Artists invariably love color, and artists using camera mediums are no different. However, for photographers and videographers, there is a foundational element of color in our work that is too often neglected: color management.
I've written myriad articles on color and the crucial role it plays in photography. I've even written on why a Datacolor Spyder monitor calibration tool ought to be top of your shopping list. The reason I am so persistent is twofold: I see people with technically great imagery but imperfect color representation and I used to neglect color myself. That is, I cared about the colors in my images and often used complementary colors, but I took calibration, color management, and color grading very lightly. That might lower the number of likes you get, it might lower the amount of praise you get, and it may be doing your work a disservice, but moreover, it could well be costing you clients or sales.
If you look at any advertising campaign (print or digital), magazine spreads, or the work of the world's top photographers in any genre, the colors are perfect. It's not a cherry on top of great work; it is a fundamental part of it. So, when Datacolor let me know they were releasing a full ebook on color management for photographers and videographers, I was all ears. Now, you might be skeptical about my praise for Datacolor as I use their products (though I bought and paid for them and I am not am ambassador) and I've written sponsored content for them before. But they are objectively one of the industry leaders of color calibration and management and their expertise is, therefore, valuable. Despite its value, this ebook is free. All you have to do is sign up with your email, and you'll get a new chapter every three weeks.
One area the first chapter discusses is the exact reason I used to put out images with a tint when I was still reasonably new to photography: color constancy. Here's an excerpt from chapter one of the ebook on the subject:
Finally, it is important to keep in mind the color constancy phenomenon. You'll notice how fast your eye compensates for color casts when you change the color profile on your monitor. Regardless of whether the colors are right or wrong, our brain hides slight color casts within minutes. This phenomenon is called color constancy. This is similar to situations in which we quickly become accustomed to the brightness or darkness of our surroundings.
I lived by a sense that, if I can't trust my eyes, what can I trust? I used to check the accuracy of my photos on my computer, a family member's laptop, and then my phone and generate a sort of average. I didn't really know any better, but if I had put the time in to research color a little more thoroughly (rather than gawping at new gear), I would have rectified these amateurish mistakes far earlier. The thing is, these oversights aren't exclusively for the fresh-faced photographers learning their new trade or hobby. Photographers, videographers, retouchers, and artists of all ability levels can all stand to learn from this ebook and its varied lessons. You're highly unlikely to find a better resource, let alone one that's free.
To start getting this powerful resource, just throw your email address in the sign-up link below.