people's opinions as possible, the referenced article is surely valid BUT things have moved on since then and the technology may not be quite as clearly differentiated as it once was.

    When I say the technology has moved on I mean all of it - digital cameras, viewing screens and printers (or more accurately output devices and technology.)

    The concept is still correct, IMO. That's just basic science of computing and maths.

    The distinctiveness of the results .... not so evidently clear since a lot of effort has been put in to narrowing the differentials to the point where the typical advanced user is comfortable either way.

    Once you consider the mass market and social media .... does anyone know anyone (except themselves and possibly the judges at their local photographic club) who really cares about the veracity of the resulting image compared to the "as shot" data?

    The margin between perceived "perfection" and technically extremely adequate is a fine line.

    For many a "reasonably good" image becomes a "WOW"" moment, possibly due to low expectations.

    And at the mass market end the criteria for "wow" and "great" are just "different". Especially if they are very "colourful" and rather contrasty or, perhaps still, somewhat extreme HDR.

    Things are what they are.

    My impression, based on my looser exposures and efforts to retrieve them, is that C1 offers decent latitude to at least +2 and -2 stops. Or, to be more precise, it does with my cameras especially the one aimed at the Pro market a few years ago.

    As for camera histograms - they tell you what the jpg will look like. Maybe.

    If you use in camera "Styles" (or whatever they are called these days) that is what they will inform you about.

    Frankly I find using the camera screen totally misleading for just about everything. How the images look bears little relation to the screen (other than composition) and the results possible from RAW processing (and even from OoC jpgs) are very different to the screen presentation in a daylight situation. My 1D3 is not so bad but anything less than a 1D (in Canon world) series seems to lack something. Or add something. It's the same problem of interpretation either way.

    The beauty of the modern era of RAW processors - C1 being a good example - is that the old days of severe dark area limitations when trying to expand an exposure are not as constraining as they once were.

    In part the cameras are improved and in part the converters are improved. Either way life is easier for the image creators. So you can probably get away with exposing to the left (depending on your shooting intentions) far more readily than you might have done a decade ago when the technology was in its infancy.

    And of course the subject matter, er, matters.

    All just my opinion of course.


    Grant
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  • meanwhile
    You can certainly use an ICC profile that is more appealing to you than the default custom made profiles, but to not use any Profile is a very haphazard way of working.


    I'm certainly, definitely not disagreeing with, doubting or second guessing you, in any way.
    You know more about this than I ever will. But ... 😊

    If I'm working alone, and exporting with the same profile embedded as I am using for the proof profile in Capture One, does it make a tangible difference what ICC is in Base Characteristics? Is there something that I can't achieve that I would be able to using one?

    Is using File System > TIFF File Neutral different/better than using Effects > No Color correction?
    They give a similar (the same?) neutral/muted starting point.

    Thanks!
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  • Drew Altdo
    meanwhile wrote:
    does it make a tangible difference what ICC is in Base Characteristics? Is there something that I can't achieve that I would be able to using one?


    Absolutely, without a doubt, 100%, yes.

    Your output profile when processing a tiff will use your input profile (base characteristic) as its base. If a color is unavailable, unassigned or not managed in the input how can it effectively, efficiently and accurately retain quality on output?

    As an analogy... Your car has no speedometer because you've set the car not to "no speed management". You're on an empty road at night with no visual references... You then decide to set cruise control to a safe and manageable 55mph so you can relax in relative safety. With no reference for speed, how would you possibly know what where to set cruise control?
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  • meanwhile
    OK, thanks. So is using TIFF File Neutral the same as using no profile? If yes, is there a profile that you can think of that you would consider the most "neutral"?
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  • Drew Altdo
    You're confusing input and output.
    The Neutral Profile is indeed the most neutral (read 'flat'). However that output profile is based on your input profile and therefore there is no better/worse comparison to be made as they are two different animals.
    Please use a color managed Input Profile (under Base Characteristics) and then choose your Neutral output profile to preview an accurate representation of the file in Capture One.
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  • meanwhile
    Yep, the Base Characteristics > ICC Profile is exactly where I'm talking about.

    If I start with:

    BASE CHARACTERISTICS
    ICC Profile: TIFF File Neutral
    Curve: Linear Response

    I get a very flat, neutral base to work from and build from there.
    But that sounds like you are saying that is a flawed way to work.
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  • Drew Altdo
    Not flawed but certainly not typical or beneficial.
    You're limiting yourself to a very small, flat, input profile and you're using an "output" ICC profile in place of an "input" profile. The tools in Capture One are using this profile as the working space for all input values. If your intended output is a Tiff File Neutral ICC profile, why not start with an Input Profile that is of a larger color space, changing your output Profile to Tiff File Neutral? You then get a wide input profile to work from, that can be interpreted to a flat, small output profile.

    Think of it like a funnel. In your workflow, you have a straight pipe with an input value that is exactly the same as the output value. That leaves little room for adjustments to perform. If you use a large input profile it will then allow the tools latitude to funnel down to your output profile.
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  • meanwhile
    OK, I'll put the funnel back in the fuel tank, fill it up, and stick the speedo back on. Thanks!
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