How did you get your start in photography?


Like many, buying my first camera back in 2012. It was by accident, I wanted a better camera then my phone to take pictures of my children, so passion towards photography evolved very quickly.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?


I shoot 90% of the time landscape photos. I am driven by that feeling of being outdoors, in the nature, at 5am, shooting a sunrise and there is nobody around, world is still asleep. That is when I feel most alive.


Northern Light
G2 aurora borealis storm in Liesjärvi National park, Finland.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?


My biggest achievement has been the chance to be able to teach and guide others on their journey as they start in photography. Usually on a very cool locations like Iceland or Faroe Islands. I didn’t have many obstacles on my photography journey, but I can say that if you really want something, nothing will stop you on your way to achieve that goal. I am not there yet though.


Who and/or what inspires you most?


On the beginnings I was getting inspired by other amazing photographers, like Elia Locardi and Michael Shainblum, but the biggest inspiration comes from that feeling of being in the nature.


What is your approach?


Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use? Definitely I always pursue the feeling, capturing the moment in time or chasing that perfect light. More often I don’t succeed then I do, but that’s part of the game.



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?


I print my photos, so having a color accurate monitor means so much. Seriously, until I first time calibrated my monitor with Spyder4 I didn’t understand how important that is.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?


Don’t compare yourself to others, there will always be somebody else better then you. Probably it has been said already many times, but just go out and shoot, no excuse!


Valentino is calibrating his monitor with a SpyderX Elite.


About the Author – Valentino Valkaj


Valentino Valkaj is published international photographer and videographer. Co-founder of a travel agency guiding photo tours in Nordic countries.


Photography Type: Landscape / Outdoor


Articles from Valentino Valkaj

Why is it so important to control color?


Perhaps the better question is: How many things can go wrong from color inspiration to final product?


(Answer: A LOT)


To dive deeper into this topic, we spoke with John Newton, Head of Color Technology at Coloro. He’s on a mission to debunk the all-too-common assumption that incorrect lab dips are a necessary cost of doing business in the textile industry.


Datacolor: In your experience, how many people fully understand the importance of controlling color?


John Newton: The understanding towards this has been much lower than I had anticipated going into the industry. Designers often aren’t aware what happens to the swatch after they have sent it off to their supplier. They do not know the processes in their supply chain.


However, companies that have an in-house color team or color manager are far more equipped with this knowledge. These people try to educate the rest of the company on the importance of controlling color.


John Newton_Coloro Quote 1

DC: With the companies you speak to, is there anything that surprises you about the awareness (or lack of awareness) about color?


JN: We work with a lot of activewear brands, and I have been blown away by the wealth of knowledge within their color teams. They have to understand how colors will work on a wealth of different performance fabrics and constantly be at the forefront of innovation. They fuse both the creative, trend-led side of color with the technical and scientific side so beautifully.


Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who just have not had the education or internal training on how important color — and color accuracy — is.


DC: Can you take us through the journey of a color from design through production? What can go wrong at each step of that journey without the proper tools in place?


JN: First, a color is selected. This could be directly chosen from a physical color standard provided by a company like Coloro. Or from a PLM library or Adobe product – which will usually in turn be linked to a physical and digital color system library. This takes the color safely from the on-screen image (which varies device to device and is somewhat an illusion) to a target color for a dyer to produce.


But it could also be from a physical item like a leaf. I’d strongly advise against sending a leaf to a dyer! It will discolor in no time – and what light situation was the designer in when they saw the lovely colored leaf? I’d suggest at this stage get the leaf into a light box and match to a physical textile standard in a known light. Or if you have a spectrophotometer – take a reading or use a hand-held colorimeter like ColorReaderPRO to read the color – in standard daylight – and find the nearest color in the Coloro library. Finally, perhaps you really should get that leaf back to the designer — with the textile standard alongside to approve — before the precious leaf changes from green to gold!


(Editor’s note: If the feasibility of a color is not already known, there is software available that allows you to create dye formulations to understand the feasibility of colors on different substrates.  This is how certified color standards are created and digital QTX files are derived.)


Problems in matching and keeping colors stable are often found by dyers very late in the process, after garments have been booked and garment factories are waiting for the dyed fabric. In these cases, a color the designer does not actually desire is then approved to avoid further delays.


John Newton_Coloro Quote 2

Then bulk color is assessed for approval. Retail head offices without professional color departments can also become part of the problem at this stage. They are often known to check color at their desk or by a window. Meaning the dyer has no idea which light source they are checking under. And color will change appearance depending on time of day, office lighting and more. Then the dyer gets an unfair rejection, tries to improve, re-submits, and on we go!


Digital color management helps improve color consistency. Clear details of all machine settings are stored for digital readings (change any one of these and readings will become inaccurate). And whenever visual appraisals are done, it’s important to use certified matching cabinets and make sure the team evaluating color is tested for their color vision.


DC: What do you think are the biggest inefficiencies throughout this process?



  1. Not checking if colors work in the supply chain before sending standards out. This causes a lot of delay, cost and disappointment—often right at the point of delivery to stores when changes just cannot be made.
  2. Not using QTX files to communicate digital target standards—if they are accurate, a good dyer can use these to start working on dye recipes.
  3. Not using digital approvals whenever possible. This can really speed up submission of color and avoids costly shipping of submits to retailers


DC: When it comes to avoiding these inefficiencies, what do you wish more people knew?


JN: I wish people realized how many variables we can remove from color delivery supply chains—and how we can assess colors for problems and risks before we ask mills to try to supply the colors chosen.


I also wish more people understood how the costs can quickly and easily build up. Late shipment costs, re-dyes, time-consuming color checks with both office admin staff and ultimately senior decision makers, delivering only ‘best can do’ approvals of color—and then potentially reducing sales.


John Newton_Coloro Quote 3

DC: How often do you speak with companies that have simply accepted multiple incorrect lab dips as a reality of working with color?


JN: This appears to be the way some companies have evolved to work, relying on dated color systems and unreliable standards. We have found that some brands even schedule in time for the back and forth of incorrect lab dips, and still end up settling for an incorrect color.


DC: In your opinion, how much education is there left to do when it comes to controlling color?


JN: Plenty. However, the basic knowledge that color on-screen, in print and under different illuminants will potentially look different could go a long way in arming a designer with a good starting point.


At Coloro, as we speak to clients, we assess how much they understand. And from there, we make the benefits of a clear and accurate color standard known.


The industry also needs to start sharing their success stories and helping each other achieve the perfect hue quicker and more efficiently.


DC: What do you hope to see in the future when it comes to the way companies around the world approach their work with color?


JN: Increased professionalism and an investment in people and systems to help manage color delivery. Which should ultimately save money—and just as importantly get some great color out there… the original color the designers wanted to see and thought we’d love to buy!


Also, supply chains do a very difficult job. I hope that more companies help them by doing more up-front work on proposed colors and palettes to check that they will work, and by defining standards very clearly.


DC: What do you think it will take to get there?


JN: Engaging and interesting education that speaks their language—with practical examples that focus on getting the basics right. Just understanding and applying some basic principles in setting and communicating accurate color standards can make a huge difference.



Thank you to John Newton for sharing your experience. Learn more about the Coloro system here. And explore their latest Key Colors here.



Are you passionate about color and want to share your ideas and insights with Datacolor readers? Email us at marketingdontlike@spamdatacolorcom.spam with the subject line “blog contributor”.


Disclaimer: Coloro is a partner of Datacolor. The views, opinions and insights expressed by Datacolor guest bloggers are those of the authors. They do not inherently express the views of Datacolor and our employees.

“Sustainability and environmental impact are becoming increasingly important to both businesses and consumers. Business is looking at ways to reduce environmental impact by developing novel processing methods.” Daniel Aitken, Datacolor UK Service Manager.


Here is a pop quiz for you: What is one major topic that everyone is discussing, but no one seems to have completely nailed? You guessed it. It’s sustainability. No matter what industry you are in, you have probably heard the word “sustainability” at least a couple of times a day. Companies all over the world are coming up with five-year plans to go 100% green.


But even if the change to become more environment friendly is not a top priority at your company right now, there are some color management steps you can take immediately to score points for your good karma balance. This is especially valuable because, as we know, color dyeing is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollutants, water waste and energy consumption. In 2015 alone, the gas footprint from textile production was roughly 1.2 billion tons of CO2, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipments combined. Textile dyeing and treatment is accountable for about 20% of water pollution globally. And while your company’s process for dyeing is an internal decision, Datacolor CAN help make that process more efficient —which could support your sustainability efforts in a big way.


Defining Sustainability


For the sake of discussion, we think it’s important to define how we view sustainability. You can have your own definition, too, and that is OK. Some companies use cradle-to-cradle certification (a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy) as an example, while other companies may define it as a reduction of waste. Datacolor addresses sustainability from an efficiency standpoint. By producing the minimum waste possible, you can achieve better operational efficiency and make a positive impact on the environment.


Julie Crowder Sustainability Quote

Reducing Physical Samples


Physical samples are so last season. You heard us right. Any time you have to dye a piece of fabric, you are not being sustainable. It’s a fact. And what if you have to do it more than once? The goal should always be to minimize the resources you are spending on sample development. We have already mentioned water and energy waste as well as chemical pollutants which have a negative impact on the environment.


But what about all the time and fuel spent on shipping samples overseas for evaluation? That hurts the environment, too.  From where we stand, physical samples need to go (or at least be dramatically reduced).


Easier said than done? Not really. Datacolor Match Textile, for example, can predict the accuracy of color matches and even color fastness before you dye a fabric, reducing the need to do multiple rounds of samples. Datacolor Envision can help to see what fabrics and garments will look like in different hues so that you don’t have to develop physical samples for all colors in the season. And if you want to get even more sophisticated, you can equip your design teams with portable color management devices like the ColorReaderPRO, which helps to capture the color of objects and fabrics on the go without having to purchase and cut them up.


Is 100 Percent Digital Color Evaluation the Future?


Technology now allows development of an entire season digitally without a single physical sample. We understand that you have processes in place involving physical evaluation of samples, and old practices die hard. Our challenge to you: do a pilot project to test it out and see how it works for you. Pick one garment in one line from one season and go completely digital. It will make a big impact and will also show you if the process is feasible for your company.


Do You Really Know the Cost of Sample Development?


Depending on the overall goals of your company, sustainability might not be a priority for you yet. No matter where you are with environmental impact, profitability of the business is always an area of focus. Have you ever considered how sample production can affect your bottom line? Despite the common misconception that color sample development is free, it is actually a very expensive process.


If you calculate the cost of raw materials, dyes, overnight courier services, energy and labor, you will get a seven-figure number of potential waste in just one fiscal year. Some of our customers claim that they easily spend two million dollars on color samples per year. This is a huge potential savings and is worth sharing with your leadership.


quote_sustainability in the textile industry

Managing color digitally allows you to be more efficient with your time and resources. Moreover, digital color management can help offset rising dye and chemical costs. As per our definition of being efficient, spectrophotometers and color formulation software can help you perform or function in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort. Doesn’t it sound nice?


Sustainable Mushroom Leather and Spider Silk


While focusing on your internal processes to attain sustainability, do not forget the new technologies and materials that are now available. New startups are coming to market with the promise to change the fashion world and make a positive impact on the environment overall. Some of our favorite companies transform plastic bottles into swimsuits and produce sneakers out of kelp. But innovation doesn’t stop there. New players have introduced more sustainable materials like leather made of mushrooms and fabrics made with spider silk. It sounds cool and promising, but what does it mean for color departments? Should the color management process be adapted for the new trends? And if so, how?


Controlling Color for the Fabrics of the Future


We know what a standard color management process for textiles look like.

  • Inspiration colors from the design team are measured using spectrophotometers.
  • Color palettes are evaluated digitally and color standards are communicated to suppliers.
  • Unacceptable physical samples get eliminated for more efficient color development
  • Frequent quality checks are performed to make sure the production lots match the approved color standards.


An important step in the color management process for the supplier is figuring out the color formula. The supplier must determine what type and amount of dyes are needed to achieve a certain color, and they must also take into account the dyeability of the fabric. Datacolor Match Textile, for example, enables faster color development by providing optimal color recipes and ultimately leads to reduction in shade corrections, dye consumption and overall waste elimination of dyestuff, chemicals and water.


sustainability and color control quote

Once the fabric is dyed, it needs to be evaluated against the color standard that represents the ideal color. Some do it visually using light booths and some do it digitally for better objectivity and faster results. This is a quality control step that will determine whether the produced color is good to go or needs to be reworked.


There is really no difference in the way you would manage color for these types of fabrics. Dye is dye and color is color so you can rest assured that Datacolor instruments will help you nail down the right formula and evaluate the result in the same manner as with more common fabrics.


This also rings true with natural dyes. This is another emerging trend that is gaining traction. The process of dyeing may be different, but color management remains the same. Creating a formula and then performing quality control can be done on Datacolor instruments and software or any other digital color management tool of your choice.


Efficient Color Development is Part of Sustainability

All these new technologies are truly promising and disruptive. But can they really reduce the negative impact on the environment? It is important to remember that even the most sustainable materials won’t be able to counterbalance poor processes. It is not enough to adopt sustainable fabrics. The processes need to be optimized, otherwise the waste created due to multiple rounds of dyeing will make the whole concept fail.


Digital color formulation solutions with Datacolor’s SmartMatch optimize recipes and reduce re-dyeings, hence eliminating dyes, water and chemical waste. If any off-color dyes are created in the process, these formulation software solutions can help re-dye it into a different shade or work it into a different batch. This helps to save the materials that would be otherwise wasted.


Additionally, customers want to see high quality and consistency in the clothing they purchase, and sustainable garments are no exception. Brands who choose to work with novelty fabrics and modern technologies need to establish efficient color workflows to make sure that product colors meet customer expectations. This being said, digital color management should be part of modern product development to help achieve sustainability whether you work with cottons or mushrooms alike.


Sustainability is trending. But unlike any other trends that come and go, sustainability is here to stay. We are recycling plastics and bringing reusable tote bags with us for grocery shopping. It is time for color development to be sustainable, too. Are you prepared for the change?



How did you get your start in photography?


Architecture has always had a big influence on my life from childhood, and so taking photos of buildings became a big draw for me as a student. I got my first DSLR camera 10 years ago, initially experimenting with facade photos before expanding my frames to wider cityscape shots.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?


My interest in buildings has provided a solid grounding, but these days I’m keen to shoot a much more gritty, urban style of photography. I love capturing photos that the standard city-goer wouldn’t see, whether that’s from low-down angles of roads, long exposure bus trails or rooftop locations.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?


I’ve found that one of the hardest obstacles for me has been standing out from others and trying to find unique perspectives in one of the worlds most photographed cities.



Who and/or what inspires you most?


There’s no singular person that inspires my photography, but I gain most my inspiration from fellow photographers in the online community or people I shoot with in London.


What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?


These days I try and convey a sense of motion to a lot of my photography work, whether than be through long exposures or clever composites involving people.


Why is accurate color important within your workflow?


I’m a big believer in making sure the tones and atmosphere of the original location are captured correctly in my final image. Having an accurate monitor ensures that I can keep a photos colour faithful to that moment I pressed the shutter button.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?


My biggest advice would be to keep going as it’s a career that can take a lot of perseverance to make work. Keep looking to improve your skills, go to workshops and learn from the best people out there.

Chris is using a SpyderX Elite for his monitor calibration


About the Author – Chris Dalton


Chris Dalton is a professional photographer and architect based in London. He specialises in cityscape and portrait photography, with a growing body of work combining the two disciplines in artful ways.


A self-taught Photographer, Chris first began taking photos of buildings as an architecture student before moving into a more urban style of photography. His photographs bring viewers a unique and fresh perspective on London, with unique compositions and stunning cityscapes. His work is familiar for its vivid colours, perfect symmetry, and artistic use of slow shutter speed. He can occasionally be seen lying down on the ground taking artistic shots of manhole covers!


Chris has gained acclamation from many organisations across the UK, including Time Out, Visit London, The Metro and Transport for London. He is currently an ambassador for Samyang Lenses, a Mi Creator for Xiaomi Studios, and runs workshops in London for those looking to learn how to use their cameras.


Genres: Cityscape


Articles from Chris Dalton

Liquid specialist Mark Mawson takes us on his journey of a campaign shot for Nespresso. Talking in depth about how to manage the special effects as well as ensuring the precise colours were achieved all whilst working with the unpredictability of liquids!

©Mark Mawson


Towards the end of last year, myself and my production team were approached by JWT London and Hogarth Worldwide to shoot a campaign for Nespresso who were launching their new “Barista Creations” range of coffee. They wanted me to shoot the print ads and direct the television commercial and the theme of the ads was the “alchemy of coffee and milk”.


Being a liquids specialist, my work fitted perfectly with what they wanted to achieve. The idea was to produce both slow motion and still images that were in a world of coffee and milk in which the coffee capsules inhabit. For the TV commercial, the capsules were to be engulfed by the coffee towards the end of the shot. Another technical shot that we needed to create was the Nespresso logo also being engulfed in liquid.


In the new year, we had many pre-production meetings with the agency creatives where we discussed what was going to be possible within the week long time constraints of the shoot which ended up being 3 days for the TVC and two days for the print ads.


© Dan Brohawn. The Nespresso logo is cleaned of bubbles before the engulfment shot. The camera lens is in the water in a waterproof housing and the camera is attached to the Bolt robot motion control system.


Everything was storyboarded, the client and agency needed the final images to be very precise which is a difficult thing to achieve when you’re dealing with the unpredictable liquids. One of the most difficult things to achieve was the ratio of coffee and milk in the shots. There had to be a precise amount of white, too much and it would look too milky and not enough and it would look too dark. Trying to get the milk swirling with the coffee for long enough before it mixed together was a real challenge.


We worked with the guys at Artem Special Effects who looked after the litres of coffee and milk for us and we tested for a week before the shoot to devise special rigs and ways to introduce the coffee and milk into tanks of water to achieve the look required.


On the shoot we used a range of tanks of varying sizes from small ones for macro shots of liquids swirling around, medium ones to use with the capsules and very large one to shoot the Nespresso logo being engulfed.


© Dan Brohawn. Mark Mawson directing the logo shot.


There are three different coffees in the Nespresso range that we were working with and each coffee has its own flavour, strength and colour. The client was very conscious for us to produce the correct colour for each coffee and the Datacolor SpyderX would be crucial for us to ensure the colour on the monitors was the precise colour of the coffee we were shooting. It’s so easy and fast to calibrate the monitors on set, taking less than two minutes to calibrate each one, so we were guaranteed to have accurate and precise colours for the us and the client to see after each take.


© Mark Mawson. An early take from a capsule being engulfed, that particular take had too much milk which overpowered the coffee and wasn’t usable.


Obviously, working with liquids is a lot different to working with actors who can hit their marks at precise points. For the TV work where the capsules are in a cavernous world of coffee and then engulfed in an explosion of coffee and milk, we had to time each camera move with the injections of liquid so that everything happened perfectly at the right time. We started off pouring in the background layers of coffee and as that was swirling we rolled the Phantom Flex 4K camera shooting 1000 frames per second. We then introduced liquids to the top and sides of fame to create a tunnel effect and finally an explosion of liquids behind the capsules created the engulfment. All this had to happen perfectly over the space of 2 seconds which when slowed down would give us enough time in the commercial using a bit of speed ramping to vary the time at different stages.


© Mark Mawson. The Phantom Flex 4K high speed camera


Shooting the Nespresso logo for the tv was also a precisely timed operation. The shot needed to show the logo with coffee behind it and then as the camera pulled back, it needed to explode with coffee and milk and the liquid chase the camera until it engulfed the lens.


The logo was specially made out from acrylic and mounted on rods to allow us to have liquid moving behind it. We needed a very large tank for this shot and the Phantom Flex 4k camera was mounted on the Bolt motion control robot to create the same move each time. The lens was under the water in a waterproof housing. The camera move had to be timed with the logo being engulfed and the shot was rehearsed many times before the liquid was used as the tank had about an hour’s turnaround time from being emptied, cleaned and refilled and ready for another take.


© Mark Mawson. Coffee and milk in syringes.


For the print ads and still photography, I shot on a Hasselblad H series camera using a Phase One IQ3 back and Elinchrom lighting. Again, all the computer monitors were quickly calibrated using Datacolor SpyderX Pro while we were setting up to ensure accurate and precise colours were being shown to the client.


© Mark Mawson. The large tank set up for the logo shot.


We used the same techniques as we did for the TV to shoot the capsules in the tanks of water with coffee and milk to produce seamless continuity between the TV and print ads. With the liquids flowing quickly around the capsules, there was only time for one frame to be captured at the perfect time each take. Then the tanks need to be emptied, cleaned and re-filled ready for the next take.


© Dan Brohawn. A smaller tank set up for a shot with one coffee capsule. Due to the intense amount of light needed for the high frame rate we were using, the crew needed to wear sunglasses.

  About the Author – Mark Mawson

Mark had a camera in his hands from the early age of 8 years old. He became fascinated by the movement of the camera’s mechanism and he played around with lights noticing how light and shadows changed the appearance of an object. By the time he was in his early teens, he had decided that he was to be a photographer and was interested in a career in photojournalism.


After finishing school, he studied photojournalism and then worked for several national newspapers in London covering news and sports assignments. After a few years in newspapers he decided he needed a different challenge and moved over to shooting fashion and celebrity portraiture for magazines and advertising agencies. During this time Mark travelled extensively around the world shooting fashion stories and working with Hollywood celebrities and photographed several members of the British Royal family!


In 2004, Mark had an idea to shoot some liquid images of paints in water using high speed photography, his first test shoot worked very well and his ‘Aqueous’ series was born. Since then, Mark has developed the idea and has produced several ‘Aqueous’ series which have become collectable pieces of art. He now specializes in shooting liquids and underwater fashion.


In 2012 a video piece of Mark’s was projected onto the walls of Buckingham Palace as the backdrop to The Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations.


Articles from Mark Mawson

Recently, we were looking for an uncomplicated and cost-effective way to perform measurements for a simplified washing test for digital textile printing – not a washing test according to official standards. Our goal was to get quick measurements to detect changes in wash resistance and then improve our processes. That’s where Datacolor’s ColorReader came to the rescue.



First, a little background: in DTG printing, a design is printed directly onto T-shirts or other textiles using colored and white ink. A wash test is an excellent way to evaluate the quality of a direct textile print and adjust all settings in the process to achieve the best possible fade-resistance and meet the highest standards.


A wash test may seem time-consuming at first, but the cost and time involved in reprinting an average size job, not to mention the brand damage done from unhappy customers, far exceeds those of a wash test. We advise that every direct textile printer should establish continuous washing tests for process and quality control. That way, DTG printers can test the print quality of a supplier, find the correct machine settings for every step in the process (e.g., pre-treatment, printing, fixing) to maximize the washability of the textiles, and to produce the best printed results possible.


In addition to a visual check on results, it’s also possible to measure the amount of color loss during washing for even more precise color evaluation, but these measurements can be very time-consuming and expensive. This is where Datacolor’s ColorReader provided us with a simple and cost-effective solution to carrying out wash tests at home (even if this wasn’t the device’s intended purpose!)


The results may not correspond to the official measuring guidelines for textile washing tests – but the information that can be obtained is sufficient for our simplified purposes of optimizing our process quality in DTG printing.


The actual purpose of the ColorReader is the measurement and subsequent automatic determination of the nearest NCS and RAL values for pigment colors and paint matching. While we have not tested this feature, ColorReader was perfect for our needs, which included the measured L*a*b* values.



For the washing test itself, we created our own designs, which were then printed on T-shirts. These designs always contain elements to test the print quality on the one hand, and a few monochrome test blocks on the other, which we can use to make the actual color measurements.


Once the textiles were printed and fixed, we took and recorded their initial color measurements. After the textiles had gone through the first wash cycle,
we measured the colored blocks again and noted the L*a*b* values provided by the ColorReader. We normally repeated the washing, drying and measuring cycle at least ten times.


After 10 washes, we performed a visual check of the results. We then took our L*a*b* values and determined the color deviation ΔE . We calculated the color deviations (ΔE) between the individual washes and between the beginning and end of the washing test. The results we obtained with the ColorReader were consistent with our visual assessment.


If math isn’t your strong suit, the ColorReader comes with an additional helpful feature: in quality control mode, it can automatically calculate the color deviation between two measurements. But if you want to determine another ΔE with tolerances, you can’t avoid your own calculations.



A further advantage of the measurements is that the values can be used to visualize the results in a graphic, making them easily understandable. This picture simulates the colors in the original design (on the screen), after printing and after 10 washes.


What we particularly liked about the ColorReader was its uncomplicated handling along with its accompanying the app. Simply turn the ColorReader on, start the app on your mobile phone or tablet, connect via Bluetooth and start measuring.


We also found the small size of the device very practical. It’s extremely handy, easy to transport, and above all, very easy to use.


For more information on our simplified washing test or digital direct printing on textiles, please visit our free ebooks (available for download on our blog


Further information about the ColorReader

  About the Author – Maggi Fuchs  

We are Maggi and Everson of DTG Merch.

Between the two of us, we have more than 25 years of experience in various areas of the textile industry. We met at work, at a DTG (Direct-To-Garment) print manufacturer. It quickly became obvious that we would be a good team in both our professional and personal lives.


During the last few years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many different companies, printers, operators, brands, and designers. We made lots of friends around the world in the process (you know who you are! :-).


We noticed a lot of common pain points that these individuals and companies shared, and we felt we could contribute towards solving those issues. That’s how the idea for DTG Merch was born.


With, we want to make our dream of helping people run successful direct-to-garment print businesses come alive. Our broad experience in DTG printing allows us to “connect the dots” for companies, for insights into the whole process of the industry.


Articles from Maggi Fuchs

Datacolor Ebook: Fundamentals of Color

Colorimeters and spectrophotometers are the two types of color measurement instruments that are used to capture, analyze, and communicate color. In just about any industry where color accuracy is important, you’ll find that color measurement is an essential part of the production process. The difference between a colorimeter and spectrophotometer is often a point of confusion for many color scientists. As you expand your color management expertise, we’re here to help you answer: What’s the difference between the two instruments? Is one better than the other? Which one’s for you?


Understanding the factors that distinguish a colorimeter from a spectrophotometer can help you determine which tool best optimizes your color management workflow.




A colorimeter is a tristimulus color measurement tool that provides an objective evaluation of color characteristics based on light passing through the primary filters of red, green, and blue. It simulates how the human eye perceives color.



  • Compact size and high mobility
  • Low-cost option for simple applications
  • Simpler functionality

How it works

  1. The sample is illuminated at a 45° angle by an internal light source.
  2. Light passes through the tristimulus filters, representing the amount of red, green, and blue light reflected from the sample.
  3. Measurements from the filter are quantified into RGB values, which simulate the way human eyes are sensitive to light.

Common uses

  • Straightforward color identification
  • Comparison of similar colors and shades
  • Measurement of color strength
  • Measurement of color fastness
  • Color quality control
  • Source of reference for determining color standards
  • Assessment of non-metameric color batches





A spectrophotometer is a more complex color measuring instrument that factors in light intensity as a function of the color. It performs full-spectrum color measurement, as opposed to a colorimeter’s tristimulus procedure, and generates color data that’s beyond observation by the human eye.



  • Benchtop or portable models – Compare our benchtops
  • Higher-end solution for complex color needs
  • Greater functionality
  • Higher precision from full-spectrum color measurement


How it works

  1. An internal light source strikes the diffraction grating, which acts as a prism that separates the light into different wavelengths of the full color spectrum.
  2. As the grating rotates, only one specific wavelength of light reaches the exit slit at a time and interacts with the sample.
  3. The detector measures the sample’s light intensity, transmittance and absorbance.
  4. The spectrophotometer displays this information digitally.


Common uses

  • Color measurement
  • Color formulation
  • Monitoring of color accuracy throughout production
  • Maintenance of color consistency throughout supply chain
  • Identification of metamerism
  • Measurement of opacity and haze
  • Color quality control
  • Detection of impurities



Colorimeter or Spectrophotometer? Choosing the right one for you:


Deciding the right color measurement device for you depends on your desired application, price range, and instrument complexity. While a colorimeter may be more economical, it only measures the absorbance of specific colors and cannot identify metamerism. It may be ideal for those seeking basic color measurement or control without complex color analysis.


In contrast, a spectrophotometer may offer much more precision and advanced features, but it tends to be a more expensive option. For color management professionals seeking highly accurate color data, digital color communication, and tight color consistency throughout production, this may be the more useful instrument. Be sure to take your industry into consideration when deciding which instrument best supports your color workflow.


Want more detailed support? Contact our global team of color experts to get help selecting the right tools for your color management needs.


Related Reading:

60-Second Measurement Tips: What are the Different Types of Color Measurement Instruments?

What You Need to Know Before You Choose A Color Management Solution

Measuring Light Blocking and Sheerness – And Why It Matters

How to Improve Your Digital Color Management Strategy

Color is one way that we understand and navigate the world around us. Those who work with color need to understand how we see and describe colors, how to sample colors, and how to ensure consistent color in commercial production. It’s a topic we cover extensively in our five-part e-book on the fundamentals of color and color measurement.


Below are eight concepts to understand for anyone who works with color. Each of these—and more—are covered extensively in our e-book.


  1. Color and appearance aren’t the same


Color is only one factor that contributes to the appearance of an object. Our sophisticated eye/brain combination integrates properties like texture, gloss, opacity, illumination, and background colors when we evaluate colors. That means objects with the same pigment or dye recipe might appear different if other properties are inconsistent.


  1. Color is a function of our eyes and brain

The visible spectrum is comprised of light of various wavelengths. Cones are the photoreceptors in our eyes that are sensitive to wavelengths and allow us to see in color. Shorter waves appear to us as blue, with longer waves appearing red.

The color of objects depends upon how they absorb and reflect light rays. But ultimately, the color we see is subjective, determined by our own eyes and brain. Various environmental and biological factors can subtly affect our color perception. We’ve discussed these in a series of blog posts:



Factors as simple as backgrounds or adjacent colors can affect the way we see a color, too.



  1. We classify colors according to common characteristics


Even a young child can identify the color red. But how do we describe particular colors within that large “red” category? What language can we use to better describe the colors we envision? How can we show the relationship of colors to each other?


Tests have determined that observers tend to organize colors according to 3 properties:

  • Dominant color (hue)
  • Intensity of the color (chroma)
  • Lightness of the color (lightness)


From these properties, numerous classification systems have been developed to define and organize the visible spectrum. One of the first, the Munsell color atlas, was published in 1915 and is still in use, along with several other specialized systems.



  1. Color consistency implies quality


No matter the source of the color standard we’re trying to replicate, our attempts to match colors subjectively (using our eyesight alone) will be imprecise. This is a business problem since accurate color matching and consistent color are associated with high-quality products.


In addition to ensuring consistent color, digital color management streamlines the workflow to save businesses time and money.


  1. Colorimetry quantifies color measurement


The experience of color requires 3 components:

  • A light source
  • An object
  • An observer


To match and reproduce colors accurately, these physical factors need to be described numerically. That exercise is the science of colorimetry.


To scientifically describe color, the light source must be standardized in order to be reproducible. The characteristics of the object need to be measured as reflectance and transmittance curves. And the length of red, green, and blue light waves that reach the eye differentiates shades of color.


Datacolor spectrophotometers and accompanying color control software help users measure colors objectively.


blog - how to improve your digital color management strategy

  1. Delta E is used to determine “acceptable colors”


While color consistency is a quality indicator, the degree to which color needs to match is a business decision. In many industries, consumers expect visually perfect color matching—especially with high-end products. For example, they might describe color differences as defects in an automobile interior or luxury item that might be acceptable in less expensive goods.


In the CIE Lab color space, the deviation between two colors is described as dE, or Delta E. It can be calculated with LCh or Lab color coordinate values of the standard and sample. But mathematical differences don’t perfectly align with human perception. We first see differences in shade, then chroma, and finally in lightness.


Book four of our new eBook series demonstrates the formulas for determining color differences and discusses color tolerances in detail.


  1. Two types of instruments are used to measure color


The 2 categories of color measurement instruments are:

  • Tristimulus colorimeters
    These simple, relatively inexpensive instruments provide tristimulus value for one light and one observer condition. They’re often used for quality control purposes, but can’t be used to calculate color formulas.
  • Spectrophotometers
    These instruments measure light reflected or transmitted across the visible spectrum and compare it to reference samples. They provide spectral data that can be used to calculate tristimulus values for various conditions and calculate color recipes for commercial color matching.


A post on our website provides additional distinction between these instruments. You can also learn about the different types of spectrophotometers here.


blog - 7 things every company using spectrophotometers should know

  1. Proper sample preparation is critical


No matter what instrument you use, your samples must be properly prepared for measurements to be accurate. Measurements need to be consistent and reproducible. This requires that every possible variable in the process be controlled.


Develop and document your procedures. Be sure samples are representative and absolutely clean. Try to maintain consistent temperature, lighting, and humidity. Certain types of samples, such as textiles, can present special challenges.


Take advantage of Datacolor’s expertise. To learn more about these concepts and others, download our free Color Management ebook.


Datacolor Ebook: Fundamentals of Color

How did you get your start in photography?
I started taking photos out of boredom. I was bursting at the seams with passion and creativity, but I had zero drawing skills. I was also attracted to photography as a way of capturing moments, so in my last year of primary school, I documented my summer vacation in the pictures.” – JB



What type of photography do you shoot and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
During my long career as a photographer, I tried practically every kind of photography, from advertising to fashion, nudes to landscapes. Besides, film school taught me how to photograph everything.
I see myself as an artist and proponent of photography. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of photography with others and above all, I live to travel. I’ve published 6 books on photography, several of which I illustrated with my own photos. I’ve traveled the world and have been able to capture some incredible moments and events. I’ve been to the Dakar Rally 14 times, plus 5 similar rallies, and have photographed the fastest yachts in the world. These events are always exciting, even if they’ve happened under some of the worst conditions – in my travels I’ve broken my spine, had my eye stitched, almost dislocated my shoulder, and was unable to bend my knees. I’ve had Lyme disease, amoebiasis, and giardia lamblia. I’ve had close contact with scorpions, tropical ants, and snakes. I’ve even let a few dogs bite me, but only because I love them so much. My prying photographic eye has landed me in jail in several countries, but I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people throughout all of my travels.



I’ve  had several exhibitions, and was the face of the world premiere of the new, revolutionary generation of Sony cameras during Photokina, where I spoke about photography to a crowd of journalists from around the world. I was a juror in many prestigious photography competitions. I sold many of my collector photos (including one for over $15,000) with all the proceeds going to those in need. I’ve had a great time as a photographer, overall!


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
I don’t feel like I have achieved anything extraordinary in photography. I don’t treat it like a sport where you win laurels. It’s my passion, and in that sense, my biggest achievement is that I still enjoy it. After 30 years, I haven’t gotten bored of it – and I have had many passions that fizzled out or were replaced with new ones. Photography is still my number one.



Who and/or what inspires you most?
“I’m inspired by the events around me. Light, people, travel, action and the beauty of this world.”- JB


What is your approach?
EN To what…?



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Color is important to me because I am very sensitive and sensual – I feel life with all of my senses. Visual imagery is particularly essential to me. I see in color and that’s also how I take pictures. I have a certain color intelligence. From the whole range of colors that surround us, I can extract images with the use of very controlled colors. And vice versa – sometimes I see color where it seems like there is none. Because of this, color reproduction is crucial, like well-positioned crosshairs for a sniper. There is no room for mistakes.



Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Images in photography should be built logically, by creating the harmony of composition step-by-step. You should live in symbiosis with technique and use any technical means available to create the image. You should know the relationship between technique and the effects of its use. This is called skillful handling of image language elements – elements such as light, perspective, color, depth of field, and movement. How to master it? The key is to photograph a lot and analyze the effects of your work. Why is a given photo the way it is? Why does it look like that and not differently? Once you find the answers, it will allow you to take photos in a more conscious manner. And another important thing … the picture is taken when we press the shutter button, not when we upload the file to creative software.


Jacek is using Datacolor equipment like the SpyderX Elite for his photographic workflow.

  About the Author – Jacek Bonecki  

Born in 1969, Jacek Bonecki has traveled the world for his passion – photography – but has also worked as a cinematographer, television producer and journalist. He has been credited with several hundred television productions and his photographs have been exhibited both in his home country of Poland and abroad. Bonecki lectures at many photography schools in Poland and is greatly sought after for his popular photography workshops. Fueled by his passion for travelling, he has visited over one hundred countries on six continents and has authored the following books on photography: Photographic Traveler, Dakar Stop, Photographer On-the-Go, How to Photograph with a Smartphone, Photography and Film.


Articles from Jacek Bonecki

Media Contact:
Kellsey Turner
Datacolor® showcases solutions for digital textile design at Adobe MAX


Los Angeles, Calif. – (November 4, 2019) – Datacolor®, a global leader in color management technology, continues to collaborate with Adobe® by showcasing its latest solutions to help streamline digital textile design at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference from November 4-6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
“For nearly 50 years, Datacolor has pioneered innovative color management solutions, helping countless customers get color right, the first time,” said Diane Geisler, Vice President of Marketing for Datacolor. “Our project with Adobe is just one example of how we’re challenging ourselves to drive innovation even further through novel collaborations and ground-breaking projects. Our team is constantly exploring new industries where our portfolio of color solutions can dramatically improve design and production workflows.”
Datacolor’s collaboration with Adobe pairs the new Adobe Textile Designer plugin for Adobe Photoshop® with Datacolor’s ColorReaderPRO to accurately capture and preview color. The Adobe Textile Designer – currently in beta – streamlines the process for digitally designing textiles by allowing users to build and preview repeating patterns, define separations, work with colorways and keep every element editable in Photoshop until a design is print ready. Datacolor’s ColorReaderPRO, a professional color lookup tool, further shortens the design process by measuring any source of color inspiration in the real world, providing the three closest color standards and transferring the color data directly into Photoshop. Throughout the design process, designers can use the Datacolor SpyderX to calibrate their monitors to ensure accurate color representation on screen.
“When we set out to develop Adobe Textile Designer, our goal was to help streamline the print design process by addressing design challenges associated with repeating artwork,” said Mike Scrutton, director of print technology and strategy for Adobe’s Print & Publishing Business Unit. “The reaction to our latest solution has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited to further support designers through our collaboration with ColorReaderPRO to simplify the process of capturing inspiration color.”
To learn more, visit the “Design to Print Booth” in the Community Pavilion at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference or visit


MAX: A Celebration of Digital Creativity and Innovation
MAX 2019 brings together some of the world’s most innovative and prolific creatives to share their stories with more than 15,000 people at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with hundreds of thousands more watching online. This year, MAX will feature musician Billie Eilish with Takashi Murakami who collaborated on Eilish’s animation-packed “you should see me in a crown” music video, director and producer M. Night Shyamalan, renowned photographer David LaChapelle and visual artist Shantell Martin. Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney hosts this year’s MAX Sneaks – a preview of technology innovation brewing in Adobe Research. The conference can be livestreamed at starting on Monday, November 4 at 9 a.m. PT and on Tuesday, November 5 at 10 a.m. PT.
About Datacolor
Datacolor, a global leader in color management solutions, provides software, instruments and services to assure accurate color of materials, products, and images. The world’s leading brands, manufacturers and creative professionals have used Datacolor’s innovative solutions to consistently achieve the right color for nearly 50 years.
The company provides sales, service, and support to over 100 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Industries served include textile and apparel, paint and coatings, automotive and plastics as well as photography, design and videography.

You’ve done your research, weighed your options, and decided that Datacolor instruments and software are the best fit for your company’s color needs. It’s a big decision and a long-term investment in your business, so the thought of also purchasing a service contract or repair coverage might be the last thing on your mind. After all, Datacolor instruments have a reputation for their lasting power.


Quote from Benita Bush, Color Chemist at Tnemec Company Incorporated

It’s true that your spectrophotometer could last 20 years, but here’s the real question: will it work well for 20 years without regular calibration, preventative maintenance, or having an expert come in when something goes wrong? Think about it like owning a car. If you never go in for regular oil changes or ignore that “check engine” light for as long as possible, you’re not going to have that car for very long. The same goes for color control instruments and software. Regular care can avoid bigger problems in the future.



While anyone can benefit from a service contract and repair coverage, it’s especially recommended if you fall into one of these categories:

  1. You are a manufacturer of paint, stains, or coatings where paint can easily get into the sphere of your spectrophotometer
  2. You work with stone or cultured products that leave behind dust and sand particles
  3. You are a textile brand or part of the textile supply chain and have stringent internal and external audits and guidelines
  4. You purchased a portable instrument like the Datacolor Check 3 or Datacolor 45, which can get dropped or lost more easily than a benchtop instrument


To help you decide if Datacolor service and repair coverage makes sense for your business, here are seven things to know:


Jeff Foos, Assistant Vice President of Research & Development at American Colors

  1. We have a local service and support presence around the globe—all adhering to the same best practices. This is especially important for global organizations that depend on color consistency across their supply chain.
  2. We have a dedicated call center staffed with Datacolor employees ready to get you the support you need. Our service and repair experts are also happy to answer your questions during on-site visits—or connect you to someone who can answer them as quickly as possible.
  3. For most industries, precision and accuracy are table stakes today. Keeping your spectrophotometer or color control software functioning properly isn’t enough. As quality expectations increase across many industries, the priority becomes functioning within spec and in close agreement with all the other instruments you operate. For organizations performing color evaluation in more than one location (across multiple local facilities or even across countries), you need to be confident that colors are accurate and consistent no matter who does the measurements or where they’re taken. Regular service is a key part of that.
  4. Cutting corners with calibration can cost you in the long run. Let’s say you need a white tile. Instead of purchasing a Datacolor tile, you grab a piece of standard ceramic tile instead. You’ve saved money, but we guarantee you’ll see an immediate color performance change. You won’t have calibration data with an off-the-shelf tile. Datacolor tiles are characterized to our master units with traceability certification.
  5. The same goes for third-party ISO certification. We know there are third-party companies that perform certifications on Datacolor instruments, and it can be tempting to go with this option. The problem is, we’ve seen these companies work with extremely wide tolerances of 1.0 dE. As long as your spectrophotometer meets these wide tolerances, these companies say that the instrument is certified. But it won’t match your spectrophotometers in other facilities or provide your customers with the most accurate color matches. If you purchased a spectrophotometer for its accuracy, you could be working against your investment. Our service and repair team has deep knowledge of OEM specifications, parts, and technical work so you won’t run into color consistency headaches.
  6. It’s an investment in the long-term future of your company’s color matching. If you purchase an instrument from Datacolor and commit to regular service, your instrument will be a reliable part of your color operations for years. But it doesn’t stop there. When it’s finally time to get a new Datacolor instrument, you won’t have to waste time re-adding your color data before using it. Our instruments are backward compatible, so they work with your existing color data.
  7. We’re all about education—and making your work with color easier. Here’s an example: One of our support team members found that a customer was using their own calibration standard and had to manually change the value every time they performed a measurement. Realizing how much time they were spending on this, he let them know that using a Datacolor calibrated white tile would remove this tedious work. Problem solved and time saved.


Quote from Bill Newton, Color and Coatings Manager at Dorn Color

We’ve been helping customers control color since 1970. We know that companies around the world trust us to ensure their color operations are running smoothly, and we don’t take that trust lightly. If you spend any amount of time with our service and support team, that commitment is instantly clear. You’ll hear them talk about teamwork and how they’re happy to spend hours with a customer just to make sure all of their questions are answered. Pair that with a global team that has a combined hundreds of years of technical experience and the value of investing in Datacolor service and repair becomes clear.


To learn more about Datacolor service and repair contracts, contact our team here. Already a Datacolor customer and need to reach our support team? Find local support contact information here.


Infographic: 4 reasons you might need service and repair coverage for your spectrophotometer

By now, anyone reading this blog probably knows why it is important to calibrate and profile any monitors you’re using for serious editing or review work. But many of us also use multiple different monitors, sometimes on different systems, and perhaps haven’t been as careful trying to get consistency between them all. In my case, the purchase of a new laptop to help me plow through the 4K video from my drones and my D850 RAW files seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my virtual house in order. Fortunately, the StudioMatch feature of Datacolor’s SpyderX Elite software is designed to do exactly that. Here’s how to do it.


First: Define the problem

It is tempting to go all-in and try to match all the monitors you use. That probably isn’t a good idea unless they are nearly identical. That’s because matching high-end monitors with others that aren’t as capable results in compromises. So, in my case I decided what I really needed to do was two things: First, match my laptop’s native display with the BenQ SW270C monitor I’m reviewing and using as a second monitor while I’m back in the studio. And second, match those monitors to my main photo and video editing monitor, my BenQ SW320 which I really love. I have additional monitors in the studio, but they are mostly used either for palettes on my main system, or for email and writing on other machines. So, in my case the goal was to match the Dell display and two BenQ monitors. Fortunately, they are all excellent displays, with roughly 100% Adobe RGB coverage. They also use similar technology. If the Dell had an OLED display, that would make it challenging to both take advantage of the display’s full capabilities and still have it match my LED monitors.


Second: Run SpyderX Elite’s StudioMatch on your main monitor

When you fire up SpyderX Elite you’ll see a Shortcut menu in the lower left that gives you an option to launch StudioMatch. Start there. It will give you the option to match one or more of the displays on your current computer, or on multiple computers. By default, like you see in this screenshot, it starts by selecting all the monitors on your current computer:



In my case I wanted to match just the main monitor on this system, and the two on my laptop, so I selected the option to match displays on multiple systems. Because I did that, a new field popped up, asking me for the lowest brightness level of all the displays I’d be matching. You can get that by calibrating those displays and remembering what you got as the maximum brightness or running Spyder on them again and checking the display information. If you’re only matching displays on one system, Spyder can do that for you. It does that by running you through a quick maximum brightness test, and then measuring room light level.



Measuring maximum brightness is key to setting values for the final target.


After you’ve measured the brightness of all your monitors, StudioMatch will recommend a brightness setting that you can keep or change. I tend to set mine a little high, because I often find myself editing in situations where there is a lot of uncontrolled light when I’m in the field, or even when I’m working on other projects in the studio that require a lot of light. For maximum color fidelity, it is probably best to go with the recommended value.



Once all your displays are measured, Spyder makes recommendations


You can also select your target Gamma and White Point here. Sticking with the defaults of 2.2 and 6500K are probably safest, unless you have a reason to change them. At this point you’ll get to save your new target, which is key to multi-computer matching. You’ll copy the target over to the other computer (if using monitors on more than one computer) and then use it to re-calibrate that display to match the one you just measured. I found I needed to manually place the target in the SpyderX Elite targets folder on the other system (probably the same path where you copied it from on the first system) in order to get the Spyder software to see it.



Use Advanced Settings to load the target you’ve created


At this point, the Spyder software will guide you through the process of re-calibrating any of the appropriate monitors on the system you’re running on, using the new target. It’ll then Save that calibration and make it the default. You can of course tweak it using SpyderTune, and evaluate the results using SpyderProof. Once you’re satisfied, then you’re finished with that system. If you are only matching monitors on one machine, you’re all set. Otherwise you need to head to the other machine, and run a re-calibration using your new Target. To load the new Target, you need to choose Advanced Settings when you calibrate, after you have copied your Target into the default folder of targets. Once you’ve run that calibration, tweaked it as needed, and Saved it, you’re good to go.



Finally, recalibrate your monitors with your new Target and use the Tuning sliders for any finishing touches.


In my case, while the changes were very subtle – as I suppose I should expect with three high-end monitors that each cover 100% of my favorite Adobe RGB working space and were already calibrated with a SpyderX – but bringing the brightness levels in line definitely helped make it easier to directly compare images on the monitors. And the visible color differences were greatly reduced. The only issue I found is that the suggested lower light level was fine for controlled lighting, but when I find myself teaching or editing in the field with my laptop, I need to bump the brightness and reload my original profile that I created with a higher brightness target.


It is hard to show minor differences in display color using photographs of the screen, but below are the before and after shots of using StudioMatch on a Dell XPS 15 with 4K touch screen and a BenQ SW270C. Note that in the before shot, both monitors have already been calibrated and profiled with SpyderX Elite, but they still don’t match as closely as I needed them to.



With monitors calibrated, but not matched



After running StudioMatch and making a slight tweak to the white balance in the tuning dialogs provided, the test target is rendered almost identically on the two monitors


Troubleshooting Tip: If, like me, you’re a Windows user and your systems have updated to build 1903 since the last time you created a profile, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Microsoft has thrown a monkey wrench into 3rd party color management software in that build. In my case, to get profiles to Save & Display properly, I had to do two things: 1) Disable the Display Enhancement Service, and 2) Run Spyder as Administrator. There is a note in the Spyder Knowledgebase about the problem and various solutions, fortunately. The problem drove me nuts while working on this article until I found the Knowledgebase entry. Thanks, Datacolor support!


Learn More About SpyderX >


About the Author – David Cardinal


David is an award-winning professional travel and nature photographer, as well as a prolific writer on photography and other technical topics. He is a frequent contributor to, and has been published in Outdoor Photographer, Photoshop User, PC Magazine, London Daily Mail, and many other magazines and websites. He has spoken on digital imaging and on the internet at Stanford, Dartmouth, Google, Electronic Imaging, and at B&H’s OPTIC conference. His clients include the BBC, Asia Development Bank, US Fish and Wildlife, California Fish and Game, National Wildlife Federation, American Prairie Foundation, DxO Labs, Datacolor, Photodex, and Lexar. David is also a Datacolor Expert. In addition to leading photo tours worldwide, he has shot high school sports professionally for CBS Interactive. He co-authored one of the first books on digital photography with colleague Moose Peterson and has taught workshops for North American Nature Photography Association and Digital Landscape Workshop Series.

David's travel and nature photo tours and safaris include destinations in Africa, Southeast Asia, and throughout North America. His images of creatures in the wild help communicate the importance of our natural heritage and our responsibility to preserve it, while his journalistic efforts span both photography and technology.


Amidst a sea of neutral-toned interiors, top NYC designer Sasha Bikoff has made a name for herself with her fearless, on pointe use of color, evidenced by her show-stopping staircase design at the highly-profiled Kip’s Bay designer showcase in 2018. Since then, Sasha has been using her keen understanding of design and culture to curate her own collection of lighting, floor coverings, furniture and more.


The New York Times dubbed her the “interior designer for the young and wealthy,” and her aesthetic includes a mix of 18th century French Rococo mixed with “1960’s Space Age Modern”, French Modernism from the 1970’s and “1980’s Italian Memphis Milano,” which results in a stunning mix of bright colorful fabrics and rare antiques. She believes that living spaces should be a reflection of the people and personalities who inhabit them and embracing color in bold and unique ways is one avenue in which to achieve this outcome.


In this video, Sasha shares how she develops a space’s color palette, much like how a painting is created. She also explains how she uses the Datacolor ColorReader to both find inspiration and translate her vision into reality. Along with its ease of use and time-saving benefits, Bikoff is equally happy with the eco-savviness that comes with ColorReader since it eliminates the need for using (and lugging around) countless paper fan decks in her work.



Learn More About Datacolor ColorReader



Heading up creative content for Coloro, Joanne Thomas joined from global trend forecaster WGSN, bringing with her insight into future thinking. After studying Womenswear Design at university, Joanne went on to work with both luxury and high street fashion brands, collecting a variety of design and consumer knowledge which she now brings to the Coloro team.


Coloro in Joanne’s words: “Coloro is a truly universal color system that changes the way people work with color. An intelligent, logical color system that makes color decision-making accurate and fast, Coloro will save you valuable time and money and increase your speed to market.”


interview with Coloro head of content Joanne Thomas

Read on for our interview with Joanne.



Datacolor: Why is color important?


Joanne Thomas: Color is so important as it touches everything and everyone. It is a primal, primitive language we are all born fluent in. Able to uplift us or depress us, the power of color should never be overlooked. Even in the past, color was held in high esteem, being used as a way of therapy. Blue known to soothe illness and treat pain and red used to stimulate the body and the mind.


Now, color is a form of escapism and recently signified defiance in the face of an all too ungraspable world. Color is at the forefront of design. it has never been more important for brands to pick the perfect shade.


DC: Do you remember when you first learned how complex—and impactful—color can be? What was that experience like?


JT: I think it was when I started Fashion Design, at university, and began to truly understand that a change in color could completely alter an outfit. I had to learn how to create captivating color combinations that would bind a collection together. Choose the wrong shade and that would throw off the entire look.


Never before had I realized the impact. Color theory and education was lacking in both school and university and I think it is often forgotten how important it is. I didn’t understand the concept of colors sitting in harmony and how critical that would be to fashion a cohesive and attractive collection.


Color is at the forefront of design. it has never been more important for brands to pick the perfect shade.

DC: How do you think about color now, compared to before you started working at Coloro?


JT:I feel like color is constantly evolving. I had no idea about the science behind color and never explored the more technical side that goes into achieving the perfect shade. My experience was restricted solely to the fashion industry and now, working with Coloro, I have had the privilege to explore and understand other industries and how they work with color.


I have also witnessed how excited people get about color and how varied the option is on different shades and tones. I feel incredibly lucky that my job is focused around such a varied and emotive topic. Who wouldn’t love talking about color all day?


DC: Personally, I find it so interesting that there’s a complex science to color, but the end consumer doesn’t need to know about that science to be influenced by it. How do you think about these two very different experiences with color?


JT: When you do not fully know the complex science to color, I believe you view it solely in an emotive way. You experience color by how it makes you feel, what memories are attached to certain colors and which colors are of the moment. However, once you begin to explore the science of color, it removes the emotive side of things, slightly, as you realize that color is just light translated by your brain and it can change depending on the substrate, light source and on the viewer’s eyesight.


DC: What industries have you come across where color plays an important role—from the expected to the unexpected?


JT: I believe now that color plays an important role in every single industry. From the automotive industry which starts making its color selections five years ahead of production, to advertising where a wrong color can make or break a logo, to interior design where get the wrong shade of yellow in a room and the visitors will be hit by a feeling of nausea.


I now feel there is no unexpected industry as more and more people begin to understand the power color can have in a purchase decision.


I believe now that color plays an important role in every single industry. From the automotive industry which starts making its color selections five years ahead of production, to advertising where a wrong color can make or break a logo, to interior design where get the wrong shade of yellow in a room and the visitors will be hit by a feeling of nausea.

DC: Is there anything that surprised you about the importance of color?


JT: For some industries I was surprised by how many different substrates they need to try to achieve the exact same hue. For example, architects are looking to be able to achieve the exact same tone on woods, metals, plastics and sometimes carpets. This is extremely challenging as each material will react so differently to the dye.


DC: Can you imagine a world without the ability to scientifically control color?


JT: It would have such a huge impact on all industries. They would have no color consistency across any of their products or continued styles, colors would change completely depending on the materials and light sources used.


DC: For those who work with color professionally, how important is it to understand the history of color methodology as well as the science and technology behind it?


JT: The history of color methodology is interesting to show how challenging it is — and was — to find how the brain responds to the ‘illusion’ of ‘seeing’ color. It can also show how our relationships with color have evolved over time and how connotations attached to certain hues evolve as time does. For example, how blue was reserved solely for paintings of the Virgin Mary in historic times, as it was so expensive to produce – and now it is one of the most widely used and acknowledged colors.


Some basic color science can go a long way to ensure designers always keep in mind how various elements effect our perception of color – especially changing illuminants.


DC: What would you say to someone who thinks that color isn’t that important?


JT: Simply look around them and see how color touches and impacts everything they see, everyday.


Some basic color science can go a long way to ensure designers always keep in mind how various elements effect our perception of color – especially changing illuminants.

DC: For anyone new to color science, what do you recommend that they do first to set themselves up for success in working with color?


JT: Designers should perhaps look back at the situations where the colors were not as expected, and learn about how and why this was the case. Colors appear differently on your screens, under certain lighting, and on different materials, so it’s important to understand this before starting a project.


Success will come quickly by appreciating that color does look different in these different environments – and to understand and know the limitations in each.


Understanding metamerism, color inconstancy, can be a big problem – and that not all colors will translate or appear the same in all mediums and substrates is a great start. In some ways they should know what to ask and how to question their in-house supply chain teams – or mills – depending on who helps them deliver color.


Thank you to Joanne Thomas for sharing your knowledge and advice on color. Learn more about Coloro’s work here.



Are you passionate about color and want to share your ideas and insights with Datacolor readers? Email us at marketingdontlike@spamdatacolorcom.spam with the subject line “blog contributor”.


Disclaimer: Coloro is a partner of Datacolor. The views, opinions and insights expressed by Datacolor guest bloggers are those of the authors. They do not inherently express the views of Datacolor and our employees.

Clearing Up Some USB Confusion

I have seen some questions about the new SpyderX devices and their compatibility with various forms of USB. This confusion starts with the fact that USB C ports showed up about the same time as USB 3, so some people assume that they are USB 3 ports. Let’s start with the plug end of things.



USB A is the flat end of a typical USB cable that plugs into your computer; the one you have to flip over once or twice before you get it right side up. It has been around since USB 1 and is compatible with USB 2 and 3, as well. This is the type of plug that is on SpyderX, since it’s the most common form used to this day.


USB C AdapterUSB C

USB C is a smaller port and plug that works either side up and which some recent computers offer, usually in addition to standard USB A ports. Apple tends to cut the cord on older formats first, and their laptops are the only common devices to offer only USB C ports, with no additional USB A ports. Most everyone who owns these recent MacBooks have already acquired a USB A to C adaptor, so that they can plug in their USB devices; this adaptor would be needed to attach a SpyderX to these computers as well.


USB 1, 2, 3

SpyderX is compatible with USB 1.1, 2.x and 3.x, via any USB A port of any speed, as well as working with USB C ports and adaptors. Using ports directly on your computer, or on a powered hub, is recommended, to assure that the Spyder gets enough power to run.


Backward Compatibility

The question of backward compatibility sometimes comes up as well. SpyderX is backward compatible with USB 2 and USB 1.1, and does not have any issues working at any of these speeds, through a powered USB port.



So, all cases are covered automatically, except the need to have a USB A to C adaptor, for any device only offering USB C ports – and those users know who they are – since they need such an adaptor for most USB devices.


Read more about SpyderX


About the Author – C. David Tobie


C. DAVID TOBIE has been involved in color management and digital imaging from their early days, developing affordable color solutions, and teaching users how best to utilize them. Photographers know him for his writing and tech editing of textbooks and periodicals including Mastering Digital Printing, and Professional Photographer magazine, and his seminars on color and imaging at photo expos and workshops around the globe.


More articles from C. DAVID TOBIE

Bio: Autumn is a Seattle-based professional photographer and designer specializing in outdoor lifestyle, landscape, and travel photography, as well as visual, motion, and UI design. She has won several awards for her work,and has been published internationally both digitally and in print.


As passionate about the seas as she is the skies, Autumn strives to use her camera to showcase the fragile beauty of our world. Her photography is known for its bright, saturated colors and tranquil outdoor scenes. Autumn was first drawn to photography by its ability to evoke emotion, imagination, and wonder, all in a single moment in time. She still carries that fascination for the feelings experienced through a photograph – for both the viewer and for her as a photographer – and hopes the emotion she feels while shooting her work comes through and connects with her audience.


Autumn hosts photography workshops around the world aiming to help others learn more about photography, their cameras, and how to capture those perfect moments.


How did you get your start in photography?


Peter Parker, or Spider-man, was actually my first photographic inspiration. You could say I connected with him, his upbringing, and his passion to do good in the world. I was drawn to photography’s ability to evoke emotion and to say so much all in a single moment of time. To be honest, I’m still fascinated by how much we can feel from a photograph, and I strive to bring that feeling into my work.



What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?


My fondness of the outdoors inspired a focus on nature photography. I used to shoot portraits and weddings, but as soon as I laid eyes upon my first volcano, I knew that being out in nature was my calling. I’ve been using nature as my subject ever since. I am especially drawn to the night sky and the wonders that light the dark.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?


One of the largest obstacles that I’ve faced as a landscape photographer is the fact that I’m young and a woman. In an industry mostly dominated by men (although tides are beginning to change), it’s been challenging to be taken seriously as a photographer. I’ve learned to not let it affect me and to keep working as hard as I can to do what I love.


Who and/or what inspires you most?


So many of my peers inspire me, but my curiosity for the world is also constantly inspiring me to try new things and explore new places. Traveling and experiencing new cultures provides never-ending inspiration — just when I think I’ve seen the most beautiful place, mother nature outdoes herself with the next one.


What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?


I tend to let nature take the lead on my approach for how I take shots. I first get a feel for a place by spending time there and observing how it makes me feel. I then try to bring that feeling into my photos by using specific colors and framing. I lean toward tranquility and peacefulness in my work, which reflects my personality, but I try to be true to the emotions that I feel while shooting at a certain location.



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?


Color is a major subject in my work, so it needs to be spot on to convey the correct message. Colors also need to be accurate in order to stay on-brand with my entire body of work.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?


It feels a little overwhelming to start a career, but perseverance pays off. Stay true to yourself, what style you lean toward, and don’t listen to those who doubt you or try to hold you back. Listening to my intuition has led me to incredibly life-changing experiences, and I wouldn’t do it any other way if I had a choice to change the past.

In many ways, the spectrophotometer is the heart of your color management system. You’ve considered the features necessary for your particular application and have selected a quality instrument from a reputable supplier. But what happens after spectrophotometers are set up? Ensuring you get the most out of your color measurement instrument is an ongoing process.
If your business requires the most accurate, repeatable results possible, here are a few tips to consider.

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and testing recommendations.
    This includes regular professional service to ensure the integrating sphere coating of your spectrophotometer meets reflectance guidelines, and the instrument operates within specifications.

  3. Maintain consistent environmental conditions


  • Temperature: The spectrophotometer should be operated in a temperature-controlled environment based on your specific application and manufacturer guidelines.If your samples are affected by temperature, we recommend using a conditioning chamber to control this.

  • Atmosphere: As with temperature, it’s recommended to have stable humidity. You should also operate your spectrophotometer in a clean environment where the air is free from chemicals, including smoke.

[Learn More About Datacolor Spectrophotometers Here]

  1. Recalibrate frequently: Even if the manufacturer only recommends that you calibrate your spectrophotometer daily, consider recalibrating every 2 to 4 hours – and immediately before particularly important jobs. This will reduce the chance of drift errors due to fluctuations in temperature, light source, or other factors.

    Datacolor 800. Here are seven things you should know to get the most out of your spectrophotometer.


  3. Maintain calibration standards carefully: The photometric scale of the spectrophotometer is calibrated to its standards. For successful results, the black and white calibration standards need to remain clean and undamaged. The white tile needs to be handled and cleaned gently, and dust or dirt in the black trap needs to be cleaned with compressed air. Read our post on storing, using and cleaning your calibration tiles to learn more.

  5. Prepare and measure samples correctly: This will vary by industry, so it’s best to consult your user guide or contact our team with questions about your specific application. As an example, here are some guidelines for sample preparation and measurement in the textile industry:


  • Samples that aren’t opaque need to be folded, wound, or stacked – depending upon the material – so measurements aren’t affected by background colors showing through.

  • Samples with directional orientations must be carefully measured to avoid errors. Either always situate the samples using the same orientation, or take measurements at four orientations 90 degrees apart and average the results.

  • Samples with irregular colors need to be measured multiple times. Move the sample between each measurement and average the data.


  1. Use the largest possible viewing area: This will help average any color variations throughout the sample.

  3. Be consistent: To minimize color inconsistency while specifying or producing color, it is critical that the color measuring instruments used throughout your organization as well as your global supply chain produce compatible results. This compatibility is often referred to as “inter-instrument agreement” (IIA). Spectrophotometers with excellent inter-instrument agreement produce color measurement data that can be shared throughout the global color development process. Having this consistency throughout your supply chain can avoid costly color inconsistencies.


Datacolor 800 spectrophotometers. Here are seven things you should know to get the most out of your spectrophotometer.

The spectrophotometer is a precision instrument designed to measure colors within a particular range of tolerances. Follow best practices to ensure the best possible results –within the capabilities of your instrument.


The tips we suggest require time and attention. Your industry, your business model, and your specific requirements will determine which suggestions are most important for your company to implement. For questions about operating your spectrophotometer, please don’t hesitate to contact our team here.


Related reading:

The Best Conditions for Accurate Color Data

How to Store, Use and Clean Your Calibration Tiles

How to Improve Your Measurement of Textile Samples

Sample Measurement Technique in Digital Color Communication


Photographs give us the unique opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Taking us to places we’ve never been, introducing us to people we would otherwise never know, and sharing stories that serve to inspire, inform, entertain and move us, expanding our own world in innumerable ways.


Vote now!


Here, we’re thrilled to be able to share the #BehindTheShot contest winners, visit where you can vote on the images that you think deserve to win!



Germain Piveteau
The summer evening sky was very clear, and I was in search of finding the perfect scene to capture using a long exposure on my camera. After more than an hour trying to find an interesting composition, I finally found the shot I wanted to take. the time has arrived. To my great delight, the sky had suddenly taken on an orange hue, and I was able to take this shot. It took a long exposure (117 seconds) to capture this beautiful effect with sea. It was a reminder of how amazing photography is.

Claire Tucker
This shot was taken in London on a new development called Wood Wharf. The building is in construction but my aim was to shoot it so it looks complete – patience is something I could use more of, I suppose. Since the construction of the building was in progress, I had to find the right angles and lens length that would allow me a clean shot of its geometric form. Additionally, I had the challenge of having to dodge security officers, which always ruins a workflow.

Vincent Trenteseaux
I had wanted to do a portrait with a particular atmosphere in mind; a combination of something both nostalgic and a bit melancholy. The “old-fashioned” bulbs and my subject’s well-groomed hair and beard helped create the nostalgic feel I was looking for, and the model conveyed just the right touch of melancholy I wanted. This image was created using a “Strobist” approach, using 3 cobra flashes topped with light boxes. The installation of the bulbs, hung on a support that was over my model, was a tedious effort. Also, at each framing, it was necessary to adapt the height of each electrical wire so that the bulbs were visually balanced within the frame.

Tom Brotzman
This majestic eagle was shot in a very remote part of Olga Bay on Kodiak island in Alaska.

Sébastien Sintz
Summer 2019, in Acre in Brazil, this casual photo of the Puwé chief of the Puyanawa people was a dream come true for me. I was thrilled to meet the chief of this indigenous tribe of the Amazon!

Dan Ussell
I took this photo at the International Rally of New Caledonia. Covering this rally for the local press, I positioned myself in a tree at the exit of a turn. When this car rounded the turn, I had just enough time to take three pictures, this one being the third shot. The driver finished the race in barrels at the base of the tree in which I was perched.

Tim Clark
I took this shot during a dance demonstration, that was part of a public dance event, on the South Bank of London. I was 5 floors above the dancers. One of the key challenges I had was to anticipate the dance moves to capture the right moment of movement while avoiding getting the spectators in the shot. Olympus EM1,60mm.

Pawel Piskorz
One weekend, I decided to visit a lovely lake district in the UK. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great – a lot of rain and poor light. I travelled throughout the lake area for entire day, hoping to find an interesting composition and for the weather to break, neither of which was happening. I was a 4-hour drive from home, so I decided to pull into a rest stop area for a quick nap. That’s when I saw this beautiful clear sky – I was awed by how many stars I could see! I jumped out of my car to take the shot, and saw that the rest stop was, in fact, right by the lake I had been traveling around all day!
Technical Info: 13x vertical photos Sony a7iii with a kit lens

Campean Dan
On a hot summer day in Romania, it started to rain, the brides were exhausted and unwilling to pose anymore, and I had to put myself on the belly in the rain, to catch the reflection. My assistant was behind them, with a flash. it was the only picture I managed to make for them in that moment.

F.Xavier Cuvelier
The plateau of Bure in the Hautes-Alpes deserves. The only way to access the site of the IRAM (interferometer) is the walk: a hike of 1000 m altitude, on just over 3 kms. Equipped to spend a full night in July, our 25 kg backpacks weighed us all the way up. The reward was worthy of our efforts, and the night was short between shots, panoramas and time lapses.

Marc Michael Huber
During the morning exit, we heard the lion roar in Savuti, Botswana. After a short time, we could watch him grazing through the bush. The sun gave a nice grazing light, which gave this recording something else. It was an experience.

John Kubicek
I was in Tromso, Norway to photograph the northern lights. While the weather conditions for my first night there were, in fact, perfect, according to the forecast, the northern lights would not be in view. The temperature was frigid -18 degrees Celsius – so I had dressed warmly and positioned myself with my tripod in a suitable place to capture the foreground without getting other photographers in the picture. I was excited to get my perfect shot, but apart from many stars, the forecasters were right and there were no northern lights that night. I went out the following night to try again and this time the sky literally exploded in brilliant light. This picture was taken along with about 100 more pictures I took since I couldn’t take my finger off the shutter release for fear of missing anything. I can now take “photographing the northern lights” off my photographic bucket list.

Amber Loosemore
I embarked on an early morning hike in Canada, taking 3 hours to climb up Mount Sulphur Skyline. It was well worth the experience and the views that were included. As I was taking in the scenery, this little guy popped up – a Canadian ground squirrel, loving the attention, that’s for sure! I only had my iPhone 8 Plus on hand, and thought it was a great opportunity to focus on the animal in Portrait Mode, while having the surrounding mountains as the background.

Martin Strasser
This picture was taken during a business trip I was on in China. It shows the Tianjin Eye, which was taken from a bridge where dozens of other photographers, all armed with tripods, had gathered. They were packed together, shoulder to shoulder and the bridge swayed due to the sheer number of people. I used my Olympus OM-D E-M1X, and thanks to its image stabilizer and high-resolution mode, I was also able to capture the image by hand. The sky was awash in color and dramatic clouds for just a few moments and I was thrilled I could capture this scene amidst all the other photographers.

Tracy Mccrackin
This image was taken on an arduous hike in Iceland. The harbor at sunset was simply stunning. “Sunset” in Iceland, where the sun settles slowly into a low, broad arc, offers breathtaking lighting for picture taking. It was freezing cold and damp, since it had just rained a few hours before this image was taken, and it was just at the end of winter, so the mountain caps were still covered in snow. I used my Nikon camera to create this panorama, along with my SpyderX to color calibrate these brilliant hues.

Erik Hattrem
The architect behind this building wanted to show how wooden material came out amongst other old buildings in the area, which is a museum. I also, on my own initiative, captured it by night. I used an exposure time of 14 minutes on f22 on Kodak Portra 160 4×5 inch film with an 150mm lens on a Sinar camera. This was my way to capture the night sky smooth, even and colorful. I used this film for the enormous latitude/dynamic range. It was a snowy night, so thankfully the long exposure time removed the snowflakes and made a fog-like layer on this capture. I made a picture i had pre-visualized. Details inside in the earm light, in the snow, texture in the wooden material and a dreamlike sky. I scanned it on an ICG drums canner and post processed it in Photoshop on a Spyder 3 Elite-calibrated Eizo SX2462W-monitor.

Marjan Risteski
Taken on Ontario lake with Canon G1X mark 2. The heart shaped stone was found on the beach, looked cool enough to make a good subject 🙂

Thomas Gustin
It is thanks to a snap shot that I spotted this young kit not far from my home in Belgium. I was then able to make a lookout and I was very lucky to be able to observe, they were three, all very curious and quite players at that age. A very nice moment to live.



Vote now!


Here, we’re thrilled to be able to share the #BehindTheShot contest winners, visit where you can vote on the images that you think deserve to win!


How did you get your start in photography?
My interest in photography got started in 2006 when my wife and I visited Iceland for the first time and I bought a DSLR just before the trip. I have been hooked ever since.



What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
My focus is on landscape photography. I started with sports and animals and turned towards landscape photography. This is where I am now firmly rooted and there is nothing better for me than to witness a wonderful sunrise or sunset in a beautiful place.



What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
Certainly, winning a category of the Sony World Photography Awards in 2016 has been my biggest success so far. This competition is considered to be the largest in the world. At that time, my image was selected from 130,000 pictures.
My biggest challenge is to look for new perspectives / compositions every time. It is not always easy to find something “new.”


Who and/or what inspires you most?
There’s nobody in particular inspiring me, as there are so many talented photographers. Ultimately, it is always nature that inspires me.



What is your approach?
I want to trigger emotions with my pictures. The perfect moment of nature’s or our earth’s beauty captured on a digital chip. I hope there will be many more moments in my life where I am given the privilege to see and capture a fantastic sunrise.
Preparation for this is often much more complex than you’d think. The planning includes: how to get there, when is the best time, where is the sun and how are the weather conditions.



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Color management is very important. I calibrate my monitor on a regular basis, as that is the only way to ensure correct colors reflecting precisely what I saw out there in the field.



Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Do not give up, look over other peoples’ shoulders, watch tutorials, attend workshops and ask questions!

  About the Author – Markus van Hauten  

Most of Markus van Hauten’s photographs capture breathtaking landscapes that cast a spell over the viewer and convey his passion for nature’s beauty to others.   Markus, began taking an interest in photography in 2006, and has since been honored at a number of national and international photo competitions in recent years. His work is so compelling, it caught our eye when he submitted a picture taken in Iceland for our Travel and Landscape photo contest held in Germany, in 2017.


Articles from Markus van Hauten

When did you start your photography?


I was 8 when I received a camera as a gift, launching my love of photography. I would photograph everything that came before my lens and became inspired to journey to find new and interesting things to take pictures of. Of course, because I was so young, my photographic travels were limited to wherever a nearby bike ride could take me, but as I grew up, my scope of travel expanded. When I was 24, I traveled to Kenya, and after my first scuba dive, I became fascinated with underwater photography. Travel, diving and photography became my passions, and my pictures began appearing in many publications, journals and calendars. Participating in national and international photo competitions earned me recognition as well as top rankings. Over time, I developed my own photographic style, for which I won top award for in both the 2010 and 2011 Annual Underwater Photo Contest of the International Diving Association (IDA). I now lead the IDA’s department of Underwater Photography and Videography.


Is photography your hobby or your profession?


It has been more than a hobby since it funds my travels and my equipment. After 45 years working as a media designer, I am now retired and have more time to travel, as well as for photography, diving and new projects.



How and where was the image taken which you entered in the competition? Is there a story about it?


On the way back from Malpelo, an island in the South Pacific, we made a stop in the open sea, near the Coiba National Park off the coast of Panama. There is a seamount where the reef head is located in, about 50 miles deep, where you can find large schools of mackerels.


Camera: Nikon D7000 in Sealux case, lens: Tokina 10-18 flashes: Subtronic


What’s your photographic focus?


Our planet is a blue one, with 71% of it covered by water. While underwater photography is a passion of mine, I also love to photograph the cities, people, markets, landscapes, and nature of the places I travel to.


What’s your next photo project/challenge?


“Jordan” is my new photo project and “Desert – Culture Coral – Gardens” will be the name of my new multi-vision show.



Do you include color management in your photographic workflow?


Since my origins are in the pre-press area, color management has always played a big role. Today I put emphasis on a calibrated monitor.


What do you do with your photos? Do you print them, post them on your social media accounts or your website or do they simply stay on your hard drive?


I create multi-vision shows that I present live on stage. I create a calendar every year, post my images on Facebook and include my photography on my website.


What’s your photographic goal? What do you dream of?


A big dream is a trip to the Antarctic, which is currently in the planning stage. Photographically, I always want to evolve. I’m currently working on filter photography, trying to further perfect the images I take. Overall, as a photographer, I want to experience great moments and then press the trigger.

  About the Author – Johannes Kern  
Born in Aschaffenburg (Germany), worked as a media designer, diving instructor, photographer, filmmaker and lecturer. Although I have dived in every ocean of our earth, I discovered my biggest love in 1985, when I took my first trip to the Philippines. Apart from its pristine reefs, it was the Philippines’ open-minded people, breathtaking landscapes and exotic culture that utterly enchanted me.     Articles from Johannes Kern