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Soft proofing, amc and pc

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SueEley 8 271 96 Wales
12 Nov 2010 8:19PM
I made a coupe of digital pics for projection at camera club and soft proofed for a pc in CS5 (we used to have a pc). So the club changed over to a mac and my pics were rightfully criticised for being very light - because I soft proofed for a pc and it ended up projecting via a mac (both laptops calibrated). What I don't understand is everyone elses' pics looked okay projected from the mac (though rather muddy projected from the pc which we also did for comparison, but then everything did which is why we changed it). If you want to enter an international projected image competition, how do you preview? Obviously you will probably go for sRGB colour space, but you still have to assume some device which projects your image and adjust brightness and contrast for that - and believe me, it makes a difference. In my case, the difference between looking competent, and incompetent. Which, considering how hard I worked to get it right, is ironic.

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12 Nov 2010 10:40PM
Don't/didn't PCs and macs use a different gamma setting 1.8 v 2.2

Gamma
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2010 10:49PM
Ah camera clubs and projectors, most camera clubs just do not get to grips with it and I have seen some terribly set projectors at clubs. To be honest if set correctly it should not matter whether MAC or PC is being used. So what is needed is that all the display devices need to be calibrated in the environment they are to be used, which means the computer running the projector also needs to be calibrated in situ projecting, and the auto set-up button not hit as I saw recently where the calibration was immediately over-ridden. Also everyone needs to be running in the same colour space.

Luminance is difficult to cope with and many monitors struggle to get down to the lower calibration levels so that can cause some displays to be over-bright.

SO I assume you have at club level agreed that you are using a particular colour space and resolution and you need to make certain that what they are using is colour space aware. With the correct set up you can use sRGB or ARGB happily. How do you calibrate your monitor and how does the club calibrate its projector? as a quick check you could always project the stepped grey scale below and check on your computer you can see all levels. You can always use the levels display also to gauge how bright or not your image is. Many projectors struggle to deliver the dynamic range monitors do.
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2010 10:57PM
I thought apple had set gamma to the same as the rest of the world these days. And does the calibration device not do this as a starting point. It is in the settings for the Spiders I have used
cameracat 10 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
13 Nov 2010 2:33AM

Quote:Ah camera clubs and projectors, most camera clubs just do not get to grips with it and I have seen some terribly set projectors at clubs


LOL Grin Nail hit on the head John.....Smile

We are not members of any camera club, But my other half was asked to do a talk at a club not to far from us.

The question of what was going to be used to show some of Kathys images on arose, We where informed that they had a digital projector.

No worries we thought, So Kathy filled a USB flash drive with a variety of images, Then to be on the safe side did several folders with different resolutions etc etc.

Come the night, When we arrived there was no sign of the projector, For some reason they thought Kathy was bringing prints, So a sort of lectern thing had been setup.

Anyhow, After a bit of fudging around they found the clubs projector ( A Dell item ) and the clubs laptop ( a fairly mediocre item ) The trouble was no one knew how to set it up, So I volunteered to have a go, Did all the plumbing and got an image from the projector on the screen, Trouble was the darn thing was not calibrated, Neither was the laptop, There was no evidence of any colour profiles for the laptop or the projector.

Quite honestly the whole thing looked pants, The images on the laptop screen did not match the image the projector was producing, No amount of fudging with the setting got any improvement, Thank goodness a lot of them where mono.....Smile Because the setup was " Murdering " the colour images, Many of which where competition winners....Sad

So we managed to work through the evening, The thing that stuck me was this, The laptop had an " Onboard " Intel graphic chip, The one they nail to the boards of the cheaper end of the market, This chip is completely useless for trying to make any sense of anything, Its just about capable of stuffing an image of some sort onto its own screen.

The other thing was the fact that no one had a clue about setting the whole thing up properly, The poor old laptop had Photoshop CS5 on it too, If you did not mind waiting 5 minutes for it to open......Grin

Seriously though, Calibration calibration, Then make sure its done properly, If no one understands the procedure the hardware/software involved, The end result is gonna be a right mess at the very least.

Yeah! I thought the " Mac " brigade had finally caught up with the rest of the world " Gamma " wise.....Only takes one to think otherwise though.....Tongue

Whatever......Its late and I'm tired.......ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
SueEley 8 271 96 Wales
13 Nov 2010 10:14AM
Both laptops were profiled with the projector and the reason we got the Mac is that the pc was underpowered and couldn't do the graphics well. Our webmaster used a Colour Monkey. He's a high powered engineer and the kind of guy who can build and fix computers and strips down his own system for fun. I always use sRGB, though I understand it is not vital, and advicse others to as it has so much less potential for producing out of gamut on any device. There was a big difference in luminance and definition between the images on the two devices. The definition is obviously down to the superior graphics capability, but I don't (still) understand the luminance issue.

BTW CS5 still gives separate soft proofs for Mac and PC so I guess if there is no difference, Adobe haven't been told yet :-S
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
13 Nov 2010 10:21AM
The Mac soft proofing in CS5 is simulating a 1.8 gamma, which is an outmoded way of calibrating a Mac that will make your Windows PC-prepared photos look brighter/washed out. Even Apple appear to have conceded that by making 2.2 the default OS gamma with Snow Leopard. Mac proofing in PS is really a legacy feature - it doesn't make a lot of sense to calibrate a screen to that gamma, which seems to be what your club has done.
SueEley 8 271 96 Wales
13 Nov 2010 10:57AM
Maybe that's where I made my mistake as I used the PC preview in CS5 - don't know if they are using the 1.8 gamma at the club, actually. My machine is a Mac with Snow Leopard and the main screen is calibrated. I have read books about profiling, but I really do find it hard to work out the links in the chain and where stuff can go wrong. My main screen (ViewSonic and about 3 years old) is definitely bright even when wound down, and I have this problem with prints, too. My husband's, also on a Mac, has the same issue. My second, unprofiled, screen (MultiSync and old) is much darker. I guess I need to ask our webmaster what gamma he is profiling to on the club machine. Maybe by using the CS5 soft proofing, I am misleading myself.... but my pics did look more right as to colour and brightness on the pc set up than the mac.
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
13 Nov 2010 3:24PM
Difficult to fathom in some ways. For instance, Sue, a bright screen usually results in dark prints rather than bright ones, as the photographer has a trendency to over-compensate for the screen in editing. Have I misunderstood this?

Also, Mac RGB, Windows RGB (Internet RGB), and Monitor RGB all bypass your monitor profile. They're simulating non colour-managed environments, which at best seems an unnecessary step, and might be disastrous. Chris is right, in that you only really need to use Photoshop itself to produce decent sRGB files - providing your calibration and monitor profile are both good.

As a starting point it'd be good to check how your own screen is calibrated - the aforementioned 2.2 gamma and a luminance level of around 120cd/mē being advisable.
SueEley 8 271 96 Wales
13 Nov 2010 3:35PM
Yeah - the bright screen leads to dark prints. Possibly I need to choose a different gamma when I profile - I think currently the profiler I use suggests 1.8 mac native as the one to go for, but with Snow Leopard etc maybe this isn't right. I'll not bother with soft proofing for projection in future and only do it for printing, where it is quite important, I find. My pics do look a little different on EPZ and others have noticed this too, but the difference is not massive. Thanks.
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
13 Nov 2010 5:07PM
There are good reasons for calibrating a Mac to 2.2 gamma. One of the more compelling is that it's less work for the video card, which in turn means less likelihood of display problems such as banding and posterisation. I guess your 1.8 gamma setting lightens Snow Leopard a little, too. The differences within Photoshop should be negated by the ICC profile, but what I'm picturing is that softproofing in Windows RGB has lead you to produce an overly bright image. Waiting for a moment of clarity to confirm!

The 1.8 gamma setting harks back to 1985, when it was used to match output of Apple's monochromatic LaserWriter - gives you an idea of how outdated it is.
SueEley 8 271 96 Wales
13 Nov 2010 5:39PM
Yes, Glen, you are right about the over bright image. I think I have a few ideas about how to go forward from here, both in profiling my screen and preparing images. You know, I am quite educated, not stupid etc but I do find this aspect of things complicated. Not helped by the fact that things change and it is hard to keep up with them unless you are in the field professionally or have a lot of time, neither of which applies to me. Thanks for your time, everyone. Smile

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