[Digikam-users] A few thoughts about color management

Photonoxx photonoxx at free.fr
Sun Oct 2 12:03:42 BST 2011

Le Sat, 01 Oct 2011 15:45:29 +0200, Paul Verizzo <paulv at paulv.net> a écrit:

> 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 any medium.
> For non-scientific work, my philosophy accepts the subjective as the  
> arbiter.  If nothing jumps out as discordant, it's OK.

There's some right things here, but may be wrong ones too.

All of that depend about which discordances you speak about...

- if there's discordance between reality colors and final works, it's  
really not a matter, these discordances could be huge, it's still not a  
matterfor me, even for photographic approach. It's not the same thing if  
photographer fakes the reality by changing shapes or subject of the scene  
(here, in my humble opinion, it's no more photography, but may be art  
using photography), but contrast, lightness, hue changing could be the  
simple expression of the photographer mind, since what you see with your  
organic eyes will never be what you shoot with your camera (technical  
engine). In that way, input profile, in my point of view, is not really  
the main matter.

- but if there's too much discordances between what you see (as the  
photographer) on your final work and what other people see in their  
outputs media (screen or print), it's really problematic for me,  
especially as if other people don't see the same thing on their output,  
you probably take the risk to don't see the same thing you too (for  
example your print doesn't look like what you see on your screen). If you  
already order some prints of pictures where grass was of a deep bright  
green made and receive prints with almost yellowish  grass, you probably  
understand the importance of working with color managed outputs (screen  
and print).

> 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  
> photographer.
> (Disclaimer:  I do some of that, too, and I know I'm not a great  
> photographer!)
> Paul

I'm not really agree with your global think.

It would be very impressive if you could explain me what is after all a  
"great photographer", but IMHO I don't think you can... AFAIK greatness is  
a very subjective things (as the humans eyes adaptability and perception  

Technical ability doesn't make "Arts" obviously, but nor prevent it.

Peoples probably never become honorable non-scientific photographers if  
they think technique is sufficient, but I don't see why a technical work  
can't be melt with an emotional/artistic one.
Nicolas Boulesteix
Photographe chasseur de lueurs

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