About This Digital iDarkroom Primer

This Primer on the new digital darkroom is provided on this blog to arm new DSLR photographers with the fundamental knowledge needed to become familiar with the evolving digital technologies and be able to apply them to their emerging interest in the photographic art. To read this Primer in logical order, please begin with the oldest post and read to the most current. Click HERE for Table of Contents.

Along the way, you'll find, photography tips, photography techniques and an ample dose of solid photo basics to help you feel comfortable in your digital darkroom.

A sister site, Hub's Camera, covers the fundamental mechanics of using your new DSLR camera. Then visit Hub's Photography Tips for basic but essential tips on all things photographic. Links to both of these sites can be found in the right-hand column of this page. Happy shooting!

"Hub's iDarkroom" is a non-commercial, educational service of Hubbard Camera LLC.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Part 1 - What's The Big Deal About Managing Color In Photography?

My many flights from Portland, Oregon to New York City are always too long, too cramped and a culinary nightmare. On a recent flight, I was pondering the nutritional value as well as the airline’s hefty investment in the bag of peanuts I was unceremoniously served, when a fellow airline victim noticed my camera bag wedged under the seat in front of me – leaving zero room for my size 12 feet. He asked if I was a photographer and said that photography was his passion and hobby. Our discussion soon came to the topic of color management. His first comment was, “What’s the big deal about color management? Color is color. It's all taken care of at the factory.”

Groping for a simple, practical answer, it occurred to me that we were sitting in the middle of the latest “Die Hard” movie. The plane’s cabin had been magically transformed into a movie theater with Bruce Willis performing for all of us on about 20 small LCD monitors hanging from the ceiling. (see picture below)

I pointed to the dozen or so monitors in front of us. Each monitor was identical. Each monitor was made by the same manufacturer. Each was showing the same movie from the same DVD on the same digital player at the front of the airplane. Yet no two monitors looked the same. One monitor had a magenta cast, another yellow, another green and so on until one monitor had actually lost all of its color and was displaying a black and white version of the movie. I said to my new photographer friend, “There’s the problem."

Color management is a very big deal if you're serious about photography. The next post will explain the problem demonstrated by my favorite airline in the picture above. The fact facing every iDarkroom technician (you) is that if color management issues are ignored, there is virtually NO WAY that the image on your monitor will ever match the print from your printer. These frustrations are surmountable. Creating that "comfort factor" is the goal of these color management posts.

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