If you are only using print and not using the web, then don’t bother reading this blog post. For the rest of us, this is one of the most important and fundamental to photography and the web. BTW ain’t you reading this on the web?

Go to this web page: http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/color-spaces-page2 but not yet, let me first explain. You will need to have Javascript enabled on your web browser to analyze the web page.

There a big photograph that you can view in the various color spaces: sRGB, aRGB (Adobe), ColorMatch, ProPhoto, WideRGB and AppleRGB. You can view it either with the color profile embedded or not in the photograph. Just click on the various settings/buttons.

Now, in your browser, click on the menu bar and then click on About. It will tell the name of your web browser and its version.

I have 7 different web browsers installed on my computers.

  • Dillo: D2 or D3 do not read the image profiles
  • Firefox: FF11 reads the image profiles
  • Google Chrome: G15.x, G16.x, G17.x or G18.x do not read the image profiles
  • Internet Explorer: IE6, IE7 or IE8 do not read the image profiles
  • Lynx, e-links: Do not support graphics/images
  • Opera: O10.x or O11.x do not read the image profiles

I do not have Safari/Mac/iOS…

Here are my percentages of views and these are aggregates per browser, I do not know the percentages per browser per version, so I cannot differentiate Firefox 3 (which does not support color profiles) or Firefox 11 (which supports color profiles):

Browser % Views
Firefox 29.2 %
MS Internet Explorer 19.7 %
Google Chrome 18.3 %
Safari 16.9 %
Unknown 8.2 %
Mozilla 2.6 %
Opera 1.9 %
Android browser (PDA/Phone browser) 1.5 %
IPhone/iOS (PDA/Phone browser) 0.4 %
Netscape 0.1 %
  • Your web browser does NOT matter.
  • Your viewer’s web browser matters.
  • 80% plus of the MY blog readers use a browser that does NOT support color profiles

Ramifications

You should be shooting in the color space that is the most important to you.

  • If you care the most about your images that end-up on Flickr, Facebook… use sRGB in the camera.
  • If you care the most about your images that are being printed on your own printer, use the aRGB (Adobe) color space in the camera.
  • If you care the most about your images that are being printed by a photo lab, ask first but most of them only support sRGB, then use the sRGB color space in the camera.
  • If you care the most about your images that are being printed by a custom photo lab, ask first, then use the aRGB color space in the camera.

Now you can go to: http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/color-spaces-page2

BTW, who is Jeffrey Friedl? Regex.info is his website. In the photography world, he wrote a whole bunch of Lightroom plugins, including the upload from Lightroom to Smugmug, Facebook, Zenfolio, Flickr… In the computer world, he wrote the book: Mastering the Regular Expressions. If you need to know about “wild cards”, aka regex, such as . or * and much more, his book is the bible when it comes to regular expressions.