Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The other day a reader was asking which brand/model display measuring device he should get, indicating he wanted the best. That was when I was getting the first news of X-Rites new iOne Pro line of color management tools. That’s the best of what the world’s largest color management company has to offer. But because only a few of my readers indicate they can afford the best regardless of cost, I usually do my work with tools the majority can afford. But this reader said I needed to do a shoot-out of all display color management makes and models. To me “shoot-outs” are just too deadly, so here I am settling for a little less.
I have not yet received a loan of the new iOne Photo system from X-Rite, but do have one that is a couple of years old.  So I decided to measure my personal displays with its i1Pro spectrophotometer and the ColorEyes Display Pro software I usually use to adjust, calibrate and profile my displays, and then see if there is a difference in the result I usually obtain with a colorimeter. I started with the Dell Ultrasharp U2410 I reported on in the current issue of Shutterbug. And I followed up adjusting, calibrating and profiling my Eizo Flexscan S2242W. So did the X-Rite I1Pro spectrophotometer improve on my past results using a much less costly colorimeter?
The wider color range LCD displays I have recently been recommending for computers to do serious digital photography editing reproduce over 95% of Adobe RGB (1998). I use the Adobe RGB workspace profile in Photoshop to do editing and my digital camera is set to output Adobe RGB, as well as my scanners; so it is the color range standard I want my display to emulate. As the 2D Apple Colorsync profiles I have included, the top one illustrates the profile made with the Dell U2410 display using the X-Rite i1Pro spectrophotometer, the one under it is a 2D graph of the Adobe RGB (1998) profile. My new display profile is a close match, and to me that’s ideal for my workflow. I also use my other LCD display, they are only about five feet apart I my lab, and the Eizo Flexscan S2242W profiled with the i1Pro spectrophotometer was just as close a match with the Adobe RGB profile.
So if you are like the reader who wrote me and was interested in the best, I hope to be working with X-Rites new iOne Photo system before long, and I will continue to report here in my blog about that experience as it develops. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


Besides photography I enjoy music and just saw an interesting documentary made for PBS called Music Instinct: Science and Song. It was about how the latest in scientific investigation using brain activity scans is indicating humans are wired for sound, that musicality is something that comes with being human. I think the same thing can be said about art, making pictures has been recorded as a human activity way back in pre-history with cave paintings and hieroglyphs embedded in stone cliffs.

In today’s modern civilizations people believe only a very few gifted individuals can learn music or any of the arts. But I think you will find in the literature describing simpler pre-civilized societies everyone participated in what we call music and art. Of course some individuals achieved more than others, but that did not preclude the rest from being involved and contributors. 

Today we live in the most informed of all societies ever. We have the Internet, TV, Radio, Cell Phones, Newspapers and Magazines, and of course millions of Books. In our country most people get a lot of their information from television. But what does TV tell you? That you have colored teeth so get whiteners, that you don’t dress cool so get the newest fads to wear. That you are too fat, so get thin using whatever. That you don’t have big enough muscles so got to Joe’s gym. That’s just the ads, so turn to the news, and you find out people are at war, they kill each other, they gang-rape children or they are starving to death in Africa. So you turn the station and you get a misanthrope telling you that you should hate all other people not like yourself. No wonder we are a nation of people who have no self esteem, no wonder as children grow to become adults too many find the only answer ahead is suicide.

This is supposed to be about photography, not the problems of the modern world. But some of the same enters our little escape from the rest, making pictures. In the last decade making pictures got a lot more predictable and better because you could change the result endlessly with a computer. The recent digital cameras are an amazing assemblage of what has been for a long time and what digital technology can enhance and improve. But most camera users never think that with a digital camera they are focusing millions of light measuring cells on a subject to record its reflectance of light exactly, and I mean exactly. The results are so close to perfect only our self-serving perception finds fault.

Most every circus has a side show. And of course their reputation for selling you something that really does not have any value is boundless. The old propaganda maxim persists, the bigger the lie the more people will believe it. Regarding the digital photography circus the big side show lie is that the digital camera is not very good and you need to buy Dr. Hokums elixir to make it right. That’s a really big lie, so don’t buy it, you will just make someone rich who doesn’t deserve it.

I will assume most of my readers use a computer to look at and edit digital photographs. Well if a picture doesn’t look the way you want it to, then there are simple tools to change the brightness, contrast, color, every attribute of an image to be the way you want to see the picture. If you believe in yourself you can believe that is possible and you can make it happen. So don’t believe anyone who says your digital camera is wrong, its not; so just believe you can make it right for you because you can. In other words believe in yourself and that you have a good digital camera, but don’t believe anyone trying to sell you a fix for something that works amazingly well.