A leave will go through multiple stages in it's lifetime. It will grow, live, die, then fertilize. Pretty brutal huh? Different seasons pull out certain properties in the leaf that can not be pulled out at the same time. If one ICC color profile is being used more prominently, the other will shine when one gets out. So if it's Summer, chlorophyll will be seen more, but if it's winter anthocyanins will be seen more. But it gets even better.
In the summer the leaves are green and bountiful. Trees are full in there green beauty. The question is this--why is it green? Green leaves lack anthocyanins which produce a red/orange gamut, by lacking anthocyanins there is a high concentration of chlorophyll. This chlorophyll produces a green color. It is found in lettuce, spinach, and cyanobacteria. Chlorophyll is neccesarry for photosynthesis. It gives the leaf the ability to use all the properties sunlight can give. Chlorophyll molecules are located near the the phytosystems embedded in the thylakoid membranes of cytoplast. In a nutshell here is why the leaf is green. Two Photsystems type I and II have there own distinct reaction centers named P680 and P700, which are chlorophylls. When those chlorophyll molecules absorb light, they only absorbs certain wavelengths of light making the molecules appear green.
Now Autum hits, and the leaves are so beautiful in there orange and yellow. The sun is showing it's pretty face less, and the Chlorophyll ICC profile is finding it's way out. The sun is shining brighter and anthocyanins are finding there way in. But there is one other profile that is being used in this mix. Do you know what it is? It's carotenoids! Autum leaves contain high amounts of carotenoids, which produce a burnt orange color. Chlorophyll is slowing down, and therefore less properties of the sun are absorbed. Anything high in beta-carotene is going to appear orange. What vegetables do you know that are orange? Carots, Vietnamese Gac, etc. Light is not needed in order for a plant to produce carotenoids, therefore these pigments are always present in a living plant. Now if I tell you to eat a leaf, I must put a disclamer. So try it out, if your feeling the blues and need a bit of orange in your life try a leaf next Autum...with some sliced carots on the side. Please notice the disclamer to the left. May I direct you to the disclamer on the left. There is an...um, disclamer to the left.
Now this for those who like red. When winter hits, they all leave. Chlorophyll is completly destroyed, and cartonoids, well I guess they they don't need light to survive. But anthocyanincs are found in tomatoes, and other red plants. The winter leaves are abundant in cyanidin-3-glucoside, Cy-3-glc and Cy-3-gal. Anthocyanins also serve as a protective compound to protect the leaf from the winter. Eventually it falls off and dies since winter causes buildup around the veins connecting the leaf to the tree. Anthocyanincs production increases and it falls to the ground to serve as fertilizer, or a job for the son--raking leaves. Happy ending right? Well it gets better.
In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. For this purpose, a leaf is typically flat (laminar) and thin. There is continued debate about whether the flatness of leaves evolved to expose the chloroplasts to more light or to increase the absorption of carbon dioxide. In either case, the adaption was made at the expense of water loss. In the Devonian period, before God created the earth, when carbon dioxide concentration was at several times its present value, plants did not have leaves or flat stems. Many bryophytes have flat, photosynthetic organs, but these are not true leaves. Neither are the microphylls of lycophytes. The leaves of ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms are variously referred to as macrophyll, megaphylls, or euphylls. Source: Wikepedia with a little help from a Creationist
Photographers ,designers and color profiles
Now, who cares about leaves? What's the purpose of writing about leaves and what does it have to do with designers, photographers, or printers. Sad to say, it has nothing to do with us. Besides helping us breathe. Wait? That's a big deal is'nt it? Well here it is. I do work for a printing press, Diversified Imaging. Whenever I send something to print I change the profile on my Apple Cinema monitor to Adobe RGB (1998) ICC Profile. We have an HP Indigo, and that particular profile with my uncalibrated Apple Cinema renders exactly what I see off the press. Why is that? Well ICC-based color management workflows are becoming the standard for ensuring reliable color reproduction from screen to print. Many professional workflows are built around the Adobe RGB (1998) ICC color profile first introduced in Adobe Photoshop 5.0 software.
To photographers if they wan't to keep there color accurate, newer models of digitial SLR's now feature the Adobe RGB (1998) profile. The Adobe RGB (1998) color space on your Canon or Nikon camera provides a wider range of colors than sRGB. When you download your pictures to your computer you can change your profile on your Apple Computer or PC to Adobe RGB (1998) if it is available. For PC's it can be downloaded by clicking here. There are other profiles available, like the CIE RGB or the ColorMatch RGB, which is still an industry standard, ProPhoto RGB, and sRGB IEC61966-2.1. I prefere Adobe, but you would just have to use the ICC profile for whichever enviornment you are in.
Above you should see a photo of an Apple Cinema, flower, or Photoshop. I want to thank my good friend Charis McLarty for supplying this beautiful flower picture. It was taken on a Canon and comes up on my monitor--but! The question is--who's color is right? My LCD on my camera? My camera viewfinder? My monitor? or what came off of my Canon iP4700 PIXMA printer? Here is the answer. When wanting to get the best results out of your equipment in a color critical envoirnment, it is best to purchase a X-Rite i1XTreme for $1495.00. You know im playing right? You basically would need some type of color calibrator if your monitor is not producing accurate colors. All Apple laptops and monitors come ready out of the box for color critical envoirnments. But if you wan't to make sure, you can purchase a Spyder or a Pantone Huey for your PC or Mac which are more than half the price of the X-Rite. The little device will sit on your monitor and make it flicker and flash for a few minutes and then your set to roll.
Why profiles matter in Print and Web
Profiles matter becuase clients want to be happy, and creatives want to see proper color reproduction of there masterpieces, right? They are neccesarry because there are so many manufactures of so many computers, of so many monitors, and so many inkjet printers, and so many digital cameras, SLR's, and large format printers, and the list goes on. They help when you convert an image or document from RGB to CMYK. If I were to convert the image of the flower above to CMYK in Photoshop, it would take some time. Why? Becuase it first must convert the color data in the RGB profile to a bunch of numbers or data known as CIELAB. Once it has identified each color it then converts it to CMYK.
You may ask why? Well if you look at he color gamut above it has 3 different colors featured on it. Pantone, RGB, and CMYK. Moving from one color space to another causes major problems, and when you convert a RGB to a CMYK looking at the wheel above, what would happen? It would simply dim. CYMK could never produce the colors RGB produces. Now if you convert a CMYK document to RGB, once CIELAB or CIEXYZ identifies the colors in the CMYK color space it would just grab the RGB colors that's visually seen. Guess you would just have to add a Saturation adjustment layer. But then what about web? When I work with web I have to choose one ICC Profile and stay with it. Reason being is if you are working in a file that has your web site mock up, drag an image offline that has a different RGB ICC Profile, make some changes in it and use a green color from your web mockup and feather the edges with the green, save for web and place it in your code. Issue. The greens don't match. Why? A RGB green in AdobeRGB (1998) is different from the same RGB green in sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or a generic RGB profile, etc. Every designer knows the hassle of getting colors to match for a website, years latter after you open the Photoshop document to update graphics. So try it out. See if you can mix up some profiles. Profiles are your friend. You don't have to be afraid of anthocyanins.