Help! I accidentally saved images as rgb instead if srgb!

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I brought in images into bridge, made adjustments in camera raw & accidentally saved them as rgb instead of srgb. I then edited in Photoshop & saved again. Is there anyway of re-saving them as srgb at this point without having to re-edit in Photoshop?
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Donna Hill

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  • freaked out!

Posted 2 years ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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>  saved them as rgb instead of srgb.>

Are you saying you saved them as Adobe RGB? Or as ProPhoto RGB?  That means you saved them with a wider gamut profile than sRGB, which is one of the smallest color spaces — that is, it stores a very narrow range of colors compared to either Adobe RGB, or ProPhoto RGB.  Usually, saving your files in these larger spaces is considered a good thing, and converting to sRGB for screen display is something you do to a copy. Once you save to a small color space, like sRGB, you don't get the lost color back. You might want that extended color later for another purpose. Adobe RGB is the common profile used with printing to your inkjet printer, for example.

If these are now PSD files, you will need to reenter Photoshop to convert to them to the sRGB profile. You can write an action, if there are a lot of files. If there's just a few, that might be more work than it's worth to you. Open the files in Photoshop, choose Edit > Convert to Profile, and in the Destination menu, pick sRGB.

Or, if the reason you want to convert is for use on the web, or to a printer on the web who requires sRGB, you can choose File > Export Preferences, and in the Quick Export As dialog, choose JPEG, a quality setting, and at the bottom under Color Space, enable Convert to sRGB. Choose whatever else you want in the dialog. After that, you can use File> Export > Quick Export As JPEG to convert the others. This will, of course, flatten a copy of your PSD and leave the PSD untouched.

I wouldn't panic if I were you. No damage is done by saving a file in a larger color space than sRGB. The damage is saving to sRGB when you wanted to retain all that color. <G> A bit of a nuisance to reopen the files and convert to the profile is all you're up against. Well, that and perhaps learning a bit more about the different flavors of RGB.

There may still be a bug with the Quick Export as JPEG that will, instead of saving sRGB, leave your file Untagged, which means to any software on the planet, the file is mystery meat. For a number of reasons, I use the legacy Save For Web myself, but it is a bit slower. OTOH, I've never had it fail to convert to sRGB.

So you might want to try Quick export one time, look in Bridge, and check that the Quick Export as JPEG is saving it as sRGB. Don't panic if it's untagged. Just go back to your PSD file and choose in the same Export menu the Legacy Save for Web and enable Convert to sRGB just as you would with Quick Export.
(Edited)
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Donna Hill

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The files were already saved as .jpegs
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Cristen Gillespie

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Then you can do any of the above, or, since you're in Bridge, you can select all the wrongly tagged files, open them in Camera Raw, select them all (again), and choose Save Images. Be sure to save at the highest quality since you've already saved as JPEG, if you want to minimize any loss of quality—and choose sRGB for the color space. Set whatever you want in the rest of the dialog.

So that's at least 3 ways you can save your files with sRGB as the color profile. The Camera Raw route is a way to batch process without having to write an action. 
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Donna Hill

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I want to thank you both tremendously!  I simply opened up the .jpegs in camera raw and re-saved them as sRGB & it worked.  Not sure how the setting got off in camera raw saving process.  I had to re-save several sessions from June and July.  There is quite a difference in the color since re-saving.  Thanks again!!!  I can breathe now & a huge lesson learned!
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Donna Hill

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Donna Hill

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Cristen Gillespie

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> Not sure how the setting got off in camera raw saving process.>

Two places to check. It's possible if there were updates and you didn't migrate your preferences (or it didn't ask you to), your workspace/workflow options were returned to the default. I apologize if you already know where to look, but if you don't, the underlined text below the document window in CR opens the workflow options dialog, and Edit > Color Settings in PS will show you a list of profiles to select for your working space. You probably want to keep the two the same if you always want to save in sRGB. It's a good idea to check what that text says from time to time, especially after an update.

If I simply leave the CR default option to ProPhoto RGB, which is a huge color space, and save directly from PS, it won't matter what my working space in PS is. The file is already tagged with ProPhoto and you can see in the Save As dialog box that it's going to Embed that profile unless I notice and manually intervene.

You do have the option, however, in the Color Settings dialog box, to switch your Color Management policy for RGB to "Convert to working space." It will do that upon opening the file. You then have the option to keep the pop up warning that there IS a profile mismatch and it's going to convert the file, which you can accept or reject, or ask never to see the warning again. I don't recommend that. It's an unwanted color shift just waiting to happen. It will affect files you get from some other source, not just your own Camera Raw photos, and as you can see, there can be a significant color shift if you directly convert a file from one color space into another.

If you aren't going to save your photos in ProPhoto RGB for archival purposes, and you are going to always work with sRGB, I really recommend the best way to avoid unwanted surprises is to set your Workflow options to sRGB, and work in PS in an sRGB workspace. There won't be a profile mismatch to deal with, and your final edits in PS will reflect the output you want.

I hope that helps. Color management is a pretty complicated subject, and there are many, many ways to get yourself in trouble. <g>