Colours and Profiling.

Colour profiling your images before you publish an image is important. Images need to represent your product or you accurately.

What are colour profiles?

I am using this post to to help you to understand how they work and why they are so important.

A colour profile is a set of data that describes a colour space known as a gamut.

Different gamuts display different ranges of colour.

Some computer screens show wide arrays of colour. Others, are more limited in what they can display.

Professional photography shoot.

Professional photography shoot.

Every device and printer has a colour profile. These profiles define the colours that can be displayed or printed.

A helpful analogy is as follows.  Think of colours and profiles as being like the size of the clothes that you buy. You will not fit all sizes of clothes.

The colours used in an image will not “fit” every display or printer.  These will not be able to accommodate the whole range of colours and reproduce them accurately.

Printing image files without a fuller understanding and correct utilisation of ICC (International Color Consortium) Profiles, will result in a mis-match between one colour profile and another. The same pair of “trousers” will not give the same results as another pair of “trousers.”

So, the job of retaining an accurate colour mode does not start and stop when the shutter on a camera is depressed.

Why are ICC Profiles Necessary?

All printers use different ICC Colour Profiles depending upon what they can do.

Some ICC Colour Profiles have a higher range of greens, or blues. Others are better at producing reds and yellows.

Colours and profiling is important.

Colours and profiling is important.

Digital screens cannot display all of the colours that the human eye is capable of seeing, and this range varies between devices.

Neither are printers equipped to print every shade or tone of colour.

Who Needs Accurate Colour Profiles?

If you are using images in a digital or printed format, you will need to utilise appropriate colour profiles.

It is important to note, for example, that the screens being used by the viewer will dictate accuracy of colours. But, there are some measures that can be undertaken to maintain accuracy in colour.

When printing your images, in brochures, on flyers and business cards, and any other marketing material, the print profile of the printer needs to be prepared for.

Editing Images Accurately.

There are several devices and pieces of software that are used by professional editors.  One of the main pieces of hardware is the Spyder by Datacolor.

spyder profiler.

Spyder hardware profiler.

The Spyder device measures the light within the room and which emanates from the computer. The images on screen are of an accurate brightness, contrast as well as measuring the colour spectrum on the screen.

The Spyder devices ensure on screen is the most accurate representation of the image in front of me and, therefore, the viewer.

I start the editing process when I am certain that the colour on the monitor is accurate, because I can control every aspect of the editing process.

When it is time to print, your edited image will match what you are seeing on screen and reflect your creative vision.

Accurate representation of your own logo, product, packaging, event stand and more, is important to you, and to my own clients.

About Arwyn | Award winning photography from the U.K | T L Media

About Arwyn | Award winning photography from the U.K | T L Media

For example, for xBox 360 at Gamescom getting the green colour as accurate as is possible was difficult, but, this was important.

Taking the Picture.

I believe that when taking a picture, deploying colours whilst the image is captured needs to be considered.

Colour Checker Card.

When taking a photograph, professional photographers will often use a colour card for colours and profiling.

Datacolor also offer a Colour Checker with their Spyder device.

The card has 24 squares corresponding to 24 different colours.

On the reverse of the card there are 6 grey squares. These also act as a reference for white balance as an example.

My Process.

The use of these checkers greatly enhance the image colours when captured in the camera.

Colour Checker

Model with Colour Checker.

  • Starting with the shoot, I place the checker in front of the camera.
  • Carefully I align the checker centrally with the lens.
  • Maintaining the light source at a 45 degree angle is important.
  • Taking the first shot in these conditions is now possible.
  • Back in front of my computer, I open my editing software ( I generally use Adobe Lightroom).
  • Loading the shot with the colour checker and cropping it, so that only the checker is in the frame is the next stage.
  • Then I sample the 20% grey tone of the Colour Checker.
  • Checking the RGB values of the selected colour, or tone, against the histogram is the next step.
  • Adjusting the slider to get the values close to 90%, or, RGB (Red, Green, Blue), close to 230, 230, 230 is next.
  • Making sure that the blacks and shadows are set to around 4% in Lightroom, or, RGB 10, 10, 10 follows.
  • Editing the adjusted colour checker image in Datacolour’s software I ensure that the smaller squares on the software are centralised.
  • There is now an accurate Colour Profile that I can name and save.
  • Applying this new profile to each of the images shot under the same conditions is now possible.

This process saves a large amount of time when editing a series of images shot in the same conditions.


I do not expect to gain accurate colour profiled results by just clicking the shutter. This is not a realistic goal.

Using a device that uses one Colour Profile with the printer using a second one produces a mismatch. This is an important point as it will damage your brand and marketing campaign.


For instance, maintaining colour and tonal accuracy of images, because the guidelines given above are followed, will follow.

Get In Touch.

The services that I provide, to you, provides you with images that are as colour accurate as they can be.

Tapping into my experience starts by you contacting me via my contact page by clicking here for a no obligation conversation.

Also, you can learn more about me by viewing my YouTube Channel that can be found by clicking here.

You can review the services that I offer to you, within a safe environment during this COVID-19 situation.

Start planning your own marketing endeavours with me.

Lord Pennington-Bailey, Arwyn, of Hougun Manor.