6 Simple Steps To Good Color Management


Color management is rocket science. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to drive the rocket. Instead, be an astronaut. With a few simple steps you can achieve consistent, high quality color with your images every time.

These are the six simple steps to good color management.

1 – Make Profiled Conversions
Assign an ICC profile to all image files either during Raw conversion or scanning. Use appropriate profiles to make conversions into other color spaces with derivative files only. Minimize the number of conversions made.

2 – Calibrate Your Monitor Using Hardware
Once a month, use a colorimeter to build an ICC profile for your monitor. Minimize the influence of other light sources during characterization. Use the colorimeter’s software to help you set monitor brightness between 90 and 100 and choose White Point D65 and Gamma 2.2. Check the results with know target images afterward.

3 – Set Good Photoshop Color Settings
In Photoshop’s Color Settings (in the Edit Menu) Set Color Management Policies to Preserve Embedded Profiles and Ask When Opening / Pasting. And, choose a wide gamut device neutral editing space. Start with North American Prepress Defaults and then change RGB to ProPhoto RGB.

4 – Softproof
Simulate the appearance of a print before printing. Go to View : Proof Setup : Custom and choose the profile you intend to print with. Check Simulate Paper Color and choose a rendering intent of either Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric. Make output-specific adjustments before printing. Use these adjustments only when printing these media.

5 – Navigate Your Printer Driver Correctly
Use Photoshop / Lightroom or your printer driver to manage color – not both. In general, favor using Photoshop/Lightroom as this is the most versatile allowing you to use custom output profiles.

6 – Control Your Environment
Edit and evaluate your images in neutral surroundings. Minimize the effect of extraneous light sources, such as glare on monitors or backlighting. Evaluate proofs and prints in appropriate lighting.

There’s much more that can be said about each of these topics – but, not much more to do. Take these steps and you’ll be well on your way to achieving consistent, high-quality results with your images.

 

Read more on Color Management here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Printer Profiling Data Analysis – X-Rite i1Photo Pro


Embedded in the i1Photo Pro program are no nonsense instructional videos that walk you through the software step by step.
i1Profiler Data Analysis allows you to look at and compare printer measurement data. This can be from two different printing devices, to see how closely they perform. Or from different sheets throughout a print run, or day to day, to determine if your device is running within standards.
Read more in my digital photography ebooks here.
View more in my color management DVD.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Printer Profiling QA – X-Rite i1Photo Pro


Embedded in the i1Photo Pro program are no nonsense instructional videos that walk you through the software step by step.
i1Profiler Printer Quality Assurance, or Printer QA can help you determine whether your printer or digital press is within tolerance of defined print standards. You can also use this tool to validate that the printer is staying in tolerance for proofing or production.
Read more in my digital photography ebooks here.
View more in my color management DVD.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Advanced Printer Profiling Options – X-Rite i1Photo Pro


Embedded in the i1Photo Pro program are no nonsense instructional videos that walk you through the software step by step.
X-Rite’s i1Photo Pro offers four advanced printer profiling options.
Linearization
OBC Correction
Profile Optimization
ColorChecker Proof.
Read more in my digital photography ebooks here.
View more in my color management DVD.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Printing Printer Profiling Targets – X-Rite i1Photo Pro


Embedded in the i1Photo Pro program are no nonsense instructional videos that walk you through the software step by step.
Print targets directly out of i1Photo Pro – not CS5.
When producing printer profiles it’s important to set the print driver properly.
1 Set media type
2 Set resolution
3 Turn off all color management in the print driver
Read more in my digital photography and digital printing ebooks here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Evaluate Your Monitors' Performance – X-Rite i1Photo Pro

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Now there’s a quick and easy way to evaluate what your monitor can do with the Q&A functions in X-Rite’s latest version of i1Photo Pro. Calibrating and profiling your monitor is the first step.  After that, you can identify which colors are displaying well and which have issues. You can use this information to identify the your best monitor for critical color work and even when it’s time to replace a monitor.
Read more in my digital photography ebooks here.
Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops here.