Working with Color from Camera to Display to Print

There are times when photographers who want to make a quality print must feel like they have to be prepress technicians. There are a number of parts to the process that must be in sync for the print to match what is seen on the screen during processing. This brings up matters of calibration, profiling, profiles and color management. Issues include how each paper surface, and often paper brand, must be treated individually to get the best results; the inability of certain printers to produce a neutral black for a monochrome print due to the lack of two or more gray inks; and confusion about what to choose in the series of dialog boxes that confront the user along the way. It’s sometimes enough to convince the printmaker to consider pastels rather than digital images as their medium.

In this new book from Focal Press, Tom P. Ashe, Associate Chair of the Masters of Professional Studies in Digital Photography at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City tackles all of the above in a comprehensive and comprehensible manner. The book includes information on calibration, profiles, print menus and specific information on various software programs, with a strong emphasis on Photoshop, and various printers and papers. There is quite a bit on color profiling and calibration, and while some might cover their ears at those very words they are the foundation of printmaking and are covered in a way that should make it easy to understand and master for all but the most tech-phobic reader.

There’s no question that this 436 page book might seem intimidating at first, but if you want consistently great prints you have to do your homework and prep and not just cross your fingers every time you press the Print tab. There is enough information here to get you into the right place, and once you have grasped the workflow and concept of what goes into digital printing it will serve as a reference and valuable guide along the way. In short, if you’re serious about printmaking and need a guide, this is among the best out there.

BTW, the series editor on this and other Digital Imaging Masters Series from Focal is Katrin Eismann, Chair of the above-mentioned program at SVA. Having had the pleasure of attending some of her programs and workshops I can attest to her amazing knowledge and skill, which I am sure added to the comprehensive and step-by-step nature of this well illustrated text. –George Schaub


Color Management & Quality Output
By Tom P. Ashe, Series Editor Katrin Eismann
Focal Press, 2014
ISBN #978-0-240-82111-5
436 pgs. $49.95
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