How many professional photographers bother with color management?

Started Dec 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
OP ComputerDork Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: How many professional photographers bother with color management?

Thanks. My photo teacher also thinks that inkjet printers are never cost effective or as high quality as commercial photo lab prints, so it doesn't sound like he ever prints anything himself. (I handed him an analysis I did showing otherwise on the cost issue, and an example of the output from my R3000 vs. Sam's Club at least. I haven't yet compared my printer output with the highest quality labs out there.)

So it sounds like if "everyone he knows" is using a reasonably good monitor that's not too inaccurate from the factory, and just sends their stuff to a lab for printing, then maybe they don't need to mess with profiling etc. that much. Also, I think he has mostly done photojournalism type stuff where they just send RAW-> JPEG sRGB images off ASAP, expect the camera and raw converter to do a reasonable job, and let the printers worry about fixing stuff.

Anyway, the class is over so I won't have this teacher again. I could believe that photographers in some parts of the industry wouldn't need to mess with color management much, but obviously this isn't the case for every photographer or all of these companies selling instruments wouldn't be in business. So that's what I was curious about... which parts of the industry actually worry about color management and to what degree.

As for my friend at the printing business (he's actually more of a sysadmin than anything else), from what he says their issue is that they don't specialize in any one thing because the market for any particular thing isn't large enough in their small-town area. It also sounds like their sign customers probably have a tolerance of around 5 DeltaE or more and don't really care that much about absolute color matching perfection. (They're also not doing well enough that the owner wants to spend any time or money on anything that isn't absolutely necessary. They're probably suffering from the increasingly sophisticated technology available to consumers, and online competition.)

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