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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Kansas City

    Color Management

    Who can help me understand color management in the digital world?

    I've searched the Internet and read everything I can get my hands on and printed much of it for future reference. I am not a dummy when it comes to photography. I majored in photojournalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and although most of my work has been in black and white, I understand color from the standpoint of the necessity for accurate exposure and the importance of color temperature and balance. Nevertheless, something about digital color management escapes me.

    I understand that that:
    • Each digital camera/sensor has a different profile.
      The monitor that you use must be calibrated for accurate color.
      The software/icc profile you use will impact what you see in a print.
      That you must match the printer to its icc profile.
    But something still escapes me. If I print locally, I can tweek things until I am satisfied, but if I let someone else print my digital image files, and I have the correct icc profile for the printer/paper combination that they use, I am not sure what I have to do with the digital image files, if anything, to get the image I want.

    If have edited an image file to the point that I am satisfied with what it looks like on a calibrated monitor using the imbedded icc profile of the camera, is there anything else that I must do to get the color I want in a print other than selecting the icc profile for the printer/paper combination?

    FYI the software I use for editing/correcting the raw image is Nikon's Capture NX. Its image management software is not as elegant as Adobe Lightrooms, but its editing tools are easier to use IMHO. I also have Photoshop for specialized editing down to the pixel level.

  2. #2
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Color Management

    As far as getting a rough setting of your colors, if you have the icc profile for the printer/paper you plan to be using, you can proof the image in Photoshop with the given icc file. IRC, go to View, Proof Setup, and Custom. Under Profile select the desired icc file. Photoshop will convert your colors to the printer's profile. Then readjust your colors to your preference. This is a basic thing that might help you out. I'm sure someone with much more knowledge in this area will be along to help you out.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
    Please do not edit my photos, thank you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hillsboro, OR, USA

    Re: Color Management

    I cannot comment on Capture NX or Lightroom, as I use neither. In Photoshop however, once I have properly installed the icc profile, I simply go to Edit> Convert to Profile and choose the appropriate printer profile from the drop-down menu. This converts the image to the profile of the output device and (on a calibrated monitor) gives me a semi-accurate interpretation of how the print will look. An important footnote to this is that the most accurate view comes from a flattened image.

    - Joe U.

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