Skip to main content

Color Management and Light

Lesson 3 from: Digital Printing using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

Daniel Gregory

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Color Management and Light

Lesson Info

Color Management and Light

So after we've thought about paper, we had a thing about color. Manage. This is one of those things that in concept should be so easy. I want what's on my screen to match what comes on to the paper, and I want what I saw when I took the picture to the screen, to the paper. One all of that, just a match and it seems so easy, and yet it never really seems toe work effectively. And the reason for that is all sorts of different things were happening. We have the capture of light onto a surface we have light transmitting through a screen. We have, like reflecting off of a paper, and each one of these different devices has a different ability to understand color. So when it comes to color management, we're trying to understand how to build all of those things. That being said, the biggest problem card management issue terrible about seeing and understanding Color Square A and square be are the exact same gray. It's an optical illusion created by the element of the shadow in the squares. I wi...

ll open in photo shop if you all don't believe me. But a and B. You're identical and your eye doesn't see that. So if that's true, when you look at something on the monitor, how do we know that that's true? That's part of the color management problem. We don't see color correctly, and we don't identify color correctly. We have horrible for Gabby Larry for describing color. If we take a look at this screen, we would describe that is white and we'd all agree to that. But if I ask you which ones red and people go there all red, they're actually not all red color is incredibly specific in the digital world. If you think about in the photo shop model, we have H S L Hugh saturation luminosity. Hugh is the actual color. So if I say 18 Hugh, that is a very specific red. If I apply a saturation level of 42 that and luminosity value of 86 those are also very specific. So what we do is we're like it's strawberry red. It's fire engine rid. It's candy cane red, and we just hope that other people agree that all strawberries have the same red, and then I know what you might be thinking. you're thinking, well, you over laid the colors on top of one another course, it's hard to figure out which red is which. So which one of these is the actual blue? Because actual blue is in there? True, Blue is actually in there at the bottom is not true blue. Those are actually radiance of blue. Those actually have multiple blues. So this is the other thing is we start to understand color in relationship to other colors. So at the top, it's actually harder to figure out which blue is. When we look at the Grady into the bottom, you're like, well, that top of that grading is darker than the bottom, so we start to understand colors as they were late to one another. So because of that that what's makes color management more of a challenge. The ultimate goal of all of this work here, all of his work here. All of the work on the print is we want reliable results, and in order to do that, we had to have a set of standards that could apply to that. So the I C. C. Is the acronym, but it stands for the international color Consortium, a consortium consortium. One of those words It's very important that you learn how to say before you start talking life. The I C C International Color Consortium has identified specific ways for us to describe color in the different profile creation and in the different objects and what it is is there is a map that gets created, and there's two different ways the maps get created. It doesn't really matter what how it actually is, but it basically says, If my computer monitor thinks this is strawberry red and it goes to the printer and the printer is like that's not strawberry rid, that's fire engine rid. Does it actually matter that the monitor calls it strawberry rid and the print calls it fire engine red? Not really. What matters is that the red I see on the screen is the word that comes out on the paper. Actually, Don't care what you call it a computer printer. Just please make sure it matches. So the color Consortium was creating these profiles and doing this color work and working with the tech industry to build these color management engines so that we could have all of this stuff start to work together, and they could speak on equivalent translation books. So this is your translation guide. You go to Spain, you go Italy speak English. You get out your book or if you remember your Spanish from high school and you're like donde esta la biblioteca. And you hope that everything you ever need is at the library. Because that's the only phrase you remember court that I remember. Okay, so the profiles, we get these profiles. So this is the other thing about color management. You get this profiles and hero, make sure you get the right profile. Install. If you buy a new paper, you gotta download the road profile. Your camera actually has a profile. What is the profile? The profile is a description of the color space and the gamut of information and color that is actually contained within the device. The reason that's important is each device season understands color differently. So my color does in the camera, captures greens and only captures a certain amount of green. My monitor shows a certain level of green in the print shows a certain level of green. What are those greens and how do they interact with one another. So that was one of the first things that the group is this figure that out. We have three different kind of profiles we worry about Capture, camera, display, monitor and output, which is the printer. Any other device we're gonna output to in most cases, for what we do in a printing world, The display is the problem. The print is definitive. What the print is is what it ISS. So if there is a problem upstream, we work off of what happened in the print and work our way backwards. So we're gonna come back and talk about the importance of the display A lot in this process, as we have these volumes of color, as we have these rendering intense get built are areas we have. These colors of autumn get built. We have the profiles get built. We have that translation mechanism that has to happen between them, the various pieces. So what happens? There is That's the rendering intent. So the rendering intent says if I'm gonna go from device to printer, I've got colors that are in my monitor. They may or may not be in the print. How do I make that translation happen? So there's four ways to actually make that translation happen. There's only two that we worry about is and photographers we worry about relative and we worry about perceptual and we'll talk about those. And I've got some demonstrations on why you would select those. The question I get asked all the time is which is the right one? The right one is the right one for that specific image, So I always default to relative because I had to pick one to start my preferences. But every image gets checked under both because there's certain strengths and weaknesses to the way the conversion process happens. And I don't know, without looking specifically at the image, we'll talk a little bit when we get to that in a photo shop in light room about why would suspect one over the other. But in general, we're gonna check on both of those. Okay, we're gonna jump onto the computer here just for a second. I want to show you a little bit about these color volumes and rendering and 10 and why they're important. But before I jump into that piece of software, this is what? The thing is probably one of the things you need to buy if you don't already have one, this one happens to be from X, right? The company's data color makes them to call the spider from data color. This is a color monkey display. This little gizmo hangs over your monitor and actually builds the display profile because out of the gate, we don't know what colors are actually on the monitor. So what this device does and the software does, is it actually will When you actually the calibration, it throws up hundreds of colors and this measures it and then it's able to say I'm going to show you what I know to be this red and then I'm gonna measure with the monitor says it is, and then I'm going to correct that problem. So this is going to get my monitor to have accurate colors. If you're a printer and it doesn't matter if you're going to Costco Bay, photo in picks your printing on ah P 5000 pro, one out of cannon. Without this, all bets are off that you'll ever get to photos to come out looking the right. I can literally not calibrate my screen print one photograph, push the print button again and will be different because the values on the screen are not accurate. So this is all about getting the screen accurate. So for the this more than any camera thing, you'll buy your printer. Getting a display piece is really important. So, um, and doesn't matter. Spider Pro. They all do similar enough job. Um, for those. Okay, I've got a piece of software called Color. Think, um, appear it always does. This weird thing. This is the L A B color space. This is the largest set of volume of color we have. There's actually colors that exist within here that we only mathematically describe because we actually can't see them. So I find interesting, like math is always so good about, though that actually exists. We can't see it. I can't prove it to you. But there's math formula says it's true, but the other be color space is a massive set of volume. When we talk about color, we talk about color spaces. We have the s RGB space, the adobe RGB space in the pro photo, and everybody here is You should work. Pro photo Its largest color space. Talk a little bit about why that is, if I show you the s RGB color space. There's all the colors to get built in the S RGB color space. Okay, here's the adobe RGB color space. Ask that wire frame so you can see how much more green and red and blues and yellows I have by being in the adobe rgb color space. And so what that means is I have mawr tones out there. I have more color. So if you think about gradations, you think about shades. You think about tense. I have mawr information in that adobe space to describe the color And then I have pro photo So happy out, pro photo There's so much color and in black and white, everyone wants to wear black and white or a kramat. Black and white is actually color. It's just a chromatic color. It sits in that center l channel right there. So the adobe space Yes, RGB space Pro photo all has a similar a chromatic. But remember, when we're converting from black and white to do digital printing, we're working with color to make the decisions of how was black and white tones work. So we'd still want to be in the pro photo space even though the compressions in there. So from a decision point, I want to make a decision about what color dough I use. What space. So I want to use I want to have access to the most possible colors when I'm working. Now, the other thing about this tool it's kind interesting is I can come in and people want to talk about the colors that are out of gamut. We're gonna talk a lot about out of game in your head that come up over and over again. Out a gamut is if I have the s RGB color space. I only have colors that exist within here. But what if my photo has colors that are bigger than that space? The colors are actually defined outside that space. If I take this image, you see those dots over here in the red? Here's the actual photograph. These are all the actual colors that exist within the photograph. If I'm gonna print that in S RGB, you can see outside the space there is a bunch of colors that aren't in GAM it so that rendering intent that perceptual relative is gonna have to compress those tones somehow to make it delivered in S RGB. If I come up to Adobe RGB, turn off the TV. You see, I still have some colors out of gamut. If I go to pro photo, everything's in game it. No, You mean like, why doesn't my monitor What is it? My printer show? Pro photos. The color space We don't have the technology to actually create. That's that's also why the rendering intense, important preemptively answer that question off. I would love a monitor that it Pro photo. My monitor at home does 99.92% of the adobe RGB space. And I was really excited to spend a lot of money to do that. Most monitors are 100% of s RGB, and then depending on the cost, you're gonna get somewhere between 95 100% of the adobe RGB space. And we're just getting monitors that aren't break the bank mortgage level to do 100% of the RGB space just real quick before we jump in. Here is a different image Come on, you can click on the mouse Aereo. There's a different image. So this image you can see has not much out of gamut The colors all kind of sit more in the center. So it with the S RGB profile here, everyone, those colors is in gamut. The reason for that is when I exported that image, I told it to use the S RGB color space. That way I made sure my demo had everything in game it. The last time I did the demo did not do that. I was like, Look, it's really Oh, good. Pay no attention to the screen, Okay? So you could see that there's just a lot more information with the colors basis. That's why we set the information there. This is a side tip if you're shooting with your camera. One of questions I get asked a lot to with printing is Well, if I set my camera for Adobe RGB or S RGB, what's that doing to the raw file? That setting in your cameras about the J peg rendering on the back of the camera? And if you're shooting J pigs, the raw file is nothing but a capture of luminous data so that setting is not gonna have any impact on whether or not Pro photo gets applied or not. Um, OK, so we can get back over into the keynote. Then I'll go ahead and finish up. So the other piece, it's a couple of things about this before we jump in and actually take a look at actual tool for this that are important is your work location. So where you're working has a huge huge on the ST one more time. Huge impact on your ability to actually print properly. And there's a number of things that come into effect. Of that. One is if you notice it's print Day and I'm in all gray. I don't show up with my bright pink Spice Girls 1998 concert T shirt. I was like really Spice girls. No, no, I don't have a hot Pink Spice Girls T shirt. I just if you're awake but very neutral colors, because the monitor is gonna pick up reflections of color. So my ability to correct for color is gonna be impacted by that. So I'm wearing neutral colors. I'm also where's my desk and monitor? If I have a lot of hard light hitting my monitor. My room is incredibly bright. That's gonna impact my ability to actually create a good photograph. If the walls have a lot of crazy color, it's going to impact my ability to actually color correct and get the print correctly. It's also gonna affect my ability to judge the print. Think about if your walls are painted yellow and you put a photograph up there, that yellow is gonna influence your ability to judge the neutrality of the print because your eyes gonna try to balance in the yellow on the wall against the yellows and blues it or in the print. It's gonna cause an issue. There she won his neutral environment as possible. You want to have the lighting set up so that you actually have the appropriate level of lighting. The number one complaint I hear about printing is my prints or too dark, and that's when we buy our laptops. They crank the screen brightness up as high as possible, so everything looks awesome. Apple, hp, Dell, they all want that. You want you to know that you spent a lot of money and you got an awesomely bright supersaturated monitor, so the brightness of that is too high. When we use this calibrate er, one of the things you get asked is, how bright should my screen be? If your prints are too dark, it's because your screen is too bright. So when you set up whether you're on a either one of the devices, what you're gonna want to do is set the lumens for your but that which is a brightness value. Your monitor somewhere between 80 and 100. That's gonna be determined just by your eye, your printer and how that works. But those differences are gonna be important in terms of getting the brightness right. Most monitors out of gator somewhere around 1 80 to 200. We're gonna cut that brightness in half. So any time I'm actually working to print, I'm making sure that the screen brightness is correct. I've also got the ambient temperature and ambient temperature. The ambient temperature needs to be comfortable. You don't want to freeze while you're working. You also the ambient color of the room, the ambient light value of the room to be appropriate. If you're trying to work in an incredibly bright room. You're gonna have a harder time actually getting the print corrected. So you want the light in the room to be is even It's consistent. It's possible not super break. I have a question. So if you have, um, led lights like Philips Hue Lights, would you have your recommendation for your setting? Ah, great question. Uh, make sure I don't have a slide on this in a second. So I repeat myself, I don't. So, in the world of calibration, one of the questions you're gonna get asked is What is the temperature balance we're going to use when we calibrate for the screen, you get an option of Native, which is whatever the default white, true white point of the screen is D 50 which is approximately 5000 degrees Kelvin, or you get a D 65 which is about 6500 degrees Kelvin. The 6500 Kelvin is gonna be a little bit bluer for most people. If I don't get to talk to them about their specific environment, I recommend you calibrate to D 65 on the monitor at that 80 to 100 lumens for the brightness values that's going to set your white point that's going to set your lumens value. And then for the print. Which is the question about the actual led adjustable light bulbs. Most gallery lights, most light you're going observe under are going to be around 3500 and 3900 degrees Kelvin. So it's gonna be a warmer, like the prints gonna be judged by, however, daylights between 10,500 degrees. So it's a little bit cooler, like most people's homes are gonna have a mix of those, too. So somewhere between those is the appropriate level. If you're doing true color correction work and you're trying to do true calibration, work your A D 50 on the monitor de 50 for a viewing booth and 5003 lights for my fine artwork. I print everything so that's viewed under thirty five hundred three bulbs. As a matter of fact, I tell people it's a 35 103 bulbs from the company's sole looks. So looks makes the most optically, not optically, the most color. Pure bulbs. They're not hugely more expensive than traditional lights, but the quality of the light is amazing and you can get a 47 100 degree, 10,500 degree in a 100 degrees. So I did the 3500 degree. And then when I sell a piece of work, I tell people this is been printed to be viewed under that 3500 to relight, meaning the prints Probably gonna look a little cool if it's in daylight, because I'm offsetting the yellow of the light with the blue. But that rich warm tone is warm eyepieces calibrated that Answer the question. Great. Okay, uh, a couple other things. The color of your desktop. I know it's important toe have pictures of fluffy bunnies and rain bows and that trip you took to Hawaii with the cool waterfall. But when you're actually color calibrated, you want your desktop is neutral is possible. If you saw at the very beginning, my desktop has got a gray on it and a little grading on it. When I'm in print mode, my wallpaper is neutral gray. It's close to 50% graze I can get because the other thing is, I don't want my eye to start misjudging white points in black points and color. So anything that the distraction of that element becomes important. Okay, a sign. First convert. This is the other question I get asked a lot, so I just want to get it out of the way before we jump into the tools. I have a photograph, and it's got Adobe RGB or SRG be. And then I want to move it into Pro Photo or I'm in Pro Photo and my printer told me it has to be an adobe RGB. So I assign the profile or convert the profile. And my friend, wanna Gilera, who teaches here in Seattle, gave me the great way to think about what's the right answer here. If you have 100 pesos and you want dollars out of that, do you want me to just a sign a 100 to 100 convergence. You give me your 100 pesos, I give you $100. That's a good deal for you, But if it's the other way around, you have $100 I just give you 100 pesos. You're like that doesn't sound fair. So if I just assign it a 1 to 1, that's not fair. What you really want to do is convert the money. You want the conversion value. So when it comes to the profile, we 99% of the time are going to convert. And what happens when we convert with that profile system saying the color management system is saying is I don't care what the value of the number is of the color by number. When I cares, you preserve that same color in the new color space, so take the color and preserve the color. Don't preserve the arbitrary number. That's a sign when we choose a sign. It says this color is 19 Blue 56 saturation 56 brightness is like great in the new color space. There it is. But if you remember when we looked at the model, there's a huge difference between SRG bees in Point and Pro Photo. So if it just says, assigning is like cool to give you that number and I haven't Akane accounted for the Chan's Ishan in those points. So it is an illustration you can see. I've got pro photo on the far left adobe RGB in the middle, and that's RGB. Every one of those colors is the exact same numeric value. So if we think about I'm in the Pro photo space and I a sign Dan RGB, that's not even close to the same Hugh. I'm close to the same saturation. So when I convert, I'm going to try to preserve that color as much as possible. So the conversion becomes the critical piece of that. So you want to convert the time you would use. A sign is occasionally in a photo shop. You always have a color profile in light room, but in photo shop you'll open an image and I'll tell you that there is no color profile. What would you like to do? In that case, you're gonna let's sign a profile because there isn't anything there, So that's the time you would normally do in the same profile.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Daniel Gregory PSW - Printing Handout
Daniel Gregory PSW - Color Printing Test Page (.psd file)

Ratings and Reviews

Keith Pinn

Great course! Daniel's ability to walk you through all aspects of properly printing is very helpful. His passion for the 'art' of printing is evident throughout this video. I am really excited and certainly more confident in my ability to enjoy printing as well. I hope that he develops further courses on printing. Cheers, Keith

Pablo Fregoso

This course is just an hour and a half. I wish it was a ten hour course because how amazing the content and instruction is. Thank you Daniel, it was informative, interesting, fun, and full of valuable information.

richard patterson

Top Class information ! Thank you very much for taking the time to deliver a very professional and insightful first hand hand experience across to us - regards the final and the most important aspect - getting our images printed, we should all be printing more, and getting due value & pleasure out of our prints.. Many years ago i struggled with alto few books to make sense (not being in any form of print industry) to get to grips with this, wish these instructional / very helpful videos had been around then. thanks again CreativeLive & Daniel Gregory.. RP

Student Work