I switched my viewing light to daylight balanced light for the last set of prints I did. It was a bit of a special situation, however. I was printing 10 prints commissioned for a bank building that was under construction. I asked and was informed that they were installing daylight balanced florescent lights and daylight balanced spots.
In my office, I changed all the bulbs to daylight balanced bulbs a few years ago. At home, my wife and I are changing to daylight bulbs as they need replacement.
In the US, at least, daylight bulbs are becoming much more common. Where will the prints be exhibited and what is the lighting? I'm not sure that one can just assume they will be shown under tungsten light.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
I understand and agree - to a point. I think it is necessary to use a light source with a decent amount of colour spectrum if one is going to use it to evaluate colour prints for colour.
If an exhibition space has really bad light (for the purposes of colour fidelity) - like a really red light source such as an old style incandescent bulb - it is unlikely that any colour print is going to be properly presented. So it seems to me that it is a waste of effort and materials to customize a print specifically for that environment, unless there is certainty that the print will be permanently displayed in that location, and only be viewed under that light.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I don't know of any gallery using anything but incandescent halogen lighting (typical color temperature around 3200 K). Also, I don't know of any household or business office using daylight bulbs throughout (except for Allen). Surely, it's not the norm.
I think we agree that evaluation lighting and exhibition lighting should match as closely as possible in color temperature and illumination. We can also agree that the exhibition lighting is not often known and, to make matters worse, can change from exhibition to exhibition. But why standardize on daylight bulbs if they are not the norm in homes, offices and galleries? I don't see the logic.
Fortunately, for B&W this is a lot easier. Color temperature is not that big of an issue. It will make a bit of difference for toned prints, but it's not a show stopper. Illumination however is a big deal, and the advise there is: Keep evaluation lighting as dim as possible. If prints look good in dim lighting, they can only look better in bright lighting. Get it the other way around and you will be disappointed!
The gallery lighting seen here is what I am typically running into now.
Originally Posted by Greg Davis
I found the following:
but the most informative is this link:
The conclusion from reading this verifies my experience. The best and most common type of illumination for fine art lighting is a halogen-based fixture.
The need for daylight bulbs is a myth!
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I don't disagree with you. I mentioned in my post that my situation was a special situation. My point is that if you know the light where your photos will be displayed is not standard, then it is worth using that light for evaluating prints when printing.
I switched to day light bulbs in my office and house for a couple of reasons. In the winter, they improve my mood. I also think they are easier on the eyes.
Certainly, if you are printing for a gallery and the gallery uses standard lighting, use that lighting. For the bank, however, I was glad I asked the owner about the lighting before printing.
The windows in my home let in daylight. And then the other lighting options are not predictable. If you use daylight lamps when printing color you are going to get a print that will look the most natural in mixed or unknown lighting situations. This is why pro labs use daylight viewing conditions.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
This is also the standard viewing condition recommended by manufacturers. Color material is optimized for daylight conditions. It is really hard to print color for a non-standard illuminant.
From Kodak tech. pub. E-4021 in reference to evaluating color prints:
"Evaluation of prints for color and density requires higher illumination levels than those used in normal display conditions. A good average condition for evaluation is a light source with a color temperature of 5000 K ± 1000, a Color Rendering Index of 85 to 100, and an illuminance of at least 50 footcandles (538 lux). Fluorescent lamps such as cool white deluxe (made by several manufacturers) meet these conditions.
You can also use a mixture of incandescent and fluorescent lamps. For each pair of 40-watt cool white deluxe fluorescent lamps, use a 75-watt frosted, tungsten bulb.
Viewing conditions should meet ANSI Standard PH2.30-1989."
In my own experience, these lighting conditions for viewing during printing has given me good exposure and color balance for showing prints at home and in galleries. It is not the same for black and white prints.
Last edited by Greg Davis; 02-02-2011 at 08:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
There is no need. I offered sufficient evidence to suggest that daylight bulbs are typically not the correct lighting to evaluate prints, and that they are also not used as a standard source of illumination for exhibits.
Originally Posted by Allen Friday
My windows don't do that. My windows filter all UV and a lot of the near-UV radiation out before it gets into the room. And it gets worse from there. Whatever gets through the glass is bounced off non-white walls, carpet, furniture all changing the color temperature. Using a colormeter, I just did a test, and measured around 5000K right at the window but only 4000K a few feet into the room.
Originally Posted by Hikari
So, why use a daylight bulb that never represents what's actually happening?