Colour management – intro

In the days of film few hobby photographers worried about colour management, just selecting a Tungsten balanced film for those times when using Tungsten. After that, apart from slides, the lab sorted out the filtration when printing. With monochrome no colour issues apart from the intensity or subtlety of any toning.

Digital has changed all of that and colour management is something that can make or break an image, including a monochrome image.

Colour management at capture is all about the white balance settings. Most cameras have an Auto White balance ( AWB ) setting and some presets. Using a preset can be more consistent that AWB but beware, the colour temperature of a sunny day is not the same all year round or all around the world. Similarly, as soon as you bounce or modify a camera flash output you are likely to change the colour temperature. Whenever I can I use a custom in-camera WB reading using a WB target. Some differences are shown below.

White balance

For an in-depth look at colour management take a look at the free booklet at Datacolour.


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