X-Rite photo

<img title="Coloratti Logo" src="images/coloratti/-content/coloratti-Red.png" alt="Coloratti Logo" width="217" height="65" />

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Wesley Wong

My understanding of the importance of color to my workflow started more than 12 years ago, when I bought my first digital camera, trying to make some prints. Realizing what I see on my screen differs greatly from the photo lab, I knew I had to deal with the issue of color management. I met a professional inkjet equipment supplier in 2005 and I was introduced to a proper color managed workflow, and I began to understand its importance. Colors are device dependent, and each has to be ‘in sync’ through calibration so that they are displayed homogenously with a high degree of perceptual accuracy. I bought an Epson Stylus Pro 4000 a year later and began my journey into printmaking. Subsequently a HP Designjet Z3100 was added to my equipment list. It is embedded with an i1 spectrophotometer.

Getting colors right from capture to print is the ultimate objective for my work. Today, I run a giclee printmaking business (Giclee Art Sdn Bhd) providing services to photographic clients who demands the best in print quality and color accuracy. Art reproduction is also one of my areas of expertise. Some of the larger paintings were scanned with a digital camera, and the workflow starts with a good capture. A custom camera profile is created based on the reference lighting (CRI98) using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. Editing is done on a wide gamut LCD monitor with (99% Adobe RGB coverage) and printing on the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 on a variety of fine art papers and canvas materials. The need for a very strict color-managed workflow with near zero tolerances is of paramount importance. Having the best equipment does not necessarily ensure the best output if colors are not managed properly.

In art reproduction for example, the print is always referenced to the original painting under the proofing light. Due to the camera system I used, the missing ‘piece of the puzzle’ was initially the lack of a camera profile due to the fact that the RAW file was not a supported format, at least not until the recent model with support in DNG. With the possibility of a creating a custom camera profile, my proofing time is greatly reduced. The faster turnaround time and less waste in proofing, translate to higher profitability.

It is rather underwhelming in the current trend of photography that many do not realized the importance of color management and not knowing how to manage colors in their workflow. This often leads to undesirable output in print, which further dampens the enthusiasm to print. The latest color management tools address this by making them easy to use at affordable prices. At the very least, one can calibrate a monitor without the need to have an in-depth understanding of color theory! Having a good color managed workflow also helps one to better appreciate their equipment and knowing the limits. This translates to better output, digitally and in print. The mastery of both equipment and workflow will greatly improve the confidence and business revenue for a working photographer.

An aspiring photographer must understand that color needs to be managed. It is not something that is right out of the box. The choice of equipment relates directly to how it will fit into their color-managed workflow. For example, it is not going to benefit or improve one’s workflow if he/she calibrates a sub-par consumer grade monitor with limited color gamut. “You can’t see what’s not there!”. For this, monitor calibration has to be the first step towards color management, which essentially leads to the choice of the right equipment.

I am using X-Rite solutions for more than a decade from my initial endeavor into digital photography to leading the printmaking business I am managing today. It has proven to be very reliable and easy to use. It has also given me unprecedented advantage in making paper profiles without solely relying on canned profiles, and the ability to offer more products and solutions to my global customers. X-rite solutions are also widely supported by industry leading RIP (raster image processor) software, as a de-facto standard. The product reliability is second to none with excellent after sales support available globally.

Wesley Wong 1 Wesley Wong 2 Wesley Wong 3 Wesley Wong 4
Wesley Wong 5 Wesley Wong 6 Wesley Wong 7 Wesley Wong 8
Wesley Wong 9 Wesley Wong 10 Wesley Wong 11 Wesley Wong 12

© All image rights are retained by the respective photographer on this page.  Please contact the photographer directly for any usage or redistribution arrangements.