Identify Image Color Profile

I’m having an issue where select images I’m importing to the web are missing the sRGB color profile. This is resulting with the color getting massively altered on the web to the point that the product color is unrecognizable–a brown shoe on a white background appears as dark green shoe on a light grey background. I believe a batch or 2 of photos were processed in photoshop and by accident the color profile was not converted. Normal procedure is to batch edit and convert to the required color space for web photos: sRGB.

I was frustrated I could not organize my files by color profile with the built in finder on my Mac. Nor would “Get Info” show me the associated color profile for an image. If I were working on PC the “Properties” inspector would allow better functionality and certainly show this tag. As a workaround, I begin investigating and the internet was suggesting ExifTool as a possible solution. This is a free source coding program that I learned about. I hoped to use it to view and change the color profile on images to make sure they would be compatible with sRGB color profiles required for web pictures.

Hours of searching and reading other websites went by, and I learned just enough to know I really didn’t know anything.

I found this guide to install and use ExifTool on Mac or pc. ExifTool allows you to script with the “terminal” app on Mac OS X. Once installed you can drag and drop your files and click enter/return to view corresponding tags and metadata.

I still needed to learn how to batch edit the color space tag for .jpg files that are undefined.

Stack Overflow Solution 

How to set a color profile with exiftool

For exiftool to add a color profile, you need a profile.file 
You can extract this from any JPEG image by:

exiftool -icc_profile -b somefile.jpg > profile.icc

Then attach this profile by using

exiftool "-icc_profile<=profile.icc" yourfile.jpg

–Lelouch Lamperouge


Alas, Photoshop ignores the color profile and calls it invalid. Reading the same “undefined color space” as before when the file is opened.

The Adobe Solution

Ideas that don’t involve scripting on Mac via the terminal app, namely Adobe functionality:

Advice to batch edit photos with Adobe Bridge:

Create a Action in photoshop that converts to sRGB not assigns and then select photos in bridge and tools> photoshop> batch and run the action.

 Doug R

My normal process to save images for web with the correct color profiles is to use the built in photoshop script, the image processor. This allows you to use an action, save a specific file size, save in a specific location, add ICC color profile and convert image to sRGB color space. In Adobe Bridge, you can run this batch edit script by going to the top menu and selecting, “Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor”

Another answer from the internet points to Adobe Bridge:

Since you have Photoshop, you have Bridge. Open Bridge, point it at your folder of images to sort, and open the Filters panel. It has Color Mode and Color Profile categories, with a count of each type of image in that folder. You can click check marks in the left column to hide/show each type. From there you can isolate each type so you can do mass tagging or dragging into other folders for organization.

That’s all. No need to install any other applications or plug-ins, no need to create smart collections (though Bridge can do that too).

Adobe Bridge – Organization by Color Profile

how to sort images by color space in adobe bridge

So there you have it, after countless hours attempting to learn ExifTool to write color space tags with the terminal … I have completely given up on the script workaround. Luckily, I own Adobe products and Adobe Bridge is an app I can use to sort images, as well as batch edit color profiles when using in tandem with photoshop actions. The end result is to save all images with the save for web format and color space “sRGB” so that all browsers are able to view the intended hues in the image. Additionally, the importer won’t distort the color of product photos when publishing them to the web.

Adobe Bridge also allows you to add metadata to your images without learning a new scripting language like ExifTool. Industry Dev outlines this process in their post, Adding Metadata to Photos Using Templates in Adobe Bridge.

Posted in Adobe Photoshop Tuts, Tutorials and tagged , , , .
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *