Calibration and Printing

One of the elements I picked up as an output for evaluation from assignment 3 was to look at printing at home.  I had looked at this earlier in the course and decided to print from home my assignment 2 submission.  I was not satisfied with the printed output from Assignment 2 and the feedback from my tutor pointed out the print colours were flat, I had assumed as they were submitted on a matte paper.  I chose to use Loxley (whom I send any client printing to) for Assignment 3 prints submission partially due to the large areas of black in the image.  Since then I have been experimenting with different paper types obtained from Hahnemuhle, Fotospeed, Canson and Marrutt.  Various threads on the OCA forums advise against using glossy paper for assessment submission and in the feedback from my tutor for Assignment 4 Helen advised using a good quality lustre or even a fine art baryta giclee process.

Printing workflow starts with the image itself and ensuring you have the correct white balance setting in the camera at the time of capturing the image.  There are aids on the market which can be used to assist in getting this right at the point of image creation to then assist with post-production such as ColorChecker [1] and in the same family range, the cube [2]can be used to check white balance, exposure and brightness levels.  Essentially these have known colour swatches printed onto the target and one of your test shots needs to include the colour target full screen and in the same lighting conditions, in post-production, you can then select the colour target and adjust all of the subsequent images and maintain the colour balance.    This can further be corrected in post-production and refined further if you are shooting in RAW.  Before any image manipulation is undertaken your screen needs to be calibrated and if you’re then printing the printer needs to be calibrated to the type of paper it’s printing on.

Screen Calibration

For screen calibration I use a Spyder 4 by Datacolor, this is straightforward to use and includes a piece of software to control the calibration device.  To calibrate your screen(s) you start the software and hand this device onto the screen, the software then projects a number of colour swatches on the screen and the device reads the colour value and the software then compares the known value to the actual output and creates a profile for that screen.  Your screen profile is then adjusted to match this new profile and any colours/lightness/darkness on the screen should then match the image you’re working on.  A reminder is normally set in the software settings to re-calibrate the screen at a specified interval to ensure consistency. There are numerous walk through videos on YouTube on how to calibrate a screen,  a useful walkthrough of the process here [3] by Damian Symonds and [4] here by Northlight Images.

Printer Calibration

The next step is to then calibrate your printer to match the screen.  There is an individual ICC profile for each paper/ink combination.  Generic profiles are included for each printer, in my case I use an Epson SC-P800 printer,  to be used for the manufacturer specific available papers.  For each type of aftermarket paper, generic ICC profiles can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s websites(I’ve listed below the ones I have used).  Given that each screen needs to be individually adjusted it then follows each paper/printer combination also needs to be checked as the generic profiles will only go so far.   With manufacturing tolerances and technology, you should expect them to be fairly accurate, there is very much debate and technical conversation on gamut, paper evaluation, printer specifications etc and I’ll be clear with this blog I’m not going into that detail just on how.

Producing a specific ICC print profiling can normally be obtained free of charge, you need to buy a box of your chosen paper type (A4 size) and then print onto it the test target. Test targets are supplied by the manufacturer, in the case of Marrutt instructions are emailed and you download the profiles (before and after) and a link to the Adobe Colour Printer Utility [5]which is used to print the test target [6].

The is then left to dry for a few hours to prevent smudging, once dry it can be posted to the manufacturer.  They scan this using a Spectrocolorimeter [7]and compare the recorded values against the test print expected values. I did also buy a sample pack from Fotospeed and send them all back for profiling, needless to say the response I received was not favourable and they only chose to profile a few of their most popular papers as they had better things to do with their day.

An ICC profile is created which is specific to your printer and paper type.  This profile is emailed back to you in a couple of days which you then install on your printer.   A further test print is made using an evaluation target [8] which is then sent back to the manufacturer.  The evaluation print is then checked to ensure the profile generated is as intended.  Manufacturers recommend the print profile are tested every 6 months to ensure consistency.

I have purchased papers from the following suppliers:

Hahnemuhle [9]

Fotospeed [10]

Marrutt [11]

Canson [12]

I have profiled the papers from Marrutt.  Marrutt provided detailed information on how to undertake the print profiling on their webpages[11]and initial instructions via email.  With the exception of one profile, the process has performed as expected.  The failed profile for their gloss paper had noticeably reduced red values when first installed.  I repeated the process using the test target and sent this back again to be re-profiled, the second profile was better. I did struggle with some of the smooth art papers as to which was actually the print side.

Print calibration can also be performed at home, you will need to use a device that not only calibrates your screen but also can read and then calibrate any printed pages.  Two of the most common devices are the Spyderprint [13]manufactured by Datacolor [14] where there are two separate devices and the ColorMunki Photo [15] by X-rite [16] which is combined into one device.

Referencing –

Note all links will open in external pages and any relevant content remains the copyright of the owner.

[1] Datacolor ColorCheckr – http://www.datacolor.com/photography-design/product-overview/spyder-checkr-family/ Accessed 8th December 2017

[2] Datacolor SpyderCube – http://www.datacolor.com/photography-design/product-overview/spydercube/ Accessed 8th December 2017

[3] Screen Calibration Walkthrough – https://www.damiensymonds.net/cal_S4P_pc.html accessed 8th December 2017

[4]Northlight Images – http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/datacolor-spyder4pro-review/ accessed 8th December 2017

[5] Adobe Colour Printer Utility https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/no-color-management-option-missing.html accessed 8th December 2017

[6] Test target – https://www.marrutt.com/icc-profiling accessed 8th December 2017

[7] Image of a Spectrocolorimeter s3p-kit.jpg accessed 8th December 2017

[8] Evaluation target – https://www.marrutt.com/images/support/colour-checker.jpg Accessed 8th December 2017

[9] Hahnemuhle – https://www.hahnemuehle.com/en/digital-fineart/icc-profile.html Accessed 8th December 2017

[10] Fotospeed – https://www.fotospeed.com/profiles.asp?SeriesID=9&TextID=1 Accessed 8th December 2017

[11] Marrutt Print profiling – https://www.marrutt.com/find-my-printer/epson-surecolor/epson-surecolor-sc-p800-printer/epson-surecolor-sc-p800-printer-support#faqs Accessed 8th December 2017

[12] Canson – //www.canson-infinity.com/en/icc-profiles Accessed 8th December 2017

[13] Spyder Print – http://www.datacolor.com/photography-design/product-overview/spyderprint/ Accessed 8th December 2017

[14] Datacolor – http://www.datacolor.com Accessed 8th December 2017

[15] ColorMunki Photo http://xritephoto.com/colormunki-photo Accessed 8th December 2017

[16] X-rite – http://xritephoto.com Accessed 8th December 2017

Advertisements

Assignment 4 Light

Brief

This extract has been taken from the OCA handbook. Revisit one of the exercises on daylight, artificial light or studio light from Part Four (4.2, 4.3 or 4.4) and prepare it for formal assignment submission:

• Create a set of between six and ten finished images. For the images to work naturally as a series there should be a linking theme, for instance a subject, or a particular period of time.

• Include annotated contact sheets of all of the photographs that you’ve shot for the exercise (see notes on the contact sheet in Part Three).

• Assignment notes are an important part of every assignment. Begin your notes with an introduction outlining why you selected this particular exercise for the assignment, followed by a description of your ‘process’ (the series of steps you took to make the photographs). Reference at least one of the photographers mentioned in Part Four in your assignment notes, showing how their approach to light might link in to your own work. Conclude your notes with a personal reflection on how you’ve developed the exercise in order to meet the descriptors of the Creativity criteria. Write 500–1,000 words.

Include a link (or scanned pages) to Exercise 4.5 in your learning log for your tutor’s comments.

Exercise 4.5

My Final image below from exercise 4.5 leads into this assignment and the early evening, night images, the theme of aircraft is well represented although they are all static aircraft elements such as the natural lit skies, constant artificial lighting, moving wings, propellers and light trails add movement to the images to set them apart from a static airframe represented in the Google searches.

Exercise 4.5 final

 

Contact sheets

My image selection for this assignment spanned 5 separate events, I have not selected the entire set of images for each event but those that covered the evening elements of those events.  The Contact sheets have been added to a separate blog post here rather than bulk out this post.

All of the images shown on the attached contact sheets are the intellectual property and copyright of Carl Goodwin.  They cannot be copied without express written permission from the owner, i.e. me.

How I’ve compiled the contact sheets can be read here.

 

 

Images for assignment

Assignment 4 contact sheet final(1) marked up with camera settings and file numbers.

Research

I struggled very much with this one as far as aircraft imagery was concerned, very few available images were shown as blue hour and with a google search they turned out to be not actually of the blue hour but contained blue skies or sunset images.  There are a huge number of aviation photographers out here and typically the imagery represents aircraft in daylight.

Andy Rouse a renowned wildlife and now aviation photographer https://www.andyrouse.co.uk accessed 19/11/2017.  In preparation for the session A2A I attended a talk at Park Cameras in London on 24th June 2017.  Andy spoke for around 1 hour on aviation imagery, his images and I asked some questions on what to expect for an A2A with Peter and his Mustang.  suggested camera settings and preparation were also discussed.

James Goggin Some very beautiful aircraft images on this website https://www.jamesgoggin.com accessed 19/11/2017

Mark http://www.mjaviation.co.uk accessed 19/11/2017

Centre of aviation Photography http://www.centreofaviationphotography.com/showcase I’ve been on a couple of events with them this year, they allow great access/sites aircraft that you would not normally be able to get to view up a close. I must credit them with my access to the Typhoon, Tornado and A400M at RAF Coningsby used in my final image set. accessed 19/11/2017

Timeline Events https://www.timelineevents.org accessed 19/11/2017 provided access so that I could create the images supplied for the Mustang and Just Jane events.

 

 

Exercise 4.5

Exercise 4.5

Brief

I’ve strayed from the brief of the exercise here and decided to look at a particular subject that interests me rather than an ordinary object found in the household or landscape.

I have a very keen interest in aircraft, in particular, those from World War 2.  I undertook a basic search in Google for ‘Mustang’. I expected a result for a horse, car and aircraft.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 18.12.54.png

Google search created 19th November 2017

Instead all the images were of the car so I refined the search to Mustang P51 as I’m looking for the aircraft.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 18.12.29.png

Google search created 19th November 2017

These are all very much Air to Air (A2A) images and very much interesting to me as an enthusiast at the moment I’m not able to create images such as these.  I did attempt an A2A with my subject aircraft but due to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) licensing issues this did not happen this flying season, hopefully next (fingers crossed).

Despite this I wanted to create some different images with different lighting, angles and elements of this beautiful shiny aircraft. I attended 2 events over the summer with my chosen subject aircraft a P51 Mustang owned by Peter Teichmann which is based at Hanger 11 in North Weald.  I created images that were different to those in the test search above, they differ as all are static images but include a different perspective.   I feel they capture the different elements of the aircraft not normally represented, the contact sheet is here Exercise 4.5 contact sheet.

From this exercise I wanted to expand by looking at aircraft over the early evening and night, not only does this present a different lighting element to the ones shown above it also presents different and changing conditions that require longer exposures to create images with spinning propellor discs and if possible engine exhausts spitting flames as the engines are started or pushed to maximum throttle.

This final image was created in the early evening on 2nd May 2017, the intent was to create a sunset image of the aircraft, however, there was cloud cover that blocked out the sun.  the night ended with a lovely balanced blue hour and this is when this image was created.  Unfortunately, the engine run that would give the spinning propellor disc on a longer exposure didn’t occur until after the sun had finally set.

Exercise 4.5 final

 

 

 

 

Clamshell Portfolio Photo boxes

I’m planning my next assignment for Expressing your Vision.  Reading the brief for Assignment 3 it states “post your prints, no larger than A4, to your tutor together with your assignment notes.”

Following reading of the OCA forums I’ve come across what I believe to be an acceptable method of sending A4 prints and the formatting!   Essentially the print should be no larger than A4 but should also have a border (to facilitate handling) (appx 3.5 cm) and be on matte paper to minimise reflections when handling.( I will be first to admit I may have missed a post/document somewhere and if anyone spots an error here then please feel free to let me know with the source and I’ll update this post.)

I chose to then purchase 2 boxes for presentation, A3 and A4 sizes.  In addition to this I’ve selected Silverprint as my supplier (they give student discount too) and Fotospeed as my paper choice.

First impressions:

Silverprint.  Student discount at 5% and for free postage over £75.

To enable student discount  you need to register an account and email them with a scan of your student ID card and the discount is limited to 1 year.  On their webpage it states you’ll get 5% discount and any order over £75 will receive free standard postage. (correct as at 19/11/2016)

I chose to send them a scan of my OCA card and my NUS card. The following day I received an email and was provided with the code to apply to the shopping cart.  What it doesn’t state is to whether the order value is exclusive of exclusive of VAT so this needs clarity.  It transpires your order needs to be over £75 BEFORE VAT and post/packing before the free P&P can apply. Also handy to note is that the Fotospeed paper I  purchased was cheaper than advertised on the Fotospeed website, not by much.

Delivery was quick once it has been despatched and arrived in good condition and well packaged with no visible damage to the external box or contents.

Products:

SP Portfolio Box A4 3.5cm Depth Black Internal –SAB002101S (18.95 GBP incl VAT)

Image of internal box 00430260.JPG

This and the A3 version (34.96 GBP incl VAT for the white internals)  are nicely made and fit together well when opening and closing.  They seem to have a substantial enough construction to satisfy what they need to do, protect your prints, although I’m unsure as to how well they will fare being sent backwards and forwards multiple times to your tutor.

I’ll update this when the boxes have received a few runs in the mail 🙂

Fotospeed paper – I’ve used this manufacturer before but haven’t used this particular paper, Matt duo 240gsm before.  I tend to use Canson or Hahnemuhle if i’m producing client prints and use either Pearl or Gloss depending on the job.  For the purposes of this all I can say at this stage is after discount the duo paper is .325GBP (32.5p) per sheet of paper, but if you’re printing double sided then that’s just over 16 pence a print. (without ink or printer maintenance costs).

Links correct at 19/11/2016.