What is the difference between applying/assigning an ICC color profile to an image for color correction
- During opening and processing the raw image in some studio software (e.g. Lightroom, CaptureOne), or
- after converting the image with no color correction into a tiff format, then opening it again to assign the ICC profile and save it again.
is it so that in the first case the correction is happening on the raw data level whereas in the second case the correction is happening on processed data? does it have any impact?
[update] basically, my workflow using seperate software looks something like
"Raw image >> 16-bit tiff color uncorrected >> applying ICC and save 16-bit tiff"
I would like to know how that will be any different from choosing the intended ICC profile from the very beginning when starting to convert the raw image from within a studio software, say, LightRoom
I have the following scenarios:
1- in which I have CaptureOne studio and I have prepared an ICC profile by a color target. So then I import the raw photos I am shooting into CaptureOne studio and choose from the drop-down menu the custom ICC profile I made earlier, hence it is -supposedly- correcting for the colors during the raw conversion when I save/export the corrected image in tiff format (so the raw data are being converted accordingly to suit the ICC profile color space/gamut, right?).
2- the second scenario or workflow I have as well is to use two different stand-alone software, namely Libraw/DCraw and LittleCMS, where the former is responsible for raw image conversion to a tiff format and the latter for applying an ICC profile. in this scenario, the conversion must happen first from raw to non-raw so that LittleCMS is able to recognize and apply the color profile on it (and here where I am talking about an intermediate color uncorrected tiff image produced by Libraw/DCraw)
Please note that Libraw/DCraw offers during the conversion an output color space to be one of these (raw, sRGB, Adobe RGB, Wide, PhotoPro, XYZ, ACES) and I try to choose "raw", whatever it means, always. (if somebody can clarify what raw does mean in this context when having a converted image "tiff" please do)
So if am understanding correctly what people are saying about how to use ICC profile optimally, then the second scenario is absurd and will not have the same color correction as in the first scenario, because when Libraw/DCraw has converted the raw image into "color uncorrected" image the raw data/numbers have already been assigned to a certain color space to operate in so they have some meaning, right?
Raw color space offered by Libraw/DCRaw "-o 0" (meaning dcraw doesn’t apply any input profiles or do any conversions to an output/working profile), the image you get will have a strong orange color cast. The color-cast can be color-balanced away to produce a normal-looking image. So it is a valid camera profile. But it’s a little weird. <Source>
Thanks all for the answers. So if I try to come up with sort of a conclusion based on what people are answering then:
it is clearly valid - and apparently what is happening in any image studio behind the curtains - to convert a raw image data into an intermediate lossless wide gamut tiff image (e.g. 16-bit in ProPhoto color space) and then to carry out some necessary operations/modifications on it if necessary and then converting to the intended ICC color profile to save the end result.