talkFestool  

Go Back   talkFestool > Social Club (Off Topic) > Photography and Video

Photography and Video Helping you take better photos and videos

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 06:19 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Hi all,

Many of you have written off line asking how I get such clear pics for my manuals and tutorials so I thought I would share the following with you.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the dynamic range of colors different monitors can register varies greatly. Most versions of the Windows OSs were tailored for low market price, blue light special machines as that is where much of the market was. In those machines the monitors and video driver cards are of lesser quality and not capable of rendering anything like a full range of intensities for each of the red, blue and green colors that are blended so your eye will see thousands or millions of colors. As a result, most versions of the Windows OS limit the dynamic range to what is called sRGB instead of the much wider dynamic range provided by what is called Adobe RGB color space.

As a consequence, when a photo is rendered in the sRGB color space the viewer will see far less detail in the shadows and in the highlights than they would if that same photo was rendered in the Adobe RGB color space.

A second consideration is that most CRT based color monitors are much dimmer than most LCD color monitors so what looks great on an LCD monitor will look dark, muddy and washed out on most CRT based monitors.

Putting these two things together means that to provide a good viewing experience on everything from high quality LCD monitors running in a software environment designed for the wide dynamic range Adobe RGB color space down to low quality CRT based monitors running in a software environment designed for the narrow dynamic range sRGB color space, you need to do several things to ready the photo.

First, you need to brighten up the photo significantly by increasing the exposure one to two F stops either when you take the photo (not recommended) or when you edit it for this purpose (recommended). If you are using a high quality monitor working in the wide dynamic range Adobe RGB spaces such as you would find on something like a 24" iMac or Apple studio monitor, you need to make the overall exposure quite a bit brighter than will look proper on such a display. The second thing to do is to skew the histogram to stretch out the dark end of the spectrum. In some photo editing environments like Apple Aperture, there is a slider marked "shadows" just for this purpose.

At this point you will really not like the photo at all until you increase the contrast and increase the definition. The image will appear artificially sharp and edgy on your high quality LCD display. Do the final sharpening and it will look way over processed.

Now, reduce the file size and increase the JPEG compression to get the image size appropriate for your use. When you do, the resulting image will look much better on your monitor and will also look far better on some other person's CRT monitor hooked to blue light special hardware.

To answer the other question that is often posed in offline emails, the work flow I use is to shoot raw, convert the raw images during import into Apple Aperture version 2 or higher. Aperture, like Adobe Lightroom, uses what is called "non-destructive editing" whereby the original image file is never over written as it is in many photo editing programs. All that is kept is a list of the desired adjustments and the sequence in which they are to be applied. The adjustments are made real time while the image is being rendered. The only time a new image file is created is when you Export images out of Aperture or Lightroom.

I use Apple Pages to do the page layout for the manuals and tutorials. That software fully integrates with Aperture to allow you to drag and drop images from Aperture into Pages and then resize and move the image to the desired location relative to the text by dragging either the resize blocks or the whole image. Pages keeps track of the actual image file and sizing needed as rendered for the page layout so you don't need to do any of that sizing stuff. Once the manual or tutorial is completed I save it as a Pages document (which imbeds all the photo, layout, text, objects and other info inside one file) and also in .pdf format. That .pdf file is usually quite large since it carries the original photos along for the ride. I then open the .pdf file in Adobe Acrobat Professional and perform a "reduce file size" function to carry along the photos only at the size in which they are actually used.

That is the file that is then posted on my web site or on the web sites of the folks who pay for the manuals. "Tutorial" is the name I give to a piece I write without compensation.

Hope this helps.

Jerry
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 06:35 PM
FrankPellow's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Posts: 137
Default Re: Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Thanks for the tips Jerry. I will try them out the next time that I write a tutorial.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2009, 06:51 PM
joraft's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Fernando Valley (SoCal)
Posts: 6,575
Default Re: Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Jerry, very useful information.

Thank you,
__________________
John
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2009, 12:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,079
Default Re: Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Thanks Jerry. I learn something everyday. I have a 24 inch iMac and have been adjusting photos to look good on it. I'll have to start watching out for that.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2010, 10:15 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Contra Costa, California
Posts: 36
Default Re: Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Thank you for the trouble to post all that info - have been looking for iMac user help. Before I trouble you with a question, do you limit your generosity to still pics - how about short videos of same subject matter? (Using Kodak Zi8 video camera

TIA

WW
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2010, 01:35 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 41N 79W One of the Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States of America
Posts: 4,820
Default Re: Workflow for pics that will be viewed on a computer

Great posting!
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:01 PM.