Color representation and accuracy is one of the most important subjects in photography. Lately, we have had a series of conversations regarding color, more specifically color rendering differences between our displays and how the images may display when projected at the club, or on a friend’s computer. The solution to this is to use a consistent color-managed workflow using properly calibrated and profiled displays and projectors.
I am adding a couple of standard images here for anyone to try out on their monitors and compare them to what is displayed at the club on the projected screen. Keep in mind that there will always be subtle and slight differences between projected images and the images on the display monitor. One is an image formed by light reflecting from the projection screen, the other by light emitted from the display monitor.
The first image is from PhotoDisk and there are two versions. One is a TIFF file in Adobe RGB color space and the other a JPEG file in sRGB color space. If the software you use to display these image on your computer is not color space aware, the TIFF file in Adobe RGB will look duller. The other image, the JPEG file should display accurately on most, if not all, displays because most of them use sRGB as default, the high end displays notwithstanding. Do not use the images that display in the browser window, they are too small for evaluation. Download this ZIP file that has all three in large sizes.
The “overall look” should be natural with whites, grays, and other colors represented. The Gretag and Heidelberg targets should be quite useful in evaluating your display quality. The gray scale ramps on both should be clean and on a well calibrated monitor you should see the entire 22 patches on the Heidelberg target, I see every single one as a distinct shade on my monitor. The entire 19 scale of the Kodak target is also visible on my display. Do not assume the values of colors based on your expectations. For instance, “red” is not necessarily, and indeed is not, 255-0-0 in R-G-B values.
The third image if from Fuji FrontierColor printer systems. It too includes color patches and also skin tones, white porcelain, blue sky, etc. This image too should look natural on your screen, especially the white porcelain sets on the lower squares.
Remember, this is only a subjective, touchy-feely assessment and does not constitute a color managed workflow. The more our members move to the color managed workflow, proper calibration and profiling of their displays, using photo grade monitors, etc. the better the results will be for all of us.