I sense that some of you guys are misunderstanding my comments, taking them as just negative, random shooting down of ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth! I, for one, would dearly love to have such a resource at hand. It would be great to just say "hmmm, this film, this developer, these times, etc - this is my result" (although it would take away some of the experimenting that I find so enjoyable - but even so, it wold be a great guideline).
Originally Posted by Baxter Bradford
What I was trying to say, however, was that people mostly know what combo gives you what general look - the subtleties that come into play after that are what I think would be next to impossible to convey accurately on a computer screen. And there is nothing that "proper calibration" can do for you: every CRT, every LCD or plasma or any other type of screen is a) slightly different (but very noticeably) right out of the box, due to materials, methods of manufacture, etc. ... abd b) those little knobs and buttons that adjust your screen are not there to make it "properly calibrated" but to allow you to find a comfortable viewing parameter for yourparticular tastes.
The monitor I use is fairly high-end, with all the doo-dads and techno gadgets available, but the case is not about which monitor is better (although, granted, some are just bad and some are just better). For example, I know that may of my friends say my monitors (not just this one, but at work and all my previous ones) tire their eyes because they are "too bright". I go to their houses and can't stand their monitors (which are often even more pricey and high end than mine) because they seem dim...
The point is, use whatever resource youhave at hand, and any help will be very appreciated by many, myself included... but a print on a computer screen? No, it will for the forseeable future be no where near good enough (why do youthink digital photos look so good to most people? they never see them printed!)
I would be happy to adopt any technology that would accurately portray differences in materials in the same way as actually looking at them. I find it interesting to even read printed material (books) that compare materials/techniques and not really get a grasp of what they are talking about until I produce or see an actual print.
Light humor with a dose of sarcasm concerning Ansel Adams probably doesn't help, but if you read "The Print" and "The Negative", he oft indicates his concern that his book reproductions did not accurately portray the subtle differences he was trying to convey. I find that monitors vary a lot in how they display photos. Maybe even more than carefully published books....
Firstly it seems that there is not going to be that much support for this idea, which I feel is a shame for APUG.
Monitor calibration devices such as the Gretag-McBeth Eye, Colorvision Spyder etc are used by the industry and will adjust monitor to required luminance, colour temperature and gamma values. They need to be used at least every month as the monitor drifts. Selecting an old ICC profile in Colorsync ( or windows equivalent) will show how much the monitor varies. The difference these dangling devices make to the appearance of a monitor is significant, even if one thinks that they had done a good job with non-device methods such as Adobe Gamma. Monitor deviation is non-linear and really needs the sophistication of these devices and software. This is part of what I mean by embracing technology. The Colour Management knowledge base and associated industry is enormous, a small degree of understanding is needed in order to view images properly on computers. It brings everyone up to a series of benchmarks.
Subtle differences can be viewed properly on monitors - differences of 1% are possible, but as when comparing all things, it perhaps helps to have a bench-mark which I suggest could be one's own neg scans which have been submitted to the internet resource. Possessing a far wider dynamic range than the printed page, I would suggest that is makes more sense to view scans of negs on your own digital lightbox.
Like it or not, things have moved on since Ansel Adams, Weston et al. There has been progress in many areas and sadly a lot of the fine papers etc are no longer available. Think of all the good work that current and recent innovators have done with developers, printing techniques and how they are prepared to freely share this knowledge, to save others their pitfalls but to share in their successes.
The internet is a fantastic resource, for learning in particular, which has helped my photography enormously. Through this I have been able to able to read and see pictures made from a tremendous range of cameras, techniques and chemistry. A far, far greater range of subject matter than ever reaches the printed page. That which I like, I seek further info, that which I don't I can leave - but still I have been enriched by the knowledge.I also use other resources, such as workshops and buying and avidly reading printed photographic books. Inevitably, these do include those two books (and others) of AA's which you mention. Slight irreverence is not ignorance.
Publishers seek profits and thus it is most likely that the number of new non-digital titles will wane. I therefore suggest that the only non-digital readily accessible real alternative is the internet and that by becoming technology enabled, progress and enjoyment can continue, possibly more than by ever before.
Again, I think Mr. Bradford is reading more negativity and nay-saying into my opinions than I intend - since I intended none. Any resource is a great idea, as learning new things and perfecting one's skills through sharing knowledge and ideas is one of the best parts of photography as a hobby or even proffession. Therefore, any such resource has my vote! I am just pointing out the difficulties of making this particular idea work for the average APUG member, who (although it may be presumptious on my behalf) I don't think has the resources to devote to having a ultra-calibrated monitor. Not to mention the fact that monitors vary like all visual devices do, be they CRT or LCD or plasma or some other, unknown to me technology. Take the example of the TV's at the store - they all have a slightly different look, even in their default settings. So, to sum it up - throw it against the wall and see if it sticks, but lets just throw these ideasout there, so that those more capable than I know I am can find a way to make them work.
What should be wrong with that as long as you can notice the differences between the proposed images?
Originally Posted by gnashings
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Originally Posted by gnashings
I wasn't trying to decry your input and appreciate your willingness to try. I was trying to illuminate and say that if by choosing not to calibrate, then it is exactly like you state in a TV store, or worse! For those who do choose to use one of these monitor calibrators, then they should all look identical or would certainly be extremely close.
It is for individual members to decide whether or not they want this degree of fidelity and whether it justifies the expenditure. In the UK a device can cost less than £100, but are more typically around £200. I expect US prices are dollar equivalent. The more expensive packages enable profiling of scanners and ouput devices. The former is more relevant than the latter on APUG.
The non-linearity is an issue and thus scanner (using IT8 or equivalent) as well as monitor ought best be calibrated so that accurate representation of tonal range can be demonstrated. I accept that this might sound overkill, but am suggesting something approaching a visual representation of the output from a densitometer can be achieved. It is in the interests of contributing parties for the community to obtain maximum benefit that they perform mutual calibration. The ICC/ICM is the internationally agreed standard by which to achieve this.
Even so for those who do not subscribe to Colour Management, they can still look and learn by comparison, but need to accept that there would be a higher degree of risk and imprecision by taking this course.
It would not be a small undertaking and would need a higher level of genuine interest than the idea is currently attracting. But we can wait and watch to see how it develops. A virtual development with inspection - without Sean's Dark S(l)ide Star Wars costume. A disadvantage in my son's opinion.