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Rick Sammon

If there’s a record for number of books written for photographers, Rick Sammon is definitely a finalist, with 34 titles to his name and more in the works. Writing photographic books, in fact, was what caused him to pay more attention to color management. He had gone digital in 2001 but it wasn’t until about 2004 that he (and his publishers) realized that there needed to be a standard for his images.

“I read a lot on the Web,” recalls Rick, “and got a lot of help from people like Eddie Tapp. It was apparent right off the bat this wasn’t as easy as, say, knowing JPEG versus RAW. In fact, when you think about it, there’s probably nothing as important in a photographer’s workflow as color management. And until recently it was the most complicated.”

Then Rick started having conversations with his publisher, to understand what his images had to look like and why.

“I do a lot of travel photography, and in that genre it seems I’m always wanting to warm the images up a bit,” says Rick. “But from where? How much? You can only make those decisions with a point of reference, and that’s where accurate color management comes in. Even how we see color is very subjective. How much caffeine have you had? What kind of mood are you in? As well, when you get older your eyes are changing so they can’t be trusted 100 percent. Photographers don’t realize all those factors come into play.”

To young photographers he cautions “get it right in the camera, in the computer and in the print or presentation.” Another factor he mentions is that, in this economy, no one should be wasting valuable time and money when a tool like ColorMunki is available. And finally, “know your audience.” Then you can tailor your output to match.

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