A column on white point

Dan Margulis

Here in New Jersey, for obvious reasons I’ve had a lot of time on my hands and have been using it to clean up some older stuff, including scanning some old magazine columns.

As it happens, twenty years ago I wrote something that because of its very simplicity is potentially more valuable today than it was back then. It’s called “The Great Imaging Equalizer”, and it talks about how the command that we today know as Auto Tone sometimes lets absolute beginners make better corrections than people who consider themselves experts. That leads to a discussion of why it succeeds when it does, why it fails when it doesn’t choose the correct endpoints, and how even an inexperienced person can do better by selecting his own with the eyedropper.

The advent of PPW and other high-powered fancy workflows can make us forget these basics. Anyone who doesn't set good white and black points, whether you, me, Caravaggio, or Monet, will not get satisfactory results. Even after twenty years, IMHO, it's worth a read, regardless of how basic it seems, so I've posted a PDF.

Will people be interested in checking it out? Well, nobody knows what the current situation does to people's psychology. Most of the time now I don't feel inclined to do anything involving color or Photoshop and I suspect others feel the same way. OTOH with so many of us prisoners in our own homes there's a lot of time to study and experiment if so inclined. We've talked about doing some case studies here, where we post a problematic image or two, have members try to correct it, and post and comment on the results. I'm game for it if others are.

Meanwhile, here's the link for the white point column.

And here's the link for all the columns posted so far.

Stay healthy, everybody.


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