Colour Profiling and Soft Proofing

With the mass uptake of digital imaging, home computing, portable devices and online publishing, it has become more important than ever to ensure that images appear correctly on a range of devices.

As well as this, there is the issue of ensuring what is visible on your screen is what actually comes out of a printer or comes back from the printers you sent work to. This subject is perhaps the most complex and difficult to understand . . Once you understand this concept, you’ll no longer have any colour issues.

The solution is Colour Profiling. A colour profile is a small file, called an ICC (International Colour Consortium) file, and its job is to translate colour from one device to another in such a way as to ensure consistency between devices and colour spaces.

Step 1 is to always ensure you are working on a monitor that is calibrated. Calibrating a monitor is essential for accurate work, as developing your images on a screen that is, for argument’s sake, too blue or cold, will force you to make your images warmer in order to look correct on your screen. However, when sent to a printer, this will result in images that are excessively warm. We will look at how to actually profile a screen later , but for now, all colour critical work should be done on a screen that is profiled. The first thing you should be doing is ensuring that the monitor profile for that screen is active.

This will ensure that your Mac’s screen is accurately calibrated for White point (greys are actually neutral), gamma (how tones are spread from dark to light – all modern Macs and PCs use a gamma of 2.2), and Luminance (Brightness – measured in Candelas, or candle power… a range of 90 to 120cd/m2 is usual). If you are working at home, you will need to book out the screen calibrator and profile your home screen. We use the X-Rite Color Munky, but others are available, such as the DataColor Spyder series, the X-Rite i1 Display series. Any serious image maker should take colour accuracy seriously, and your computer monitor should be thought of as just as important as your cameras and lenses.. if not more so, as a poorly set up system will mean images can be too dark, light, or have inaccurate colour and/or contrast.

If calibrating a laptop, you should disable anything that changes the screen’s brightness with ambient lighting conditions or anything that automatically alters the screen’s settings. Once a screen is calibrated, it should NOT be adjusted at all. If you adjust the screen visually after calibration, you may as well not have calibrated in the first place. Step 2 is to ensure that Photoshop is set up to use the correct colour space, and to handle profile mismatches. (see next page) 3 In Edit/Color Settings make sure “Europe Prepress 3” is selected, and make sure “more options” is selected. Ensure that ALL profile mismatch boxes are ticked. In short, make sure it looks like the image Below. (See next page) 4 Photoshop CC, PC version This will ensure that A) Adobe RGB 1998 is the default colourspace, and B) Any image not embedded with Adobe RGB1998 will prompt you to change it to Adobe RGB1998 before editing, and when pasting an image that’s not Adobe RGB1998 into a document that is, will also prompt you to convert it before doing so.

Following these two steps will ensure that you are working in a sensible colour managed way, as a calibrated screen allows you to make accurate judgements on colour, and setting up PS is this way ensures that all mis-profiled image are converted to Adobe RGB1998 in order to work on them.

5 We’ll now look at why colour profiles are important. There are two main colour spaces that photographers use: Adobe RGB and sRGB. Their full names in order to find them should you need to are: Adobe RGB1998 sRGB IEC61966-2.1 These two colourspaces are available on both Mac and PC for all Adobe CC application, and should also be part of the Windows and Mac operating systems. (There is another profile often found called “Pro Photo” but this is a very wide colourspace that no screen yet invented can show, so avoid suing it – there’s no point) To fully understand the need for colour profiling, we have to understand how computers create colour. Colour on a computer is made up of Red, Green and Blue.

Most images when working on them in Photoshop are either 8bit (24bit) or 16bit (48bit). Image bit depths are referred to either by Bits per pixel (8bit) or the overall bit depth across all three channels. So as a ll we as photographers use are RGB, an 8bit image is sometimes referred to as 24bit. (3x 8 = 24) So using an 8bit image as an example: A digital signal is a binary signal which is either on or off… or 1 or 0. So a single bit (1bit) image will only have two states (and hence 2 colours) – black or white, or black and a single other colour, so if each colour channel (R,G,B) had only 1bit of data, each channel could only ever be black, or fully red, fully green or fully blue. As mixing R,G and B in equal measures results in white.. a 1bit RGB (3 bit) image is only ever made up of black or white. An 8bit image (such as a full colour JPEG) has 8 bits per pixel, so thinking in binary again, it has many more values available. As 1 bit image could only be 0 or 1, an 8bit images could be 00000000… or 11111111… or 01101001… or any combination of values of those 8 bits. In fact, there are 256 possible combinations of those binary bits, so there are 256 possible values per channel, or more importantly, 256 shades of red, green or blue. To explain: 8 bits per pixel available. Each bit can only ever be 0 or 1 (2 states.. on or off) so 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 256. This is referred to as “two to the power of eight”, or 28. Try it on a calculator. As each pixel is 8bits or Red, Green and Blue, the total bit depth is 24bit (8+8+8 = 24).

The total number of colours in a 8bit image is 16,777,216. We arrive at this figure the same way as above: There are 256 colours per pixel, and three channels per pixel, so 256x256x256 = 16777216 (256 to the power of 3 or 2563). So if all JPEG images for example are 8bit, why can they look different on different computers? 6 This is where the concept of colour profiling becomes important. Take the red channel of a 8bit image such as any JPEG you care to download from the internet. We know that it can have 256 levels per channel, so looking only at the red channel for the moment, it can be anywhere from Black (0) to fully red (255).

If we have a red pixel with a value of 255, what that is saying, if we could translate it to English, is “Make this pixel as red as you can”. The computer will do just that, and send it to the monitor. The problem arises because “maximum” red may not be the same for all screens. Some screens can display more vivid reds (or blues, or greens) than others and without colour profiling the computer has no way of knowing just how red that red will be on screen when told to make it “as red as possible”. To keep things simple, most monitors are created to adhere (roughly) to two main Colourspaces: Adobe RGB1998 or sRGB IEC61966-2.1. A colourspace is the “range” of how saturated colours are when told to be “maximum”. These are represented often as chromaticity charts, and you may have seen some: They look like this. They show the range of colours a monitor can display; often referred to as the screen’s “gamut”.

The Adobe RGB colourspace is wider, and allows more saturated colours than sRGB. However, not all displays can show Adobe RGB. 7 Most cheaper monitors and most laptop monitors can only show roughly the same colourspace as sRGB, so making something as “red as possible” will result in something that may look acceptable on a sRGB “standard gamut” monitor, but excessively red on a “Wide gamut” monitor. This is the problem. Without colour management, images that may look fine on a standard sRGB monitor will look very over-saturated on a wider gamut screen. In short, how colourful the image looks is dependent on the screen, and NOT the image itself, and as every monitor is different, the image may look different on every single un-calibrated monitor when not colour managed.

The most basic way you can control this is to limit the colourspace dependent upon where the images are likely to be seen, which essentially boils down to either in print, or on screen. For putting image on the internet, it makes perfect sense to limit the range of colours to sRGB, so you would save a version of the image especially for internet use embedded with the sRGB profile. Most devices are set by default to use sRGB as the default colourspace, so if you embed your images with sRGB as the ICC profile, then most devices will limit the amount of saturation in colours so as to look reasonably accurate on a wide range of devices.

The danger is NOT saving the image with a colour profile at all, or the wrong profile for its use. Edit/Convert to Profile. (see next page) 8 Then set the destination RGB space to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 Then click OK, and save the image using File/Save As to prevent saving over your original. 9 This image will now be more likely to display correctly as most devices and operating systems are set to use sRGB as the default colourspace, and even on a Wide Gamut monitor, if the browser or program uses colour management, the colours will be translated to the same as you saw it on your screen. For print you should convert the image to Adobe RGB1998, or if sending files away to print, whatever profile your printer suggests you should use.

If you set up Photoshop , Adobe RGB1998 already be your default working colourspace. Colour of files work by changing the RGB numbers in a file to make sure the actual perceived colours remain the same. If you take a colour swatch showing R255, G0, B0 (full red) for an image set up as sRGB. If I pick up the dropper tool and measure its RGB values we can see this is the case. If I save this file ensuring that the embedded profile is sRGB…. And then reload it; Photoshop will prompt me that it is not Adobe RGB1998 (if your colour settings are correct). (See next page) 10 If we select “Convert the document’s colours to the working space” it will open in an Adobe RGB1998 colourspace. The image should look identical to how it did in sRGB, but…. If we know measure the RGB values using the dropper tool, something interesting has happened. The value for red is no longer 255, but 218. This is because if not profiled, it would have just translated straight through as Red 255, and as there is more red available in Adobe RGB1998, it would have appeared redder.

This is how colour profiling works, by changing the RGB values to maintain accurate perceived colour. The result is the two reds appear identical (assuming the monitor is calibrated). Colour profiling always tried to maintain (wherever possible) the correct appearance of colour, and places no importance upon the RGB numbers. If the image was not embedded with a colour profile, every computer it is viewed upon would just have told the monitor to make it as red as possible and the file would just be expanded to fill the available colourspace, and that would mean how red it was is determined by the screen’s available gamut. On a wide gamut screen it would have been unbelievably saturated, yet on a narrow gamut screen it may have looked no different from the original sRGB file. The opposite is also true.

Embedding an image with Adobe RGB and putting it online can make the colours weak when viewed in a non-colour managed environment. 11 So how do you know what colour will look like in any given profile? Fortunately Photoshop allows you to view an image under the conditions of any ICC profile. It is referred to as Soft Proofing. If you have created an image with really deep blacks, but intend to print it on a paper that cannot produce a full black, then you will not be able to correctly adjust that image for that printing process. However, if the printer has a ICC profile created for that paper, the paper’s colour space will be reproduced if you use that profile.

Here’s a scenario: I have produced an image working in Adobe RGB1998 as my default working space, and saved that as my master, archived and finished version. I wish to send this off to be printed, and chose to send it to The Printspace, a well-known online printing service, how would I know what my prints would look like when they come back? Most decent printing services will either ask you to submit in sRGB and they will make the adjustments required for their printers, or they will allow you to download an ICC profile for the paper of your choice. The Printspace, like many others allow you do download a profile for their papers.

https://www.theprintspace.co.uk/ThePrintSpace/assets/profiles.zip Once downloaded and unzipped, you will have a folder that contains all Printspaces paper profiles. To install a profile on a PC, right click it and select install. On a Mac, it is more complicated, and the ICC profile will need to be manually copied to Library/Colorsync/Profiles. However, from 10.7.3 onwards, this folder is hidden by default, making it very difficult for the inexperienced to install profiles. If this applies, launch a terminal window (applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type chflags nohidden ~/Library 12 Then reboot the system.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 18.57.30Once the profile for your chosen paper is installed, you can then soft proof your images using this profile to see how they will look. Because subtle changes may be made to the image, it is always best to convert the image to 16bit by using Image/Mode/16bit. Once your image is open in Photoshop, use View/Proof Setup/Custom • Select the device/paper to simulate in the “Device to Simulate” drop down. • DO NOT select preserve RGB Numbers. (As discussed on p.9, this is how profiles work, by changing numbers to preserve colours) • Ensure Black Point Compensation is checked. • Ensure “Preview” is checked. • DO NOT check anything in Display options.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 18.58.28

The one variable control here is whether to select Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric for rendering intent. 13 Do NOT select anything other than these two options. Click OK to soft proof. Relative Colorimetric will simply clip out any out of gamut colours, so anything that’s too saturated for the paper or anything too dark to print will just be removed. This option has the least visible effect on the image, but can harm shadow detail if there are fine, subtle details in the shadows, and can effect very saturated colours. Perceptual will translate all colours, even those out of gamut or too dark to print to within the visible range of colours available in the paper. This has the most visible effect on appearance, especially in shadow areas that will nearly always appear lighter.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 18.58.32

The idea is, that once soft proofed you can make adjustments to ensure the profiled image is the same as the original Adobe RGB or sRGB image. Before adjusting, ensure the soft proof is active by looking at the image name tab. If soft proof is active, it will also show the name of the ICC profile being used.. Not soft proofed Soft proofed The idea is to make adjustments to get the profiled image as close as possible to the original. Which rendering intent? Anything with fine, subtle shadow detail should be soft proofed in Perceptual, and adjustments made to match the appearance and shadow detail retained. You can quickly switch soft proofing off and on again at any time by suing CTRL+Y (Cmd+Y on mac). Once adjustments have been made to match the soft proofed image to the original, you are ready to actually embed the image with the profile by using Edit/Convert to Profile. (see next page) 14 IMPORTANT! If you soft proofed with Perceptual, you MUST embed the profile using the same rendering intent. If you soft proofed with perceptual, and then embed the profile with Relative Colorimetric, the image will come back too dark. Whichever rendering intent you used to soft proof, you must also use to embed the profile. Important! Never use Edit/Assign Profile when converting an image to a destination profile. Always use Edit/Convert to Profile. Finally, save a copy of the file to be printed using File/Save As and making sure the chosen profile is shown, and checked.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 18.59.03

Be careful to NOT save over your original, as converting to a colour profile is a one way process and cannot be undone. Use a different file name. My advice is amend the file name with the profile, for example: Yourfilename_Fuji-C-Type_matt.tiff If your screen is correctly profiled, this method should result in consistent results.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 19.04.26.png

 

Montage

The technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, text, or music.

The Hand 

Prison

Do you see the hand ….?
Abhorrent ! ….Disembodied , attached to naught .
What …. trembling ….despairs ,
are summoned forth ?
When your eyes connect ….
over a cold flesh caress .
Your hanging limbs ….
with darkness near ….
A named aversion ….dread is here ?
A twitching due …two secret fears !
The basement door is opened now ….
To close it…. You know not how .
Those secrets wished to be unknown ….
forever smite you in your home !

Previous Communications 

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Sizing in Photoshop

Resizing images is something you will always need to do as a photographer, so knowing how to do this precisely and for a range of reasons is something you will need to know.

Basic Pixel Resolution Sizing. The method you will be most used to using is Image/Image Size.

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With width and height locked you would merely type in the resolution you require. If a client asks for an image no more than 2500 pixels on the longest side, with the width and height locked, you would merely type this in the Width section and the Height will be adjusted accordingly to keep the image aspect ratio the same.

With Width and Height unlocked then only entering one value will change the image shape, so always use it locked unless you have a specific need. One thing often overlooked when resizing are the resampling options. Depending upon whether you are increasing, or decreasing an image in size, these should be selected carefully.

Reduced to 1500 pixels across with Bilinear

 

Screen Shot Bilinear2016-04-25 at 09.20.57 copy

Reduced to 1500 pixels across with Bicubic Sharper (Reduction)

Screen Shot Bicubic2016-04-25 at 09.21.40 copy

When reducing, as you can see, using Bicubic Sharper adds a little sharpening to make the image appear sharper on screen.

Increased to 15000 pixels across using Bilinear .

Screen Shot PreserveDetails 2016-04-25 at 09.30.19 copy

Using Preserve Details keeps the image sharper when increasing the image size. When using Preserve Details, if the image is noisy, you can add noise reduction at this stage, but my advice is to do so sparingly or detail can be lost.

Screen Shot Preservedetails noise12016-04-25 at 09.34.03 copy

Resizing for printing.

When resizing for printing, it is important to also set the print resolution. Most commercial printers,  assume you are using a file of 300 ppi (Pixels per inch). The files off your camera however may not be set to this. Many cameras (including the camera this test image was taken with) set 240ppi.

Using image/Image Size you can also resize the print resolution. More often than not though, you will want to size an image for a specific print size. For example, if we wanted to size this test image to print at A2, we’d need to set the actual print size at 300ppi and also set the print size to A2. You need to know the actual print size, and this can easily be found on the internet. A2 is 59.4 x 42cm Before you size, take note of the original pixel resolution, and set the width and height to Centimeters Then type in the dimensions you need.

Bear in mind, that almost certainly, the image will NOT be the same shape as an A2 page, so if it is a landscape image, set the width to 59.4. If a portrait image, set height to 59.4cm. THEN take note of how the pixel resolution changes…

As we can see the resolution has reduced, so we then need to choose the appropriate Resample method .

Screen ShotBicybicsharperres 2016-04-25 at 09.42.36 copy

In this case, Bicubic Sharper, as we’re reducing pixel resolution. Our image is now 300ppi and will print exactly 59.4cm across. Resizing with the Crop Tool.

You can perform the same tasks with the crop tool.

Select the crop tool from the main toolbar.

Then on the context menu, select “W x H x Resolution”.

If you do not want to change the image shape, set width size only for a landscape image, and height only for a portrait image. And set 300ppi Bear in mind you have to actually type in the letters cm if you want centimeters.

Screen Shot croptool2016-04-25 at 09.48.53.png

You would then drag the cropping tool across the entire image (having snap turned on from the “view” menu helps here). Once the whole image is selected… double click to action the crop the image to the size and resolution set.

If you want your image to be exactly the same shape as the paper.. in this case A2 (59.4x 42cm) the crop tool is the ideal way to do it. Just set the exact paper size and 300ppi resolution.

As the image will not be the same size, you will need to decide how to crop it. Action the crop, and you will now have an image that will print exactly to A2. The problem with this method is that you cannot choose the resampling method. To get around this, you can crop to the required aspect ration first by setting the crop tool to “ratio”, and typing in the measurements you want… so for A2, you could type 5.94 x 42. No need to put cm etc, as it is a ratio. Crop… THEN use the Image/Image Size method. Then you can choose the resampling method.

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Up To The Seventh Degree

A Shady Joint

ShadyJoint

On My Own

Enhancing Social Presence through networking .

220px-Lastbritishwolf

On all your pages and social networking sites you should specificly cross link your most popular sites in the heading or details to provide your best sites with slightly more exposure but also giving your lesser known pages some equal attention and likely hit rate . Therefore think about the likely hood of the link being seen and where it is posted according to a viewer who will look at your site or page and also what the chances are from this visbility to if or how they will see it when clicking or stumbling across your page . You want the most visibility and likleyhood of a response  . So if and when some one comes to your page they will most likely notice the link and and chain look through all your sites thus giving them the most exposure and hits .

Facebook

Although I would not recommend facebook and would prefer google plus and twitter , I suppose I use because I feel I have to . It may help in sharing my work and getting minor publicity . So … Use facebook and post images from your own pages with specific targeted keywording and also more rare but precise and subject informed to increase chances of being noticed and noticed by the right people as well as with links to your own websites and published work included in the image , then post them to different groups with lots of members and specific subject matter .

Google Plus

Use google plus and post images from your own page with specific targeted keywording and with links to your own websites and published work included in the image , then post them to different google plus communities with lots of members and specific similar subject matter to gain the most followers and shares thus exposure .

500 px

I Use 500 px for validation and motivation as it is more frequently used by real practicing members of the photographic community . Getting a response on here should mean more than a facebook page as it is uninfluenced by other people and societal constructs or personal barriers so it is a more pure form of recognition in your passion of photography . 500 px has caused people to search for me online regarding work and job opportunitys . I also use it as a visual eye opener to search for works I myself would aspire to . Again Use 500 px with specific targeted keywording and with links to your own websites on your front page and published work included in the show image space .

Twitter

Twitter is good again for getting promoted or valuable publicity online as it has a direct link to the most inspiring and biggest names in your field . It would only take one time at being sought out , seen or recognised by someone with clout to rocket your practice into unknown levels . I see twitter as one of the most valuable ways to get noticed by the right people . Facebook is the last choice ,  if good at all as it comes with the baggage of social barriers and negative constructs of society at your home level , people are not capable of there own susceptiveness on facebook they are like sheep to the alpha . It will be no good until you make it for real if any at all even then . It is all a physchological tool of no use to your career aims at a basic level .

 

Small Businesses

StrangeDuck

Marketing .

It is important to be earning money to carry on your practice and make your practice sustainable . Learn the formula and exploit the system .

Market research .

General theory regarding marketing .

The process through which goods and services move from concept to customer . Marketing is the rounded process that covers the inception of a product or service . Bringing your concept to the customer understanding it with regards to the customer .

Marketing mix

The 6 ps ?

Product or service .

Selling my ideas is more of a service than a product . Should solve an urgent need for a customer . A service needs the right feature , it should be easy to use and visually attractive .

Me as a person will sell my work its my branding that people will buy . The look of my service and its quality .

I need Business cards a readily available website zeen with a need a good brand . It’s not neccesarily the high quality of the product as Mc Donald’s provide a reliable product but it has a terrible quality but through conformity people buy it . Imitate conformity so people know what they are getting every time Through consistency of the product great logo and branding .

Marketing for services

Let the customers know who you are . Sell yourself and specialise in one area so people look for you because you are the man for this job . Eg Portrait man takes the best portrait photos so you have established a reputation for being that sort of professional . Let people know by your branding and social media websites . It’s a long winded process of establishing a reputation . Is someone undercutting you , you preserve you high point charges because you are in business and provide a valuable service . It’s much easier to keep a customer than find a new one . Make customers happy and provide a good service and become freindly with them .

The ladder . Climbing the ladder . Improve your position on the ladder . It’s how the quality of your product and service is perceived and regarded by your customers on the ladder that counts . Consider where you wish to be . Consider price and service . Aldi have moved up the ladder because they provide a better service . Am I going to sell one image for a million like harrods or a million images for a pound each like poundland . I should be somewhere in the middle . Think where my customers are who will use my product eg London is a great area to sell your work . Develop a customer base in London .

Promotion

Attracting my target customer . It’s about Building a relationship that I can turn into commerce .

 

Price

I need to earn an income . Pricing my product I must know 4 things . My own costs that I have on my own materials and work etc .

Markup .

What is the standard , mark up , profit margin on the service I provide . Is my work of value . What value am I to my customer . If I have a unique vision I can charge more . This is where I will focus my work on the unique concept and my own vision . What will it cost the customer to not have what I’m offering .

Profit

Make sure you charge the proper costs eg don’t do anything for cheap make sure you have the correct prices . You can then grow the business and pay employees . There is no limit to my financial success .

What is my work and where am I as a practicioner .

Getting your work out in the industry and known by contacting people in the industry and advertising myself , my work , ideas and putting out a public persona . Zeens , social media , contacting businesses , business cards and Magazines . Attending events where you can network or meet potential employers and find important contacts in the business to Manufacture a community .