[Digikam-users] A few thoughts about color management
paulv at paulv.net
Sat Oct 1 14:45:29 BST 2011
Some great thoughts and observation on the topic!
In my not so humble opinion, while there is certainly a time for such
exacting endeavors, mostly it is just - pardon me - photo-masturbation.
Confusing doing something, anything, with what matters. Considering
that every image reproduction chain has so many variables, planned and
unplanned, should we really care? Further, as we all know, our eyes are
hugely adaptable. An image that stands alone with the "wrong" hue will
become balanced, with time.
And printing? What a morass! Whether wet or dry, digital or analog,
nothing will ever equate exactly. So why bother to the nth degree? And
to say nothing of Subject Brightness Ranges not being reproducible on
For non-scientific work, my philosophy accepts the subjective as the
arbiter. If nothing jumps out as discordant, it's OK.
For almost 100 years of photography, it was a technical crap shoot, and
this was without color, just monochrome. (I've noticed that the
majority of my father's and his father's photos, 1900-1960,
professionals that they were, suffered from less than optimal
negative/paper matching. Score one for digital manipulation!)
Then came Ansel Adams and his incredible (and probably anal retentive)
work. We all learned so much! So here we are 70 years later and
people fixate on the process more than the image. I have to laugh that
one of his best shots, "Moonrise over Hernandez, NM" was done on the
fly. No time to fit his Zone's. So much for planning.
I think of Mr. Adams as more a great technician than photographer.
Helmut Newton? Annie Liebowitz? Alfred Stieglitz? Imogene Cunningham?
Dorothea Lange? Don't recall hearing of their great tech knowledge, to
name a few.
Getting everything perfect is what you do when you aren't a great
(Disclaimer: I do some of that, too, and I know I'm not a great
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