Graphics Programs Reference
simply, making the print match the image you see on the monitor. A color
management system attempts to maintain the “appearance” of consistent color
as an image is transferred between dif erent devices, from the camera and/
or scanner, to the monitor and across other monitors, through software and
ultimately to an output device such as the printer. We like to stress the term
“appearance” of consistent color in our dei nition because each of these devices
(the camera, scanner, monitor and printer) has a uniquely dif erent ability to
reproduce and interpret color. We can therefore draw the analogy that each
device tends to speak in its own “language” of color. The dif erences in how each
individual device - over the hundreds of makes, models and manufacturers -
interprets and “speaks” in color can actually be astounding. In order to resolve
these dif erences, color management creates a system whereby the dif erent
devices can “talk” to one another in a common language of color.
Why Do We Need Color Management?
We want color consistency as the image travels through the workl ow process
across various devices, so we can ultimately make prints that have some
resemblance to the image we evaluate and process on the monitor through
our digital darkroom practices. For black and white, color consistency is
ultimately crucial as the neutrality, brightness, tone, contrast and shadow
detail are all functions of the color management system. It is, therefore,
extremely important - whether we work in color or black and white - to be
relatively certain that what we are looking at on the monitor has some level of
numeric accuracy in concurrance with the actual image before we begin the
digital darkroom editing process.
Why colors change
All devices have a dif erent and i xed range of colors they are capable of
reproducing, dictated by the laws of physics. A monitor cannot reproduce a
more saturated red than the red produced by the monitor's red phosphor.
A printer cannot reproduce a green more saturated than the printer's green
ink. The range of colors a device can reproduce is called color gamut. It is
probably easiest to think of gamut as the assortment of crayons a device is
able to color or reproduce your image with. Remember the box of Crayolas?
The box of 64 crayons with the sharpener in the back had a larger gamut of