Monday, April 16, 2007

Canon 5D Portrait Profiles for Capture One Available

Canon 5D Portrait Profiles for Capture One Available

My 5D Portrait Profiles for Capture One are now available. Send me an email and I will send them out to you.

edmundronald at gmail dot com


Sunday, April 15, 2007

5 Ways to mess up profiling testcharts

5 Ways to mess up profiling testcharts - sung to the tune of "Mission Accomplished".

1. Client has a color un-manageable PS/Mac-OS/Epson system.
Yes, Adobe, Apple and Epson finger-point at each other, it's always the other guy who implemented wrong. Let's hope your client is lucky enough to have a system which works. Yeah, right.

2. Client prints with some color management still enabled in the print path.
There should be a big button which says "Profile Testchart" in both PS and printer drivers. But there isn't. Instead the printer driver has a bunch of buttons labelled "Hurt Me". Thanks for pointing out that label, Andrew.

3. Client has a corrupted Epson driver.
Epson drivers seem to suffer bit-rot. Clients are always astonished how different their charts look after the print system is reset. Well, if they can notice that, at least these clients won't blame you for the first bunch of bad profiles you sent them.

4. Client resizes the print chart.
Clients don't know we have position-absolute auto scanners. They think we have a cage full of monkeys with 1mm aperture EyeOnes who read the charts, whatever their size. Maybe we should print "Do not Resize" on each chart.

5. Client's native RIP messes up patches.
Some print drivers try to be smart when they uprez to printer resolution, and mess up the patches. The solution is to have your client uprez himself with 'nearest neighbor" interpolation. But this should be implemented as an option in the driver.

Last and best. Client sends in testchart festooned with glue-on labels, adhesive tape.
Yes, kindergarten kids do so love office supplies.

Gentle reader, if you happen to be working for Apple, Adobe or Epson, maybe you could do something to help our and your clients avoid these built-in wolf-traps ? Maybe disarm them ?


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Camera Profiles as Raw Emulsions

Camera Profiles are the film emulsions of the new Raw Workflow.

As a photographer, I have a set of "signature looks", which I choose to stamp on my work. These looks define my own way of rendering the world of color.

Also, in this new digital world, can package my "color vision" in a profile and share my "look" with other users. This is like cooking up an emulsion and selling film boxes. My experience with the my heavily edited Leica M8 portrait profiles has been a definite success in this regard. As they say, payment is the most acceptable form of flattery ...

I find that camera profiles as exploited in Capture One and Raw Developer are an easier way to stamp my look on a bundle of files than the Lightroom/PS curves approach. Let's compare workflows and we'll see why:

- In C1/PS:
I load my image and set my *signature camera profile*. This overlays my "signature look" on the screen preview. Now, I can twiddle the twiddle the C1 expsoure controls to my heart's content, but *signature look* is already embedded in the image. It's as if I had loaded a preset emulsion in my digital camera. And I haven't yet even opened PS !!!!

- In ACR/PS:
I take a Raw image. Open with ACR. Twiddle the ACR sliders. Get it roughly right. Then move to PS, apply curves etc. Now only can I see my final image *with my signature curves*. Of course a skilled retoucher will work mentally towards this target, but the target "color look" is only fully visible after the last curve is applied in Photoshop. Oh, and by the way, I love curves, and I hate those zillions of sliders in ACR, Lightroom and Aperture!

We see that the Capture One/Photoshop combo and the Lightroom/ACR/Photoshop solution work up differently although they should reach the same image quality.

My opinion in a nutshell: Camera profiles can and should take the place of film emulsions in the new world of Raw, and their use should be integrated in all Raw processing software. Conversely, the current Adobe approach to Raw suffers gravely from general kludginess and an excess of sliders. More controls do not a more intuitive interface make.


PS. A debate with Andrew Rodney on the LL forum allowed me to formulate my position more clearly. I would like to recommend Andrew's excellent tutorial book to all my readers who wrestle with the practicalities of color management.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

iSis review coming.

I now have a new Xrite iSis XL, and preliminary tests indicate that it's working great ! My previous sample of this instrument was transport damaged, which is why I didn't talk about it a lot.

The iSis is a very modern scanning spectro, based on an EyeOne diffraction grid head, which is replacing the Xrite DTP70.

Amongst the new iSis features: Solid-state illuminant, chart readings with and without UV, and a machine-vision sensor that can read bar-charts and identify the chart.

In addition, the XL model has a wider "carriage" and can read A3 format charts.

I'm using this instrument with Monaco Profiler mainly, via the new ColorPort 1.5 utility that Xrite should by now have available for general download. I shall be describing the iSis more in detail soon.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

iSis - Release transport catch before use

I visited Regensdorf today and the nice people at Xrite ex Gretag swapped my transport-damaged iSis for a new one. And warned me to look at the QuickStart Guide:

There's now a head-lock catch on the under-side the iSis, which should be moved to the unlocked position before use. This catch is much nicer than the slip-in plastic head-guard which was included with the first iSis unit I was sent.

Before transporting the spectro again you're supposed to move the catch back to the locked position, open the device and sweep the head to the right until the head engages.