Getting Creative Control of Digital Colour

Digital tools offer a compelling level of control and precision in digital photography and print. Yet it often comes as a shock to photographers that getting consistent colour from capture through to print is so challenging. It seems like there’s always something tripping up the unwary digital practitioner; all too often a disappointing (or outright “wrong”) print is the result. The key to getting good colour with digital is understanding how digital colour is represented, and how to set up and use the tools to treat colour consistently.

In this session we start with a discussion of colour in the digital workflow, and what makes it so challenging to handle. Then we’ll introduce the essential methods of getting back to a point of creative control over colour. You’ll learn about profiles and colour spaces, how to get them, how to use them, and how to deal with the differences that remain between the many different digital devices, tools and technologies.

As always, the goal is expressive prints of great photographs rather than obsessing over technicalities. So the material we present will address important “why” and “how” questions about digital colour while remaining pragmatic and useful in every day work. We’ll cover key topics including:

• What is digital colour, and why doesn’t it work “out of the box”?
• What are profiles and colour spaces?
• Calibrating your monitor
• Sorting out printer profiles
• Configuring your software
• Using profiles in a proofing workflow
• Understanding the impact of the environment, including lighting

We’ll devote most of our time in this session to setting up a workflow that gives you confidence with digital colour. Plus, bring any particular “colour management” questions you may have and we’ll address as many as we can.


For registration, upcoming classes, pricing, or more information about our Open Studio Series, visit our main Open Studio page.

“Color management is rocket science. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to drive the rocket.”
— John Paul Caponigro