On Monday the 5th of March, we began our
advanced printing module with Ed Dunne from Inspirational Arts. It was a really interesting class; there were so many things I hadn't taken into consideration when printing. Ed began by discussing the 'Critical Appraisal of Colour', and explained two types of light; D50, warm light, which is the equivalent of average daylight (sunrise to sunset) and D65, neutral white light, which is the equivalent to midday light (noon on an overcast day). Ed also discussed the importance of your work environment.
This I had not really taken into as much consideration as I perhaps should have. He talked about your ‘field of view’ while working, and how important it is to work in dim light (32-64 lux), have your walls matte and preferably mid grey and to absolutely have no strong colours within 1 metre of your field of view. This, he said, was vital while viewing prints. He suggested, if you are ever unsure of a print, to use the natural light coming
from the window. This light is closer to D65 than any bulb, so it will give you a more accurate idea of what the print will look like. As my working environment is mainly in college, I had taken this for granted. At home, the lighting around my work space is no where near the lighting in college, however, my walls are a matte grey, so this is helpful.
Ed then told us about monitor calibration and highly recommended we do it to our own laptops or home computers, and doing this monthly is recommended.
The target values for your monitor are as follows
Colour temperature = 6500°k (D65) (this is how blue/orange the hue on your image is)
Gamma = 2.2 (this is essentially shadows)
Luminance = 100cd/m² (computer) (this is how bright the image is)
= 90cd/m² (laptop)
One piece of information I thought was quite interesting was the difference between your work environment for colour and black & white prints. This is due to the fact that while working on black & white prints, our eyes are inversely sensitive to colour saturation. We notice colour tints in black & white but not so much in colour prints, due to the fact that our eyes can only take in so much information. This of course makes sense but was unconsidered by myself.
Lastly, we went over colour spaces and colour profiles. A colour space is an abstract mathematical model which simply describes the range of colours. A color space is a method to understand the color capabilities of a particular digital device or file. Ed discussed in detail different colour spaces, starting with sRGB. This was created by HP and Microsoft in 1996 and is generally the colour space used on the internet and in consumer cameras. It is the smallest colour space. The second is Adobe RGB (8bit files), this was created in 1998 and has a broader array of colours than sRGB. Adobe RGB is used in high end printers and monitors. However, the last, ProPhoto RGB is the largest and was created by Kodak in 1998. (16bit files) This is the largest colour space to date which represents 80% of all human vision which is quite incredible. Although a very intense class, I learned a lot from Ed. All of this information will come in handy for printing and will definitely improve both my practice and my prints.