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The DSLR Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Digital Color Spaces

The colors available for use in a digital image are determined by color space. A color space is a model for describing color values, and has a “gamut,” or range of colors that it is capable of recording or displaying. By convention, the usual way of illustrating this is as shown on the opposite page.

Some spaces are bigger than others, with obvious advantages. A perfect illustration of why color space matters and why it is sometimes less than ideal is the very problem of showing what it looks like on a printed page. The combination of paper and printing inks actually shows fewer colors than in real life, which makes CMYK the smallest color space in normal use. The diagrams here are, of necessity, inaccurate. The area outside ...

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