Home Forums Photography Showcase Something to past the time (most recent shoot) Reply To: Something to past the time (most recent shoot)


About colour/tones.

Unfortunately not all monitors are a created equal, or equally calibrated.   The notebook my wife uses for work has a terrible monitor, everything looks dark.  Cheap monitors have relatively low contrast ratios, and frequently, a glossy surface on the monitor.  Better monitors have a mat finish and high contrast ratio.  Ambient light in the room also affects the appearance.  Good profiling tools can look at the room light as well as the monitor when determining correct profile for  the video card.  My monitors are profiled with a Colormunki.  For those looking at my personal web page, who probably do not have a calibrated monitor, the front page has a gauge across the bottom — pure black on one end, pure white on the other and shades of grey in the middle.  It was built with Photoshop by plugging in the numbers, so there is no colour cast.  At each end, the gradations are smaller and finder so people can set their monitor’s brightness by eye.  It does not get them all the way to calibration, but it is better than nothing.

Prints are also problematic.  To view prints, sunlight is best.  Some inks shift colour more than others when viewed with other light sources.

Disclaimer:  This is only one grumpy, old, opinionated guy’s view.

So, once you are viewing the image displayed in a way that accurately shows colour, you probably want a natural looking skin tone.  Of course, it is your art, so if you want your subject to have green skin like someone from a B movie about people from Mars, or blue skin like Smurfs, knock yourself out.  Obviously black and white is not the way most of us see the world but it is a popular way of displaying images.  But, if you are doing a regular portrait, most people will expect normal skin tones.  If your model looks jaundiced, or like they have been eating a case of carrots every day for years, then your viewer may not enjoy your photos as much as they might otherwise.  An exception to all of this is if there is an obvious coloured light source that affects the cast.  Stage lighting at a rock concert or theatre production, for instance.