Image from Wikimedia CommonsUnderstanding Digital Colour

There are a number of separate aspects to understanding the use of colour in the digital domain. Each aspect contributes to your ability as a photographer to create images that have a consistent appearance across a range of output devices.

Understanding the processes and developing a good workflow practice will help to ensure that you get predictable and consistent results from your digital images.

Colour Models

Because everything in the digital domain has to be represented using numbers, we need a way of encoding colours as numbers. The colour model defines the basis of the mathematical representation of colour.

You can find the detals here colour models

Colour Spaces

The mathematic representation of colour is useless on its own. It needs to be related to a set of actual colours in a systematic way. The combination of a colour model and a mapping to actual colours is a colour space.

You can find the detals here colour models

Colour Management

The process of ensuring that all the devices in our workflow agree on the representation and output of colours is called colour management. This is essential if we are going to get consistent results from our photographic edits.

You can find the detals here colour models

Soft Proofing in Photoshop

Photoshop provides some tools to help with the colour management process. The use of soft proofing can help ensure that your edited images look as you expect them to when they are printed by using device and paper profiles to simulate the final appearance of your print on the monitor.

You can find the detals here colour models

Links

You can find additional information about the various colour management topics at the following pages:

Colour Models

Colour Spaces

Colour Management

Soft Proofing in Photoshop

Adobe's Overview

Adobe provide a very comprehensive overview of the whole process in a single document:

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