Date   

Re: Seeking CM reference site

Chris Murphy <lists@...>
 

I don't think that because a profile is in PShop that that makes for an ICC
workflow.
I don't think there is such a thing as an ICC workflow anymore than there
is a CTP workflow. Workflow is company specific and I think it's complex
enough that it defies naming conventions.

I've never
seen a working ICC color managed workflow. (At least one that works)
This is probably what Dan is referring to. I think he calls it "this
grandiose scheme of a full blown ICC workflow". The gradiose scheme
pretty much does fall apart because not every application uses ICC
profiles, or even if they do, don't color manage all file types.
QuarkXPress is a good example. It only color manages color builds you
make in QXP *and* TIFF files. It doesn't have a mechanism for dealing
with anything else.

Dan would consider this a flaw of color management, ICC, or the grandiose
scheme of whatever. I think that's unfair because it's not the fault of
color management. It *can* color manage other kinds of objects. The flaw
is with QuarkXPress, and actually it's just a lack of a feature. It's
certainly a major drawback, and one they are aware of, but it's not fair
to label an entire technology as a failure because a major application
doesn't have full implementation of that technology.


I believe that I can also embed a profile of my scanner in an RGB scan and
that the printer's color management software can use that info to do
something but I'm not sure what.
I think that because we've gone for years where people haven't gotten
training on basic color concepts, we are having these kinds of debates on
ICC color management because vendors are driving the idea down our
throats. The concept of printing inks and separation setups in Photoshop
isn't new and is pretty much the same idea as an ICC profile. The problem
is that as you introduce this idea to the average graphic arts
individual, they get lost because they weren't even previously aware of
the importance of accurate printing inks and separation setup. They would
obliviously leave it on defaults and hack away on the image using a
manual technique to fix what amounted to a bad separation.

So perhaps the resistance is the idea that ICC is twice as new; a.)
didn't know that color management has been around for a long time prior
to ICC, just that most people ignored the problem; b.) ICC is a newer
technology, and different UI than the old way of doing things.


I do not know how I would specify a synthetic color in this system though.
E.g. green type in Xpress or illustrator. By how it looks on screen?
You can do it in a conventional way if you want, without penalty or
making changes with settings. If you set an appropriate press profile,
and your monitor is calibrated/profiled, Illustrator and QuarkXPress will
show you a reasonably accurate representation of whatever CMYK (or RGB)
values you select.

From a really basic perspective, nothing is different except that you can
trust you monitor whereas previously everyone I've ever talked to says
they WANT to trust their monitor, but never do because it's always
different.

And that is probably another level of resistance is that we are so used
to not trusting our monitors that the idea of trusting them seems really
unsafe if not impossible.


I believe that if I change my mind and go to a different print shop then I
would load a new profile which would then make my screen and Epson produce
the colors that I could expect to see from that other printer.
The "old" way of doing this would be to convert the image to Lab. Then
change your CMYK information to the new printing situation, and then
reconvert to CMYK. The "ICC" way of doing this would be to use
Photoshop's Profile To Profile (Photoshop 5) or Convert to Profile
(Photoshop 6) and go from one CMYK space directly to another by selecting
a FROM and TO profile. Of course, you can still do it the old way.

Some benefits of using ICC profiles comes from other applications that
can help this go faster. A conventional method would have you reseparate
everything in your layout, then update the QuarkXPress document. For
many, possibly most this isn't a big deal. For others it could mean a lot
of images. This CMYK to CMYK "repurposing" can be done with ICC profiles
in QuarkXPress directly without having to do it manually image by image
in Photoshop.

My complaint isn't that this doesn't work or can't be done which is what
it always seems Dan is saying because he never elaborates on the REAL
problem. That complaint is that it's complicated to know and remember
what things QuarkXPress can and can't do. For example if your layout
contains one EPS image, you may have no idea - but if you repurpose the
document for some other press, all images will be properly converted
EXCEPT the EPS files, and QuarkXPress will *NOT* warn you about this.

In order to have a fully functional QuarkXPress requires a $400 XTension
that allows it to not only work with EPS files, but deal with RGB ouput.
QuarkXPress 4 only converts images to an CMYK space. It will not convert
to RGB for RGB output methods. This is complicated and a totally
legitimate gripe. But the "blame" should be on Quark. Not color
management technology.



I thought that consultants would have similar lists of their successes.
I would think so to but apparently I'm not the only one that does a lot
of taking with printers and they just aren't up to a lot of action. The
six I've actually done work for I have NDA's with. Two gravure. Two
flexography. One newsprint/magazine. And one commercial sheetfed & web
(book publishing). With gravure and flexo they use profiles in prepress
and to customer who want them to both convert from RGB to CMYK (rare) and
more commonly to convert SWOP separated imaged and convert them for their
specific purpose (CMYK to CMYK conversion). They use monitor soft
proofing not for critical purpose, but to avoid printing out really nasty
images on an inkjet printer that's going to take a while (20 minutes) to
shoot out a proof. Newsprint/magazine has a batch processing piece of
software to convert RGB images from digital cameras to CMYK. Customers
are asked to separate using the supplied profile. The commercial printer
uses their profiles exclusively for proofing purposes.

Now recently I've refused to sign NDA's that prevent me from even talking
about success stories, and will only sign one's that deal with exactly
what all we did and how it relates to their specific workflow and
technology. It's been a real PITA to not be able to mention them by name
and give out referrals. But for now that's where it's at. Since I've
refused to sign NDA's I haven't had any printing companies as customers
for purposes other than just proofing. Too bad because it's a lot of fun
seeing this stuff work and save them a *LOT* of make ready time.


I would have that that after ten years this would be possible.
Keep in mind we only got the first application that really uses ICC
profile by design three years ago with Photoshop 5. I don't think the CTP
industry was making serious inroads only three years into an actual
viable solution.


Chris Murphy


Re: Seeking CM reference site

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/2/01 5:39 PM, Gordon Pritchard at gordon_pritchard@creoscitex.com
wrote:

I believe that I can also embed a profile of my scanner in an RGB scan and
that the printer's color management software can use that info to do
something but I'm not sure what.
Convert to some necessary space (Editing or output). It's raw data tagged in
the space from that scanner. Cool feature in Photoshop 6 is that now you can
edit in your input space. The preview is fine. For people doing scans but
providing (or wanting to provide) the raw RGB for their customers can now do
this a lot easier with Photoshop 6. Dust busting and other work in Photoshop
5 would hose that scanner profile even if we didn't convert on open and
worked in that scanner space (with an ugly preview). I'm not suggesting that
editing in input space is a good idea for all users or for a lot of work
(I'd convert into a nicely behaved space like Adobe RGB 1998 or ColorMatch
RGB).

I do not know how I would specify a synthetic color in this system though.
E.g. green type in Xpress or illustrator. By how it looks on screen?
Depends on what color you are seeking. If you want to match a Pantone or
process color onto a device that doesn't use process inks, you can do that
for vector elements using a product called VectorPro.

I believe that if I change my mind and go to a different print shop then I
would load a new profile which would then make my screen and Epson produce
the colors that I could expect to see from that other printer.
Just the profile that created the original conversion to CMYK you want to
mimic on the Epson. That should already be embedded in the file from the
last person who did the actual conversion.

Andrew Rodney


Seeking CM reference site

Gordon Pritchard <gordon_pritchard@...>
 

There now appears to be some confusion as to what constitutes an ICC Color
managed workflow.

I don't think that because a profile is in PShop that that makes for an ICC
workflow.

So, this is what I was thinking it was as this is the impression I've gotten
from the vendors. Bear with me, I'm probably wrong....but, hey, I've never
seen a working ICC color managed workflow. (At least one that works) Please
correct my understanding if I'm wrong.

Imagine I'm a designer...Let's say (for illustration purposes) Mac. PShop,
Illustrator, Xpress, Epson 5000.

I ask my local printer for an ICC profile of their press (or maybe their
perferred contract proof)

I take this profile and put it somewhere in my Mac system.

My Mac uses color sync with profiles of my monitor and Epson so that what I
see on screen and what prints on the Epson will look very close to what I
will see on the target press (or contract proof if that what the printer's
supplied profile was). Also, I take it that PShop can use the profile to
create better separations from RGB to CMYK than if I used the default.

I believe that I can also embed a profile of my scanner in an RGB scan and
that the printer's color management software can use that info to do
something but I'm not sure what.

I do not know how I would specify a synthetic color in this system though.
E.g. green type in Xpress or illustrator. By how it looks on screen?

I believe that if I change my mind and go to a different print shop then I
would load a new profile which would then make my screen and Epson produce
the colors that I could expect to see from that other printer.

So what I was looking for is the same as if you were asking me about CTP. If
you are interested in CTP, but weren't sure quite what it was, and were
suspicious about what I told you ('cause I'm a vendor) then I would provide
you with a list of my clients according to your criteria. (e.g. commercial
printer, no prepress, less than 35 million in sales, western US) You could
then contact them, visit them yourself and see the truth (or fiction) in
action for yourself..

I thought that consultants would have similar lists of their successes.

I was hoping to visit such a printer and maybe one of their clients to see
the truth of end to end color management in action.
I'm not particularly interested in closed-loop situations because I believe
anything will work in that environment. I'm looking for what I believe is
typical...a commercial printer working with their client (probably remotely)

I would have that that after ten years this would be possible.

I get the feeling though that the clothes have no emperor.

thx for your input.

Gordon Pritchard
Commercial Print Specialist
CreoScitex
Vancouver Canada
T: 604.451.2700 ext 2870
C: 604.351.2437
gordon_pritchard@creoscitex.com
http://www.creoscitex.com

Print, the original dot com<


Re: Seeking CM reference site

Chris Murphy <lists@...>
 

Nowadays, by definition, it will be an ICC profile,
but this is hardly "ICC color management."
Why not? The ICC does not define workflow of any kind. So what supposedly
defines "ICC color management" and who is defining it?


Go back a few years and the stated rationale for "ICC color management" was
that it would be a universal language of color, owing to the presence of
embedded tags and the ability to convert on the fly, and secondarily that
the use of "device-independent" RGB definitions was an enormous advantage
over the previous method.
Dan, I think it's time you stop living in the past on this subject. You
ask for non-vendors and consultants (as though they are incredible) to
provide their experience with ICC color management; and yet you quote
the vendor party line of idealized and glorified color management as
though what they think they are saying is legitimate.

Consumers have to be discriminating consumers, and not gullible. This is
no different in color mangement than it is when buying a car or a house
or a bag of potato chips. Just because a few years ago a vendor talked
about universal language of color does not make it true and does not make
it worth quoting forever and ever.

There are *nice* things about ICC based color management. This doesn't
mean that everyone must adopt it. It doesn't mean everyone should adopt
it. It doesn't mean that you're a nimrod for not adopting it. It doesn't
mean there is only one or two or 10 right ways to adopt it. But there are
*nice* things that it can help you do, and there isn't anyone in their
right mind that can say otherwise.

What you do have to be careful of is the idea of, without proper
planning, buying into some crazy idea of huge purchases in color
management. Responsible vendors and consultants will talk about analysis
and planning to make sure you're not spending money on unnecessary
software, hardware, and YES you can spend money on unnecessary training
that simply doesn't apply to your business.

But the idea that ICC color management is a farce because of how one or
two vendors define it is obsolete. I don't buy it and no one on the list
should buy it. You should be replacing your rhetoric which sounds like
an argument against anything ICC with a "buyer beware, be very aware"
against vendors and consultants. Some of them will sell you a
refrigerator even if you live in Alaska. So you do have to be a
discriminating consumer but this doesn't mean ICC color management as a
generic term isn't being adopted or doesn't work or doesn't exist.



So I think that a fair definition of a firm using "ICC color management"
would be, at an absolute minimum, one whose workflow depends on embedded
tags, or one that is deriving an incontestable benefit from
"device-independent" RGB that was not available in Photoshop 4.
Why? See I don't have such a limited concept of color management. Some
people aren't going to use embedded profiles, nor are they going to work
in RGB, yet they can derive benefit from aspects of what ICC technology
offers us. It's very company and workflow specific. But ICC is *NOT* a
workflow so I don't like your definition because your definition has a
specific workflow expectation.

It's like now that MOST people are using some form of ICC profile whether
they know it or not, since most people working with color are working
with Photoshop 5 or 6, that isn't enough to consider them using ICC color
management. Now the new definition (to make it sound like fewer people
are using the technology than actually are) is that you have to be
embedding profiles (intentionally) and/or using RGB as the primary
editing space.


These grandiose concepts have been utterly routed in the marketplace. Those
who were braying then about how necessary they were, and how this justified
all the disruption caused by their being shoved down everyone's throats
naturally need some way to save face.
Oh come on, that's what vendors do. And some have a more vigorous
(perhaps on the line of false advertising) marketing style than others.
Buyer BEWARE! But that does not mean "ignore this technology and
everything it has to offer you."


Particularly, since they have been
assuring us for several years that there is increasing adoption and
success of ICC color management among service providers.
NPES is doing a study on exactly this. I can't wait for it to come out
because I have no idea what the concensus opinion by print suppliers and
buyers are on color management. I only know what the people who come to
me think. I don't think anyone knows what the market as a whole really
thinks, or to what degree they are using some aspect of ICC technology.


And so, the preposterous claim that if an ICC profile appears anywhere in a
workflow, this is "ICC color management". How have the mighty fallen.
And so, the preposterous claim that unless RGB or embedded profiles are
being used, this is NOT ICC color management - oh how have the mighty
fallen.

You make ICC based color management out to be this substantially
different technology than what we've been using for the last eight years.
It isn't. It's the same thing that makes up separation tables in
Photoshop and various other forms of proprietary table based conversion
methods that hvae been used for a decade or more. The difference with ICC
is that it is *easier* and *cheaper* to build ICC profiles than it ever
was with proprietary solutions (like $300,000 drum scanners with
proprietary conversion technology), and they work with all of the major
desktop applications, UNLIKE proprietary technology. The differences are
academic, not as major as you make them out to be.



Chris Murphy


Re: Seeking CM reference site

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/2/01 1:32 PM, Dan Margulis at 76270.1033@compuserve.com wrote:

Apparently, you took this to be a request to hear about claims
made by other vendors of color management services.
As far as I know, Herb is not a vendor of color management software.

Andrew Rodney


Re: confusing color management & color correction

Chris Murphy <lists@...>
 

David Broudy writes:
just to show that press profiling is feasible, all of the seps we do are now
generated through averaged press profiles. the resulting color is far better
than anything we've had in the past from CEPS and old-fashioned
direct-to-negs seps which were never dialed into anything other than a
sloppy approximation of SWOP. we aren't a SWOP shop.
<rest snipped>

I'm printing this out and framing it. Now I'm going to go do a jig.

Chris Murphy


Re: Seeking CM reference site

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>
 

Chris writes,

Also, a customer of mine, without my intervention, was encouraged to use
and was provided an ICC profile by their printer, Courier Printing, a
book printer.>>

The printer is to be commended for handing over to their client whatever
was in their own CMYK Setup. Intelligent printers have been doing this
since at least 1992. Nowadays, by definition, it will be an ICC profile,
but this is hardly "ICC color management."

So what's the point? That if they graft ICC profiles onto traditional
methodology that they aren't using ICC profiles? That they aren't using
color management? I don't understand what you're getting at Dan.>>

Go back a few years and the stated rationale for "ICC color management" was
that it would be a universal language of color, owing to the presence of
embedded tags and the ability to convert on the fly, and secondarily that
the use of "device-independent" RGB definitions was an enormous advantage
over the previous method.

So I think that a fair definition of a firm using "ICC color management"
would be, at an absolute minimum, one whose workflow depends on embedded
tags, or one that is deriving an incontestable benefit from
"device-independent" RGB that was not available in Photoshop 4.

Obviously, few if any such companies will be found. Gordo is correct in
stating that the small number of firms using third-party profiles at all
are as a rule doing so for inkjet printers.

These grandiose concepts have been utterly routed in the marketplace. Those
who were braying then about how necessary they were, and how this justified
all the disruption caused by their being shoved down everyone's throats
naturally need some way to save face. Particularly, since they have been
assuring us for several years that there is increasing adoption and
success of ICC color management among service providers.

And so, the preposterous claim that if an ICC profile appears anywhere in a
workflow, this is "ICC color management". How have the mighty fallen.

Look at every CTP implementation on the planet and you'll see they are
grafted onto traditional workflows as well. Does that mean these printers
aren't using CTP? Or they aren't real CTP workflow? What? Please clarify.>>

Gordo's company presumably would like the world to believe that CTP is used
widely. Possibly they might consider creating a large number of platesetter
front panels which would fit over the front panels of various imagesetters,
and then persuade the imagesetter owners to mount the new front panel on
their devices. They could then suggest that these were CTP users, and be at
least as correct in saying so as the suggestion that firms who give out
their CMYK Setup are indulging in "ICC color management."

Dan Margulis


Re: Seeking CM reference site

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>
 

Andrew writes,

That's just not so! Your buddy and mine, Herb Paynter wrote a very
in-depth
article for the magazine GATF World (July/August 2000) about a printer
(Bennett Graphics in Atlanta) implementing ICC and what was required to do
so. Did you not see Herb's piece???>>

I must not have been clear with the phrase, "I'd certainly love to hear
about it from a credible observer (i.e. not a vendor of color management
services)". Apparently, you took this to be a request to hear about claims
made by other vendors of color management services.

As members of this group are painfully aware, there is no shortage of
people selling profiling services who are able to write at great length in
praise of their concepts. This is true even when they don't have sales of
an additional product to tack on, such as Herb's fine software package,
ScanPrepPro, which was a key ingredient for all players in his project.

Setting that aside, it's a good read, much to be recommended. Herb spent
several months at this site calibrating to a variety of different
conditions. There is no indication that they embed profiles or recommend
that their clients do so. There is no indication of "implementing ICC."
Herb basically ran a large number of tests, measured a lot of swatches by
machine, and generated a large number of profiles, just as might have been
done pre-ICC in a very small fraction of the time.

Herb indicated that anyone thinking of doing such a thing should hire not
just one, but a team of consultants. He asked rhetorically whether what he
had done was worth the effort and then conspicuously did not answer.

While one has to commend Herb for his determination to get his profiles to
work, I would think that any printer reading his story of what he went
through would want to stay as far away from similar experiences as
possible.

Dan Margulis


Re: By the numbers ? and the D1

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/2/01 10:35 AM, Rob Outlaw at routlaw@imt.net wrote:

At any rate their claim was that "Nikon did not embed this
profile but only designed the NTSC working space as a color characteristic".
Which is fine IF that's really the case. I don't need an embedded profile
(it's nice). Having an untagged file that I KNOW is in a certain space and
having a profile to now assign to that file is all I need. As soon as I
Assign this profile, the preview in Photoshop 6 alters based on this new
information. The image looks really good! And when I convert to Adobe RGB,
it's a correct conversion because the source used to get to Adobe RGB is
correct. If I assume a different space, the conversions as well as the
previews undergo some degree of being hosed. So again, the question is, is
the file off the D1 really in NTSC space?

since Nikon does not let the general public in on what they really are
thinking, my assumptions would be that they have somehow within their RGB
capture used the x & y color coordinates of the NTSC working space as the color
gamut for the raw capture.
The real scary part here is what you said about Nikon not letting the
general public in on the color the unit produces. What are they thinking? If
you are going to force the non raw files into a colorspace, why NTSC? At
least with the S1 Pro, assuming ColorMatch RGB produces a very acceptable
preview because the file is massaged towards this space. If you don't use
Photoshop 5 or 6, the image still looks pretty good in non color managed
products. At least they didn't go sRGB.

So with that in mind and for those having trouble with flesh tones with the
D1, I still argue for
a total elimination of NTSC from a given workflow, since it does have an
extended red point
on the color map.
Actually IF the files really were in NTSC RGB and assigning this profile
produced good previews and conversions, I'd be OK with it. I question
whether the files are in NTSC RGB as described in the Working Space of that
name in Photoshop 5 or not.

Taken a step further anytime that I have completed a P2P
from say
NTSC to Adobe RGB or Colormatch RGB (while working in that space) reds do
become
more saturated and it is very clear to see this on my monitor, again
exacerbating any problems
that exist with overly red/magenta flesh tones.
Photoshop 5? You are changing your Working Space to now match up with the
file right? The previews should NOT change a lick. In Photoshop 6 they don't
because of the Document Specific Color and new preview pref's. In Photoshop
5 the preview would change after PtoP but as soon as you loaded that profile
you used in the PtoP, the preview would change back (and match) what you saw
prior to PtoP. Photoshop 6 makes all this so much easier!

Fundamentally I can not argue with this, makes perfect sense, but
unfortunately
probably the vast majority of D1 shooters out there do not have an adequate
custom profile, but have relied on Nikon to provide them with an out of the
box
camera with perfect color. I think it is safe to say Nikon let them down.
Nikon (and all manufacturers) have only a few options:

1. Pick a "common" RGB space and despite the gamut abilities of my sensor,
funnel the color into this space. In the case of the Nikon, we are told it's
NTSC RGB (I don't necessarily buy that but perhaps). Others could pick sRGB.
The upside is we can define the color without doing a thing (assuming the
color really does get funneled to that space). Downside is you get funneled
data which for some uses is just fine and for other cases not good.

2. Pick a non common, non profiled RGB. Now things get dicy. We don't have a
clue what the color really is. Yet in Photoshop, we have to tell it
something about the color of the file so we can preview it and make
conversions. We don't have a profile so we have to guess. Guess the RGB is
the name of this game. Pick one that's close to the reality of the file and
you'll do pretty well. Pick on that's not close and you'll get all kinds of
nasty previews and output. That magenta skin stuff for the D1 is an example.

3. Pick a non common but profiled space. So you buy a PhaseOne back and you
get a bunch of camera profiles. Are they any good? Not bad. At least we are
somewhat dialed into the color of the chip or the color the software gets.
Better yet, make a custom profile.

Andrew Rodney


Re: By the numbers ? and the D1

Rob Outlaw <routlaw@...>
 

Andrew wrote:

If indeed this is true on Nikons part, they dont need to embed a profile
(be nice). We only need to assign the NTSC profile to the data provided
for
conversion into another space. FWIW, the gamut map I have of the D1 from a
custom profile doesnt look to me like NTSC!
Perhaps I should elaborate on what Nikon claims if that is possible. This
info came
from the D1 discussion list moderated by Juergen Specht, and was a reply not
only
from Bill Pekala but also Stephen Pont of Nikon back when they were
responding
on that digest. At any rate their claim was that "Nikon did not embed this
profile but
only designed the NTSC working space as a color characteristic". Your guess
is as good
as mine as to what this really means technically, but as long as we have to
assume things
since Nikon does not let the general public in on what they really are
thinking, my
assumptions would be that they have somehow within their RGB capture used
the
x & y color coordinates of the NTSC working space as the color gamut for the
raw
capture.

So with that in mind and for those having trouble with flesh tones with the
D1, I still argue for
a total elimination of NTSC from a given workflow, since it does have an
extended red point
on the color map. Taken a step further anytime that I have completed a P2P
from say
NTSC to Adobe RGB or Colormatch RGB (while working in that space) reds do
become
more saturated and it is very clear to see this on my monitor, again
exacerbating any problems
that exist with overly red/magenta flesh tones.

That's not an indication alone we have an issue with reds only that the
camera has a wide gamut falling into reds. Again, with a proper profile
assigned, there is no red/magenta issue. In the gamut map I have of the
D1,
the blues fall off the CIE chart!
Fundamentally I can not argue with this, makes perfect sense, but
unfortunately
probably the vast majority of D1 shooters out there do not have an adequate
custom profile, but have relied on Nikon to provide them with an out of the
box
camera with perfect color. I think it is safe to say Nikon let them down.

I hope I do not sound like a broken record here, one can get really good
color
without the profile and with a few minor adjustments in PS with the raw
files at
least, but only if eliminating the NTSC issue. That has been my experience
with
the camera.

> I suspect when you use the Nikon Capture (shame they have to charge for
it),

Don't even get me started on this one! While I use it all the time it has to
be the
worst $450.00 I have ever spent in photography.

you may not get NTSC but indeed the raw RGB. I'm guessing that when using
other than RAW, Nikon *may* be forcing the raw RGB into NTSC although I
suspect this is may not be that accurate but convenient for Nikon to
simply
suggest to users.
If this were true with non raw data files when opened in PS 5.5 or later
would I not
be asked about converting from NTSC to Adobe or whatever? I can't think of
once
that this has happened for me, and I do have PS setup so that would happen
if a
profile were embedded or attached.

Of all the companies making digital cameras and scanners,
Nikon's track record for dealing with color issues is pretty bad.
I do not doubt this for a second.

Rob


Re: By the numbers ?

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>
 

Bob writes,

hushhhhhh! don't say that too loudly. I'm already losing a pile of bread
and butter business to clients that have taken a greater portion of their
basic photo work in-house because of what these things can do. These
cameras really are quite amazing in their capabilities and more and more
people are starting to figure that out. They still hire me for those jobs
where my special skills bring something unique to the image, but more and
more of the really simple (and very profitable) work is being taken
in-house.>>

This particular genie is not going back into the bottle. The negative
impact on professional photographers is already large and it's going to get
worse. Those head-in-the-sand folk who say, "I'm a photographer, what I do
is shoot pictures, let somebody else worry about what happens next" have
had a rough few years already, and now they're really going to pay the
price for their lack of foresight. It's the people like yourself who have
made a serious effort to adjust to the technology and be more full-service
who have a good chance to survive.

The impact as I see it is not merely the loss of certain jobs but that
prices are being driven down for what remains. I assume that the culprits
for this phenomenon are those desperados who have been forced to bid for
the work at any price by the shrinking demand for their services.

I'm planning to write a column about this in April, which is the 5th
anniversary of a similar column I wrote warning of this very thing, which
was much pooh-poohed at the time by professional photographers.

Dan Margulis


Re: By the numbers ? and the D1

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/2/01 6:59 AM, Rob Outlaw at routlaw@IMT.NET wrote:

Actually as I understand it Nikon has only "chosen the NTSC working space as
a color characteristic" but has not embedded, tagged, or otherwise forced
the issue
of using this as a working space or profile.
If indeed this is true on Nikon¹s part, they don¹t need to embed a profile
(be nice). We only need to assign the NTSC profile to the data provided for
conversion into another space. FWIW, the gamut map I have of the D1 from a
custom profile doesn¹t look to me like NTSC!

Nikon has forced the issue. The camera is producing some kind of RGB. I¹d be
inclined to always use the RAW mode of capture to get to that color. As Bob
pointed out, the Kodak DCS line of cameras is much more savvy when it comes
to dealing with raw captures. The Linear 12 bit capture is ideal for
profiling and truly does provide the user with a raw color file. It looks
just awful when you bring it into Photoshop and you are viewing it with some
preset Working Space. But it¹s untagged and as soon as you Assign the proper
profile (easy to do in Photoshop 6) the preview instantly changes and looks
fantastic. A further illustration of how viewing a file without a proper tag
can be a recipe for disaster!

You are so right here Dan. If one looks at the color points on a color gamut
map it is clear to see that the NTSC working space has a red point that is
virtually passed human vison and certainly passed Adobe RGB let alone
Colormatch.
That's not an indication alone we have an issue with reds only that the
camera has a wide gamut falling into reds. Again, with a proper profile
assigned, there is no red/magenta issue. In the gamut map I have of the D1,
the blues fall off the CIE chart!

In not one of those assignments did the film
outperform
the color of my D1, capturing images in raw mode and converting with Nikon
Capture,
while totally ignoring the NTSC working space. All files were opened in PS
5.5 into the
Adobe RGB space without any other conversions taking place and saved as
such.
I suspect when you use the Nikon Capture (shame they have to charge for it),
you may not get NTSC but indeed the raw RGB. I'm guessing that when using
other than RAW, Nikon *may* be forcing the raw RGB into NTSC although I
suspect this is may not be that accurate but convenient for Nikon to simply
suggest to users. Of all the companies making digital cameras and scanners,
Nikon's track record for dealing with color issues is pretty bad.

Andrew Rodney
Andrew Rodney


Re: By the numbers ?

Rob Outlaw <routlaw@...>
 

Dan writes:

The problem seems to be not a defect in the camera itself, but rather that
in a lot of these cameras, and Nikon products in particular, there is some
very hamhanded, clumsy, and, of course, undocumented, automated color
correction going on before we even open the file. In the ones I've looked
at, there seems to be no way to defeat this automated "correction."
This seems like a case for implementing digital camera profiles after all,
be it from
Profile Maker or the Praxisoft solution. FWIW in a direct comparison between
the D1 and Phase One Lightphase this summer in my studio, I found the
LightPhase
captures without utilizing the canned profiles from Phase One to be
extremely dead
with some fairly drab color. In fact some colors on a simple Kodak color
chart did
not even show up regardless of how I captured and what profile that used.
Trying to make
something out of the Lightphase raw captures (files that had not been
converted with their
canned profiles) was way more trouble than it was worth in my experience.
Even after implementing the profiles from Phase One I found that I had to
edit the images
considerably more than with a D1 image.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that you can not get spectacular
images from
the more expensive cameras, its just that it is not always the cake walk
many of these
manufacturers would have you believe. Its sort of like we are still in the
Wild West Days
of digital imaging and I think this makes a strong case for Color Management
in order to obtain
some sort of standard so that we are all playing on level field. At least
for me thats the
promise that I see with CM, though it may not be there 100% yet.

Selecting is usually unnecessary. For this category of images ONLY, I find
that a preliminary use of Hue/Saturation in RGB can help, because it can
specify a particular shade and move that. In this case you would click on
the fleshtone and move it in the yellow Hue direction, plus possibly
desaturate it. Another alternative when the skintone is too magenta, again
in RGB, is to blend the red channel into the green, Lighten mode, at
around
20% opacity.
In addition I have also found that shooting with the D1 with the low
contrast
setting (and then adjusting for contrast later in PS) yields a better image
with
less flesh tone problems.

The problem is, the preliminary "correction" these cameras make isn't
lighting-specific, it's image-specific
Although a number of users tend to have more problems while using the SB28dx
flash unit with the camera. A UV filter placed over the flash will help here
but
not totally eliminate the problem.

My own experience is that Apple
RGB or sRGB is a better choice most of the time, but it really depends on
the character of the image.
I still will stick with Adobe RGB space since it has given me little
problems even with the D1.

Rob Outlaw


Re: By the numbers ? and the D1

Bob Smith <rmsmith@...>
 

Rob Outlaw wrote:

D1, capturing images in raw mode and converting with Nikon Capture, while
totally ignoring the NTSC working space.
which is exactly how it ought to be done. NTSC is just an issue for camera
processed files. My experience with D1 jpegs is nil... just going by
experiences of others that I trust and my very few efforts at trying to help
someone with some D1 jpegs. Except possibly on some studio type rigs, I
don't think any digital camera images from any company are tagged coming out
of the camera. It makes no sense to waste precious writing speed and disk
space on data that would be exactly the same for every image... especially
on a camera who's main claim to fame is photojournalistic use.

Bob Smith


Re: By the numbers ?

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/1/01 11:26 PM, jbmmmac@... at jbmmmac@... wrote:

Problem of bad fleshtones is called Magenta problem but in reality it is
problem of Reds having too much Magenta and Cyan and not enough Yellow (and
Yellows  being contaminated with Cyan). The first step to correct this
problem is to pull red curve to reduce Cyan in midtones and next puling Green
curve to reduce magenta. Combined effect of pulling red and green curves
increase yellow and reduce cyan in skin tones, reds and yellows. Converting
from NTSC to ColorMatch is helpful to bring other colors and reducing overall
dullness due to different gamma of those color spaces.

That’s an awful lot of work to basically make a file tagged incorrectly LOOK correct in a  newly assigned Working Space. By simply tagging the D1 file with the correct description of the RGB you are getting would solve all these problems without altering the data in the file! Then you would convert into any RGB Working Space you want (the preview wouldn’t change at this point either). What you are basically doing is viewing a file in a condition where it’s not producing a proper preview. Then after you get it looking as you like, you Assign your Working Space. This is very similar to working with color neg scans. Since we can’t produce a profile for color negs, the best we can do is make the image look good on a calibrated display and then convert into the Working Space (usually using the custom display profile as the source, something you could try with the D1 if you didn’t want to deal with profiling the beast).

Andrew Rodney


Re: By the numbers ? and the D1

Rob Outlaw <routlaw@...>
 

Bob writes,
Its not a matter of being wider. Its a matter of matching what Nikon was
targeting their output to. Why, I don't know... but Nikon has said that
Nikon D1 in camera processing is done with output to NTSC rgb in mind. It
has to be going to some definition of RGB and that's what Nikon chose.>>
Actually as I understand it Nikon has only "chosen the NTSC working space as
a color characteristic" but has not embedded, tagged, or otherwise forced
the issue
of using this as a working space or profile.

Dan writes:

I have played with a D1 but don't claim any expertise in it. What I can
say
for sure is, if the problem is that fleshtones are too magenta, then
assuming that the files are NTSC is going to make that problem worse, not
better.
You are so right here Dan. If one looks at the color points on a color gamut
map it is clear to see that the NTSC working space has a red point that is
virtually passed human vison and certainly passed Adobe RGB let alone
Colormatch.
By utilizing the NTSC as part of your workflow
whether converting from or into regardless of the space that you do this
from,
will only exacerbate the red flesh tone problem. I have spent literally
dozens
of hours experimenting with this situation. My conclusions are that totally
ignoring NTSC in any shape form or fashion is a better solution at least for
flesh tones anyway.

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to shoot some four or five
assignments
where the decision was made to shoot D1 images alongside film (in this case
Astia and
Provia F my films of choice). In not one of those assignments did the film
outperform
the color of my D1, capturing images in raw mode and converting with Nikon
Capture,
while totally ignoring the NTSC working space. All files were opened in PS
5.5 into the
Adobe RGB space without any other conversions taking place and saved as
such.
I am not saying that some minor tweaking of the color in some cases was not
needed and
most of that was done in the Hue and Sat window where I could selectively
edit colors
(mainly red channel for flesh tones and the yellow channel for overly green
yellows)
in 16 bit mode.

Having said all that I will admit to the fact that this situation for bad
flesh tones
with the D1 seems to be worse for jpeg files as opposed to raw file capture.
I have
no idea why this is the case either. However I am not sure it is worse for
outdoor
shots as compared to on camera flash, but the placement of a UV filter over
the flash unit does help while not completely eleminating the overly
red/magenta
flesh tones.

Rob Outlaw


Re: By the numbers ?

Andrew Rodney <andrew@...>
 

on 1/1/01 10:50 PM, Dan Margulis at 76270.1033@... wrote:

I have played with a D1 but don't claim any expertise in it. What I can say
for sure is, if the problem is that fleshtones are too magenta, then
assuming that the files are NTSC is going to make that problem worse, not
better.

Nikon claims the D1 shots into NTSC but I don’t know if Nikon really has a clue either way. I can tell you with a custom input profile for the D1, the problem skin tone issues disappear. And not just the magenta but a problem with highlights blocking up (or I should say appearing to block up). Bringing a file into Photoshop assuming it’s one RGB space when it’s a mile away from that space makes a profound impact on what we see and what we eventually get when converting to an output space. Simply assigning the correct profile in Photoshop 6 makes this all disappear (because in reality, it’s not really there). The files appear magenta and print poorly because we are making a very bad assumption about the RGB we have. It’s as if we had a file in SWOP Uncoated newsprint but viewed it as if it were SWOP coated glossy stock. The preview would be wrong, the file would output wrong with that incorrect tag to SWOP coated. Take the file and output on the right device (or Assign the correct profile) and the preview and output are fine and dandy!

Andrew Rodney


newbie: channels

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>
 

Todd writes,

In Professional Photoshop the individual channels are shown as grayscale
images. How do you view them that way when you are in CMYK or RGB?>>

In Edit: Preferences>Display & Cursors, UNCHECK the box "Display Color
Channels in Color," which is on by default.

Dan Margulis


newbie: channels

tflash <tflash@...>
 

In Professional Photoshop the individual channels are shown as grayscale
images. How do you view them that way when you are in CMYK or RGB?

Todd


Re: By the numbers ?

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>
 

Bob writes,

Its not a matter of being wider. Its a matter of matching what Nikon was
targeting their output to. Why, I don't know... but Nikon has said that
Nikon D1 in camera processing is done with output to NTSC rgb in mind. It
has to be going to some definition of RGB and that's what Nikon chose.>>

I have played with a D1 but don't claim any expertise in it. What I can say
for sure is, if the problem is that fleshtones are too magenta, then
assuming that the files are NTSC is going to make that problem worse, not
better.

But it really depends on the image. I've shot over ten thousand exposures
with lower-end Nikons and it's pretty clear that NTSC isn't the right RGB
for them, although it may be for the D1 for all I know. OTOH, I was in the
hardest-hit county of the northeast storm this Saturday and went out and
shot in it when the snow was at its heaviest. Those exposures would have
been better opened in NTSC. But the bottom line is that the quality of the
data was phenomenal and if I had to produce a printable picture of the
blizzard I'd prefer to start with that cheap capture than with a chrome and
a drum scan.

What's needed on the lower end cameras is an option to deliver raw files
for
those that want to milk these things for all they can do. Access to the raw
files allows a tremendous amount of control over what the image looks
like.>>

Agreed.

Dan Margulis

33121 - 33140 of 33184