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Joan Roig

My understanding of colour came almost naturally, since I started from the last workflow step (offset printing) and had experienced the problems of maintaining colour fidelity throughout the whole process.

When I started my retouching career, I was immediately commissioned with colour management and exhibition printing, which helped me to merge my knowledge of different types of papers and their best performance so I could later apply all this experience into a solid workflow. I researched quiet a lot about the latitude of the papers and decided which one fit better in our photographic style and how to get the highest accuracy of reproduction.

Nowadays, what is totally out of our control, is the lighting of the exhibition rooms, which of course influences a lot in the perception of our work.

Colour management can save us from many dislikes. In the digital environment not all camera bodies work for all workflows, not all the papers can reproduce the full colour range, and not all monitors allow us full control.. That is why we must have an appropriate workflow and a high knowledge of colour management, to prevent our works from being displayed differently than desired.

In an environment in which customers are susceptible to nuances of 2 or 3 % of dominant or contrast, we can’t forget something important like this.

There are many examples of cases where colour management has been critical to my work. The most usual and we can’t forget this one, is the case of customers who see work with laptops in full light offices with windows. Another case that I often encounter is a client seeing the post-produced work on a laptop in a remote area.

In these cases, feedback is always dramatic and you have to guide the client in order for him to see the images in optimum conditions or in case you have the possibility invite them to your studio, where we have the perfect equipment, environment and lighting to enjoy the real work.

The market demands for colour management tools are changing every day. In my opinion, nowadays it’s less important perhaps the control over offset printing, due to market variations. But instead, photographers have a new output: video, in which we find new handicaps and we have to start the color management right at the moment of the shooting, ColorChecker is a very useful tool for that case.

Technically, DSLR video archives can not make very large variations and preserve, at the same time, a high image quality.

Photography’s future remains uncertain. Everyday we consume more and more images but we do so in precarious devices when it come to image quality. I believe that colour management is going to become a standard that we must obviously demand from the manufacturer, but we also must keep and care for ourselves with a good maintenance and knowledge of all its phases. Print-papers will be better, monitors will be better and cheaper, developers will give us more solid products.

However, like in other sectors, the easiness often makes people neglect the knowledge of integral tools. I hope that future facilities do not make us ignore the importance of colour management.

I have luckily worked with first level authors throughout my career. Let me put an example that illustrates the case quite well: A few years ago, we printed a low key image exhibition included in a very important fair in Madrid. These images had a latitude so low that the whole image was in a short 10% of the histogram. Without a good monitor calibration and a good paper profiling all the author work would have been distorted.

Without doubt, good colour management can save you money but also helps to give a good impression to your client, and to completely avoid different results from the one approved by them. On the other hand, a good investment in colour management, knowledge and tools, saves you a lot of time and makes your life better. Anyway, I think what’s more important in colour management is just to have all the workflow in perfect harmony. There’s nothing worst than doubting of the veracity of your colour display.

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