By: Adam Hanlon
A question often asked by photographers is why their images appear different when they are printed or on different screens, even when the images have been soft proofed. To answer this simply, it is often because each monitor’s interpretation of an image’s color is different from that of another monitor, or that of a printer. As many photographers know, the key to ensuring consistency is to use a system of color management.
Why is color management so important for underwater imagery? One of the effects of light’s travel through water is that we lose wavelengths (colors) progressively as we increase depth, or decrease visibility. When we view images taken underwater, there is an inevitable color shift or cast towards the blue/green end of the spectrum. If our monitors do not reflect this accurately, this can result in our images either being very “washed out”, or more commonly, the blues become very dark or even purple. This is especially true with wide-angle images, and a cursory glance on channels like Facebook will show many images that are well composed and have interesting subjects, but are rendered unattractive by the way the colors have been processed.
A key feature of any color management system is to calibrate any monitors to ensure that the colors they are displaying are correct. There are several different devices available for doing this and for quite some time, I have used the Datacolor Spyder3PRO. Last week Datacolor launched their Spyder5 and invited Wetpixel to carry out a review.