31 December, 2017

Happy New Year

Raffles, Singapore - Sigma 24-105mm, f/4 Art

First of all, my thanks to my wife and family for their support over this year; and particularly for sharing the trip to Winton in Northwest Queensland.

And, thanks to all those who posed for me in 2017. It was a privilege to work with you. And, many thanks to my assistant, Keeley McPherson, who braved distance and weather to make many shoots either possible or easier. 

This isn't a resolution, but I will try to do more posts in 2018.

20 December, 2017

Out of gamut colours

Keeley in Brisbane's West End - Sigma 85mm, f/1.4 Art and MC-11 Mount Converter

In printing I don't find serious gamut problems often. But when I do....

The model above is the wonderful Keeley, and her red hair is much brighter than is shown here. Most colour monitors and most colour printers can't reproduce the actual colour of her red hair. It's said, then, that the colour of her red hair falls outside of the gamut of the monitor or printer.

The gamut (colour space) problem usually manifests itself in two different places in the processing of images:

  1. With the usually mundane task of fitting the colours of the image I'm working on in Lightroom or Photoshop (ProPhoto RGB colour space), into the smaller sRGB colour space (that all the web uses); and/or
  2. squeezing the colours of the image into the smaller colour space of a target printing paper and ink set.

Keeley's hair proved an intractable problem. It was partly a question of moving between the colour spaces, as the Lightroom colour space (ProPhoto RGB) addresses more reds than my monitors or printers.

But also, my widest gamut printing paper, Canson Baryta Photographique, provided no appreciable benefit over my usual Canson Platine Fibre Rag. That original red was was well outside either papers' ability to resolve it.

And, printer rendering intents (perceptual or relative — a discussion for another day) showed no difference between final prints.

In the end, my only "solution" for getting to acceptable sRGB images and colour prints, was to significantly reduce the saturation of the red, and decrease the luminance to keep the hair an acceptably dark colour. 

This meant that Keeley is shown with attractive, dark, red hair, but without the brightness of the her real hair. It's not a perfect world.

13 December, 2017

Printing to cut-sheet size in Lightroom

Brolgas, Northwest Queensland - Sigma 24-105mm 

For most images, the aspect ratio and the resulting crop are dictated by the elements in the image. But there are times when it's useful to print to a particular sheet and the aspect ratio for that sheet; for example, when an image needs to fit into a particular frame, or for editorial work when the size and ratio may be set by an editor.

Let's take an example. I want the image to fit onto an A4 cut-sheet. An A4 sheet is 210mm x 297mm. But, in this example, because I want a 25mm border all around, the image area will be 160mm x 247mm – 50mm off the height (25mm off the top and bottom) and 50mm of the width (25mm off the left and right).

So here's the brilliant part (Lightroom's, not mine): In Lightroom's crop tool, next to the picture of a small lock is the aspect ratio setting for the image. If you click on that ratio you can select "Enter Custom..." When you do, a pop-up box will appear and you can enter the image ratio – in this example 160 x 247 (that Lightroom will adjust to 1.60 x 2.47). 

When you finally bring that image to Lightroom's print module and set to print on an A4 cut-sheet with a 25mm border all around, your image will fit perfectly (well, within a fraction of a mil).