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Frank Doorhof

- When did you first understand the importance of color to the photographic process?
I’m a huge movie fan and from a very early age I really did not like the output of most TV sets, so I was always looking for better ways to watch movies, including of course Laserdisc and later DVD (now BD). I also always played with the remote control to get the colors the way I wanted it.

When we started the Home Theater business I knew I wanted to do something with color so I got my ISF certification in 2001. Not knowing that my (at that time) hobby Photography would take off a few years later.

In my photography however I find accurate colors of the utmost importance, this is my basis, my foundation from there on I can build the creativity. It’s also the insurance that my images are correct so if a client is not happy with something colorwise I almost always know it must be his/her monitor.

- What is the most important aspect of color management that an aspiring photographer should know?
RECALIBRATE your monitor, that message is not there for nothing, also what a lot of people don’t know is that your analyzer needs recalibration, for spectrum radio based meters and tristimulus meters it’s very important that they are kept in their calibration, so make sure that every 2 years you have your gear checked, depending on the device, but an analyzer that’s 10 years old and never had maintenance will probably not give you what you need.

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?
I love to tint my images, when my base/foundation is correct I can deliver the same “look” to my client from almost every situation, that way I don’t have to “tweak/fool” around with my images for ages and make a fool out of myself in front of a client J

If the workflow is properly calibrated you can set the desired look in the images in the time it takes you to run the filter/action.

By working with a calibrated workflow I can deliver my images in a very quick time period, often the next day, this has earned our studio the respect and loyalty from many clients. Especially with fashion and celebrities it’s very important you deliver an accurate and constant output, when they shoot now and in a year.

How long have you been associated with X-Rite?
I’ve been using the X-rite products since 2004 for our calibrations.

Why are you committed to using X-Rite products?
I’m a strong believer in spectrometers and X-Rite is the one that delivers the best for the photography business in my opinion. They are also at the frontline when it comes to R&D. The fact that I can use X-Rite products for the high-end ISF calibrations says enough.

How important are the latest color management tools in today’s industry?  Why?
With new monitor techniques popping up people don’t seem to realize it’s important that analyzers keep up, calibrating a CRT is a totally different ballgame than calibrating a White or RGB led display or an Oled, with tristimulus meters you will need proper profiling for all these different techniques, a spectrometer is much more flexible and will get you better results in the end. The price is a bit higher, but you can earn this back in quality and speed.

- What does the (near) future hold for the photo industry, in your opinion? Do you think color management will be more or less important – why?
I hope more important, as mentioned in the previous part when colorspaces grow and techniques to make the monitors progress we will need beter and more accurate meters.

How is color management related to your artistic process?
Very much.

according to some using colorcheckers, light meters and calibrations will make the images look to “sterile” but I don’t agree. They are the basic tools to get the foundation correct, without a correct foundation you are always guessing what you’re doing and you can’t repeat the process.

The creativity for me starts with a perfect image, and from there I build.

- Do you see color management as an advantage for saving money?
Without any doubt, when you mess up the colors for a client they will find someone else, it’s that simple.

However when you blow them away with accurate colors (or creative tints) and you can repeat this over and over again you will earn a client for life.

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