Color Confidence

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Friday round-up

Published: Friday 22nd October 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, General News, Movember, Photography

We have a new website!

After a long re-design and technical process, we have a swish new website design up and running, which hopefully makes your experience shopping with us a lot easier!

our new web design

We like it a lot. We wanted to create something much cleaner to look at and easier on the eye whilst making navigation a simpler process. Although it has to be said this is just phase one of the redevelopment stage, there a pages still to do and future pages still to create, but we're getting there! If you have any thoughts on the new design, what you like or what you don't like as much, please let us know - we really value what our customers think in order for us to improve things.

After all, you're the guys that have to use it.

Find of the week from me this week... Have you heard of QR codes? Try scanning this with your phone:

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Jargon [jahr-guh n, -gon] - noun

Published: Friday 29th October 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, Help

1)    Specialised language concerned with a particular subject, culture, or profession

2)    Language characterised by pretentious vocabulary or meaning

3)    Gibberish



Any or all indeed of those sound familiar in photography, design, print and colour management??

Having worked in the technology sector for most of my working life I have become accustomed to the jargon heavy influence of this business. In truth I expect whatever industry you are in the Three Letter Acronym (TLA) syndrome is pretty strong; but when you dive into the world of colour management it not just that there is the usual industry jargon and TLA’s, but to be honest even the real words seem a bit made up to me.

I remember walking into Color Confidence just over 5 years ago and being confronted by talk of ‘Spectros’, RIPs, RAW and metamarism. To be honest for some time I was wondering whether it was bit of an elaborate joke at my expense.

I find the use of Jargon interesting. The first and most amusing is the use of Jargon to prove how clever you are. Have you ever had a conversation with someone when every second w...

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Friday round-up

Published: Friday 5th November 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, General News, Movember, Photography

We're into November - or rather Movember (more on that later) - the night's are drawing in, frost appeared on the car the other day and the trees are quickly changing colour. It's a wonderful time of year full of vibrant colours and sounds - anyone off to a bonfire tonight? - and the perfect opportunity for perfecting your photography skills.

It may well present a great chance to enter our competition by capturing that picturesque, Autumnal landscape scene. We really do need to liven up our wall so please send in your pictures! You will be rewarded accordingly!

If you're a photographer there's a pretty decent chance you use Photoshop, Lightroom or Apeture. If you do, or are new to the software, WDL's 13 cheat sheets are well worth a look - especially if you're a beginner. As I'm quickly learning, there's much more to photography than meets the eye - so anything that simplifies things can only be good!

An article published on the BJP website this week discussed street photography rights, and recent announcements from the Home Office about reviewing anti-terror policies and the potential effect on photographers. All sounds a bit complicated, but it...

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Friday round-up

Published: Friday 19th November 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, General News, Movember, Photography

Firstly we have an apology to make. Our Movember effort came to a swift, itchy and sudden end. We tried, but ultimately didn't succeed in growing ridiculous mustaches . A few of us still are, but my promise of updating you with dodgy photographs doesn't look like bearing any fruit. Maybe next year!

We've blogged before about our Jargon Buster, and I'm pleased to say it's all live and ready to go. There are loads of useful explanations for technical terms you may not understand - as a new comer to this industry, I know I often get lost with all the technical stuff. There's also room for more, so if there are any other words of phrases that confuse you, email info@colourocnfidence.com and we'll add them to the list.

There's a new camera being developed that can let people see around corners! The concept certainly seems sound enough, but by the looks of it there is still a long way to go in the development process. Nevertheless, it would open up a whole new world of potential should the technology ever get simple enough for everyday cameras.

Going back to more imagery stuff this week, and while the twitter photography hashtag is normally full of bot...

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Monitor calibration - what's the point?

Published: Friday 26th November 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, The technical stuff

We often get asked; "what is achieved by calibrating a computer monitor, and is it something I actually need to do?"

Well, monitor calibration (and profiling) is important if you use your computer monitor for the assessment and preparation of photography or graphics - where producing something accurate is really important. In addition to the fact that an image will simply look brighter/darker depending on the level you set the brightness button, the brightness and balance of colour varies between different monitors, even with identical new models.

Calibration and profiling of a monitor gives you the ability to accurately set your monitor to an accepted colour balance and brightness.

This means if a picture looks too dark and blue on a calibrated monitor and you spend time making adjustments, it will be for the right reasons and you will achieve your objective of improving the image. It will then look similarly correct on other calibrated monitors and prints.

Whereas, if the image was actually correct but just looked bad due to the current balance of your monitor, your time will have been spent destroying a perfectly good image, which w...

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Let there be light!

Published: Friday 3rd December 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, Monitors, Profiling, The technical stuff

Thank you to Jon who submitted a question on our previous post all about monitor calibration - which you can read again here. It was a great question and one which is worthy of it's own blog post, so here goes...

Jon has an i1 Display LT, and as a result, a wonderfully calibrated monitor. However, when he gets prints back from the lab - the pictures always look darker than on his monitor. Why could that be?

Well, this problem has just highlighted what I believe must be the most common oversight in desktop colour management – the light you are viewing your print in. If you look at a picture in a dimly lit room, it will look darker than if you take it to the window. Without thinking, many people will take clothes to a shop window to see the colours and detail better, or even the same at home when reading or showing off a photo album.

This is because the brightness and colour balance of what we are physically looking at is dependent on the light. Three key components of light are its ‘temperature’ (a yellowish household bulb) or a higher temperature bluer light (similar to daylight), its ‘luminance’ (how bright it is, the closer to the light the bri...

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What is printer profiling?

Published: Friday 17th December 2010

Categories: Color Confidence, Printing, Profiling

Profiling a printer is a requirement if you want to get correct colour prints. Just like a picture looks different depending on the type of light you look at it under (or under no light and you can’t see the picture), the ink in your printer will produce different results depending on the type of paper you use. Even if you use paper supplied by the printer manufacturer and select their recommended print settings - although you should get ‘reasonable’ results - it will not be perfect.

To read more about how light effects viewing an image, read our previous post

Each printer off the production line will vary slightly, and different room conditions (temperature and humidity) will affect how the printer ink and paper react – resulting in colour variations. A printer also changes with time – not just winter to summer depending on the conditions, but through wear and tear and variations in the consumables.

So the way to control all this is by making profiles for your printer – one for each paper type and with a reasonably stable printer, they should be remade every 1-2 months - or more frequently if there is a noticeable change which could be caused by...

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Time for some Focus

Published: Friday 25th February 2011

Categories: Color Confidence, General News, The technical stuff

First blog post of 2011 - is it too late to wish you all a happy new year?!

Today's post is a bit of a Focus on Imaging special.

If you're into your photography, you probably know all about Europe's largest annual imaging show already, but for those of you who don't, take a look at the Focus website: www.focus-on-imaging.co.uk or watch this video to give you a flavour of the show.

From manufacturers to distributers, professionals to keen hobyists, a visit to Focus on Imaging really is a must if you take your imaging seriously. And - not forgetting - it's a chance for you to come and meet us! (Hall 9, C11)

We love the show as it's a great chance for us to meet you face-to-face. Every year our stand seems to get bigger and busier - and we expect this year to be no exception! The only downside is the slightly aching feet by the end of the show...

So what have we got in store for you this year I hear you ask?

Well...

This year we are running a 'Colour Clinic' which gives you the opportunity to come and ask us anything. And we mean anything! Our technical team (who have over 30 years expereince in the indust...

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Friday round-up

Published: Friday 18th March 2011

Categories: Color Confidence, General News, Movember, Photography

It's been a busy last few weeks here at Color Confidence towers.

As we blogged in our last post, March for us is a crazy month with Focus on Imaging to prep, attend and ultimately debrief. In truth, most of February is also spent doing the same thing, and this year was no exception!

From my point of view, the last few weeks have been especially busy, particularly as this was my first ever show! I'd always had half-an interest in photography, or at least a grand idea that one day I'll follow the England cricket team around the world photographing them along the way. Having worked at Color Confidence for just over 6 months now, I've come to realise just how much there is to photography; from input calibration techniques to making sure you print out on the right paper. Might have to put that dream on hold for a little while!

Focus further opened my eyes to the photography world. I've learnt as much in 4 days talking to you guys as I have in the day-to-day workings here. I can now fully demonstrate how to use a Color Checker Passport and ColorMunki Photo (just about) - which isn't bad considering I'd never heard of them 6 months ago!

The s...

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A visit to Focus-On-Imaging 2011 (part 1)

Published: Monday 21st March 2011

Categories: Color Confidence, Photography

Focus-On-Imaging is the centrepiece exhibition of the year for all things photographic, digital imaging and beyond and a default entry in the diary of any serious photographer from hobbyist to professional.

Focus 2011 was the biggest event yet and combined a really eclectic mixture of big brand exhibitors along with a real mix of smaller, more niche manufacturers and service providers which made for a fascinating event that provided real inspiration and food for thought.

Alongside the opportunity to take a look at the latest products and see them demoed by the experts, there was also a great chance to see some incredibly illuminating lectures, attend workshops and sit in on seminars to truly sharpen skills, learn creative tricks and leave the event with a little more in the skill set armoury.

I enjoyed a great opportunity to spend an afternoon taking a look at those new products, watching those demonstrations and sitting in on those seminars for myself and came away with the opinion that, if you have any interest in investing in your photography skills, a trip to Focus in 2012 is absolutely essential.

Getting to Foc...

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