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Eddie Tapp

Eddie Tapp’s perspective on color management is rooted in the history of digital photography.

 “I learned as much as I could about color management in the mid 90’s, when it was not at all easy to use. I needed a means to maintain consistency in my work, and to ensure that consistency would carry through to the final printing process,” he explains. “I was one of the very few photographers who interviewed commercial printers before we did a big job. They looked at me like I was talking about things even they didn’t understand.”

Later on in the 90’s Eddie began teaching, mostly to wedding and portrait studios, and one of the messages was “call your lab,” much to the chagrin of lab owners. At that time, labs  had not prepared themselves for the demands of the digital photography revolution, especially with regard to color management. The first subject Eddie zeroed in on was monitor calibration.

 “If you can only do one thing, that should be calibrating your monitor,” Eddie adds. “I was recently talking to an audience of 1,600 wedding and portrait photographer and was shocked to see that fully 60 percent of them did not calibrate their monitors. I’m passionate about this. Calibrate your monitors.”

He went on to explain how he recently printed a photograph of a guitar player. He only wanted two prints: one for the guitar player and one for him. “It was so comforting to know that those two prints would come out looking identical to the image on my monitor, without any surprises.”

Whether you’re a novice or pro, Eddie tells photographers to think of color management in three stages: input, processing and output. The level of detail is up to the individual, but the facts remain, you can’t produce consistently good work without paying attention to those three elements of color management.

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