Tag Archives: monitor calibration

NYC SALT – A Photography Program Worth its Salt!

NYC SALT – A Photography Program Worth its Salt!
NYC SALT – A Photography Program Worth its Salt!


X-Rite Photo recently had an opportunity to visit NYC SALT; a free digital photography and college readiness NYC SALTprogram for under-privileged high school and middle school students.

X-Rite Coloratti Master Douglas Dubler was volunteering his time teaching a workshop to the SALT students and invited us to come along. It was an incredible experience to see the work that is being done with the students to cultivate their passion for photography and teach them the techniques and tools required for digital photography, and most importantly, helping the students prepare their portfolios and apply to college to study photography.

The program was founded by Alicia Hansen. The genesis of the program came from what Alicia was witnessing where she lived and wanting to make a change because, “There were too many kids hanging out on the streets in my neighborhood doing nothing! NYC SALT evolved out of a class I created and taught for a nonprofit up in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in North Manhattan.”

Alicia Hansen

Alicia Hansen

NYC SALT received its non-profit status in April of 2008 and the program boasts an incredible 100% acceptance rate into college, in a neighborhood where only 37% receive higher education. And many of those were on full scholarships; to date, her students have received over a million dollars in scholarships.

“Our mission is to engage, inspire and empower underserved youth through photography.” – Alicia Hansen

SALT students have earned full scholarships to Syracuse University, University of Vermont, Hofstra, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Purchase, Binghamton University, and Fordham University.

“I believe that the way to affect change in my community is through personal relationships. More that anything else, I value community in my program. We want to have a life long relationship with every student we serve.” – Alicia Hansen.


Alicia Hansen with SALT student

Alicia Hansen with SALT student


SK: Tell us about the SALT program.

AH: Our program is what we’re calling an Artist in Residency program for high school students. 16 hand selected High School students that have demonstrated they are serious about learning what is involved in the profession of a pro photographer, and all that goes into that. We don’t limit the program to any one type of photography – we include information and practices for all types of photography and all of the technology used in the professional photography world as much possible. In addition to field trips, the students meet once a week for three hours of instruction and hands-on training.

Monitor Calibration with i1Display Pro

Monitor Calibration with i1Display Pro

SK: What was the focus of today’s workshop?

AH: We were thrilled to have acclaimed photographer Douglas Dubler teaching today’s workshop on monitor calibration, color and the importance of a color managed digital workflow. We have taught digital printing in previous years, but this year is first time that we’ve taught the concept and application of color management. Our students would not have even thought much about the color differences in their monitors before today.

Douglas Dubler

Douglas Dubler

When Douglas generously offered his time and expertise to teach a class on color management, we gladly accepted and the students were very excited. This year is a brand new class of kids so they’re all beginners, just starting to create their portfolios.

Color Management is such a new concept to them and it’s wonderful to watch how engaged the students are, listening to everything Douglas has to say – After the class, they had great questions for Douglas and they are excited to apply what they learned. They all felt that it was really good information and a fascinating aspect to photography and can’t wait to learn more.


IMG_2417One student shared this thought – “While there were some things that I didn’t fully understood the first time around, I know that when I hear it again, it will click.”

SK: Being that color management is fairly new to the students, were you concerned about the student’s understanding the technology?

AH: The students came away with a really good grasp on how to calibrate their monitors and the importance of working with properly calibrated monitor. Douglas gave them an in-depth look at the different color spaces and shared really neat visuals all of the color gamuts. They got to see a live demonstration of how to calibrate a monitor and the steps the software goes through.

Douglas Dubler talks to SALT students about Color Space

Douglas Dubler talks to SALT students about Color Space

You could see how engaged the students were. Douglas shared with them his own experiences working with color and how critical color accuracy is in the world of photography, especially in the commercial and fine art space. He talked about the importance of being able to control the color of skin tones and being able to make prints that match the image you see on your monitor. I think it really opened them up to all of the ways that color impacts photography and the tools that are used by professional photographers to control color in their workflow.

SK: What’s next for the students?

AH: The students are working really hard preparing for the upcoming NYC SALT Gala event on June 11th. The gala is a celebration of the students and their work, which includes a gallery showing of all the photography produced by students throughout the year. The students will be selling their prints and there will be a small graduating ceremony for the seniors. This year is also the first year for NYC SALT to have program participants graduating who are from college and they will be showcasing their portfolios.

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image



SK: What’s your involvement with NYC SALT?

DD: SALT is a wonderful program that really makes a difference in the lives of these young people. For me personally, teaching a workshop at SALT is very rewarding and a great way to give back to the community.

SK: The focus of your workshop today is color management. Why is that important for Photography students?

DD: My involvement with photography education is about Fine Art Digital color printing. That begins with a color managed workflow from image capture to viewing images on a properly calibrated monitor process to building printer profiles that will result in making beautiful prints that match the colors on your monitor. I’m happy to have the opportunity to relate this to students who are interested in pursuing photography as a career – it’s never too soon to get them started learning good habits and a good foundation early in your involvement in photography and these skills and understanding will serve them well.

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image






The program at SALT is a perfect setting to introduce the importance of color management to the students who are just starting out. Presented in simple and easy to understand terms for the students, it encourages them to include color management into their photography practices right from the start. It’s a very important part of the Educational process for young photographers. It’s critical to start sharing the information with them as early a possible. Something important that I learned from Ansel Adams was – ‘the best photographer will always be the best printers’. Essentially, making the best print is key to commercial success as a photographer. That’s my inspiration and it’s 100% of how I work. The end goal is to have an amazing print.

Douglas Dubler at NYC SALT

Douglas Dubler at NYC SALT

SK: How did the SALT students respond?

DD: The kids were totally engaged. They listened intently, they asked great questions and they were clearly excited to learn about working in the different color spaces and how it affects their images and prints. They got to see how easy it is to calibrate their monitor and they learned about ColorTrue, a software app that allows them to calibrate their iPads and mobile phones.

SK: This workshop was clearly well received by the students. Are you considering doing any more?

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image

DD: It’s a good use of my time for a very worthwhile cause and an opportunity to support an educational element of the photography community. I really love the SALT program and I am planning to do more workshops with the continued support of companies such as X-Rite, Epson, and Eizo who are donating the necessary equipment and software. It has enormous value for the students involved. I’m very encouraged by the positive feedback from the kids. Mentoring is ALWAYS a good thing.

SK: I noticed that there were also a few educators at the workshop.

DD: Yes – Adam Chinitz, who plays a key role teaching at SALT, along with SALT founder Alicia Hansen and volunteer photographer/instructor, Sari Goodfriend were there. I think that’s great. I especially see the value in teaching the teachers, who can then share that knowledge with even more students.

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image

About Douglas Dubler:
After studying Fine and Liberal Arts at Boston University, Douglas Dubler set up his first studio in St. Thomas/U.S. Virgin Islands in the 1970s and quickly made a name for himself as an advertising photographer. He then began to specialize in fashion and beauty. He moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and to New York in 1982. Though his roots are in fashion and beauty, Douglas’ clients today include well-known companies from other industries as well. His photographs have graced, and continue to grace, the covers of popular fashion and photography magazines, and his creative techniques are shaping the art of sophisticated beauty, fashion and fine art photography around the world. Douglas is an X-Rite Coloratti Master, an elite group of Master Photographers and Fine Art Printers recognized for their creative achievements and industry accolades.

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Image

Douglas Dubler Website

Ways to support NYC SALT:
• Buy a print for your home or for decorating your  corporate office space.
• Provide an Internship.
• Give a monthly donation of $25 or more.
• Provide a scholarship.
• Volunteer.
• Provide a gallery space to showcase our students’ photography.
• Provide a field trip to expose our students to more careers in the photo industry.
• Help us build relationships with more colleges and universities that we could send our students to.
• Donate gear you are not using especially lenses!



Twitter & Instagram: @NYCSALT
Facebook: NYCSALT

Color Talk with Paul Ernest

Color Talk with Paul Ernest
Color Talk with Paul Ernest

Paul ErnestPaul Ernest is an extraordinary photographer. He was selected as the Professional Photographers Association (PPA) International Photographic Competition Diamond Award winner the first year he entered in 2012.  He is a WPPI Grand Award Winner with over 17 WPPI awards. He attained Master Photographer within 17 months of joining PPA and has many other awards and accolades to his credit.

What makes Paul Ernest so knowledgeable and successful? Maybe it was that he was raised in a family of fine artists and that he studied advertising and design in addition to photography and film/cinematography at University of North Texas. Or maybe it was that 17 years as a working art director. Certainly his years as a wedding photographer in the Dallas area have given him a wealth of knowledge. (ErnestWeddings.com) And his fine art work calls forth strong emotions from his thoughtful and respectful images of soldiers to his playful Daliesque images. (PaulErnest.com) Whatever it is that makes Paul Ernest special, he knows how to make his prints speak in competition and in life.

Paul uses color to call forth emotion in the viewer. Listen to what this photographic artist has to say about color and how he uses it in his work in this edition of Color Talk with Paul Ernest

Now you can get the Paul Ernest treatment for your photographs with Paul’s new service. He will consult with you and advise you on how you can take your own image from good or great to award winning. He new service Ernest Edits: Creative Edits and Printmaking at ErnestEdits.net. See examples of what Paul Ernest advice can do for your photos. It’s an amazing opportunity.

We caught up with Paul to ask him some questions about his photography. The text of the interview is below. Enjoy getting to know Paul Ernest a little better here.

X-Rite Photo Blog: How long have you been taking photographs?

Paul Ernest: I have been photographing for over 25 years…. since I was a teenager. I learned in the film days. I minored in Cinema and Photography and majored in Advertising. I moved over to photography full time in 2008.

XPB: What drew you to photography?

PE: I think what drew me to it was photographers like Adams and Bourke-White, Vachon, Lee, Lange… basically the historical aspect. I also have many cinematographers that have inspired me as well as some of the commercial photographers early in my design career.

Paul Ernest

©2012 Paul Ernest All Rights Reserved

XPB: When did you begin to add your beautiful artistic illustration to your photography?

PE: I think it was a natural progression. I was restless with doing work for others (weddings, seniors, family) and wanted to do something for myself. Painters like Eastman, Rockwell, Wyeth and Millet were a constant inspiration to me. It really started out as one image and the positive reception it received mixed with the encouragement of my mentor David Edmonson really demanded that I do another. I think it really began a natural course after that.

XPB: What influenced your very distinctive style?

PE: All of the photographers and artists I mentioned really.  I am the opposite of a photorealist painter… I am a photographer that wants to create organic images that honestly look like paintings, that don’t even have a source or media reference.

XPB: Are you experimenting with any new techniques or ideas?

PE: I am really looking at other subject matter rather than new techniques. I am continually working on my WWII work, but I want to pursue the Boy Scouts of America as well as expanding on current collections (PaulErnestGallery.com)

Paul Ernest

©2012 Paul Ernest All Rights Reserved

XPB: Tell us about your work as a professional photographer today.

PE: Right now I am working on an agricultural series for a “farm-to-table” style restaurant that will feature my work. And I am opening a new division called Ernest Edits to help keep me in the studio to focus on doing what I love.

XPB: What advice do you have for students of photography or those beginning or returning to photography as an art form?

PE: Learn the craft! Film or no film learn the craft. The cameras of today can mask the true ability to capture images. Its important to learn what photography is. For example… take a piece of tape and cover the preview screen. Can you still capture an image?

Furthermore, realize that there has been a paradigm shift in photography. The camera used to be the axis of photography. Now, with the advent of the digital world, Photoshop and all the technology we have we must realize that the camera is now a spoke, just like Photoshop. We are not just photographers anymore… we are imagemakers.

X-Rite Color Perfectionists Unite!Paul Ernest uses X-Rite color management solutions for his digital color workflow.  Visit PaulErnest.com to see more of his great photography. Learn how you can stop guessing and start knowing with color management solutions from X-Rite at www.xritephoto.com.Get the latest news, special offers, webinar notifications and much more by reading the X-Rite Photo Blog and following @xritephoto on Twitter, “Like” X-Rite Photo on Facebook. Now check us out on Google +. Start saving time and money with color management solutions from X-Rite. Visit www.xritephoto.com for information on all color management solutions for video and still photography.

Color Talk with Art Suwansang

Color Talk with Art Suwansang
Color Talk with Art Suwansang

Welcome to another installment of Color Talk with Coloratti Art Suwansang. Art is a photographer and educator who believes in color management as the basis for his digital color workflow. Art is based in Chino, California a suburb about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. His Color Talk Art Suwansangwebsite, Wedding64.com, showcases his work with links to his blog and educational content, and gives you a flavor of the philosophy that informs his work.

“Photography… is about stopping the moment, freezing time… and capturing it,” says Art Suwansang. “Every shoot that I do is different. It’s based on the personality and the energy level of the client.” He looks for the moment that his intuition is awaiting. “I play with the light… I move around the subject…as long as I’m relating and connecting to the subject.”

Born in New York City, Art spent part of his formative years being educated in Thailand, returning to the United States to finish his education in Southern California. Growing up in two cultures has given Art the added dimension of opening up to choices and seeing through multiple perspectives. This duality has repeated itself in his choice of careers, giving him great insight and knowledge in the digital revolution and high proficiency in the world of artistic expression. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brooks Institute, Art Suwansang has become an award winning, international photographer and lecturer.

Art has some very strong views on the necessity of color management in the professional digital photography workflow. He sat down with us to talk about why he thinks color management is essential for everyone.

Art was good enough to give us some extra insight into his photography and his process in the interview below. Enjoy our latest chat with Art Suwansang

X-Rite Blog: Do you travel as a photographer and educator? Where are your favorite places to travel?

Art Suwansang: I travel quite a bit as a photographer and educator. There are assignments where I am over seas to photograph a wedding or doing a fashion session in a foreign nation. As much as I travel for photography, I travel even more for teaching. I love to teach. My favorite region to visit is the Euro Zone but so far my favorite country and city is London, UK hands down :)

Color Talk Art Suwansang

©2013 Art Suwansang

XR: Please tell us how you got started in photography.

AS: I got into photography out a passion for human interactions and communications that computer engineering could not offer me. As a wedding photographer I get to have fun during a photo session with multiple couples. It is great to hear their stories, how they met and why they fell in love. I also love light, color, shapes, lines, and how all of these elements can interact in very interesting ways.

Color Talk Art Suwansang

©2013 Art Suwansang

XR: What motivates you to be a photographic educator?

AS: My love for photography being one of the reason but more so because I love teaching and explaining things in simple terms. I also believe that teach can empower future generations of photographers to go out there and create good and high quality images in these dark days of cell phone photography and ok is good enough photography.

XR: What would you say to someone who is not calibrating and profiling the monitor on which they are editing images?

AS: You are committing a digital mal-practice. The fix is go out and buy a calibrator asap :) Seriously, it is really bad to be editing on an uncalibrated monitor.

Color Talk Art Suwansang

©2013 Art Suwansang

XR: What advice would you give students who are studying photography in school right now?

AS: Photography has always been a form of science combined with the creative nature of the artist. In the film days you were a creative and chemist processing film and printing images using chemistry, enlarger and etc. That theme has not changed today at all. However, the technology that we have now a days have moved us from just chemistry and science into the realm of science fiction. With Photoshop all photographers and enthusiasts can do miracles with images that only a selected few can do with film. Where we are now in digital photography, my advice is to learn as much as you can about the technical side of photography, camera operations and especially software on the back end. The proliferation of digital photography has created more photographers than we could even imagine and further democratizes the craft of photography. This is good in a sense that we are pushing the boundary of creativity, but we must all realize and be aware that we must all have proper training on the many technical aspects of digital photography. This sets professionals apart and is imperative to maintaining the highest quality of image possible. We should always strive for better quality imagery. When we set those standards in our lives and our work, it will be contagious and others will follow.

XR: What personal projects are you currently working on?

AS: I have a few projects that are on going, I am producing travel photo albums of the various places that I have visited. Some of the pending cities are Paris, Rome, and a larger themed Cultures of Thailand album. I am also constantly shooting various fashion sessions with models just for fun.

Art has a workshop coming up March 7, 2014 from 6 to 9pm in West Covena, CA. Click the link below to find out more!

Lightroom In Depth at Tri-Community Photography Program

X-Rite Color Perfectionists Unite!Art Suwansang keeps his color workflow under control so his images are accurate, consistent,  and repeatable. Learn how you can stop guessing and start knowing with color management solutions from X-Rite at www.xritephoto.com.

Get the latest news, special offers, webinar notifications and much more by reading the X-Rite Photo Blog and following @xritephoto on Twitter, “Like” X-Rite Photo on Facebook. Now check us out on Google +. Start saving time and money with color management solutions from X-Rite. Visit www.xritephoto.com for information on all color management solutions for video and still photography.


Avoiding Histogram Combing

Avoiding Histogram Combing
Avoiding Histogram Combing

Histogram combing is a phenomenon that digital photographers want to avoid whenever possible. Histogram combing occurs when an already processed file is adjusted. This phenomenon is one way to illustrate how important it is to use a calibrated and profiled monitor to edit Raw files you plan to send to a lab for printing.

Here’s a JPEG processed file with the curves histogram showing from a file I adjusted on a calibrated monitor from a Raw capture. Note that the histogram is smooth in its appearance with no gaps in the graphical representation of the image.


I processed this file to a JPEG before adjustment and did my edits on the processed file in the example below. Note the “combing” effect that is present in the histogram for this image. Pieces of information are missing from the file when adjustments are made after the files is processed.

JPEG Adjustment Histogram Combing

If your monitor is not properly calibrated and profiled when you make your adjustments in Raw format before processing the image any adjustment to the processed image can cause damage to the file. Information may be missing that cannot be recovered after the file is processed.

Recently I spoke to a photographer who said she was not concerned that her monitor was not properly calibrate and profiled because she paid her lab to do the final corrections. The challenge is that when the Raw capture is processed and edits are performed on the processed file, damage can occur.

Let’s say I performed my edits on a monitor with the wrong profile. The image below looks like I want it to look. So I send it off to my lab for printing. The photo below is what i see on my display, the one that is not calibrated and profiled. I have warmed the image, flattened the contrast. Here’s what it looks like on my monitor.


My uncalibrated monitor is very bright, contrasty, and not set to D65 white point so it’s cooler or bluer than my lab’s calibrated and profiled monitor. When they open the file they see something like this!

Histogram combing 3

Now remember I’m paying these folks to color correct my images. So they’re going to go to work on that JPEG file I sent to them and guess what? They’re not working on my Raw file. They’re working on a JPEG. They will do their best to try to get back to my intended image but sometimes that’s not even possible. And if they do, the editing on the JPEG can damage the file and leave gaps in the data that is sometimes referred to as histogram combing.

CombingsqRead more about histograms and histogram combing in these two additional articles:

Combed Histograms on PhotoReveiw.com

Histogram on DPReview.com

You can stop guessing and start knowing in your digital color workflow with color management solutions from X-Rite Photo. Check out all the options for monitor calibration and profiling from colorimeter solutions like ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro to spectrophotometer solutions like ColorMunki Photo and all the options that include the new i1 Pro 2 device. There’s something for everyone in the X-Rite families of solutions.

X-Rite Color Perfectionists Unite!Get the latest news, special offers, webinar notifications and much more by reading the X-Rite Photo Blog and following @xritephoto on Twitter, “Like” X-Rite Photo on Facebook. Now check us out on Google +. Start saving time and money with color management solutions from X-Rite. Visit www.xritephoto.com for information on all color management solutions for video and still photography.