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Colour Management made easy for photographers

This eBook makes colour photography simple, reliable and stress free.

“There is a great deal of confusion about colour management among photographers, so I am really pleased to see Colour Management Pro break it down to a concise, useful and readable format that is easily understood.” – David Grover, Phase One

Phase One

“The Colour Management Pro Guide is a great resource to learn how to consistently achieve the best possible color from all your devices. This easy to understand guide is essential for any photographer who is a color perfectionist.” – Liz Quinlisk, Global Photo & Video Marketing Director, X-Rite


Perfect Colour Every Time

expodisc x-rite colorchecker passport

Take Back Control

The first step in any colour workflow is to shoot images that are correctly exposed and White Balanced because this can save hours in post production, while delivering huge benefits in image quality.

Imagine what it would be like if you knew exactly how your images would appear because you had a fully colour managed workflow.

display colour calibration

Display Calibration

Display calibration should be at the centre of your colour workflow, so we show you how to obtain optimal results on your computer and tablet devices with added information about i1Profiler, ColorMunki Photo, basICColor, ColorTRUE and SpectraView II.

Your colour images will never be accurate or consistent until your display is calibrated and profiled according to industry standards. Luckily this is easy to achieve with the right knowledge and doesn’t have to cost a fortune…

Colour management working space

Working Environment

Discover how to set up a correct working environment, either at home or in the studio with practical solutions to ensure your colour perception is not influenced by your work area.

From choice of room lighting to wall colour and the desk area; there are simple steps that can drastically improve the speed & accuracy of colour editing.

Epson inkjet Colour Printer

Practical Advice

Filled with information based on real world experience so you can prepare your images for the web, photo labs, inkjet printing or even dealing with prepress printers on the other side of the world. All of this can be done reliably and consistently because good colour management makes it possible.

Colour Settings & information for Mac and Windows



Photoshop Elements






Capture One

Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro Promotion

As a special bonus we have also teamed up with Phase One to offer a 10% discount on perpetual licenses for Capture One Pro purchased at their website using the discount code included inside the book.

“Colour Management Pro explains in simple language how accurate exposure and using a colour meter can really improve the quality of your photography” – Yasuko Kuroi, Product Manager, Sekonic


“Colour Management Pro is an excellent guide to practical colour management that will help any photographer obtain fantastic results” – Erik Sowder ExpoImaging, manufacturers of the ExpoDisc

iMac color management

And so much moreā€¦

This PDF eBook is available for immediate download and formatted for easy viewing on computer or tablet devices with links to websites plus extra content. As an added bonus it comes with 1080 HD video tutorials. Join the thousands of photographers, designers and others who are already benefitting from this information, because effective colour management is the single best investment you can make in photography.

Click the toggle icon to see a summary of contents

Summary of contents - 620 pages - 52 chapters

Chapter 1 - Colour Management Introduction
Saving money
Saving time
Colour management and consistency

Chapter 2 - Managing With Colour Blindness
Age effects
Cone monochromacy
Red X-Chrome contact lenses
Preventative steps
Testing your colour vision online
Munsell FM100
Eizo Color Universal Design
Simulating colour blindness in Photoshop
Colour blindness in art

Chapter 3 - The First Steps Towards Colour Excellence
Camera calibration
Zooms vs Primes
Lens hoods

Chapter 4 - Exposure
Dynamic range
LCD histograms
Exposing to the right
Handheld meters
Sekonic L-308S
Sekonic L-758D
Sekonic L-478 LiteMaster Pro
18% Grey card
Testing the limits

Chapter 5 - Raw Vs Jpeg
The limitations of Jpeg
Why you should shoot Raw
Future proofing your images
DNG vs Proprietary Raw

Chapter 6 - Setting the White Balance
Neutral vs Warm
Colour temperature scale
Colour temperature Raw file adjustments
Daylight colour temperature
Understanding different colour temperature scenarios
Auto vs Custom White Balance
White Balance presets
The importance of accurate White Balance when shooting Jpeg
The advantages of shooting a custom White Balance
The importance of correct exposure for accurate White Balance
The value of using a high quality grey card
The ExpoDisc 2.0

Chapter 7 - Colour Meters
Why a colour meter is helpful
Modern vs Old colour meters
Sekonic C-700R
Different spectrum curves in lighting types
Colour meters for landscapes
Using colour meters for precise control and understanding of the scene

Chapter 8 - X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
White Balance target
Correcting the White Balance of Raw files in post production with a grey card
The importance of an accurate White Balance when shooting Jpeg
The Classic target
Custom vs Generic camera profiles
Matching colours with different camera types
Creating camera profiles for different scenarios
The Creative Enhancement target
Practical uses of the Creative Enhancement target

Chapter 9 - Summary Of First Steps
Retouching anecdote
Lost skills
The camera is not important
Keep it simple

Chapter 10 - Apple Vs Windows For Colour Management
Some history
A modern comparison

Chapter 11 - Setting Up The Working Environment
How our environment affects our colour perception
Munsell N8
Ambient considerations
The desktop area
Room lighting
The computer desktop background
Monitor hoods
Proof lighting

Chapter 12 - Choosing The Right Monitor
Monitor uniformity test
Verifying the display gamut against your image
Effective life expectancy of a new display
The best manufacturers
Different display technologies (IPS, TN Film, MVA and PVA)
Minimum sizes and resolution requirements
Contrast ratios
Matte vs Glossy displays
Understanding bit depth on displays
Standard Vs Wide Gamut displays
NEC MultiSync P232W
NEC SpectraView Reference 242
SpectraView II calibration software
BenQ SW2700PT
Laptop monitors

Chapter 13 - Dual Monitors
Size considerations
Colour variation
Video card considerations

Chapter 14 - Monitor Maintenance
How proper maintenance can affect the life expectancy of your display
The effects of heat
Controlling humidity
Dust is your enemy
Hard objects damaging the screen
Avoiding shocks and vibration
Electromagnetic interference
Excessive usage and the screensavers
Establishing a stable power supply
Cleaning the monitor

Chapter 15 - Colour Models

Chapter 16 - Colour Spaces
Reasons for applying a colour space
Identifying a colour space
Raw files and exporting to a colour space
Why sRGB became so popular
The limitations of sRGB
Situations where sRGB is the best option
Adobe RGB 1998
The benefits of Adobe RGB
When you should avoid Adobe RGB
Coverage of Adobe RGB with a professional wide gamut display
ColorMatch RGB
Why ColorMatch RGB was created
Modern use of ColorMatch RGB
ISO TC130 committee colour space recommendation
Pro Photo RGB
The benefits of Pro Photo RGB
The problems with Pro Photo RGB
8-bit vs 16-bit files in Pro Photo RGB
Practical considerations with Pro Photo RGB
A practical comparison in print between sRGB, Adobe RGB and Pro Photo RGB

Chapter 17 - Converting Colour Spaces
Reasons for converting a colour space
Choosing a Rendering Intent when converting a colour space
Previewing changes when converting a colour space
Assigning a colour profile

Chapter 18 - Calibration & Profiling
Calibration & profiling to achieve accurate colour all over the world
The difference between calibration and profiling
ICC profiles

Chapter 19 - Camera Calibration
Basic camera calibration
Controlling colours with Jpegs
Humphrey Bogart would have chosen Raw
Generic camera profiles
Restoring correct relative colour values with a custom camera profile
Consistent colour between different cameras
The 3 step process of custom camera calibration
Creating camera profiles for different light sources
Additional points to consider with custom camera calibration
Photographing the ColorChecker target
Camera profiling using Adobe DNG profile editor
Camera profiling using X-Rite’s ColorChecker Passport software
Basic rules for creating excellent camera profiles
Further refinements using the creative enhancement targets

Chapter 20 - Monitor Calibration & Profiling
The importance of hardware calibration for your display
An explanation of the benefits from display calibration
Selecting the active monitor profile in OS X and Windows
Differences between a display and a printed image
The perception of colour accuracy
A few pearls of wisdom for best results
How often should you calibrate your display
Humidity with older calibrators
Avoiding calibration software conflicts
The correct settings
The display White Point
The correct gamma setting
Luminance settings
ICC version

Chapter 21 - The Calibration Process
Points to check before you start
Attaching the calibrator to the display
Regulating the calibrator
Basic vs Advanced calibration modes
ADC and DDC automated adjustments
Advanced options
Reviewing the results
Saving the display profile

Chapter 22 - Monitor Calibration Test
Checking your monitor for defects
Identifying banding issues
A quick fix for image file banding in tonal transitions
Checking for colour bias and variation across the display
A practical summary

Chapter 23 - Display Calibration For Video
REC 709
Calibrating the display for video using i1Profiler

Chapter 24 - Tablet And Mobile Device Calibration
Introducing ColorTRUE
ColorTRUE availability
Connecting the calibrator to your tablet or smartphone
Calibrators: ColorMunki Smile, ColorMunki Display, i1Display Pro, i1Photo Pro 2
The calibration process
Viewing images with calibration enabled
Setting the White Point for the tablet or smartphone display
Setting ambient light compensation
Soft proofing CMYK on a mobile device

Chapter 25 - Printer Profiling
A basic explanation of printer profiling
Typical lifespan of a printer profile
The three types of printer profile
Matching profiles to print conditions
Checking your printer before making a printer profile
Downloadable printer test sample
The perils of double profiling in Windows
Judging a good printer profile
Troubleshooting printer profiles
Viewing conditions to assess printer profiles
Printer profiles supplied by the manufacturer
Custom profiles through 3rd party suppliers
Preparing test prints for remote profiling

Chapter 26 - Making Your Own Custom Printer Profiles
It’s no longer complicated creating your own printer profiles
Allowing time for the test chart to dry properly before profiling
Using the ColorMunki Photo wizard to create a printer profile
Advanced profiling options on the i1Publish Pro 2
Profile naming

Chapter 27 - Scanner Calibration & Profiling
Self-calibrating scanners
Typical colour bias in films
The first step in scanner profiling
Using the ColorChecker Digital SG with i1Profiler
Verifying the scanner profile in Photoshop
Scanner profiling service
The problem of scanner profiling with colour negatives
VueScan Professional
Coloraid IT8 calibration targets
Fine tuning your scanner profile
Verifying the scanner profile using iprof profiler
Establishing the limits of your scanner

Chapter 28 - Projector Calibration
The reason why projector calibration is essential
The projector calibration process
Selecting the correct White Point for scanner calibration
Setting the profile

Chapter 29 - Recommended Calibration Devices
What sort of calibrator do I need?
DataColor Spyder4Elite Vs X-Rite i1Display Pro
i1Display Pro
ColorMunki Photo
i1Display Pro vs ColorMunki Photo for display calibration
ColorChecker mini
Summary of printer profiling on ColorMunki Photo
i1Publish Pro 2

Chapter 30 - Display Calibration Software
How display calibration software works
Eizo ColorNavigator & SpectraView II
Troubleshooting tip
basICColor Display

Chapter 31 - Printing Introduction & Paper Types
Printing overview
Paper types at photo labs - Fuji Crystal Archive
Hahnemühle, Innova, Moab, PermaJet, Canson, Tetenal, St Cuthberts Mill and Harman
Matte vs Glossy
Choosing the right paper
Downloadable printer test image

Chapter 32 - Printing With Photo Labs
Common complaints with photo labs
When it makes sense asking the labs to correct your colour
Main advantages & disadvantages of photo labs for printing
Preparing images for printing through photo labs
Choosing the correct colour space for photo labs
Saving files in the correct format
A bit more technical… soft proofing with photo lab paper profiles
The photo labs you should avoid
Inkjet printing through a photo lab
Testing different paper types
The practical case for using photo labs

Chapter 33 - Printing With Inkjet Printers
The emergence of inkjet printing in the digital age
Dye vs Pigment inks
Expected life time of inkjet prints
Drying time for inkjet prints
OEM vs 3rd party inks
The four golden tips for saving money and stress
Continuous ink systems
The dangers of mixing ink types
A big change in inkjet costs is imminent
Refillable ink cartridges

Chapter 34 - Rendering Intents When Printing
The purpose of Rendering Intents
Soft proofing the effects of Rendering Intents
Relative Colorimetric
Choosing the right Rendering Intent

Chapter 35 - Soft Proofing Images For Print
What is soft proofing?
Suitable displays for soft proofing images
The limitations of soft proofing
The correct soft proof settings
Soft proofing as a method to save on material costs
Selective layer adjustments for advanced users
Obtaining printer profiles for soft proofing

Chapter 36 - Page Setup
An explanation of what Page Setup does
Working around layout limitations

Chapter 37 - The Printer Driver
When do we need the printer driver?
What happens when we use the printer driver
Deciding where to handle the colour management
Applying the printer profile
Disabling all colour options inside the printer driver
Selecting the media type
The quality setting
Being patient for the print

Chapter 38 - Print Troubleshooting
Most common problems
Stop printing until you find the problem
Checking that your display is properly calibrated
Viewing your print under suitable lighting
Avoiding snap decisions when viewing print colours
Checking for clogged printer nozzles
Checking ink levels
The printer profile
Quality limitations with certain materials
Checking with photo labs
Looking again at the original image

Chapter 39 - Recommended Printers
A4, A3 and large format printers
Epson 1500W using Claria dye inks
Canon Pixma iX6550 using Chromalife100+ dye inks
Epson Stylus Pro 4880 using Ultrachrome K3 pigment inks
Contract colour proofs in prepress

Chapter 40 - Preparing Files For Prepress
What is prepress?
Practical realities and handing over control
Display calibration settings for prepress
Soft proofing on your display
BenQ PG2401PT
Remote Director cloud based soft proofing
The number rule for working with clients and printers
Digital vs Litho
Work in RGB
The advantages of an RGB workflow
The problem colours for CMYK conversion
Choosing the right profile
The advantage of soft proofing with the correct paper profile
ISO Coated V2 and Fogra 39
International convergence in CMYK profiling
US Web Coated (SWOP) v2
Soft proofing with the correct profile while editing
Custom proofing options
Knowing the paper limitations for maximum highlights
Hard proofing
The dangers of printing without an hard proof
Signing off a contract proof
Equipment and materials used for hard proofing
Insist on a Fogra control bar
Forget hard proofing with your desktop printer
Tiff or Jpeg and appropriate quality settings
Correct file naming
Supplying images on CD or DVD
Including copyright information
Image sharpening
Ensuring the files are clear of defects
Supplying images in the correct format and colour space
File dimensions
Resolution settings for different print media from newspaper to stochastic
Online CMYK conversion
Summary of key points

Chapter 41 - Pantone Matching System
Who uses Pantone?
How the Pantone Matching System works
Pantone Plus Colour Guides
The myPantone App for Android and iOS
Using Pantone to correct images for specific colours
Pantone swatches inside Photoshop
Using Pantone to help match tricky colours and black & white in CMYK

Chapter 42 - Preparing Images For The Web
Accepting the unmanaged reality of the internet
Choosing the right colour space
The best web browser for colour management
Fixing colour management inside Firefox
The right image format for web usage
Resolution for web images
Retina resolution web images
Save for Web in Photoshop
Jpeg quality settings

Chapter 43 - Colour Management For Video
First steps
Setting the White Balance & exposure
Shooting a clip with a ColorChecker or Grey scale card
Advice on working with more than one camera
Keep your sensor clean…
Post production tweaks to shadow, mid-tones and highlights

Chapter 44 - Colour Grading In Video
A brief explanation of colour grading
DaVinci Resolve
The media area
Using an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to create a custom profile
Creating a colour profile when the light is different in another location
Creative enhancements using Color Wheels

Chapter 45 - Photo Editing Software
Capture One Pro
Photoshop Elements

Chapter 46 - Capture One Pro
Capture One Pro introduction
A direct comparison with Lightroom at default settings
The Capture One Pro interface
Raw file colour space and exporting to smaller colour spaces
Capture One Pro ICC profiling
The exposure tab
Exposure warning preferences
High Dynamic Range settings
Levels & Curves
Color tab White Balance presets
Skin tone adjustments
Colour temperature adjustment and tint control
The Color Balance wheel adjustment for technical and creative enhancement
Non destructive black & white adjustments inside Capture One Pro
Using the Color Picker tool inside the Color Editor for narrow spectrum adjustments
Soft proofing images inside Capture One Pro
Rendering Intents inside preferences
Processing images
Process Recipe options when exporting images
Printing in Capture One Pro using a Mac
Instructing Capture One Pro to handle the colour management in OS X
Soft proofing the image prior to print
Choosing the Rendering Intent while previewing the image
ColorSync inside the the OS X printer driver
Choosing the correct print settings inside the printer driver
Printing in Windows
Page Setup in Windows
Letting Capture One Pro handle the colour management when printing in Windows
The Print Settings menu
Printing Preferences
Disabling colour management inside Windows Printing Preferences using Epson or Canon

Chapter 47 - Adobe Lightroom
Lightroom Introduction
Lightroom management of Raw files
Colour spaces in Lightroom
Exploiting the full data of Raw files in Lightroom
Lightroom external editing preferences
Presets in the Develop module
Activating solo mode in the Develop module
Lens calibration
Camera calibration
Lightroom process versions
Basic editing
Altering the White Balance
Adjusting the exposure
The clarity slider
Vibrance & Saturation
Tone curve adjustments
Hue, Saturation & Luminance controls
Advanced edits using the adjustment brush
Exporting digital files
Printing in Lightroom overview
Soft proofing in the Develop module
Histogram changes when a printer profile is applied
Soft proofing using a virtual proof copy
Soft proofing to view Rendering Intent differences
The Print module
Print to Jpeg settings for colour space, resolution, sharpening, size and Rendering Intent
Print to Printer
File ppi resolution for inkjet printing
Print sharpening & media type
16-bit print output
Avoiding key errors applying the printer profile
Printing with a Mac
Page Setup in Lightroom
Print Settings…
Ensuring ColorSync is enabled inside the printer driver
Choosing the correct quality settings and media type
Printing in Windows
From Page Setup to Properties
Turning off colour management inside the Windows printer driver on Canon and Epson
Going to print
Lightroom summary

Chapter 48 - Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop Introduction
Colour management differences between CS6 and Photoshop CC
Photoshop Color Settings
Color Settings in Photoshop CC and CS6 compared
Accessing color settings
Choosing a preset in color settings
Saving custom presets
Pro Photo RGB in color settings
Color management policies with color settings
Mismatched profiles
Use embedded profile
Convert to working space
Discard embedded profile
Setting appropriate colour management policies
Ways inside Photoshop to discover the colour space of an image
Images with missing profiles
Conversion options in color settings
Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) engine
Adobe Camera Raw preferences
Sidecar .xmp files
Sharpening preview images only
Default image settings
The cache size in Adobe Camera Raw
DNG preferences with Adobe Camera Raw
Jpeg and Tiff handling in Adobe Camera Raw preferences
Processing Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw
Similarities with Lightroom
Lens calibration
Camera calibration and process version
Adobe Standard vs Custom camera calibration
Basic editing in ACR
White Balance adjustments
The clarity slider
Vibrance & saturation
Tone curve adjustments
Hue, Saturation and Luminance in ACR
Advanced edits in ACR
Exporting digital files in ACR
Saving for web in Photoshop
The file format options when saving for web
The quality setting when saving for web
Blur and Matte
Progressive Jpeg option
Optimized file size savings and compatibility
Embed color profile
Preview options for assessing your optimised web image
Metadata when saving for web
Resizing images for web usage
File resolution when saving for web
Assessing the previewed image
Printing in Photoshop
Photoshop Print Settings
Profile risks for Windows users
Printer setup
Color management within Photoshop Print Settings
The source colour space
Choosing Photoshop for Color Handling
Selecting the printer profile
16-bit printing
Normal printing vs hard proofing
Rendering Intent choice
Black point compensation
Previewing Match Print, Colors, Gamut Warning and Show Paper
Changing the preview border area
Description tool tips
Position and size
Print Marks & Functions
PostScript Options
Printing on a Mac
Page Setup
Color Matching and ColorSync
Print Settings or Quality & Media
Ensuring the quality settings match the printer profile
Checking the ink levels
Saving a preset
Saving your settings
Printing on Windows
Print Settings….
Printer properties
Matching the correct quality settings and media type to the printer profile
Disabling colour management inside Printer Properties
Patience is a virtue when printing
Photoshop Summary

Chapter 49 - Adobe Photoshop Elements
Colour settings options
Raw processing
Opening a Raw file
Camera calibration & process version
Basic Raw adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)
Setting the White Balance
The tint slider
Auto vs Default settings
Sharpening & noise reduction in ACR
Exporting a Raw file
Saving for web
Quality settings for web usage
Optimized & Progressive options
Web image resolution
Printing in Photoshop Elements
Main print settings on Mac OS X
Telling Photoshop Elements to handle the colour management in Mac OS X
Applying the printer profile and choosing the Rendering Intent
ColorSync settings
Quality & paper settings
Printing in Windows
Main print settings in Windows
Telling Photoshop Elements to handle the colour management in Windows
Printer preferences
Disabling colour management in the printer driver on Epson & Canon

Chapter 50 - Pixelmator
Pixelmator features
Colour management through Apple ColorSync
Soft proofing CMYK
Pixelmator handling of Raw files
Converting colour space
Image adjustments with layers
Pixelmator tutorials
Exporting images for web in Pixelmator
Printing in Pixelmator with colour management
Applying the printer profile
Setting the quality and media type
Rendering Intents in Pixelmator

Chapter 51 - Troubleshooting & Colour Corrections
Karyl’s law of colour management
Lost causes; a pig in lipstick is still a pig…
The easy fixes
Using curves in Photoshop to colour correct

Chapter 52 - Final Thoughts
You don’t need to be a colour geek
Concentrate on one area at a time
Colour management is widespread nowadays
Final acknowledgement
About the author

Click the toggle icon to close the summary of contents

“Colour Management Pro offers clear practical advice on preparing your images for photo labs, as well as covering the importance of choosing a lab which has the flexibility to deliver your work as befits a bespoke piece of art. Following these steps will lead to the best possible results.” – Marieke Goethe, WhiteWall (Tipa Award – WhiteWall: Best Photo Lab Worldwide)

“Monitor profiles, printer profiles, working colour spaces… Colour management could confuse anybody until now, but Ashley Karyl has produced a book that is easy to follow with enough depth to cover everything you’re ever likely to need when it comes to Colour Management” – Simon Plant Photographer

Colour Management Pro

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It's time you learned colour management. Your images will thank you.

“With the information in this book I created a completely color managed workflow in under a day” – Gemma Smith

“Color Management Pro is witty, interesting and always practical” – Michael Fraser

“All our photographic productions are fully color managed and Colour Management Pro provides superb practical information” – Luca Fazzi; Director of PH.Crew productions

Colour Management Pro eBook

A brand new eBook with HD videos offering practical guidance on colour management plus information for using Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One Pro, Elements and Pixelmator.

Colour Management made easy for photographers


Ashley Karyl