This specifies how colours are dealt with as they pass from one colour space into another, typically when moving between different devices. A printer, for example, has a much smaller colour gamut than a computer monitor, so a way of compressing the colour range while ensuring that colours are pleasingly reproduced is required.
The perceptual rendering intent is often recommended for photographic reproduction, as it aims to preserve the same relationship between different colours (at the slight expense of colorimetric accuracy). Media-relative colorimetric and absolute colorimetric intents only deal with out of out-of-gamut colours, but the former is more suitable for reproduction. A further saturation intent has also been defined, although it is more suited to the reproduction of graphics than images.