27 July, 2008

Things I Struggle With: Color


Back so soon? Why, yes! I shot the above last December; I noticed that the sky was pretty and took some photos. I think the image came out well, what with the cool reflections off of Kresge and snow/ice on the roof. This was taken at f/4.5 and 1/1000s.

So, color. Earlier this summer I got a Planar PX2611W, which is a great monitor IMO. Because I'm trying to get more serious about photography, and because the Planar is a wide-gamut monitor. The wide-gamut designation technically means that the monitor can display more colors than your standard CRT. Practically, it means that uncorrected fluorescent colors (pink, turquoise, some reds) actually seem to fluoresce on the screen, which is sort of weird and rather uncomfortable to look at.

To calibrate and profile the monitor, I got an eye-one displayLT (same hardware as the eye-one display 2, but $80 cheaper because of the software). Since I'm on Linux, I used the free ArgyllCMS software to do the calibration and profiling, and now things behave reasonably well.

So, now that this is sort of working, I've been reading and reading and reading. And I'm confused. As always, some of the resources provide conflicting information, others say things that don't seem to make sense, and still others talk about things I have absolutely no concept of (*cough* gamut mapping *cough*)

Some questions I have: FF3 does color-correction, but the above photo looks different in FF than it does in The Gimp or in Geeqie (which match); huh? When I try to use the linear CIECAM D65 profile from aim-dtp, I get weird color artifacts that go away when I convert to a gamma-corrected profile; I thought the appearance wasn't supposed to change?

Anyway, the struggle continues. To close, a quote from Michael Reichmann, proprietor of Luminous Landscape: "I create my photographs so as to share with others what I have seen of the world. For better or worse I bring to the task a unique way of seeing. My intent is to create a representation of what I saw, filtered though the lens of my personal perspective and coloured by the emotional, cultural and esthetic baggage that my sixty years on the planet have given me."

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