The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

Lesson 9/47 - Color Management: Do I Need This?


The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow


Lesson Info

Color Management: Do I Need This?

So do I really need all of this? We've kind of answered that question already. You know as I said take what you want. At the very minimum I would say buy you know... Maybe it's the i1 Studio, maybe it's the i1 Studio Display Pro or i1 Display Pro. Buy a colorimeter, a spectrophotometer are what these are called. Monitor calibration device. Calibrate your monitor minimum once a month or at the most once every two months 'cause your monitor will drift a little bit. Do as much as you can with your work environment. You know if you have giant windows and there's no other place to work it up that's just how you deal with it. You know you're not gonna blackout your giant windows with the gorgeous view of the bay. If you're working in the Space Needle you know you've got lots of light coming in. If you're a photojournalist, there's photojournalists around the world working on laptops in a cafe God knows where with whatever light they have and they're doing the best they can. But what you may ...

not realize is when they send those pictures back to New York Times or back to Washington Post or whoever, you know Agence France-Presse there's somebody there that's checking their color on an actual calibrated monitor even though it's being printed on toilet paper in the newspaper you know which is not super high-end paper. So there's somebody still checking it in the professional world for photojournalism which you may or may not expect or know about. But, you know, do the best you can is what it comes down to. And if you're just putting stuff online if that's all your clients are online you know this might... This is probably all you need to do. Having a nice monitor is great, really helps. You know I as you'll see I spend a lot more time probably on my images really moving sliders and stuff than a lot of people actually do. For me it takes 20 to 30 minutes per image to really dial it into a really high degree. It depends on how much time I have. That's my clientele. I'm not a photojournalist in terms of shooting and then having to get those images out an hour later. So that's, we can talk about that workflow but that's a little different than what I'm doing. So understand this is all fine tuned to what I'm doing too. If you're a wedding photographer and you have to shoot 1200 images and process 1200 images before the end of the week, oh my gosh you can't spend a half hour on every image. But you're probably making prints and maybe you're just sticking at sRGB mode and that can streamline it so you don't have to... You might still wanna fancy monitor though 'cause these can be put into sRGB mode not just AdobeRGB. So it depends on what you're doing and your experience. Are your prints looking great? Well then don't worry. If you're having trouble with color management then you might really look at this. Get a monitor calibration device. I've said it before but if you're doing a lot of printing, dial into color management it's gonna save you thousands of dollars. In paper and ink alone. You will pay for your own monitor within the first six months if you print every week. So, as I've said earlier this is all, 'cause we're gonna be looking at color the rest of this class. It's critical that we have this dialed in. Pissing into the wind there. (laughs) You know just a little colorful metaphor to tell you how critical this is and if you're not doing any color management at all like oh man, whoa you know you might calibrate your monitor and then go back and find out you need to rework up a good chunk of images. Maybe, maybe not depends on how lucky you are.

Class Description

Setting up a practical and efficient workflow with your photography feels like a daunting part of your business. Internationally recognized photographer Michael Clark introduces you to techniques to allow you more time to shoot the images you want. His workflow philosophy is that you must first know how you are going to edit the image in post production to know how you need to shoot it.

In this class Michael teaches:

  • Best practices for a shooting workflow from setting up your camera to histograms and exposure
  • How to clean the sensor on your DSLR camera
  • Color management workflow including your work environment and monitor calibration
  • An overview of Lightroom® and multiple ways to speed up your workflow including file folder and batch naming as well as metadata and archival processes
  • Techniques to finalizing your images in Photoshop® with basic adjustments and retouching
  • Making fine art prints, choosing your printer, paper, understanding ICC profiles, and much more!

Michael covers everything you need to know in order to streamline your post production workflow in Lightroom® and Photoshop® and best practices for printing your art at home. Digital photography is far more complicated than shooting film ever was. Knowing the best practices for a digital workflow will make you a better photographer.


1Class Introduction 2Shooting Workflow: Set-up The Camera 3Shooting Workflow: Histograms and Exposure 4Shooting Workflow: Sensor Cleaning 5Overview of Color Management 6Color Management: Monitor 7Color Management: Workspace 8Color Management: Monitor Calibration 9Color Management: Do I Need This? 10Introduction to Lightroom® 11Download & Import Images With Lightroom® 12Lightroom® Preferences 13Six Ways to Speed-up Lightroom® 14To DNG or Not to DNG? 15A Logical Editing Process in Lightroom® 16File & Folder Naming in Lightroom® 17Batch Renaming in Lightroom® 18Entering Metadata in Lightroom® 19Managing Images in Lightroom® 20Introduction to the Develop Module in Lightroom® 21Lightroom® Develop Module 22Sharpening, Chromatic Aberration & Vignetting in Lightroom® 23Graduated Filters & Spot Tool in Lightroom® 24Converting images to Black & White in Lightroom® 25Creating Panoramas in Lightroom 26Creating HDR Images in Lightroom® 27Lightroom® to Photoshop® Workflow 28Export Images to Photoshop® 29Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Basic Adjustments 30Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Retouching 31Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Saving Master Files 32Make Fine Art Prints: The Cost 33Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers 34Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Papers 35Make Fine Art Prints: Understand ICC Profiles 36Make Fine Art Prints: Sharpen Image 37Printing From Photoshop® 38Printing From Lightroom® 39Compare Monitor to Physical Prints 40Printing Black & White Image 41Extended Workflow: Back Up Images 42Extended Workflow: Storage Options 43Extended Workflow: Archiving Images 44Submitting images to Clients 45Prepping Images for Social Media 46Alternative Workflows 47Final Q&A


a Creativelive Student

Michael is a true professional and readily explains all of the nitty gritty issues of a photographer's digital workflow, including important things like Color Management, Lightroom workflows, Printing, and more. He is eager to answer your questions and has a thorough knowledge (after all, he worked with the original engineers at Adobe and wrote a book on it) and passion that he loves to share. He can get way deep into the subject, which I found fascinating. You can tell Michael has great experience in teaching and also likes to learn from his students. He is very authentic, honest, and direct. I highly recommend this class, and look forward to another one of Michael's courses in the future!

a Creativelive Student

This is an excellent course. It reinforced what I already knew and enhanced my spotty skills with new knowledge. I really like Michael's explanation of saving the document for print and web and the importance of doing these differently. Using the histogram to show this was terrific. Each session there is some valuable gem.

Angelita Sanchez

A fantastic course to give you a complete view of the full process of photography. Michael is an awesome instructor, very organized! A clear mind, and an approachable instructor always willing to answer your questions! A must for all photographers!