Take Control of Color - Your Color or Accurate Color

© Rick Sammon
I receive many emails about how to get good color, so I am reposting this post.

In one of my posts last week I talked about color - creating an image with the colors you like, as opposed to accurate colors.

I took the image above in Death Valley, where I am doing a workshop next year. I hope you can jon the fun.

The colors you see, created in Nik Color Efex Pro, are not the natural colors, they are the painterly colors I wanted in my image. The original image is below.

© Rick Sammon
Of course, getting accurate color is important, too. That's what I was striving for when I was working on my iPad app, Flying Flowers.

© Rick Sammon
For accurate in-camera color, I use the Passport Color Checker. Click here to read about this essential accessory for getting accurate color on site. Check out the sale price and save a few bucks.

Passport Color Checker
For accurate color on my desktop and laptop, and even with my printer and digital projector, I use the ColorMunki. Click here to read about this cool color tool. Check out the sales price for this product, too.

Here's a link to a free webinar that my friend Joe Brady is hosting on color!

Here's a short movie I did on getting accurate color. If you like HDR, you'll like this movie.

Here's a post on changing colors in an image using the Color Replacement tool in Photoshop.

Explore the light,

Is What You See What You Get?

If what you see on your monitor is not what you get from your printer, here are a few possibilities:
- Your monitor is not fully warmed up. May take 1/2 hour.
- Your monitor is not calibrated.
- You have not calibrated your monitor for a month.
- Your printer is not calibrated.
- You are not using the correct printer profile.
- You are not using the paper for the profile you are using.
- The lighting in your workspace is not consistent.
- You are working on your images with a screen background that is distracting you with strong color. Best to use gray.
- Print head is out of alignment or nozzles are clogged.

Even if you do all that stuff, your prints can be a little off – even if you have a large monitor. Monitor color and brightness are not exactly the same from side to side and top to bottom. Also, colors and brightness will look different the more you look to the sides. Knowing this, after you calibrate your monitor with your calibration device placed in the center of the monitor, work on the most important part your image there.

What's more, a print reflects light, while your monitor projects light. So the quality of the images is different.

Still more: Prints take a while to fully dry. Colors and brightness can change after a few hours.

Finally, we see colors differently at different times of day. We also see colors differently after drinking cola and coffee.

Well, I gotta go - and get my first Diet Coke of the day.

See the light (and color),
P.S. My guess is that age might also have something to do with it, especially if one has cataracts. Is there a doctor in the house who could comment?