- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2 edition (September 18, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321267222
- ISBN-13: 978-0321267221
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Real World Color Management (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Bruce Fraser is an internationally known authority on digital imaging and color reproduction. In addition to speaking and consulting on these topics, he is the co-author of Real World Color Management, the definitive guide to color management systems, and a contributing editor for Macworld magazine and creativepro.com. Fred Bunting is a writer, illustrator, and speaker on the topics of color theory, color management, and digital imaging, and is the author of the acclaimed Colortron color primer. He is also the co-author of Real World Color Management. Chris Murphy is president of Color Remedies, specializing in worldwide training and consulting in emerging color technologies. He is also the co-author of Real World Color Management.
Top customer reviews
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As the authors wryly joke, even Newton chose not to pursue the science of color in favor of a more rigid, less complicated science like plain old theoretical physics or mathematics! Indeed! Color is complicated, sweetheart! Even so, the authors do about as good a job of conveying all necessary information as any could for the layman and probably other experts as well.
There seems to be no one in the business these authors either don't know personally or whose work they don't know extensively. Notable is the fact it's a little surprising three people were able to collaborate so well to write one book in one style that flows very well given the topic. The book is very well organized, which helps a lot too. Clearly, both the writing and the publishing were well thought out by people with serious knowledge of their subject. That's not commonplace anymore.
I know I don't need another book on the topic, that all I need to know is packed into this (not light in content nor literally) book. Best I think is how the authors address color management from the standpoint of specific software mostly toward the end of the book after they've laid out principles of color management, including explanation, of course, of the need to manage color in a workflow, assuming one has any interest in arriving at quality results, and extensive discussion of why and how to profile an array of devices. Whether one plans on color rendering "true" to a subject or on departing from "true" color in the interest of creativity. Even more so in the latter case. Reminders of reasons why bother with color management pop up throughout--in text and in sidebars. There's a terrific section on types of workflows, depending on one's objective. Ideally the book is for any running a commercial shop, but then for that reason too very useful for those of us working solo using what equipment we can afford.
Speaking of equipment, some that is recommended is priced out of sight for many solo workers. But the authors address problems that way by suggesting alternative ways to do things. For example, printer profiling: which can be most difficult, and costly depending on equipment to be employed. The job is easier the more funds one has to expend on the best equipment, but one can do the job with lesser equipment and with some time to spare. Otherwise, as is suggested, a lot of people might do better to have profiles made by third parties at fairly reasonable prices considering time and energy and understanding required.
Not to say one ought simply skip over what's not so easy to understand or what can't be done pending expensive equipment, let alone attempted. It's well worth one's time to try and understand the process even if one doesn't plan to measure a thousand or more little squares of color one at a time. I didn't get everything, especially concerning adjusting tables in software made for the purpose or in Excel on one's own, but I did get the general idea, whether or not I ever attempt to adjust profiles by inputting numbers to a LUT. I likely never will if I can have it done for, say, $50-$100. But who knows, maybe one day should I gain a better understanding and brush up on math I forgot decades ago?
Sorry, the book doesn't actually teem with mathematics, so not to worry. It is addressed both to professionals running shops and to solo artists.
Input-device profiling struck me as a little easier to do, though a scanner can be tricky and a camera just about impossible to profile. But one might never need to profile either one, depending on the editing software one has and assuming one is very proficient in use of software. Photoshop is recommended though not essential to color managing a workflow.
Monitors simply MUST be profiled if one is to get anywhere at all in color-managing workflow such that what is seen on screen comes close to what appears in print. Fortunately, monitors are the easiest devices to profile and even fun to profile using not-too-pricey equipment that can be purchased here at Amazon. If you've not done it you'll be amazed at the difference--before and after. After doing it you'll be able to see just how green was your screen before, or how red, now that your display is displaying a truly neutral gray. All of a sudden color will look "true," much more like what you saw or intended and also thereby far more easily adjusted, or not adjusted at all if you prefer to print directly from camera to printer through your computer. The more direct the more essential to accurately profile devices both input and output, assuming your objective isn't simply a snapshot, although even then when prints (or displays) are sorely lacking, which all prints and displays will be when devices aren't attuned. Even a camera display needs to be white balanced, preferably before shooting.
The book teems with illustrations and photos, not least of which are pictures of actual menus from various image-editing programs. Those are VERY helpful, both in getting it right and in gaining a better understanding of the process both specific to the program at hand and more generally. (This could also be a book on how to use color management tools available in the better imaging software out there.)
But the book begins with an elaboration on the nature or science of color, including how we humans perceive it and then seek to use it. That elaboration is excellent insofar as intended for those not terribly well versed in color theory. (All of it very interesting too! Why IS the sky blue, dad?) So long, that is, as one pays close attention since this book is not for the mentally lazy. Some close going over sentences is necessary to a complete understanding. It IS deep down a science text for the beginner and maybe too for intermediate and expert in a few ways.
All in all a very well written book by authors also with a sense of humor that isn't geeky at all or that is in self-deprecating fashion. They know their trade, know it can be difficult and as a result write in such a way as to encourage any reader having difficulty. The science isn't exact in any case, and that makes writing about it not easy to do well. These authors do it very well. By the end, if you've paid close attention, you ought have a reasonably good working knowledge of color management regardless of type of input and output devices. If you follow along and practice what's preached what appears on your screen will look pretty similar to what appears on your printing paper. Short of a D50 light box, pretty similar is good as it gets, which is plenty good enough.
I don't know any method that can replace hard proofing, which I believe still has to be done, but that burden is greatly, and most happily, lessened if one follows this book to a far more substantial understanding of process.
Congrats to authors on an outstanding achievement well worth the relatively low price.
If you plan on panoramic, stereoscopic or infrared photography:
Panoramic & Stereoscopic Photography In Color And Infrared: A Step By Step Guide
Like most books on the subject, it starts with a color theory chapter. Besides being a pleasure to read, it is almost certain to teach something you didn't already know. Even a science whiz will be impressed at how gently, thoroughly, and coherently the topics are brought together.
Most of the remaining chapters can be read in isolation. Many will immediately focus on a chapter relating to their specific software and then proceed to the all important workflow chapter.
For those buying tools, the book offers excellent coverage of the major products including hardware (densiometers, colorimeters, spectrophotometers, targets, monitors, printers, and inks), profiling packages (Gretag-Macbeth, Monaco, etc), and ICC visualization/editing tools (ColorThink and such).
The book empowers you to make thoughtful choices on every Photoshop setting (black-points, colorspaces, rendering intents, etc). Also, the section on evaluating profiles is excellent. This topic is usually omitted from other books on the subject.
All in all, I give this one an A+.
With the miracle of computers we have far greater precision and--let's be honest--far greater complexity (which is a nice way of saying, difficulty). What RWCM does is take something that isn't easy and isn't simple and, by brilliantly explaining it, makes it a little easier to grasp. Of course, you can't sell books by saying "Turns astounding difficulty into mere complexity!" but if you're going to put human color perception on paper or the web, that's what you're dealing with.
That said, I think the vast majority of digital imaging users would gladly settle for pleasing color as opposed to accurate color if they knew what was involved. For these folks there are the Scott Kelby-type books and gizmos that calibrate your monitor while leaving the rest of your workflow untouched.
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The book came in excellent shape!