X-Rite photo
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Ron Martinsen

In the summer of 2010 I began working with Canon and Epson on a project to teach my readers all they needed to know about printing. Little did I know what I was getting into and how it would be a two year journey into the world of color management, icc profiles, and the challenges of accomplishing a seemingly simple task – holding a print in their hands that met their expectations based on what they saw on their computer screen. It seemed simple, until I learned all that could go wrong, but then came X-Rite. With something as simple as a ColorMunki Photo I was able to quickly get control of my system – from calibrated displays to custom paper profiles – and finally get a print in my hands that helped me to realize my artistic vision. Once my eyes became trained to accurate color I was amazed that so many devices had totally unacceptable color performance. Yellow should be yellow, not orange. Purple should be purple, not magenta. White should be white, not gray. As I dug deeper into this journey I came to realize how inaccurate color in entry-level monitors, printers, projectors, and televisions was the normal default. To get accurate color actually requires a conscious effort, but the reward is that the color I see on the screen when I edit my images is the same color that I see in the print that I hold in my hand. No longer is there a mystery about what will come out of the printer. No more images that are too dark because my display is too bright from the factory. I no longer feel like my photo editing is painting in the dark. And the results that please me also pleases others when I show them my prints. A color managed workflow made me appreciate this new world we live in versus the old days of capturing an image on film and letting someone else create a print days or weeks later that was their vision of what the result should be. As a photographer, I want control over the color and the journey your eye takes through my image. That is simply not possible without a well-controlled, color managed workflow from capture to print.