At this point, we should put to bed the myth that digital cameras capture sRGB. e truth is that cameras are not limited to capturing a gamut as small as sRGB. Very oen, camera sensors capture saturated colors that fall outside the gamut of even Adobe RGB. For some images, if the goal is to maintain the maximum gamut, the only color space that can do so is ProPhoto RGB.
is gamut map of the various color spaces shows that there are colors that can be printed on an Epson 4800 that
fall outside both sRGB and even Adobe RGB. ProPhoto RGB can contain all colors that a digital camera can capture–even highly saturated colors. Cameras don’t capture and printers don’t print in sRGB color space.
e histogram in Camera Raw is a bar graph that shows the relative population of pixels at each
tonal level from 0 (black) to 255 (white). White spikes at the right indicate highlight clipping, and white spikes at the le indicate shadow clipping, but colored spikes at either end indicate clipping of a saturated color.
You can see exactly what’s being clipped by holding down Option or Alt as you move the Exposure slider (for highlight clipping) or the Shadows slider (for shadow clipping). If what’s being clipped is important to keep in the image, you may want to try a larger space. But if you see saturation clipping (as opposed to highlight or shadow clipping) in ProPhoto RGB, you’ve almost certainly made a saturation boost that is driving the color into science-ction territory. ere’s no correct or incorrect decision of when and what to clip because that decision depends on the image and what you want to do with it. So you should use the histogram as a guide to select the output space that does the best justice to the image.
To show clipping, hold down Option or Alt and move the Exposure or Shadows slider.
A Color Managed Raw Workflow From Camera to Print