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Francesco Gola

When did you first understand the importance of color to the photographic process?

It’s funny, but I believe that everything started when I was a kid. I was extremely curious and passionate about science and I clearly remember the day I asked to myself “why is blue blue?”. When I started to work with photography, everything that I learned about physics of light turned extremely useful, because I immediately understood the power of colors as a tool to express emotions.

What is the most important aspect of color management that an aspiring photographer should know?

I firmly believe that the most important one is the most basic one. You’ll start to change your vision about colors when you understand an extremely simple thing: the colors of your image in your screen is not what other people will see in their screens or in a printed magazine. The good news is that you can control this through a correct “color management”.

Give an example of the ways in which a solid knowledge of color management (or an accurate color environment) helped you – on a project? In a consultancy situation?

When I prepare an image for a client or a Gallery, Color Management is the difference between publishing my vision and letting a machine to decide for me. When for example I delivered my pictures to a printing lab on the other side of the world for an important exhibit, thanks to color management I was 101% that even without checking my prints, everybody would have enjoyed them with the colors I had on my mind. Do you imagine the disappointment of looking to a Van Gogh paint with wrong colors? So why would you let your clients to watch to your images in the same wrong way?

How important are the latest color management tools in today’s photographic industry? Why?

Thanks to the latest color management tools nowadays we are able to control the behaviour of every device in our graphic chain in order to get the most reliable results. Creating specific ICC profiles require specific tools that now are available to the masses at affordable prices. There is no more difference if I want to print for a Gallery or for my coffee mug: I have the right tools to control the colors.

What does the (near) future hold for the photographic industry, in your opinion? Do you think color management will be more or less important – why?

I believe color management will be more and more important in the near future. Thanks to technology advances, every year more people have access to services that few years before were just a privilege for professionals. Just think about the possibility to print your pictures online and receive them in your mailbox: thanks to color management you can be sure that the result will match what you saw on your screen, and in a really easy way. On the other side, professionals will have the possibility to take advantage of new displays and printer technologies, expanding even more the possibility to reproduce accurately their vision.

We’re in the Renaissance of colors!

How is color management related to your artistic process?

As you can see from my images, colors are an essential element as for me they have a key role in delivering emotions. When I work on my images, the “wheel of colors” is my best friend, as I firmly believe in the theory of colors. So, after balancing the colors in an image, is there any reason to let a device to modify them? Absolutely not. In my photographic workflow color management as important as having a picture perfectly composed and in focus.

Do you see color management as an advantage for saving money?

I believe it’s a 360° advantage. If you submit your images to an editor, without a color management you can lose a sale just because he’s not going to see the images as you thought of it. If you print a tshirt or a mug and you don’t understand that the printer don’t reproduce colors like your display, you’ll probably end with a new thing for the waste bin. If you print an image, at home or in a printing lab, you will only waste paper and ink, as the combination paper/printer play a key role in the process. A correct color management will let you to save both money and time, and with the affordable technologies that nowadays are easily accessible to everybody, is just a photographic suicide not to take advantage of it!