Color profiles, engineering or art?

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 27,555
Re: Color profiles, engineering or art?

spider-mario wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

Here is a fun fact - the word 'stallion' is of the same root, and it also came from French.

And the French for “stallion” is also étalon.

Of course.

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Erik Kaffehr
OP Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 4,427
Learned some about color spaces and uses of french words in American English...

But, getting back to the original posting. Are color profiles engineering ort art?

Personally, I would like to see profile making basically as engineering with some toppings of art.

But there may be other routes, that is the reason for the original posting.

Best regards

Erik

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Erik Kaffehr
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Magic uses to disappear in controlled experiments…
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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 27,555
Re: Learned some about color spaces and uses of french words in American English...
3

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

But, getting back to the original posting. Are color profiles engineering or art?

I think in a lot of cases the problem is errors, caused by insufficient understanding of colour science and following the lead. (Some of 90-years old) formulas and methods (tailored to calculation methods available at the day) are not a universal substitute for understanding and knowledge.

"Looks", on the other hand, are art. And as we are wandering discussing words, Greek τέχνη means art, craft.

Personally, I would like to see profile making basically as engineering with some toppings of art.

But there may be other routes, that is the reason for the original posting.

Best regards

Erik

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Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 5,431
Re: Learned some about color spaces and uses of french words in American English...

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

But, getting back to the original posting. Are color profiles engineering ort art?

Personally, I would like to see profile making basically as engineering with some toppings of art.

But there may be other routes, that is the reason for the original posting.

Best regards

Erik

Perhaps both.

When a color profile is selected to closely represent the colors of the original scene, as a human being with average color perception would see it, that's engineering.

When a color profile is used to intentially show colors so that do not match the original scene, that's art.

When a color profile is selected by default that does optimally represent the colors of the original scene, that's an accident, or poor engineering.

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Cheers
Eric
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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 16,892
Re: Color profiles, engineering or art?

Eric Nepean wrote:

Human color perception is also not uniform in the blue purple violet region.

I do not fail any color perception tests, but we have discovered that my wife can discriminate color in this region much more accurately than I can.

Aside from ability to discriminate, one should include the objectionability factor. How much do you care about various colors you can discriminate? In your example, you or your wife might be able to distinguish many nuances of blue in the sky, for example but they may all look pleasant or even accurate to you. On the other hand, you may not be able to discriminate so many hues of pink/brown (or similar, whatever common skin colors are) but you may find even small noticeable differences quite objectionable.

So we can have CFA/profiles optimizing skin colors but not so great for everything else, and more uniform ones, etc.

Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 5,431
Re: Color profiles, engineering or art?

J A C S wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

Human color perception is also not uniform in the blue purple violet region.

I do not fail any color perception tests, but we have discovered that my wife can discriminate color in this region much more accurately than I can.

Aside from ability to discriminate, one should include the objectionability factor. How much do you care about various colors you can discriminate? In your example, you or your wife might be able to distinguish many nuances of blue in the sky, for example but they may all look pleasant or even accurate to you. On the other hand, you may not be able to discriminate so many hues of pink/brown (or similar, whatever common skin colors are) but you may find even small noticeable differences quite objectionable.

So we can have CFA/profiles optimizing skin colors but not so great for everything else, and more uniform ones, etc.

I think the person who has the better perception is the one who will find objections.

Very obvious case in point - Jamie, my high school physics teacher, who ran the photo club and introduced me and many others into photography, is red green color blind.  He can adjust his color TV in the most awful way, it looks perfect to him, it makes the rest of us ill. (For oibvious reasons he's a black and white photog)

Similarly I can adjust the blue end  of the color balance in ways that looks fine to me, but my wife will find objectionable. She's a quilter, and plays around a LOT with color, I've never found her color choices objectionable.

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Cheers
Eric
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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,531
Engineering, design, art
1

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

But, getting back to the original posting. Are color profiles engineering ort art?

I suppose that depends on your school of thought.

Contemporary thinking strictly divides engineering from design. Consider an automobile dashboard: the top, that you can see, is the responsibility of the designer, while the underside of it, what you normally can’t see, is the responsibility of the engineer. There is a clear separation between aesthetics as done by the designer and utility as done by the engineer.

So for color profiles, the underlying mechanics of how they work and how they are structured is the responsibility of engineers while the particular colors rendered are the responsibility of designers.

Design, according to contemporary ideology, is *not art*, even though it may resemble it. Art has no purpose other than itself, and should be confrontational, while design is useful and comforting. Furthermore, art solely comes from the expression of the artist, while design is closely allied to science. So arguably, nothing whatsoever about a camera is art.

The classical philosophy of art sees things rather differently, as both engineering and design are arts, “the application of the intellect to things well made”. Likewise, aesthetics cannot be divorced from utility, as anything well-engineered is naturally elegant. The classical view also sees good art as being inseparable from good science: for example, someone who is making color profile must rely on good science, otherwise their profile will likely fail to deliver good color.

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 16,892
Re: Color profiles, engineering or art?

Eric Nepean wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

Human color perception is also not uniform in the blue purple violet region.

I do not fail any color perception tests, but we have discovered that my wife can discriminate color in this region much more accurately than I can.

Aside from ability to discriminate, one should include the objectionability factor. How much do you care about various colors you can discriminate? In your example, you or your wife might be able to distinguish many nuances of blue in the sky, for example but they may all look pleasant or even accurate to you. On the other hand, you may not be able to discriminate so many hues of pink/brown (or similar, whatever common skin colors are) but you may find even small noticeable differences quite objectionable.

So we can have CFA/profiles optimizing skin colors but not so great for everything else, and more uniform ones, etc.

I think the person who has the better perception is the one who will find objections.

Very obvious case in point - Jamie, my high school physics teacher, who ran the photo club and introduced me and many others into photography, is red green color blind. He can adjust his color TV in the most awful way, it looks perfect to him, it makes the rest of us ill. (For oibvious reasons he's a black and white photog)

Similarly I can adjust the blue end of the color balance in ways that looks fine to me, but my wife will find objectionable. She's a quilter, and plays around a LOT with color, I've never found her color choices objectionable.

I see your point but let us fix the person, say you. You may have different tolerance for skin tones difference than for sky, assuming you can notice them all.

I remember a post by the main "profile" guy at Adobe. He was talking about an optimization process, not surprisingly. Some of the concerns were to keep channels from going to extreme, roughly speaking. Think about it as an optimization with a cost functional which is somewhat subjective (there is some art in it) and with many constraints. Doing this is art, too, as the whole science and applied science is a kind of art as well.

TheGrammarFairy Regular Member • Posts: 338
Does the Tree Stop Where The Branch Begins?
1

I went to college in the 1970s so forgive me for being holistic but what is the point of trying to make a distinction or a hierarchy between engineering and aesthetics when dealing with a problem in which the issues are both inseparable and, for the foreseeable future, unsolvable. Especially when so many of the required skills in the fields overlap?

For instance, once engineers are made aware of the principles of design they can become excellent photographers very quickly because the rules about symmetry, opposition of mass, color contrast, and all that are already part of engineering;  for them the learning curve is short.

And if you've ever known artists, they think frequently about the "technology" of their art—pigments, binders, thinners, flow out, drying rates, sable vs. synthetic brushes, it's endless; and when you get to sculptors the engineering goes from implied to explicit.

Car dashboards are a perfect example of the impossibility of separating engineering and design. Firstly to get a designer job at Ford you generally have to have a degree in an engineering field with a concentration in design. In other words, the minimum requirement is that you have already dug the necessary connecting tunnels between your left and right brain. Are we saying that having a connection to the non-rational side of your brain make you less of an engineer?

And the  dashboard designs you submit, if you want to keep your job don't they have to balance aesthetics with factors like legibility for varying degrees of color blindness, budget, available components, suitability for assembly line installation, lifespan, operation in weather extremes, repairability, and nowadays recyclability? How do you even find the crossover points from design to engineering and back in a process like that?

Until a meteorite made of a previously unknown element falls out of the sky and turns out to make "perfect" sensors I predict that a mutually advantageous dialog between the fields will have to continue.

But, getting back to the original posting. Are color profiles engineering ort art?

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

Contemporary thinking strictly divides engineering from design. Consider an automobile dashboard: the top, that you can see, is the responsibility of the designer, while the underside of it, what you normally can’t see, is the responsibility of the engineer. There is a clear separation between aesthetics as done by the designer and utility as done by the engineer.

Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,531
I totally agree
2

TheGrammarFairy wrote:

I went to college in the 1970s so forgive me for being holistic but what is the point of trying to make a distinction or a hierarchy between engineering and aesthetics when dealing with a problem in which the issues are both inseparable and, for the foreseeable future, unsolvable. Especially when so many of the required skills in the fields overlap?

I totally agree with you. I was just pointing out a problematic aspect of modern thinking, particularly in the humanities, arts, and even business school.

For instance, once engineers are made aware of the principles of design they can become excellent photographers very quickly because the rules about symmetry, opposition of mass, color contrast, and all that are already part of engineering; for them the learning curve is short.

Yes. Except that I've known artists who resent this, and sneer at engineers who think that they are doing art.
Sometimes you find scholars, influential ones of the school of German Idealism, who claim that art was invented in the 18th century, which is absurd to everyone else except them. But what they mean is that the word "art" was redefined by scholars to specifically exclude many activities that resemble art, such as design. Art, they claim, is a talent and if you don't have it you can't get it; you can't learn art. Art has no purpose other than itself and involves utter creativity, rejecting all that came before. But even if art is a talent, it is a talent that must be formed and practiced, otherwise it is wasted. And even if someone lacks basic talent, having lots of guts and determination can make up for it.

And if you've ever known artists, they think frequently about the "technology" of their art—pigments, binders, thinners, flow out, drying rates, sable vs. synthetic brushes, it's endless; and when you get to sculptors the engineering goes from implied to explicit.

Also true. However, they do make the distinction between 'art' and 'craft'. This stuff to them is craft, not art. You can do craft without art and art without craft. The main problem with this is that art and craft are an inseparable whole. Conceptual art is an attempt to do away with craft altogether, but even many practicing artists feel uncomfortable with this, as it is in fact an incomplete part of a whole.

Car dashboards are a perfect example of the impossibility of separating engineering and design. Firstly to get a designer job at Ford you generally have to have a degree in an engineering field with a concentration in design.

I was thinking of top schools such as the ArtCenter College of Design and the Rhode Island School of Design (which do have automotive programs) that are definitely not engineering-oriented.

In other words, the minimum requirement is that you have already dug the necessary connecting tunnels between your left and right brain. Are we saying that having a connection to the non-rational side of your brain make you less of an engineer?

An older model of the mind divides the intellectual faculties into "discursive reasoning" and "intellectual vision", where the former is logical, systematic thinking, and the latter simply "sees it", with the mind's eye, whole and entire, in a singular flash of insight. Certainly some people are better at one than another, and some people have trouble with abstract thought. But I know that I've had that kind of sudden insight (usually when I awake in the morning after studying a difficult problem before going to bed) and it is stunning and unforgettable. There is certainly no opposition between these two faculties, and equally certain that they can reinforce each other.

And the dashboard designs you submit, if you want to keep your job don't they have to balance aesthetics with factors like legibility for varying degrees of color blindness, budget, available components, suitability for assembly line installation, lifespan, operation in weather extremes, repairability, and nowadays recyclability? How do you even find the crossover points from design to engineering and back in a process like that?

But you are right, there is no part of design which does not reflect back on the engineering. And every engineering choice has an aesthetic dimension: good engineering is elegant. As they say in aviation, "If it looks good, it flies good".

Until a meteorite made of a previously unknown element falls out of the sky and turns out to make "perfect" sensors I predict that a mutually advantageous dialog between the fields will have to continue.

And it likely will continue until the end of the world.

I argue that this problem derives from the "division of labor", where workers are highly specialized and trained to do only one thing well, which is aggressively pursued in industry today, often to an absurd degree where workers are simply replaceable cogs in the great machine of commerce. In a certain sense, this is desirable for economic efficiency as it is cheaper and faster to train specialists than training master craftsmen, and is unavoidable as no one person can know everything. But commentators from the very beginning, at least as far back as Plato, noted that too much specialization leads to depressed, non-virtuous people who usually are unable to live a flourishing life.

The division of labor is related to the division of knowledge, where we have narrow academic specialists who can hardly communicate with other specialists , and who often disagree even on basic assumptions. This is to be contrasted with the old university system which attempted to unify knowledge in a grand synthesis. Have you seen the absurdly narrow degrees that you can get at school these days? The skills they teach quickly become obsolete.

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TheGrammarFairy Regular Member • Posts: 338
And I also totally agree

What is art? That changes so much from culture to culture, year to year it's not worth discussing when sober because "design" principles were formulated by studying art from the past and budding artists are now taught a subject called design so it's just another flat circle.

As for RISD, I looked at the degree requirements and it seems like they lure the kids in with the aesthetics and then sneak in industrial design and applied materials science.

I don't put a lot of credence in the right brain/left brain thing, I really just like the idea of a tiny steam shovel building a tidy system of tunnels in your brain. Research on people with brain injuries seems to possibly suggest that your brain may be more a baseball team where everyone has a specialty but if one player sprains an ankle, the other players can cover his position.

Another question to ask God when we get there.

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

TheGrammarFairy wrote:

I went to college in the 1970s so forgive me for being holistic but what is the point of trying to make a distinction or a hierarchy between engineering and aesthetics when dealing with a problem in which the issues are both inseparable and, for the foreseeable future, unsolvable. Especially when so many of the required skills in the fields overlap?

I totally agree with you. I was just pointing out a problematic aspect of modern thinking, particularly in the humanities, arts, and even business school.

For instance, once engineers are made aware of the principles of design they can become excellent photographers very quickly because the rules about symmetry, opposition of mass, color contrast, and all that are already part of engineering; for them the learning curve is short.

Yes. Except that I've known artists who resent this, and sneer at engineers who think that they are doing art.
Sometimes you find scholars, influential ones of the school of German Idealism, who claim that art was invented in the 18th century, which is absurd to everyone else except them. But what they mean is that the word "art" was redefined by scholars to specifically exclude many activities that resemble art, such as design. Art, they claim, is a talent and if you don't have it you can't get it; you can't learn art. Art has no purpose other than itself and involves utter creativity, rejecting all that came before. But even if art is a talent, it is a talent that must be formed and practiced, otherwise it is wasted. And even if someone lacks basic talent, having lots of guts and determination can make up for it.

And if you've ever known artists, they think frequently about the "technology" of their art—pigments, binders, thinners, flow out, drying rates, sable vs. synthetic brushes, it's endless; and when you get to sculptors the engineering goes from implied to explicit.

Also true. However, they do make the distinction between 'art' and 'craft'. This stuff to them is craft, not art. You can do craft without art and art without craft. The main problem with this is that art and craft are an inseparable whole. Conceptual art is an attempt to do away with craft altogether, but even many practicing artists feel uncomfortable with this, as it is in fact an incomplete part of a whole.

Car dashboards are a perfect example of the impossibility of separating engineering and design. Firstly to get a designer job at Ford you generally have to have a degree in an engineering field with a concentration in design.

I was thinking of top schools such as the ArtCenter College of Design and the Rhode Island School of Design (which do have automotive programs) that are definitely not engineering-oriented.

In other words, the minimum requirement is that you have already dug the necessary connecting tunnels between your left and right brain. Are we saying that having a connection to the non-rational side of your brain make you less of an engineer?

An older model of the mind divides the intellectual faculties into "discursive reasoning" and "intellectual vision", where the former is logical, systematic thinking, and the latter simply "sees it", with the mind's eye, whole and entire, in a singular flash of insight. Certainly some people are better at one than another, and some people have trouble with abstract thought. But I know that I've had that kind of sudden insight (usually when I awake in the morning after studying a difficult problem before going to bed) and it is stunning and unforgettable. There is certainly no opposition between these two faculties, and equally certain that they can reinforce each other.

And the dashboard designs you submit, if you want to keep your job don't they have to balance aesthetics with factors like legibility for varying degrees of color blindness, budget, available components, suitability for assembly line installation, lifespan, operation in weather extremes, repairability, and nowadays recyclability? How do you even find the crossover points from design to engineering and back in a process like that?

But you are right, there is no part of design which does not reflect back on the engineering. And every engineering choice has an aesthetic dimension: good engineering is elegant. As they say in aviation, "If it looks good, it flies good".

Until a meteorite made of a previously unknown element falls out of the sky and turns out to make "perfect" sensors I predict that a mutually advantageous dialog between the fields will have to continue.

And it likely will continue until the end of the world.

I argue that this problem derives from the "division of labor", where workers are highly specialized and trained to do only one thing well, which is aggressively pursued in industry today, often to an absurd degree where workers are simply replaceable cogs in the great machine of commerce. In a certain sense, this is desirable for economic efficiency as it is cheaper and faster to train specialists than training master craftsmen, and is unavoidable as no one person can know everything. But commentators from the very beginning, at least as far back as Plato, noted that too much specialization leads to depressed, non-virtuous people who usually are unable to live a flourishing life.

The division of labor is related to the division of knowledge, where we have narrow academic specialists who can hardly communicate with other specialists , and who often disagree even on basic assumptions. This is to be contrasted with the old university system which attempted to unify knowledge in a grand synthesis. Have you seen the absurdly narrow degrees that you can get at school these days? The skills they teach quickly become obsolete.

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