Winifred Whitfield Host Webinar – X-Rite – Nik Software

Winifred Whitfield Host Webinar Sponsored by Nik Software and X-Rite

I am passionate about the creativity and quality I bring to my images. However, I cannot accomplish this through sheer will alone. Color management is critical to producing images which have the color and density which I envision and can see on my monitor.  X-Rite for all of my color management  needs. Likewise it is essential to use  software which supports my creativity.  I use Nik Software.  I use Nik filters to  enhance paintings and photos alike.

Photo with a Custom Blend of Nik  Filters  Applied

By using X-Rite color management tools, I am able to create custom white balance for my camera,  a custom camera profile consistent with specific lighting conditions to optimize the colors in my images. For this, I use the Colorchecker Passport.  I use the i1 Pro Photo to calibrate my monitor,  projector and printer.  If I am traveling, I use the ColorMunki Display to calibrate my laptop or a projector if I am conducting a workshop. The ColorMunki Display is a simple to use wizard driven device and it is indispensable.  If you print, I would recommend the ColorMunki Photo as a simple way to create custom profiles which will match your display to  your printer.

On November 16th, I will conduct a  live webinar  sponsored by Nik software and X-Rite to discuss how I use Color Management and Nik filters in my workflow.  I will post the webnar link as soon as it becomes available.

A 15% discount is available if you purchase  Nik Software online.

Enter the Code: wwpainter

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Quality Images Require Color Management

Submit Your  Best Efforts in Print Competition

A week ago I sat with a panel of judges at the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI)  print competition.  In this competition, each photographer at a very minimum would like to receive an accolade  acknowledging “good professional quality work”.

There are many prints which for various reasons do not receive this accolade. It is saddest however, when an entry loses points solely because there is an off color cast to the image or the flesh tone, or the image is too light, or too dark, all of which is reflects a lack of professional color management in the photographers work flow. The image otherwise might have been quite acceptable.

There is a solution to this. X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology and as such serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical.

X-Rite includes in it’s mix devices designed specifically to solve  color management problems for photographers.  These devices include the Color Checker,  to create custom profiles for your camera  and ColorMunki and the  i1 extreme to calibrate your display,  and create custom profiles for your printer, so you can see EXACTLY what you  are going to print.  Even if your work is printed by a professional  lab, the cost of your production is decreased significantly if the lab does not have to color correct your images. Simply by calibrating your display you will able to view the colors, and densities you are actually working with.  The ColorMunki is very simple to use. Within minutes the wizard will walk you through the calibration process.  Your images are now ready for your final touch before going to your clients – or to competition.

If you are going to spend the money to have prints prepared for competition and  pay the entry fee on each one, I would  hope that you are submitting the best and most professional images you can create.  It will be very difficult to do this without having a professional color managed work flow which means at the very least a frequently calibrated monitor.

For more information on the color management devices available to you, go to:

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My Beginning in Color Management

Since early in my photography career I have been aware of the need for color management and have used some system for calibrating my monitor for years.  I have always loved printing as well, color management meant controlling the management of color from initial image capture through the printing process. Until now, I had stopped short of creating  custom profiles seeking, with mixed success and great effort  to obtain  them from various print media companies for my specific printer.  In the year 2000 I took a Fine Art Digital Printing class just after I took my first photography class.  I paid $700.00 for the10 week class.  I had an Epson Stylus Pro 2000 and wanted to print. I love printing.  But my images were coming out horribly.  I knew absolutely nothing.  I can remember at the end of my first class thinking that that class alone was worth the $700.00.  It had introduced us to “COLOR MANAGEMENT OFF” and the concept of profiles and custom profiles. My printing has improved progressively since that night.

The profiles I create are only as good as the data I feed the X-Rite devices. That means understand the drivers and settings of the device I am working on.

Moving Forward

With my  recent  use of X-Rite’s ColorMunki Photo and the even more sophisticated i1XTreme, all of the  sufficiency and control that I need to  create accurate  profiles and printer and display matched color is at hand.  I am having success with this process.

The profiles I create are only as good as the data I feed the X -Rite devices. That means understand the drivers I? and settings of the device I am working on.

Calibrating the  monitor using the default settings is a “piece of cake” and got me close to matching my monitor to my print within moments, without me having to make any adjustments to my monitor at all.  While the color was beautiful, the prints were a bit too dark.  That means my Monitor was too bright. I have a LaCie 324 Monitor with hood and work in a consistent light environment.  I contacted X-Rite about my “brightness issue”  and was told that this probably meant that my target luminance was  too high. X-Rite suggested that I use the ColorMunki in its ADVANCE mode.  This mode gave me the opportunity to measure ambient light and to create a target luminance level for the device to factor in, which  adjusted my monitor brightness appropriately upon my new calibration.  These X-Rite devices are  amazing when fed the information they need.

To create a custom profile for my printer for a specific paper means creating color targets to scan with the ColorMunki Photo or i1XTreme.  Again, the new profile will only be as good as the printer settings I select for  my target print.  I must say that I found creating printer settings for my Epson printers to be far easier than creating settings for my Canon printer.  With Epson, there is the ability to choose printer  “COLOR MANAGEMENT OFF”  – and it’s done. With Canon, I felt that I had to learn their language for managing their drivers and found it was far less clear and even confusing in making some selections.I must say that persistence is one of my greater qualities. After sufficient trial and error I selected printer settings such that when the color targets were printed and scanned with the ColorMunki Photo, I am getting good monitor and print match.

I will describe my settings:  In the initial PRINT dialog box my printer is selected. In the column to the  right of this I have the choice of Color Management or Output. I selected Color Management – we don’t want Output Management.  (I had hesitation there because in the Epson system you want to chose ‘NO Color Management”)  But now there comes the choice for COLOR HANDLING.  Choose Photoshop Manages Color as opposed to Printer Manages Color.  I found the following a source of confusion. Just under the option to allow Photoshop to manage color there is a yellow warning sign which reads “Remember to disable the printer’s color management in the print settings dialog box.” this of course is exactly what I wanted to do but I never found such option in Print Settings and will welcome feedback from anyone who points out where this option resides.  Under Rendering Intent, I chose Relative Colorimetric .  I then went into the Print Settings. I chose a Media Type with characteristics closest to that which I will be printing on (in my case, when creating my initial profile, I chose Photo Paper Plus Semi Gloss because I was going to create a custom profile for a luster paper which I had 250 sheets of). It was recommended that my Print Quality remain at Standard. At some point I will experiment with “HIGH” , which creates slower ink dispersal on the paper for potentially finer detail – but the paper salesperson  suggested that the “HIGH” setting might put down too much ink and should likely be left for a high gloss paper. I left all of the image enhancements options unchecked.  I left Color/Intensity at AUTO.  Confusing to me On the Page Setup Page were the options under PRINT OPTIONS – read them if you like but my experimentation suggest to leave the options unchecked, however, and this turns out to be the defaults.  I saved these settings and named them a name which reflects the use of my intended paper.  It is very important to do this because it is this set of settings which will be used to print the target and to print future images using this media.

I am in the midst of exploring the full capacity of  i1XTreme. I decided to start by calibrating my monitor once again but using i1XTreme’s even more advance profiling capability. I decided to do this in the advanced mode right off the bat. Well, the question is “How great is my capability to move around and adjust my monitor settings to feed it the information it needs to do a refined calibration?”   I have to work on that.  Mean while when I did my ambient lighting reading with this device, I was given a range in which my ambient light levels and the color temperature should fall for best monitor and print viewing. I have to tell you that with respect to both I was not in the ball park – not remotely so.  The ambient light in my workspace was far too low – did not even register at the low end of the ambient meter measurement scale, and the color temperature of my workspace was far too warm.  The remedy for both was very easy. I purchased daylight bulbs and simply upped the amount of the light until both areas measured as adequate.  I have far yet to go. I want to calibrate my monitor using i1XTreme’s most advanced features. I will also create new paper profiles.

Both ColorMunki Photo and i1XTreme will allow me to calibrate my projector which desperately needs to be done.  I will be excited to have my presentation screen match my computer screen during my presentations to my clients or during workshops and training.  I will do this in a  relatively short time and let you know how it goes.

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