ICC Is A Scale

During the Epson Print Academy Andrew Rodney uses many great metaphors to explain a complex subject – color managment. Here’s one. The ICC standard is just a scale that gives numbers a context and ultimately a meaning. 1500! What’s 1500? 1500 what? Meters? Kilometers? The scale gives the number meaning and ultimately use. And using a common scale that we all share makes communication easier and more precise. Color management is ultimately all about scientifically describing and communicating color.
Catch one of the last three Epson Print Academy dates this season.
Toronto – Saturday, 3/21
Boston – Tuesday, 3/24
Vancouver – Saturday, 5/23
Learn more.
Check out the Epson Print Academy here.
Check out Andrew Rodney’s Color Management here.
Find Andrew’s book Color Management for Photographers here.
Check out my Color Management downloads here.
Check out my DVD 6 Simple Steps to Good Color Management here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print Workshops series here.

Metamerism / Metameric Failure

It’s often called metamerism, but the correct term is metameric failure.
Metameric failure is the tendency of an object to change appearance under different light sources. Different light sources, even of the same color temperature, are often comprised of differing amounts of spectral frequencies (i.e. red or blue frequencies). Some objects change appearance more quickly than others; they are more highly metameric. This is true when comparing dye-based inks with pigmented inks. As pigments are made of irregular particles, they tend to refract (reflect and bend) light more strongly than uniform dye globules. The most current ink technology coats pigment particles in resin to reduce this effect. Additionally, some color pigments, typically the most saturated ones, are more prone to metamerism. By separating the file differently and using more of the less metameric ink to reproduce an image, the print’s appearance stability is increased. This is particularly important when reproducing neutrals, as small shifts in hue are quickly detected in these colors.
How can you evaluate metameric failure? Make two prints of the same image (preferably containing significant neutrals) and compare them side by side in different light sources.
What can you do to reduce metameric failure? Use the latest inksets (such as Epson’s Ultrachrome K3) and drivers (with the latest separation routines). And, when practical, standardize the light your prints are viewed under. Can metamerism be completely eliminated? No. Everything is metameric. But metameric failure in prints can be reduced to the point where it is no longer significant.
Read the rest of this article in the current issue of Photoshop User.
Learn more in my workshops.

Color Management in Firefox 3 Browser

A majority of browsers have not been color managed. That’s starting to change. Apple’s Safari has been color managed for some time now. Firefox 3, Mozilla’s most recent browser version is now color managed. Color management is not on by default. Here’s how to turn it on.
1    In the address bar type in about:config.
2    Ignore the warning and click “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
3    Scroll to gfx.color_management enabled. (The default is false.)
4    Double click on this to change it to true.
5    Restart Firefox.
These new features help ensure that color management savvy users can see color as it is intended to be seen online.
I look forward to a day when all software is color managed by default.
And to a day when monitors are self-calibrating/profiling.
(And printers.)
Check out my DVDs 6 Simple Steps to Good Color Management and The Art of Proofing. Check out free color management resources in my Downloads.
How important do you think color managed monitors and browsers are? Comment here.