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Color Perfectionists Unite!

Ted Dillard on Light Sources and Color Management


by Brenda K. Hipsher – June 22nd, 2012

Color management is a hot topic at X-Rite as you can imagine.  We’re constantly trying to find a way to get the message out that each device we use in the digital imaging workflow produces slightly different collections of color.  This is what we call color gamut – the colors that a given device can produce.  Obviously the large that color gamut, the easier time you’ll have of getting different things in the process to match each other visually.

Olympus Microscopy Resource Center

With all of this in mind Ted Dillard has written two very interesting articles related to how the Color Rendering Index or color accuracy of the light we’re using to create the image impacts the end result. This issue is particularly relevant when considering copying artwork for reproduction. Part one of his two part article, Understanding Light Sources and Color Management, talks about the challenges of using light sources that have peaks and valleys in their color accuracy.  He uses the color purple as an example. “If you light the work with a source that doesn’t “have” that range of wavelengths, the one around that color purple, for example, how can the work possibly reflect that wavelength,” says Dillard. “Every peak and gap represents colors that are too strong, or simply not there, in the starting point of your color journey from source to print.”

In Light Sources and Color Management (Part two) Ted used the software program ColorThink to illustrate in a short video how the light source used to capture an image can impact the amount of color data available with which to work. It’s an interesting way to understand how the color accuracy of the light we use to photograph something ultimately affects our ability to render the colors in the subject accurately. Even with the perfect lighting conditions we still need to control every device and step in the workflow to be certain that we get the very best color fidelity possible from subject to output. These two short articles are Ted Dillard’s attempt to illustrate what he has found in practice.  Check them out using the links below:

Understanding Light Sources and Color Management

Light Sources and Color Management (Part two)

X-Rite Color Perfectionists Unite!Color management has moved out of the realm of color science and into the daily workflow of all serious digital photographers and filmmakers. X-Rite solutions make it easy to keep your camera, monitor, projector, and printer in control producing predictable and repeatable results. Visit www.xritephoto.com for information on ColorMunki, ColorChecker, and i1 Professional families of products for all our color management needs. And be sure to follow @xritephoto on Twitter and “Like” X-Rite Photo on Facebook so you’ll keep up to date on everything that’s new at X-Rite for photographers and filmmakers.


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