Colour Managed Workflow Foundations for Digital Photography

by Apr 17, 2024Photography Blog

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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The Foundations of a Photographic Colour Managed Workflow

Updated: 17th April 2024 to include the second Webinar

On March 26, 2024, I delivered a presentation explaining the foundations of a photographic colour managed workflow. This was the first of two webinars for Datacolor and DxO. The intention was to support photographers in understanding the most important aspects of colour management related to printing digital photography.

Of course, we can’t take the printing stage in isolation. Colour management is something that needs to be applied correctly at multiple stages in the photographic workflow. If one element is missing or wrong, the finished print will also be wrong. But with the correct foundations, the results can be spectacular photos and prints.

The Foundations of a Colour Managed Workflow for Photography Webinar

What Are the Foundations of a Colour Managed Workflow?

The points in your workflow where an image’s colours and/or tones are changed are the key building blocks of a colour managed workflow. While this is critical for colour digital photography, it also applies to black-and-white.

The areas to understand, which I explained in the Webinar, are:

  • Monitor Calibration – If your monitor isn’t displaying colours and tones correctly, you won’t be able to adjust your photos. When you print an incorrectly adjusted image, you won’t be happy with the print, and you will probably incorrectly blame the printer.
  • Color Space – The Color Space determines the range of possible colours that can be reproduced in an image file. Common advice is to use the biggest Color Space when editing for the broadest range of colours. But this could be bad advice because it increases the risk of out-of-gamut colours.
  • Rendering Intent – The Rendering Intent is used to convert Out of Gamut colours that can’t be displayed into colours that can be displayed.
  • Bit Depth – Determines how many possible colours can be defined in an image file.
  • Camera Profile – The Camera Profile is used by the RAW converter to translate the RAW file into colours and tones. But did you know that camera profiles you usually see in software don’t produce accurate colours?
  • Printer and Paper profiles – The printer profile determines how the colours and tones in the image are converted to colours and tones on paper.

Webinar 1 – Fine Art Print for Amateur Photographers

In this first webinar, I describe the fundamentals of a simple colour managed workflow, as outlined above. I also explain the technologies and science behind the colour management of digital photography. This provides a foundation for photographers to understand colour management so they can solve their own colour problems.

Webinar 2 – Exporting and Printing Images with DxO PhotoLab

In this second webinar, I explain how to print photography using DxO PhotoLab as part of a colour managed workflow. This will allow you to consistently produce accurate prints on a home photo printer or a photo lab/online printer.

I hope I will have the opportunity to present more of these Webinars in the future.

If you have any questions, let me know if the comments section below and I will do my best to answer them.

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