David B. Brooks Blog
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David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Nov 27, 2008 0 comments

If you are buying yourself a Christmas present or someone is that needs some guidance, a new LCD display for digital photography selection is getting better and more affordable this season. Among the prime manufacturers NEC is sporting a new, high performance “P” Series, with the new 22 inch Multicynch P221W model. It is designed for professional graphics users and is built on the success of the highly rated 90 series NEC displays. This new model is sold with a kit including a calibration and profiling sensor based on the the X-Rite i! Dispaly 2 hardware and software. The NEC Multisynch P221W LCD display is slated to be available in store in December 20008 at a street price of $636.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Nov 28, 2008 1 comments

Last night after Thanksgiving I tuned into the news and caught an ad that really grabbed me. A local retailer was offering a major brand 8 megapixel point and shoot digital camera for $88, that’s $11 a megapixel! That really lowers the bar for anyone who wants a digital camera.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 01, 2008 0 comments

I would guess the casual consumer when confronted with images displayed on computer screens probably assumes there is some color standard involved that regulates what red, blue or yellow should look like that governs the manufacture of these displays. But that is an incorrect assumption as all color reproduction devices are what the industry calls “device independent”. In other words it is a “free market” and a maker of display screens, as well as printers and scanners, in fact any device that reproduces color information, is not held to any standard in terms of the observed color reproduced as the result to the specific RGB computer data sent to or received from the device.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 03, 2008 0 comments

This last month my e-mail in-box has been rather full of messages in response to my article about Print matching on page 68 of the December issue of Shutterbug. The article seemed to hit a raw nerve, and my curiosity as to how extensive the problem is, was more than satisfied when I ran a Google search on “Prints Too Dark”, which elicited 1,930,000 results.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 04, 2008 0 comments

When I began this blog the last thing I had in mind was commenting on other blogs, but in ZDnet.com’s Mary-Jo Foley blog, her plea to Microsoft programmers to NOT make the next Windows too Mac-like, had me laughing and fuming at the same time. (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1747&tag=nl.e539) Especially today after reading in the New York Times David Pogue page with a section on Maintaining The Mac, (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/technology/personaltech/04askk-002.htm...) which amounted to almost nothing unless one is paranoid by disposition. I switched from Windows to Apple Mac almost a decade ago and have had virtually no maintenance that needed to be done in that period of intense computer work, compared to it being an almost constant chore before with Windows. But what really got me was what Mary-Jo put in her wish list “fewer UAC prompts, simpler backup and restore, better peripheral handling” which are all current included features of the Apple OS!

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 05, 2008 0 comments

I don’t know if you have noticed on TV, but ads for some new flat screen TV’s are now touting mind boggling figures for contrast-ratio of a million to one. Can anyone see a million to one? Or does it matter in the definition of a talking head’s picture on screen to what the pundit is saying about his crystal ball into the future of Barack Obama’s governance after January 20? Technical specification have been a boon to imaginative marketing mavens ever since cars were described as having horsepower, and the race goes on for who can concoct the most outlandish claims.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 07, 2008 0 comments

A lot was said by the press about the possibility once in the Whitehouse Barrack Obama may lose access to his Blackberry. And more recently as some bits and pieces have leaked out about the plans to provide an economic stimulus and jobs initiative, one of the items recently was to do something about internet access. Anything could be better than what currently exists considering that among the advanced free-world nations the US is way down the list in providing broadband access to its citizens. And as Obama has suggested he will use the internet to be connected to the public to create a more open and accessible administration to Americans that hopefully could enable a greater participation in government by citizens. If nothing else this is also an education issue as it provides access to information for students, a digital highway to a library.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 10, 2008 0 comments

From the e-mail and forum posts I have read Apple iMac photographer users are having the most difficulty with a too bright screen, and prints too dark. Thanks to one correspondent, Pat Marchitto who alerted me to Phil Corley’s web site
(http://www.philcorley.com/articles_68520.html) a solution has been found to lower the screen brightness to calibrate and profile for better print matching.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 12, 2008 0 comments

The last two days have been a bleary-eyed ordeal reading as many forum posts as I could on “prints too dark” from a Google search on that phrase, which obtains almost 2 million results. What I was looking for was as complete a picture as possible why people trying to make photo prints were getting unacceptably dark print output. I didn’t get very far into the almost 2 million results before my eyes gave out reading the forum posts, but I did find that a lot of users have discovered the cause of dark prints is an LCD display that is too bright. But confusion reigns when it comes to how to fix the problem, very often involving color management and the idea of using Photoshop’s “soft proofing”. Some forum gurus have been recommending adjusting the display brightness to match the print output, and actually that practical philosophy was used before there was such a thing as Color Management, but it largely precludes color matching using CM and a calibrated and profiled display, if in reality an LCD display can be reduced in brightness to actually match the range of print densities or the CRT monitors of the past. Some users found that instead of having their photo editing application control color, select having the printer driver control color, which with some printer drivers does provide an output print density adjustment and yields satisfactory print brightness results, but the downside is that some printer drivers will automatically adjust print density and others don’t, as well as color matching with what you see on-screen is not usually supported.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 13, 2008 0 comments

Yesterday there was news of yet another PC hardware maker with a new model that is supposed to run the Apple Operating System, from a company called EFi-X USA you can read about in articles found at:
http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=efi-x+usa&aq=1&oq=EFI-X
It was not that long ago that a Florida company, Psystar, tried marketing a PC that would run the Apple OS and ran into strong legal opposition from Apple. So this begs a couple of questions, is there a market for PC hardware that will run the Apple Operating System software; and if so does this indicate a weakness in the Apple Mac computer model line-up?

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 16, 2008 0 comments

This old saying can be taken as a blessing or a curse, and its origins may be Yiddish or ancient Chinese, but if you are into digital photography the next few years may well be interesting times. Two pieces of news today are indicative of changes ahead. One is relative to my blog post recently about being connected. Apparently the FCC chairman Kevin Martin, a lightening rod of controversy is reported to have backed down on taking a Commission vote on a dubious proposal to auction vacant airwaves to provide a “free” broadband connection capability. Now of course making broadband internet connection more widely available everyone can afford is laudable on the outset; but some of the provisions and the way the proposal was worded in detail gives great pause that public benefit really was the goal of what Martin wanted the FCC to approve.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 19, 2008 0 comments

First to bring you up to date. Since my workflow article ran in the December issue of Shutterbug, word has gotten around and back to me providing lots of information for a better picture of the problem. I have done more testing, which concluded even for a well color managed system like my own with LCD’s there is some darkening in print results because of color correcting and editing with an LCD with screen brightness set exactly at a luminance of 120.0 CD/m2. I confirmed this by opening some finished scanned image in Photoshop, files done when I had CRT monitors installed and then stored on CD’s that have been printed in the past. These image files look fine in terms of density on my LCD screen, and print as they did in the past achieving the same print density the screen appearance would suggest to expect. I have to assume the reason is that the image brightness midpoint setting in Levels made using a CRT monitor with a white point luminance of 90.0 CD/m2 (which was not changed for this current and test and printing), and the correct brightness of the print is because the brightness range of the CRT closely matched the density range of a high quality inkjet print.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 22, 2008 0 comments

Not finished, nor ever expect to anytime soon, going back and spending a good part of the weekend reading “prints too dark” complaints and commentary on digital photography forums. It was no trouble finding plenty of examples posted on popular digital photography web sites. What was surprising was the diversity of situations described involving the problem of getting too dark prints, leading to a great variety of speculation as to what was causing the darkness of the prints produced, as well as just as wide an expanse of suggestions of why there is a problem and what fixes might be applied.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 24, 2008 0 comments

Still not finished reading forum problem posts about “prints too dark” because I was curious if an “LCD too bright” was a problem for many users. Putting that phrase into a Google search got 336,000 replies, not nearly like the 1.9 million “prints too dark” produces though, but significant. Then today a laptop user with the prints too dark problem e-mailed me, and I responded that to get better control and results when doing digital photography editing with a laptop an advantage is to plug into a desktop LCD display, and calibrate and profile it.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Dec 27, 2008 0 comments

Quite a few weeks ago I was invited to contribute my prognostications for photography in 2009, an annual feature in Shutterbug I usually participate in. In early fall of 2008 what I was seeing of the world, I was loath to say what the next day would bring much less the next year, so I declined to participate as usual. Today with 2009 just a few days hence, I am no more inclined to participate in prognostication of what the future next year will bring. Although I would like to indulge in the hope change could produce, but every time I turn on the TV news or read the newspapers I hear the same prayers to the ideological economic gods that have been worshipped for the last 30 years and brought us to where we are today. Being a poor relation of the media myself, and although I try to serve a useful mission to the community of readers I serve, all but a few magazines today are the communities of people they once were, and now just cogs in a corporate conglomerate wheel that turns only to grind out a bottom line profit. For most whether on-line, on the tube or still on the newsstand, those who are still speaking continue to voice the ideas of the past, and to me it reflects a lost generation in time since 1980, that thankfully came to an end in this last election and economic crash of 2008. To me the question is will the old-fashioned ideal of an editorial purpose be renewed to make what is espoused by those in the media again serve the community of people who are the listeners, the readership of a magazine or will there only principle remain the number at the bottom line of a corporate ledger.