[Digikam-users] A few thoughts about color management
sleeplessregulus at hetnet.nl
Sat Oct 1 18:17:33 BST 2011
A few thoughts about color management to share. Moving from windows to
Ubuntu brings enough changes to workflow to need a lot of adjustments
and a heap of dimes for tests prints.
Why color management is doomed to fail:
Every surrounding has its own light quality and if we talk about outdoor
photography the light changes continuously. Your lens does some little
tricks with the light before it is projected on your sensor, which does
its own tricks on the light. The camera manufacturer applies some
profile to make the best of it. Then you export it to your computer,
which displays your picture according the ideas of your your screen
cards manufacturer and the profiles used at that stage and then forwards
it to the screen which displays it in his own particular way after using
another profile. The image you see highly influenced by the light
conditions of your room.
Now you start to optimize it with your photo manipulation software,
which might apply another profile as well. After that it goes to the
printerdriver, another profile comes in before sending it to the
printer, and again some profile comes in, and of course you selected
your paper which is again a profile.
Now you have a picture, and if in all those mentioned steps and in the
steps I forgot to mention everything went well, and you would look at it
at the same light conditions as you shot your photo, it should at least
look a bit like reality, although not perfect because the paper can not
reflect the colors and contrast of reality.
This is the goal of colormangement, but we realy need a lot of help of
the lord, to have the output look like the input. Besides of that, in
most occasions we would not be to happy if the pictures looked like
reality. Out of the context, people will say, ¨oh no that sky can never
be that red¨, or ¨the water can never be that blue¨. If you shoot indoor
with usual light, and it has been reproduced very well we will
experience the pictures as much to yellowish and so on and so further.
A better way:
Try to set everywhere in your workflow same color profile. This is hard,
settings pop up or hide in so many places!
Make a room where the light conditions are optima forma according final
Compose a test print from different pictures, all colors, shadows,
highlights should be represented as much as possible. Print and view.
Make all needed adjustments in your photo management software and print
again and view. And so on until you have your best possible print.
After this calibrate your monitor so that it relects your print in the
best possible way.
From now on trust your eyes and WYSIWYG.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.
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