COLOR MANAGEMENT POLICIES
6. RGB : OFF
Why do you have your Color Manamgnet OFF? That is the single most stupid thing to do...seriously. Desides the fact that you can't really turn it off (off ain't off, it's just hidden from you and gives you no control), what you are doing with management off is screwing up with your color.
You’re right that "Switching-off color-management" is another subject. Above settings mainly rule the policy when opening a file in Photoshop. No problem to leave it OFF, provided that the checkbox "Profile Mismatches: Ask When Opening" is enabled. Just untagged files or newly created files could be a troublemaker, however, this should be a non-issue when you import from Camera Raw. Though I agree that "Preserve Embedded Profiles” can be more fail-safe, above OFF setting shouldn’t be the root cause of mentioned problem with Dull Raw Images (again, provided that the checkbox "Profile Mismatches: Ask When Opening" was enabled).http://www.computer-darkroom.com/ps10_colour/ps10_1.htm
If it is the treatment of raw for editing that is different than Jpeg,then the answer could be simply that. If it needs more than a jpeg needs, my question has already been answered. If it is more than these two simple answers,then somebody would come up with it.
Any native Raw image will almost always look dark and dull until a huge amount of data-processing is applied. That’s simply a given fact resulting from dynamic range compression (scene to output: monitor or print). To get at least an impression about this native Raw appearance you might wish to visit Camera Raw and to set all sliders of the Main Adjust Tab to zero (except Temp. & Tint). Or just check this article authored by Andrew Rodney et al.:http://www.color.org/ICC_white_paper_20_Di...ment_basics.pdf
Editing Raw files in a dedicated Raw conversion software largely means to tweak the conversion and the pre-set data-processing algorithms in order to reach a somehow preferred rendition. It can be seen as a kind of "ab-initio" approach, because you’re essentially working with the material which the sensor chip originally recorded.
JPEG’s from in-camera conversion were already processed ("baked") to the camera- manufacturer’s idea of a pleasing rendition. Further editing e.g. in Photoshop can be seen as a kind of "repair approach". Or, let’s call it "refinement" if you like this term more.
The appreciated reader may note that this is meant as a neutral description without intending to favor this or that option and to provoke another "Raw vs JPEG" discussion.
Another thing to realize is that the data processing from a somewhat accurate, native Raw state to a pleasing rendition is unfortunately NOT a straight A-to-B road. The pre-sets or auto settings of any Raw conversion software or any camera may serve as a kind of educated guess. However, it’s seldom done by just operating a sigmoidal tone curve plus saturation enhancement, while being more a (future) field of applied fuzzy logic, neural networks, artificial intelligence, etc. Just for example, Canon holds a patent to include user-specific information like the language setting, the time zone or the price of a camera in order to shape mentioned processing pipe:http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6795084.html
Finally my recommendation to the thread-opener is to try different options, to do some reading, to continue asking questions and finally to select a workflow which in fact lets your work flow.
Best regards, Peter