12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 31, 2012 7:33 PM by Stephen Dawson1
Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I've come across a problem with color in my photos. I use Aperture as my photo editor, and most photos have been taken in the RAW format. When iTunes shares photos to the Apple TV 2, it uses the previews generated by Aperture. These previews are JPGs with an embedded color profile of Adobe RGB (1998). You have no control over this. Aperture always uses this color profile for RAW photos.

 

Now let's say I export a photo from Aperture into JPG format, using the sRGB profile. I can open this photo in Preview, and open the Aperture-generated preview version in Preview, and they look identical. I can also import the JPG back into Aperture, and again it looks identical to the RAW version when viewed by Aperture. This is to be expected because Aperture and Preview are color-managed apps. However, the sRGB version, when viewed on the Apple TV 2, is way more saturated then the Adobe RGB version. Does this mean that the combination of iTunes and Apple TV isn't color-managed? Does it, for instance, assume that all photos are sRGB? This is a major problem, because if I have a mixture of RAW and JPG photos the colors will not be consistent between them when shown via the Apple TV.

 

Any thoughts welcome!

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,390 points)

    There is no official information on this AFAIK though I would be surprised if iOS devices were colour profile aware.

     

    I think safe to assume that it will deal with Adobe RGB images as though they are sRGB, hence the typical washed out look of the wider gamut Adobe RGB image treated as sRGB.

     

    Are you sure Aperture is forcing Adobe RGB for RAW - my Canon's allow me to choose either sRGB or AdobeRGB in their camera settings menus.

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    For RAW, it doesn't matter what you set in the camera. sRGB/Adobe RGB only affects the JPGs that the camera produces. Aperture just processes the RAW images in its own color space. Nobody really knows what that is, but it appears to be at least as wide a gamut as Adobe RGB, and probably wider. When you look at Info for any RAW images, it always says Adobe RGB (regardless of any camera settings), although even this is pretty meaningless for RAW. The main issue seems to be with the way Aperture generates its previews for Aperture. As I'm sure you know, it's the previews that are "exposed" for use with iLife, Apple TV etc. You can adjust the size of the previews, and their quality. but they always get slapped with an Adobe RGB profile by Aperture. It would make much more sense if they were sRGB previews, or that at least we got the option.

     

    This manifests itself in other ways too. For instance, if you start a new mail message, attach a file, then use the Media Browser in Finder to pick a photo from Aperture, that photo will also carry an Adobe RGB profile and will probably look pretty bad to the recipient.

     

    Thanks for the input - I appreciate it.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,390 points)

    Ah yes - too early in the morning and not thinking straight!  Didn't mean to suggest that the RAW data had a specific colour profile just wondered if the in camera option was getting used as a default output profile for processed RAWs, perhaps not. 

     

    AC

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Unfortunately, not. Of course, when you export you get the choice of what profile to use, but not for the previews that are used for Apple TV etc.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,390 points)

    Is Aperture generating the previews or set to use the embedded JPG?

     

    Hoepfully someone from Aperture forum will chime in.  Could be a bug.

     

    AC

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    It uses the embedded JPG as a first pass when importing, but then it generates the "proper" ones, according to the preferences set. But those preferences only cover size (I have mine set to 1920 max) and quality.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,390 points)

    Winston has pointed out that officially AppleTV doesn't support RAW - maybe Aperture should not be sending RAW derivatives at all?

     

    I'm assuming however it must be sending a default/processed derivative of some kind.

     

    AC

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, as far as I'm aware, Apple TV 2 "streams" photos via iTunes. Aperture has a preference to "Share previews with iLife and iWork". It is these previews that are picked up by iTunes and by the media browser in Finder (via an XML file produced by Aperture, and also by iPhoto). The photo browser icon in a new email compose window will also use these. So no, Apple TV doesn't support RAW directly - it doesn't have to, because the photos shared from Aperture or iPhoto are always JPGs. But the previews produced by Aperture (and iPhoto - I just tested that) from a RAW file have the Adobe RGB profile, and it doesn't look like the workflow handles that properly at all when it comes to Apple TV or even emailing photos from outside Aperture/iPhoto (it's not a good idea to be emailing JPGs that have an Adobe RGB profile). Sorry, I'm starting to sound like a broken record!

     

    You mentioned Winston. Where does he hang out?

     

    Thanks again for your continued interest...

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,390 points)

    Stephen Dawson1 wrote:

     

    Well, as far as I'm aware, Apple TV 2 "streams" photos via iTunes. Aperture has a preference to "Share previews with iLife and iWork". It is these previews that are picked up by iTunes and by the media browser in Finder (via an XML file produced by Aperture, and also by iPhoto). The photo browser icon in a new email compose window will also use these. So no, Apple TV doesn't support RAW directly - it doesn't have to, because the photos shared from Aperture or iPhoto are always JPGs. But the previews produced by Aperture (and iPhoto - I just tested that) from a RAW file have the Adobe RGB profile, and it doesn't look like the workflow handles that properly at all when it comes to Apple TV or even emailing photos from outside Aperture/iPhoto (it's not a good idea to be emailing JPGs that have an Adobe RGB profile). Sorry, I'm starting to sound like a broken record!

     

    You mentioned Winston. Where does he hang out?

     

    Thanks again for your continued interest...

    Winston hangs about all over the place, especially here.

     

    In all honesty I think this goes beyond any configuration issue you have control over as a user and I would advise you to send feedback to AppleTV and Aperture teams:

     

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/

     

    I'm not sure if you're shooting RAW and JPG or just RAW but if both I think I'd be inclined to set iTunes Advanced preferences to share a Smart Album of JPGs only (assuming that's possible).

     

    AC

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (85,580 points)

    Any expertise I have is in relation to video, unfortunately I know very little about photography. In the conversations I had with Alley Cat, I questioned that iTunes is picking up the previews in the way that you suggest.

     

    I may of course be wrong, but what is it that makes you suspect that iTunes is using the previews from Aperture, so far as I am aware you cannot point iTunes towards the media browser.

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for joining in, Winston.

     

    AC, I'm inclined to agree that there's not much I can do about it, apart from the feedback!

     

    Even the smart album thing wouldn't work. If anything, JPG handling is even worse (I've been doing some playing). When you import a JPG, Aperture doesn't even bother generating a preview. This makes sense - what's the point of generating another JPG and wasting space? So if the photo was taken with the camera set to sRGB, that's what's used. Now, what if you edit the photo in any way? Now Aperture generates its own preview. And even that preview gets an Adobe RGB profile! I tested this. I looked at a photo on the Apple TV, then edited it in a very minor way and looked again. Sure enough, the colors changed! The edited one is more washed out (because of the Adobe RGB profile). Maybe it's asking too much for Aperture to continually change the color space of its preview from what it's using internally, every time you make an edit.

     

    Winston, iTunes is definitely using the previews from Aperture. In a RAW workflow especially, the previews are the only things that are JPGs. Yes, iTunes doesn't use the media browser directly, but when you choose which photos to share, it gives its own version of that which allows you to pick which events in Aperture/iPhoto to share. This is also using the XML file exported by Aperture/iPhoto.

     

    Maybe I should post in the Aperture forum too...

  • Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Finally got around to posting in the Aperture forum (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4164239?tstart=0). If nobody there can come up with any ideas, I'll go to Apple. Thanks again for the input, guys...