Five Makeready columns posted

Dan Margulis

In the wake of our case studies I looked through some old files that might be useful and added five Makeready columns to the archive that we keep at

These columns are ancient—some more than 25 years old. They were, however, somewhat ahead of their time. Much of the technique is still applicable today.


Here’s what has gone up:


Color by the Numbers (5/94)

This one states the whole basis for high-quality color correction and, along with the next one, launched my career as a teacher. I’ve posted not the column itself, but an expanded version from a book, the  corresponding chapter of PP4E.


Colors, Curves, and Horsetrading (8/94)

And this is the companion, just as influential: how to shape curves to bring out contrast in the most important part of the image. What’s posted is the corresponding chapter from PP3E.


A Rock and a Hard Place (6/98)

This one is relevant to our Carnival cast study, where we were presented with a bright red costume—too bright a red to fall within the gamut of the CMYK for which it had to be prepared. So we had to shoot for the brightest possible result, consistent with holding reasonable detail. The column was written in a time when political correctness declared that there was one specific way to convert to CMYK. I pointed out that this is ridiculous; CMYK and RGB are too different for any method to work against all challenges. Show me a method that works well with the Carnival image, and I’ll show you several where it works badly,


Making Two Ends Meet (9/04)

The Niagara Spray case study and a few others needed major enhancement of highlight areas. Many people used the Bigger Hammer action of the PPW panel to accomplish this. Here, the column anticipates the action by explaining how an Overlay blend process can bring out extravagant detail in the lights and darks.


The Shadow of the Rose (9/05)

The ability to make rapid selections, masks, and Blend Ifs based on the AB channels of LAB is one of that colorspace’s most attractive and underrated features. This column explains the basics.


Enjoy these golden oldies!




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