Monthly Archives: October 2010

Jargon [jahr-guh n, -gon] – noun

1)    Specialised language concerned with a particular subject, culture, or profession

2)    Language characterised by pretentious vocabulary or meaning

3)    Gibberish

Any or all indeed of those sound familiar in photography, design, print and colour management??

Having worked in the technology sector for most of my working life I have become accustomed to the jargon heavy influence of this business. In truth I expect whatever industry you are in the Three Letter Acronym (TLA) syndrome is pretty strong; but when you dive into the world of colour management it not just that there is the usual industry jargon and TLA’s, but to be honest even the real words seem a bit made up to me.

I remember walking into Color Confidence just over 5 years ago and being confronted by talk of ‘Spectros’, RIPs, RAW and metamarism. To be honest for some time I was wondering whether it was bit of an elaborate joke at my expense.

I find the use of Jargon interesting. The first and most amusing is the use of Jargon to prove how clever you are. Have you ever had a conversation with someone when every second word is a mystery to you and you end up feeling either entirely dumbfounded or just inadequate? I’m not sure it’s deliberate in a lot of cases; I just think we all get wrapped up in our own world sometimes and the application of these words and phrases just seems normal.

This often extends into the TLA monotony of people speaking in shortened words so much that they sounds like a text message being read out.

I for one completely understand the use of Jargon and why we look for shortened words and phrase – I mean who really wants to go round talking about Raster Image Processors all the time, when a RIP will do.

But, at the same time I think we all need to understand that if you’re new to this or just haven’t been in the loop for a while, you shouldn’t be shut out just because you don’t know what a word or phrase means.

I think the business we are in needs more good people and more people to understand it, and I think being simple in our use of language – or taking the time to explain when we are necessitated to use a horror word – can only help us all.

At Color Confidence we know that we have been guilty of this jargon sin in the past and will be in the future!

With this in mind we thought we’d do something about it…

Firstly:

Let’s hear from you… – what words are used all the time in this sector that you don’t understand? Maybe it’s in photography and people are always going on about CCD’s or stops or RAW. Maybe it’s in the design world, or maybe it’s something everyday that would be good for us all to know about!

Secondly:

Color Confidence is about to launch our very own Jargon Buster. It’s not live yet, but keep you eye out next week, when we kick things off with a selection of phrases and terms which we think could do with explaining. We will then update this on a regular basis with either a single new word every so often (maybe you have asked for one to be done), or a particular set of words relating to a subject.

So keep your eye out for the new Jargon buster and let us know which jargon you would like to see busted – we’ll give it our best shot!

Javan Bramhall
Marketing manager

Friday round-up

We have a new website!

After a long re-design and technical process, we have a swish new website design up and running, which hopefully makes your experience shopping with us a lot easier!

our new web design

We like it a lot. We wanted to create something much cleaner to look at and easier on the eye whilst making navigation a simpler process. Although it has to be said this is just phase one of the redevelopment stage, there a pages still to do and future pages still to create, but we’re getting there! If you have any thoughts on the new design, what you like or what you don’t like as much, please let us know – we really value what our customers think in order for us to improve things.

After all, you’re the guys that have to use it.

Find of the week from me this week… Have you heard of QR codes? Try scanning this with your phone:

Did you get to our twitter page? I hope you did in any case! You might need to add an app to your iPhone or Blackberry in order to read them – although if you’ve got a Blackberry, you’ll probably find the reader within your BBM app. They’re big in Japan apparently, and they’re starting to become more popular here and in the States too – you might have seen them on your airline e-ticket to save you queueing at check-in.

You may well start seeing more of these from us in the near future, to help keeping in touch with us a lot easier. It basically means you can visit us from your phone, which we know you all want to do :)

Just the one link this week – still undecided about HDR? Take a look at this blog post giving 7 reasons why HDR is so good – it’s worth a read just for the photos…

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing

Expert Introductions to…

I mentioned last week that we’re now offering great training opportunities.

Well, I’m pleased to report that we have our first course offering three bite-sized modules! Topics will cover an introduction to the key areas of colour management and digital imaging – with the intention of sharpening your skills and helping you gain a better understanding.

Three 30 minute sessions will cover:

  1. Light & Shade – Ever wondered how can you create the optimum physical environment to capture that perfect image, or whether you can accurately match what you see on-screen to what you print? Both answers will probably involve a consistent light source, or perhaps something like a PChOOD addition to correctly configure your monitor.
  2. Profiles and Colour – We’ll overview the basics of this important subject – specifically, just what is a ‘profile’ exactly? How should you use them? What is the difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB – and when should you use them?
  3. Choosing the rightMonitor – Monitors are a crucial component to the colour manager, and as a result, buying a new one is a major decision. We look to highlight the key things to look out for when deciding which monitor is right for you and your needs. Don’t understand all the technical jargon – we’ll do our best to explain it all. We’ll also compare and explain choosing between big and small gamut, IPS versus sPVA panels, brightness, resolution and lots more

Training takes place at our Spectrum Point HQ in Birmingham. Attendees will also have the chance to participate in practical demonstrations of the advantages of working in RAW workflow and using the award-winning ColorMunki.

If you’re interested, click here for more information.

We’re looking to do more of these sessions too, so if there’s anything you’d like us to cover, please let us know or comment below!

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing

The Friday round-up

What’s caught our eye this week?

First off, some striking images from My Modern Met showing some far away lands and exotic places. The pictures of Afghanistan were particularly striking, both beautiful and intense at the same time – especially the ones with people going about their daily business amid destruction and hardship. The photos were taken by Steve McCurry – the man who captured the famous Afghan Girl image.

One image that really caught the eye – and certainly did the rounds on twitter – was this electric image of lightning from the BBC News website. Apparently the photographer had waited 40 years to capture the shot – I think you can safely say it was well worth the wait!

This next image is really something else. Normally, describing a mountain and some clouds probably wouldn’t excite the imagination. But this picture is different. The combination of low-light, crisp air and a remarkable cloud formation produced a remarkable image that looks slightly out of this world!

I’m sure most of you already know about, like, or follow the National Geographic’s Photo of the Day – but it’s well worth another mention on here, especially as you can download their image to brighten up your desktop everyday.

The latest news from Colour Confidence towers centres around some funky new products for the photographer who already has everything! Take a look at our new Booq bags; the Mamba shift and Mamba Catch, and get the latest offerings from Datacolor to help you get those pictures looking good with the SpyderCheckr, SpyderCheckr Pro and SpyderLenscal.

We will also be rolling out some training hints and tips soon, so if there’s anything you want to ask us about all things photography, comment below, tweet us or post a message on our wall.

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing

 

Incidentally

The Friday round-up

What’s caught our eye this week?

News from early last week announced that Facebook were allowing higher-res image uploads to their website. Facebook would previously resize images to 720 pixels, however they are now resizing images to 2048 pixels on the largest edge. I, like many of you like sharing photos on Facebook, and I’m sure this will only enhance the experience. However, this may raise different issues from a professional perspective.

It will be interesting to see what this means for sites like Flickr and whether users will upload to specific image sites or stick with Facebook.

From our perspective it does pose an interesting question, especially as we’re looking to embrace social media through the web. Do we stick to Facebook for posting photos (as well as other cool stuff) or use specific sites like Flickr to post our photos? And then of course there are the copyright issues attached to sharing photos on Facebook… Watch this space may be the best message to deliver at this stage!

One link that caught my eye was posted on Freelance Review, listing some amazing images of the world’s tallest buildings. Some fantastic scenes  – although I can’t help but think the World Financial Centre looks like a giant bottle opener… Plus, they reminded me of that transmission tower climbing video that did the internet rounds a few weeks ago. I’m ok with heights, but even I found that slightly nerve-wrecking to watch!

I’ll end this week with something wet. Seeing as Autumn is setting in, the fog is descending in the mornings (and pretty much all the time in Birmingham at the moment), the M5 is damp and dark and the nights a drawing in, take a look at these examples of rain photography from the Geek Sucks blog.

That’s it for this week, I hope to bring you some exciting Color Confidence website news next week, well worth a goosey at – even if I do say so myself!

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing

Eizo News Flash!

EIZO Monitors have won a prestigious award this month.

News reached Color Confidence towers this morning that Eizo monitors have been awarded the PC Pro “Reliability & Service Award 2010″, which represents the UK’s largest customer satisfaction survey when buying IT products and services. No mean feat!

The survey represents the magazine reader’s experiences converted into star ratings, with 6/6 being exceptional and 1/6 being poor.

12,000 people took part in the survey, with Eizo receiving a 6/6 star rating for the categories of “image quality”, “reliability” and “would buy again”.

This is further testament to Eizo’s unmatched reputation for design innovation, hardware quality, and above all, colour accuracy.

Why not check out our extensive range of Eizo monitors, particularly the CG221 – which itself gained the Color Confidence 5 star award! Prices suit a variety of users and budgets, your next monitor could be a few clicks away!

The Friday round-up

Welcome to our very first blog post!

Hopefully the first of many to come. The ‘Friday round-up’ aims to bring you our favourite photography bits and links (or related) from the web this week.

First off, a brilliant little idea called the 4am Project. I say ‘little’, it’s far from it, but the idea is quite magical.

If you’re lucky enough to be awake at 4am (I’ve just graduated from Uni, so 4am does have somewhat vague, blurry memories), the mind is supposed to be at its most responsive, and more open to abstract ideas and clear expression.

The 4am Project aims to capture this energy in photographic form, and display what everyone is doing around the world at that time. From beautiful sunrises to the peace and tranquility of night. Check out their gallery so far and get involved!

I stumbled across 70+ examples of beautiful night photography via twitter the other day. I think they look amazing – especially the long exposure effect photos, and the way a still picture can portray and embrace speed and movement. I particularly like ‘Light Trails’ with the red white and blue over Big Ben.

This then lead me to Digital Photography School, and more stunning long exposure images. If any of you reading this have had a go at long exposure, feel free to post your links in the comments below for me to check out (you may even get a mention in the next round-up!)

Now, I’m new to Color Confidence, and new to the world of photography. I’m very much the amateur of amateur’s in the photography world! I’ve always wanted to give it a go, so I’ll be sharing my journey with you along the way, and probably encountering all the problems you had at the beginning…

That’s the round-up for this week, if you have any suggestions for cool stuff worth investigating get in touch on twitter or facebook, or indeed comment below.

‘Till the next time!

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing