ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photoshop Color Settings

Updated on November 27, 2015

Photoshop Color Settings

Working Space

Working space is how Photoshop refers to its default color spaces. We tell Photoshop what to use as the default color spaces in its Color Settings dialog box as seen in Figure 1. This dialog box is accessed by clicking Edit > Color Settings. We can set up to four default color spaces. One for RGB, one for CMYK, one for Grayscale and one for Spot. Whether or not Photoshop automatically assigns the default color space to an image is based on how we set up the Color Management Policies in the Color Settings dialog box.

Color Management Policies

The Photoshop Color Management Policies tell Photoshop whether or not to use the color profile embedded in an image and what to do if the embedded profile is different from the working space profile. It can also forewarn us if an image does not have an embedded profile.

Converting Color Spaces

If we need to change an image's color space, we convert it from one color space to another using Photoshop's Edit > Convert to Profile and then save the image so the new profile gets embedded with the image.

The fact that two color spaces are involved means there are two color gamut's involved. This means one set of predefined colors is being converted to another. By definition, no two color gamut's are the same. (If they were, why bother having a second one?) Therefore, in any two different color spaces, one will have colors the other does not. If a color exists in the original, or source, color space but not the destination color space, then Photoshop (or any other image editing software) needs to know how to convert the mismatched color. We set these options in the Conversion Options section of Photoshop's Color Settings dialog box.

Conversion Options: Engine

The Engine option tells Photoshop what software will handle the conversion. I leave mine set to Adobe.

Conversion Options: Rendering Intent

Colors in the source color space that are not in the destination color space are known as out of gamut colors. The Rendering Intent option tells the color conversion engine how to handle out of gamut colors. There are four options.

- Perceptual. If out of gamut colors are encountered, then the Perceptual intent will shift both in gamut and out of gamut colors so as best to preserve the visual relationship between the colors while remapping out of gamut colors to a color that is in gamut in the destination color space.

- Saturation. Converts the image's colors to highly saturated in gamut colors in the destination color space. I do not recommend the Saturation intent for photographers. It is more appropriate in graphics where color accuracy is not critical.

- Relative Colorimetric. For in gamut colors, maps color to color between source and destination color spaces. For out of gamut colors, remaps the color to the closest in gamut color. Maps source white to destination white.

- Absolute Colorimetric. For in gamut colors, maps color to color between source and destination color spaces. For out of gamut colors, remaps the color to the closest in gamut color. Does not remap source white to destination white but rather converts white as a color, so whites may look different once converted to the destination color space.

Most photographers use either the Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual intent. Perceptual attempts to maintain color relationships over consistency while Relative Colorimetric strives to maintain color consistency.

Conversion Options: Black Point Compensation

Tells the conversion engine whether or not to adjust for any differences in black between the source and destination color spaces. If turned on, the full range of the source and destination color spaces are used during the conversion. If turned off, black and other dark colors can appear muddy. I cannot think of a reason as to why this option should be turned off.

Conversion Options: Dithering

When processing out of gamut colors in an 8-bit per channel image, it tells the engine to combine colors in the destination color space in such a way as to best represent the out of gamut color. Can help minimize posterization but can also lead to larger file sizes. The Channels and Bit Depth page explains bit depth.

Color Settings Video Tutorial

photo restoration
photo restoration

Using Photoshop For Photo Restoration

Digital photo restoration can save irreplaceable heirloom pictures and preserve an important part of your family history. Whether it be a torn edge, damaged corner, creases, cracks, water stains or rips and tears, Iridis Imaging provides an expert restoration service to return your photos to their original glory.

Using the most sophisticated computer software, the results that can be achieved are quite astonishing. No matter how badly the extent of the damage to your photo an improvement is almost always possible and in most cases a total restoration to the photos original quality.

Photo Restoration Example - Before And After

photo restoration
photo restoration

wooden letters - wooden letters and wooden shapes

wooden letters

New Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very important concept in photoshop. nice lens, cheers.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)