sRGB for Digital Sharing


Today’s Question: I saw your recommendation to convert photos to the sRGB color space for digital sharing such as slideshows. How do I do that in Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In Lightroom you don’t actually convert an existing image to the sRGB color space, but rather apply that conversion when exporting an image, in the process creating a copy of the image to be used for sharing.

More Detail: Converting to the sRGB color space is a strategy employed to help ensure the most accurate appearance of your photos in situations where color management isn’t being employed. The idea is that because the sRGB color space was original designed to encompass the color range of a typical monitor display, it provides a good foundation for colors that will be shared digitally.

In applications such as Photoshop you can open a photo, convert it to the sRGB color space, and re-save the image, thus converting your master file to the sRGB color space. In Lightroom that option doesn’t exist, so instead you convert to sRGB when exporting a photo for sharing.

So, for example, you could select the photo (or photos) you want to share digitally, and click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel to bring up the Export dialog. In the File Settings section of the Export dialog you can choose the file type (such as a JPEG image for many types of digital sharing), and then choose sRGB as the color space from the Color Space popup. When you perform the export, new copies of the selected photos will be created, having been converted to the sRGB color space in the process.