Monday, April 17, 2006

Getting the Colours right

A very significant issue, for digital photography, that you will soon discover when you get your first prints and compare them with the same images on your computer. The colours look different, often wildly different! Even on different screen there may be massive differences. There are lots of issues involved, colours are perceived differently when using a project light (eg computer screen & projectors) versus reflective method (printers, photographic paper). Professional photographers still love slides, for colour film work, the projected slide image is far more vibrant and “realistic” than a photo print because it uses additive colour scheme & projected light. Every input and output device has potentially different sensitivity to different wavelengths of light and therefore may capture or display different colour bias. Finally the human eye is more sensitive to colour differences rather than to absolute colours. So it is a subject as well as a complex set of technical issues. There have been a number of applications and utilities (including some that come with corel and adobe photo tool) but they can take a lot of setting up for different devices and “colour gamut” profiles (a set of colours that represent a colour space).

If you have an apple computer you could use the colour sync utility.

If you have a decent graphics card (most recent computers do have) and are running Microsoft’s XP, you might like to try out their color management tool . It is a new power tool and available free to all XP users, but you will have to go through Microsoft’s genuine windows component validation setup. The tool gets added to yoiur control panel and is easy to use, but make sure you read the READ.ME.htm that gets install with this powertool.

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