why do photos need color correction prior to printing ?

Started Jan 24, 2013 | Questions thread
homerlsmith
New MemberPosts: 11
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Re: why do photos need color correction prior to printing ?
In reply to coder01, Jan 25, 2013

I have never responded to any discussion in DPReview before but this one has been so interesting I can't resist.   I have noticed over the years of reading many of the forums here that sometimes we get so focused on the details we miss the big picture.   
In the 70s and 80s I operated my own studio.  To ensure I had complete quality control of the final product I had my own color lab.   Every time I changed film lots we had to recalibrate.  Every time we changed paper batches we had to recalibrate.  Everytime we changed chemistry in the paper processor we had to recalibrate.   We used a consistent controlled light source for color evaluation of every print job.   And I could go on and on.   But here is my point:  All a DSLR is is an SLR that uses a different kind of film.  And I will just about guarantee you the the D7000 is capable of getting your exposure so close you don't need to worry about that.  We use a controlled light source to view our photo before printing - a calibrated monitor.   It has to be calibrated if we want to insure the chain of quality control stays in the proper range.   Our chemistry (the ink) and our media (the paper) requires we also control their reaction to the printing process hence ICC profiling.  The printer itself is merely our paper processor.   
So has anything changed just because we are all now consumed by the process of digital photography?  Nope!   Same deal.  Same issues.  Same steps needed for quality control.   
To me that is the big picture (pun intended).   So you control the quality the best you can with the budget and expertise you have.   That is the only way to achieve any kind of consistency from the camera to the computer to the monitor to the printer to the paper.  
Concerning Ken Rockwell's shooting in jpeg - with all due respect (and I have gotten tons of valuable info from his website) he is dead wrong about that.   Shoot in RAW please.   Your life will change for the better.   Sort of the difference from using an instamatic with cheap film and an RB67 with Vericolor II 120 - and I do understand that is an exaggeration.   Of course there are certainly times to shoot only in jpeg - but I have found them to be rare.   
Hope this doesn't step on anyones toes.  Just my thoughts.  
Homer

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