In our latest Zoom! meeting, Tim Jones from Fotospeed gave us a presentation entitled From Camera to Print. Tim started by telling us a bit about his photographic journey, including working with hard rock bands around Europe followed by many years doing assignments involving schools, weddings, portraiture and product placement. He then explained that he wanted to talk about the 3 foundations of printing - the camera, the computer and the printer.
Taking a picture with a camera is clearly the photographic starting point for creating a printed image. While it is important to try and get the image right in the camera, there is also much debate about whether to take RAW or JPG images. In Tim’s view, RAW images are best as they will provide a higher level of data which can be used during the print preparation process. For the same reason, he advocated using the AdobeRGB colour space in the camera rather than sRGB.
Having obtained an image for printing, Tim explained that colour management is important for ensuring that the print is as you want it. He said that colour management is about consistency of colour rather than accuracy and as we all see colours differently, we need to make sure the colours we present are consistent. So we need to generate profiles for our screens and for each printer/paper configuration that we use.
Screen profiles, he said, are generated using a calibration tool such as the Datacolor Spyder and printer/paper profiles can be created with the help of organisations like Fotospeed. This involves making a print of a calibration chart, posting it to Fotospeed who scan the print using software to compare it against International Colour Consortium (ICC) standards to create the profile, which is then returned to the user.
Having received the profiles they need to be loaded into the computer according to instructions available from Fotospeed’s website. Tim explained the process of selecting the appropriate profiles, and other options, at the time of printing to ensure the results are as required. He also pointed out that the choice of paper type, while being very personal, can make a difference to the impact of the image. To illustrate this, Tim showed us a range of images and explained what paper he would choose to print them on.
Following an extensive question and answer session, our Chairman thanked Tim for a very interesting and informative evening. DF