Monthly Archives: April 2013

The common question…

Yesterday we spent a very enjoyable day down at LCE Southampton

It’s always good getting out and about and talking to people face to face. It’s something we enjoy, and without wanting to boast, it’s something we’re very good at. We had a great time talking to you all, and we hope you enjoyed our seminar session in the evening.

As ever though, there was one query that stood out above all others:

“My images look great on screen, but don’t look anything like it when printing out” – or in other words; how can I get my printouts to match my screen?

The answer is calibration – a calibration of both a monitor and printer to be precise.

The device capable of performing both is called the ColorMunki Photo from X-Rite.

ColorMunki Photo

Whereas other calibrators will just take care of your screen or projector, the ColorMunki Photo will do your screen as well as any printer(s) you have connected to your laptop, Mac or PC.

Essentially it does the same thing to both devices; namely getting them to display or printout a series of colours for it to measure, compare to what the colour should be and create a profile to compensate for the difference.

Once these profiles are saved and applied to your machine you can start printing with peace of mind what you see on screen is what you’ll see coming out of the printer.

Calibrate your screen once a month and profile your printer for any paper/ink combinations and you’re good to go.

Easy.

You can learn more about ColorMunki Photo here.

Colour management – a refresher

With spring being the time to dust away the cobwebs…

refresher_chews_blog

… we thought we’d do a refresher post about colour management as a whole.

Last week we blogged about the apparent arrival of spring, and a couple of products that would benefit photographers during this time of year. This week we’re going to take a step back and refresh everyone on what colour management actually is, and why it’s important.

What is colour management?

In a nutshell, colour management is the process that helps you keep colour accurate and consistent throughout your workflow. This could be from image capture, to viewing an image on-screen, to printing something out on your printer.

There are numerous solutions and devices out there that help you achieve this accuracy, the process of which is often referred to as ‘calibrating’ or ‘profiling’ your gear. Typically, you can profile your monitor, camera and printer (as eluded to above) to display or process colours as accurately as possible. There are a range of products out there that do this to suit a specific requirement or budget.

Why is it important?

Accuracy is the key word (hence the repetition in the section above!). You want to know what you’re seeing on screen, capturing on your camera or printing out is as true-to-life as possible, especially if your livelihood or reputation depends on it. Effective colour management will help you do this.

No two devices will display colour exactly the same way. Every device will have it’s own colour range or gamut. Even two monitors of the same model and brand can display colour differently. By implementing colour management you can keep colour consistent from device to device, and as accurate as possible within its capabilities.

We’ve blogged specifically about colour management themes before. You can read back through our posts here.

You’ll soon question once you start doing ‘colour management’ how you ever lived without it in the first place!

Spring is here!

Apparently.

daffodils

Despite being April, you’d think we’re still in the middle of January with the cold wind and patches of snow we still have on the car park.

Nevertheless, we thought now would be a good time to run through a couple of products a photographer will find useful for the longer daytime hours and sunshine (fingers crossed).

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

An essential accessory for any photographer. ColorChecker Passport features a series of colour targets to ensure you can ‘calibrate’ your camera in all environments and conditions. Just make sure the first photo of your shoot includes the Passport, and then use the included software (or Photoshop) to correct your images using the Passport’s standardised references post shoot.

Key feature: portability

X-Rite ColorMunki Display & i1Display Pro 

Calibrating your screen is the one thing above all else we recommend you do. One useful feature of these calibrators – and relevant to longer daylight hours in spring – is an ambient light measurement capability. You can get your screen automatically adjusted to the lighting conditions you work in as they change. This means you can be sure your screen is accurate regardless of where the sun is in the sky and how much light is coming through your window.

Key feature(s): speed of calibration, regular lighting condition adjustments

Booq Toploader

With spring in the air the likelihood of nipping out to take a few pictures increases. Get yourself a booq Toploader camera bag to ‘nip out’ in style, and be assured your DSLR is protected against the elements. There’s enough room for a DSLR and lens (plus lens caps, memory cards etc.) so you’ll only take what you need when spontaneity strikes.

Key feature: compact, minimalist toughness

Franzis HDR (editing coolness)

Once you’ve been out and about, edit your RAW or JPG pictures with the latest HDR effects from Franzis software. Add filters, enhance and correct your images and create original effects to add some extra impact.

Key feature: bracketing feature to work on multiple images simultaneously