Reminder: Advanced Studio Display Calibration for Photographers – Free Webinar

Join us for a webinar on Advanced Studio Display Calibration for photographers! And get a chance to win
a FREE Spyder4 Pro calibration device!

Many photographers encounter issues in calibrating their displays for studio use causing them to spend countless hours editing images and wasting paper to produce accurate images. In this webinar, you’ll learn techniques for accurate calibration and consistent viewing in your studio and other workspaces. The results will be saved time and money, and images that look the way they did when you shot them.

On Wednesday, April 18th from 3 pm – 4 pm EDT (Noon PDT, etc), join us as Datacolor Color Management Experts, David Saffir and David Tobie discuss the issues photographers encounter when calibrating displays for use in photo studios and related workspaces, including ambient light issues, Studio Calibration Standards, and Side-by-Side tuning of displays for visual matching.

We will be giving away a free Spyder4 Pro at the end of the webinar!

for registration for this free webinar…..

Early Morning, West of Mono Lake

Review in Professional Photographer Mag: SpyderGallery: Color Calibration Now a Reality for Your iPad

A new product from Datacolor, SpyderGallery, makes it dead easy to calibrate your iPad—versions 1 or 2—and the results are noticeably better: image quality, color accuracy, saturation, shadow detail, and detail in highly saturated areas are improved,

For more, continue here..


Color Management / Spyder4 Webinar Wrap-up and Announcement

We had a GREAT webinar session today on the Spyder4 calibration device, and color management for photographers. Well attended, and the attendees just buried us with questions! We’re going to be announcing an ongoing series, held once a month in the middle of the month. Watch for it! and many thanks to Datacolor for the support!

PS – video from the webinar will be posted here in the near future!

New Info On Choosing Display For Photo Editing

For some time now, I’ve been receiving questions regarding computer displays from subscribers and readers of this blog – questions about image quality on-screen, color accuracy and consistency, brightness, and more.

Additionally, I hear questions about selecting a new display – which ones are best in terms of overall performance, which ones have the “best” color, which are the best value for the money.

There are a number of web sites which have provided monitor reviews – sometimes looking at them grouped by type (flat screen vs CRT in the old days, for example), type of backlight, laptop vs. desktop, etc. And it’s fair to say that many of these reviews have been very helpful, at the time, in differentiating performance of various manufacturers’ offerings.

As far as I know, there is no single reference or database that gives photographers an opportunity to objectively evaluate performance of displays used in image review and editing – both tasks critical to success in our profession.

I’d like to see that kind of information become readily available, and I believe that we have the tools. Datacolor provides a suite of monitor performance tests (Monitor Quality Analysis, or MQA), which are folded into the software it includes with its newest display calibration device- the Spyder4 Elite. Testing capabilities include:

–      Color Gamut

–      Screen Uniformity

–      Tone Response

–      White Luminance and Contrast

–      White Point at Different OSD settings

An example of the Color Uniformity for Brightness report, which shows comparative performance among nine segments of the screen:

And the color accuracy report:

This chart shows accuracy of color among a set of target patches, and provides a quantitative measurement of the display’s accuracy to standard for each patch. An average Delta-E value of less than 3 is acceptable; in this case the display achieved a score of 1.8, suitable to effective post-production work for photography.

Datacolor provides performance information in the other test areas, and calculates an overall performance measurement.

Imagine how useful this information could be if we could have a database showing comparative performance of different monitors, at different price points. We could actually calculate a score that measure “bang for the buck” – the value received for investment made by the buyer!

Datacolor web site

Adding Dominant Image Colors to Your Profiles

NEW i1Profiler Software from X-Rite – Coloratti Blog Post by David Saffir

(snip) The new i1Profiler software (has many) tools for customization available to photographers. Some that might be applicable to photography include, but are not limited to, controlling the number of patches in a test target, importing PANTONE® colors, and importing patch colors from image files for profile optimization. read more….

Example, Setting Up Your Best Color Workflow

I spent part of the morning consulting with a client on color management issues. He has a very nice studio setup, running a couple of Mac desktops, a wide-gamut monitor which he calibrates with a ColorMunki, and a good 17″ inkjet printer. He uses the factory ICC profiles while printing, but has also created custom paper profiles using the ColorMunki.

Good shutters over the windows, air conditioning, and Solux daylight desk lamp for print viewing; the room is painted neutral off-white.

He’s capturing images using a Canon 5D MKII, RAW files, and editing in Pro Photo RGB, 16 bit.

His monitor is calibrated to 5500k, at about 100 cd/m2. While this may look a bit dim and yellow to most, he finds he gets a pretty good screen to print match with this setup. Others might use 6500k.

The first thing I did when I arrived was to ask him to print a grey step wedge target. The print was near-perfect, with all the steps distinct from one another, good ink density, etc. No color cast.

We compared his prints to screen, and viewing prints with his Solux desk lamp there is a near-perfect match.

However, there was one thing that we worked on that will help him – not so obvious, but important. He has a ceiling light that uses everyday incandescent bulbs. There are four bulb sockets in this fixture, and two have bulbs in them. Household bulbs like this run a color temperature 2700-3300k, much warmer than his screen or Solux light.

These bulbs are bright enough and warm enough to influence his color vision while editing (they cast light on the display), and of course while viewing the prints. My general rule of thumb is that a light that’s a problem is at least 30-40% the brightness of the computer display.

The Solux viewing light is across the room, so it’s a bit inconvenient to reach over and turn it on – the result is that sometimes he’s looking at his (gorgeous) prints in the warm color temp lighting conditions. I have another client who has issues with window light – because the daylight is reflected through the window from a green-colored wall outside!

The conclusion is that you may be thinking that you’ve done it all just right, and that one small thing that you are totally accustomed to may still intrude into your workflow – an unshaded window, an expired printer driver, uncalibrated monitor – they might not be obvious, but they have real impact on quality control. So, go take a close look – you might find something that makes your work easier – and improves your images!

We have a new workshop coming up:

Getting the Most out of your Desktop Inkjet Printer – David Saffir instructor Wednesday, December 15th – 6:30pm to 9:30pm SCV Center for Photography – follow for details

Coming Up – Posts on Screen to Print Match, and Black and White Image Editing

I’ve been thinking about our latest webinar focused on end-to-end workflow. It was an amazing experience for me to have so many people on-line for the session.

Although there were many, many questions asked during and after the webinar, it seems to me that at least two topics deserve further discussion:

– Screen to print match – particularly display calibration
– Creating and Editing Black and White Images with Silver Efex Pro

So, in the next week I’ll be writing and posting articles related to these two subjects. In the first article, an important point of discussion will be the relationship between screen brightness and gamma, and how we match display to print.

In the second, I’ll focus on selective adjustments in Siver Efex using control points – control points can be used in a number of ways to manage small, and larger areas of an image – that statement doesn’t really do it justice, as you’ll see in the article.

Again, my thanks to sponsors Nik Software, Mac Group, and X-Rite Photo.

Happy Thanksgiving!!