Display profiles in DT and the general world

Round 2 question about display profiles.

The vast majority of the people viewing my images do not a colour calibrated screen (web & phones).

Would I be closer to how people view it by selecting srgb colour profile in DT rather than my actual screen profile?

or should I stay with my specific screen profile?

For printing which is becoming quite rare, 99% of the time it’s b&w.


There are two things to consider when exporting for the “general world”:

  1. If the world-person is using a color-managed viewer, you want to embed the profile corresponding to the gamut of the image data so their viewer knows how to do the display transform. Of note here is that, if the whole world were color-managed, you could export/embed with any profile, even ProPhoto, and all would be well.

  2. Since the whole world isn’t color-managed, you need to pick a profile to export/embed that corresponds to what you think the predominant display will be. Used to be pretty easy, just use sRGB. Nowadays, a significant minority use high-gamut displays, so you need to decide who you’re going to irritate, the high-gamut folk or the stubborn sRGB folk. I don’t have a high-gamut display, so I can’t tell you which looks less-bad, sRGB on a HG display, or AdobeRGB on a sRGB display.

You shouldn’t export with your display profile, as that’s intended for the output side of the color transform and world-people’s viewers may not be able to use it for the input side.

Yes, I do think AdobeRGB is going to be the new least-common denominator export profile before long…

Or maybe DCI-P3?? I think maybe more phones and apple displays use this?? Not sure just speculating…And the _+/- HDR brightness…

Your guess is better than mine… I just looked up the gamut parade to the next-biggest I knew… :crazy_face:

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Maybe…Maybe as good as but not likely better… :slight_smile:

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you’re using your display profile to edit image colors in a reliable way. The exported image itself shouldn’t have your display profile embedded - better use srgb if it’s for general purpose since non colormanaged applications usually assumes srgb.


The display profile you use in DT should be the calibration specific to your monitor. sRGB is only a good choice there if your monitors gamut perfectly matches sRGB - which is unlikely.

The safe output profile for web is sRGB, because most monitors can display it. I have a wide gamut monitor and still output sRGB for web. The other profiles tend to have niche uses. For instance, if you know your specific audience on the web has wide gamut monitors, then it is safe to output that way. Or if your work is intended for a display with DCI-P3, then output that way. Or if you printer is wide gamut and you print a lot, etc…

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When I wrote the question, I originally was asking about the working in the darkroom.

Should I use the profile for my monitor and then convert during export and obviously lose “some stuff” or working in srgb, since I almost always export as srgb.

But now that you raise this question, I will have to check my google stats to tell me the os and the devices/desktop used.

Work in the widest most accurate spaces you can …when you export the color mapping should take care of things


This is a bit like the question studio engineers ask themselves: i can spend all the money I have to give me a listening experience that is as flat and true as possible , but if 90% of people use apple airpods for listening to the result , wouldn’t i be better of prooflistening on that ?

And the answer mostly is that there is no single solution to use that pleases everyone , so you TARGET (not use ) what is regarded as the common default .

In monitors / tv / pictures , this is sRGB. So your OUTPUT should be set to sRGB .

Yes, someone might view your picture on a monitor that is terribly wrong in how it shows colors and brightness…

Or someone might view it on an awesome studio monitor, but has the wrong settings picked , or uses the wrong application, or …

You can’t account for everything all at once. Normal (sdr) pictures are believed to be sRGB if nothing else is known about them . And if an application doesn’t know what color management is, sRGB is assumed. And monitors are expected to try do show a good sRGB image out of the box (even better monitors often have a setting to use their full gamut and potential , to be sRGB accurate out of the box . Or they at least have a sRGB mode to LIMIT their potential but to be close to a safe default).

So , i would always target sRGB . If you know your audience (or the printer being used :P) , you can make more assumptions … and so maybe expect them to use color managed viewers , and then you can export in what you want as long as the profile is neatly saved in the file .

But for the web ? Or a phone ? Always assume sRGB .

Well, Samsung phones usually have wrong colors, significantly oversaturated, especially the high end ones… so maybe you should reduce saturation, but of course that’s a joke. But I think it’s true, and I bet most viewers use Samsung phones…