Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

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flyinglentris
flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Consider for a moment this problem, which I'm sure has been considered before, but on reflecting upon it, I cannot recall ever hearing about color photography being intentionally cast to accommodate display in a particular ambient lighting condition.

To be sure, I have known that paintings often doped their colors to accommodate display in certain lighting. There are classical examples going back to per-renaissance.

But for photography? Street lighting is never pure. If you shoot photos for an ad spot that will be displayed on the side of a metro bus, Those images will have to deal with two lighting conditions, daylight and nighttime street lighting. This variance would make any scheme impossible and I can see that one would shoot for normal color rendering in daylight and that's that.

Are there situations where the display ambient lighting requires a planned color treatment for photographic images to ensure that the color look normal in those conditions? And if so, how does one evaluate and intentionally treat the image to render proper color in those conditions? I would consider simply shooting the original image in the same lighting conditions without corrective filtering. And hopefully, the camera's internal color adjustments can be managed to disallow it from messing with that.

I am assuming that this is never done and the offense of the display condition is simply tolerated and accepted.

Am I wrong?

[Mod: moved to more appropriate forum]

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
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Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,205
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light
3

Generally, the human visual system adjusts for ambient light.

A white sheet of paper looks white whether you are looking at it indoors under tungsten light, outdoors in the shade, outdoors in direct sunlight, or under fluorescent lighting.

Generally, you shouldn't have to compensate.

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Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 7,369
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light
1

flyinglentris wrote:

Consider for a moment this problem, which I'm sure has been considered before, but on reflecting upon it, I cannot recall ever hearing about color photography being intentionally cast to accommodate display in a particular ambient lighting condition.

To be sure, I have known that paintings often doped their colors to accommodate display in certain lighting. There are classical examples going back to per-renaissance.

But for photography? Street lighting is never pure. If you shoot photos for an ad spot that will be displayed on the side of a metro bus, Those images will have to deal with two lighting conditions, daylight and nighttime street lighting. This variance would make any scheme impossible and I can see that one would shoot for normal color rendering in daylight and that's that.

Are there situations where the display ambient lighting requires a planned color treatment for photographic images to ensure that the color look normal in those conditions? And if so, how does one evaluate and intentionally treat the image to render proper color in those conditions? I would consider simply shooting the original image in the same lighting conditions without corrective filtering. And hopefully, the camera's internal color adjustments can be managed to disallow it from messing with that.

I am assuming that this is never done and the offense of the display condition is simply tolerated and accepted.

Am I wrong?

[Mod: moved to more appropriate forum]

Are you talking about prints or screen display?  Clearly these are fundamentally different.

Prints are seen by reflected light and the photographer usually aims to match the colours of the original subject as closely as possible, assuming the original subject is also seen by reflected light. In that case, if the light illuminating the print is the same as that illuminating the original subject, then the colours should look the same.

If you are viewing images on a screen with its own backlighting, then the colours you see will obviously depend on the colour of the backlight.

flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Tom Axford wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Consider for a moment this problem, which I'm sure has been considered before, but on reflecting upon it, I cannot recall ever hearing about color photography being intentionally cast to accommodate display in a particular ambient lighting condition.

To be sure, I have known that paintings often doped their colors to accommodate display in certain lighting. There are classical examples going back to per-renaissance.

But for photography? Street lighting is never pure. If you shoot photos for an ad spot that will be displayed on the side of a metro bus, Those images will have to deal with two lighting conditions, daylight and nighttime street lighting. This variance would make any scheme impossible and I can see that one would shoot for normal color rendering in daylight and that's that.

Are there situations where the display ambient lighting requires a planned color treatment for photographic images to ensure that the color look normal in those conditions? And if so, how does one evaluate and intentionally treat the image to render proper color in those conditions? I would consider simply shooting the original image in the same lighting conditions without corrective filtering. And hopefully, the camera's internal color adjustments can be managed to disallow it from messing with that.

I am assuming that this is never done and the offense of the display condition is simply tolerated and accepted.

Am I wrong?

[Mod: moved to more appropriate forum]

Are you talking about prints or screen display? Clearly these are fundamentally different.

Prints are seen by reflected light and the photographer usually aims to match the colours of the original subject as closely as possible, assuming the original subject is also seen by reflected light. In that case, if the light illuminating the print is the same as that illuminating the original subject, then the colours should look the same.

If you are viewing images on a screen with its own backlighting, then the colours you see will obviously depend on the colour of the backlight.

Clearly, I was referring to prints.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
flyinglentris in LLOMA

flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Michael Fryd wrote:

Generally, the human visual system adjusts for ambient light.

A white sheet of paper looks white whether you are looking at it indoors under tungsten light, outdoors in the shade, outdoors in direct sunlight, or under fluorescent lighting.

Generally, you shouldn't have to compensate.

Historically, that has been proven not always to be the case.

-- hide signature --

"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
flyinglentris in LLOMA

Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 7,369
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

flyinglentris wrote:

Clearly, I was referring to prints.

If that is the case, what Michael Fryd said is correct and you don't need to worry about the lighting, within reason.

The exception to that Is if the print has its own light directed just at the image. In that case, the colours may appear wrong if the colour of the light shining on the print is different from the ambient lighting of the surroundings.

If you don't believe that the human eye & brain automatically adjust white balance, have a look at this optical illusion that was doing the rounds a year or two ago.

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,305
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

My colour calibrator has a step for measuring the ambient light, and it makes a different to the profile it produces for the screen.

If I want to make sure the printing house has printed my prints correctly, I have to use the right screen profile for the right ambient light, or I'm thinking the printing house has screwed up again.

From that, I assume you could make a profile which would make a print look like what you wanted in whatever lighting you wanted. However, most people probably expect things to looks suitably weird in weird lighting, so your print which looked correct would then be perceived as very weird. I doubt it's worth trying.

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
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flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Tom Axford wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Clearly, I was referring to prints.

If that is the case, what Michael Fryd said is correct and you don't need to worry about the lighting, within reason.

The exception to that Is if the print has its own light directed just at the image. In that case, the colours may appear wrong if the colour of the light shining on the print is different from the ambient lighting of the surroundings.

If you don't believe that the human eye & brain automatically adjust white balance, have a look at this optical illusion that was doing the rounds a year or two ago.

I fully understand that human eye sets its own white balance.   But at 64 years old, I have also experienced situations where certain lighting conditions do taint the eye's capacity to adjust, especially where certain relativities of adjacent colors are important.

-- hide signature --

"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,205
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Barry Twycross wrote:

My colour calibrator has a step for measuring the ambient light, and it makes a different to the profile it produces for the screen.

If I want to make sure the printing house has printed my prints correctly, I have to use the right screen profile for the right ambient light, or I'm thinking the printing house has screwed up again.

From that, I assume you could make a profile which would make a print look like what you wanted in whatever lighting you wanted. However, most people probably expect things to looks suitably weird in weird lighting, so your print which looked correct would then be perceived as very weird. I doubt it's worth trying.

A monitor should be calibrated to the ambient light.  The monitor does not reflect the ambient light, it generates light.  Something that should appear neutral gray on the monitor needs to match the ambient light.
On the other hand a paper print reflects the ambient light.  A neutral grey sheet of paper naturally matches the ambient light, and so our minds see neutral grey.
This is a general rule.  Clearly there are exceptions.  You can have light that varies dramatically from a black body source.  In that case, the mind may not fully compensate.

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flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Barry Twycross wrote:

My colour calibrator has a step for measuring the ambient light, and it makes a different to the profile it produces for the screen.

If I want to make sure the printing house has printed my prints correctly, I have to use the right screen profile for the right ambient light, or I'm thinking the printing house has screwed up again.

From that, I assume you could make a profile which would make a print look like what you wanted in whatever lighting you wanted. However, most people probably expect things to looks suitably weird in weird lighting, so your print which looked correct would then be perceived as very weird. I doubt it's worth trying.

I have not assumed, from the beginning, that any care is currently exercised, except in very rare cases where the problem's appearance mandates a rethinking, either of the original capture or of post capture or print adjustments.

I am looking for examples that may exist and how the problem is treated in those examples.   It's hard to believe that this would be a pilgrim in a new evolution sort of thing.  It must have been addressed before.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,205
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

flyinglentris wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Clearly, I was referring to prints.

If that is the case, what Michael Fryd said is correct and you don't need to worry about the lighting, within reason.

The exception to that Is if the print has its own light directed just at the image. In that case, the colours may appear wrong if the colour of the light shining on the print is different from the ambient lighting of the surroundings.

If you don't believe that the human eye & brain automatically adjust white balance, have a look at this optical illusion that was doing the rounds a year or two ago.

I fully understand that human eye sets its own white balance. But at 64 years old, I have also experienced situations where certain lighting conditions do taint the eye's capacity to adjust, especially where certain relativities of adjacent colors are important.

For instance, if the print is lit by light of a single wavelength, you are not going to be able to discern color.

If the print is being lit by sodium vapor lamps, big chunks of the spectrum will be missing.  You may not be able to compensate for that.

 Michael Fryd's gear list:Michael Fryd's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW130 Canon EOS D60 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS 5D Mark IV +16 more
flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Michael Fryd wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

My colour calibrator has a step for measuring the ambient light, and it makes a different to the profile it produces for the screen.

If I want to make sure the printing house has printed my prints correctly, I have to use the right screen profile for the right ambient light, or I'm thinking the printing house has screwed up again.

From that, I assume you could make a profile which would make a print look like what you wanted in whatever lighting you wanted. However, most people probably expect things to looks suitably weird in weird lighting, so your print which looked correct would then be perceived as very weird. I doubt it's worth trying.

A monitor should be calibrated to the ambient light. The monitor does not reflect the ambient light, it generates light. Something that should appear neutral gray on the monitor needs to match the ambient light.
On the other hand a paper print reflects the ambient light. A neutral grey sheet of paper naturally matches the ambient light, and so our minds see neutral grey.
This is a general rule. Clearly there are exceptions. You can have light that varies dramatically from a black body source. In that case, the mind may not fully compensate.

Monitors and electronic displays are not an issue, even in altered ambient light.  I note that my XRite Calibration Tool can be used dynamically and continuously to adjust to variations in ambient light.  That's all well and good for the photographer who is working to get a 'correct' color rendering.

It's the display of the printed medium photography and its color rendering in certain situations that sparks my interest.   It's the exceptions that are important, exceptions in the quality of ambient light, mixed ambient light, and exceptions in the color relationships in the captured composition, certain adjacent color effects which the human eye has been shown to do some things which have been known for quite some time and that in ambient light conditions not conducive to those effects, can make or break a captured image.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Michael Fryd wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Clearly, I was referring to prints.

If that is the case, what Michael Fryd said is correct and you don't need to worry about the lighting, within reason.

The exception to that Is if the print has its own light directed just at the image. In that case, the colours may appear wrong if the colour of the light shining on the print is different from the ambient lighting of the surroundings.

If you don't believe that the human eye & brain automatically adjust white balance, have a look at this optical illusion that was doing the rounds a year or two ago.

I fully understand that human eye sets its own white balance. But at 64 years old, I have also experienced situations where certain lighting conditions do taint the eye's capacity to adjust, especially where certain relativities of adjacent colors are important.

For instance, if the print is lit by light of a single wavelength, you are not going to be able to discern color.

If the print is being lit by sodium vapor lamps, big chunks of the spectrum will be missing. You may not be able to compensate for that.

Consider Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships.  In normal lighting, there is no problem with these behaving as desired, but in deviations caused by ambient lighting, Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships may be compromised.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 7,369
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

flyinglentris wrote:

Consider Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships. In normal lighting, there is no problem with these behaving as desired, but in deviations caused by ambient lighting, Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships may be compromised.

Can you give an example?

flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Tom Axford wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

Consider Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships. In normal lighting, there is no problem with these behaving as desired, but in deviations caused by ambient lighting, Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships may be compromised.

Can you give an example?

Sorry, I have nothing available at the moment, unless I go digging through past captures that may contain something by coincidence.

I shoot as a Photographic Artist and therefore, I diversify on techniques and Color Contrasts and weights, very much interest me for composition reasons, and that includes intentional use of modelling compositions with Complimentary and Simultaneous adjacent color relationships.

I have yet to do so, but the thing is, complimentary and simultaneous color relationships can occur quite naturally in some photographs, especially in subjects synthesized by human manufacture, clothing for instance, textiles where the color patterning was a human inspired decision.  But this may include other items as well.  In nature, complimentary and simultaneous adjacent color relationships might best be displayed in flowering plants, for example.  Other examples may exist.

In all those cases, the color cast of ambient lighting in a print display environment can destroy the color quality by interference with the normal human visual response to complimentary and simultaneous adjacent color viewing.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

OK, Let's look at an example I found of a photo I took about four years ago that contains some very sharp primary color relationships.

Nanchung CJ-6A Minimalist Capture

The Blue and Yellow are complimentary and nearly adjacent. This image is somewhat saturated and does not really demonstrate a good complimentary or simultaneous effect on the human eye, but does serve to hint at the possibilities. The reddening of the yellow is not a play on your eye, but an artifact of the saturation and the original light color casting from the close proximity of the colors.

These colors are synthesized by man, the paint scheme of the aircraft.

-- hide signature --

"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,274
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

I've heard a lot of professional photographers/printers say that they install 5000 K (or some, 4700 K) lights for viewing their prints. But I never bothered. I figure that everyone has different light temperatures in their homes/offices and sometimes many different temperatures considering all the different kinds of artificial lighting now available. I would think it to be a nightmare for a photographer to try to guess what conditions the print might be displayed in and make changes to the print accordingly... unless there is a client with specific needs who identifies the lights in his display area and is willing to pay for custom prints.  So I simply print for daylight temperatures.

flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

CameraCarl wrote:

I've heard a lot of professional photographers/printers say that they install 5000 K (or some, 4700 K) lights for viewing their prints. But I never bothered. I figure that everyone has different light temperatures in their homes/offices and sometimes many different temperatures considering all the different kinds of artificial lighting now available. I would think it to be a nightmare for a photographer to try to guess what conditions the print might be displayed in and make changes to the print accordingly... unless there is a client with specific needs who identifies the lights in his display area and is willing to pay for custom prints. So I simply print for daylight temperatures.

These days, you still cannot even count on the quality of ambient gallery lighting for prints that you might want to sell.  In that case, you are the client of your own work.

-- hide signature --

"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
flyinglentris in LLOMA

Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 7,369
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

OK, I see what you are getting at.  It is not a subject that I know enough about to be able to comment.

It is an interesting question, and I look forward to seeing what responses you get.

flyinglentris
OP flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: Intentional Color Corrections Planned for Display in Ambient Light

Tom Axford wrote:

OK, I see what you are getting at. It is not a subject that I know enough about to be able to comment.

It is an interesting question, and I look forward to seeing what responses you get.

Here is another example ...

Palette Cleansing  Salad

Here, the strong natural complimentaries are Red and Green on a Red plate with a deep Black background to make the whole subject pop out. Here, Reds are bounded by Greens and Greens, bounded by Reds.  Reflected light gives the cheese casts of Green or Red.   The image looks fine on an electronic display, but what might happen to it when a print in some odd ambient light setting?

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
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