Friday, February 5

Thinkin' About This Stuff. 1

Okay... There's this thing called "Color Management". And it's all about sliding what you see on the screen into a different-sized envelope.  Only the dimensions of the original are defined in color numbers, and a unique set of metrics Like pushing a hot dog into a cube.

Gamma is a term that defines the dimensions of different spaces. So gamma defines different work spaces like sRGB, or RGB, CMYK, or my favorite RGB (Adobe). There are others. My Canon 7D is set to create RGB images. But net images are usually contained inside of an sRGB box. And each printer/paper combination has its own unique envelope that shapes colors that will be reproduced.

So... Color Management has to do with a series of moves from Camera envelope to monitor envelope to printer/paper envelope. I think of each of those envelopes as gammas. And they just don't overlap. No matter what, it's almost impossible to match a monitor image to final print. 

The cheaper the monitor, the less likely that the process will be predictable. And even with the best monitors, if their screens aren't identically calibrated, both with themselves and standards for other gammas, then what you see you really won't get into a printer and onto its paper.

Three are so many variables here. It's terrifically complex and discouraging if you're printing test prints while changing values of the transmitting gamma. 

Oh... and then there's viewing light. I replaced all of the lights in my studio so that they'd mimic daylight. Tungsten lights darken the dynamic range while shifting the perceived printed image toward red/magenta. I can now hold my print next to my monitor and actually compare the range of colors.  

I'm using the image above as my first level test. The palette is vivid but they fall within a narrow color range. I'm tweaking my computer/monitor combo and working to get the monitor's gamma as close to the Epson P-800/chosen paper gamma. I'm about 90% there.

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