PHO705: A Reflection on Colour Correction

Colour correction suddenly became important as printing, which had been going swimmingly well, went wrong overnight a week before the 1 May 2020 hand in. I mentioned elsewhere the saying “leave yourself enough time for contingencies”. Well the contingency was needed as I had to allow time to recalibrate the system and sort out a technical printing issue. Gladly these issues were fixed.

A Year Later at April 2021

A year on and this subject unexpectedly crawled to a conclusion: Talking to print consultants at the highly recommended A2i expressions group it was clear that instead of making all of my own ICC profiles with the Datacolor SpyderPrint I should sort out access to the extensive range of paper manufacturers profiles. On a mac computer these were a) never installed fully and never even identified b) were in a hidden Library c) wrapped up as a package and so very much not present. I discovered the packages in an Epson Library folder, opened them (there were four) and copied each list of ICC profiles to the system colorsync folder. I’d like to think this was all an act of genius but in fact the issue was described and solved in an Adobe support article from 2018. This is what came to the rescue:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/color-management/printer-profiles-missing-for-epson-sc-p800/m-p/10870908#M3033

Immediately I had all of the Epson paper options available in Lightroom and Photoshop and in fact I’m now softproofing in both apps and doing screen and paper simulations in Photoshop and very encouragingly my eye can detect the nuances of colour correction which before was done by hard proofing.

A further wrinkle in the Epson printer driver setup was found on reverting to Lightroom Advanced B&W where only a limited generic set of paper profiles was present. I thought this had all been sorted out but no. It turns out there is a known problem where Apple default network connection to the printer via Airport protocol. This prevents the full Epson driver from working and hence the limited selection of generic paper types.

The solution is to start afresh by removing the printer from Apple settings and instal it twice – yes twice. First time the system enforces an Airport protocol. On the second attempt it is realised by the system that there is an identical printer already installed and is coughs up the option to have the second instance as an Epson driver.

Here is the explanation: https://www.redrivercatalog.com/infocenter/tips/how-to-fix-missing-paper-media-type-selection-OSX.html

When someone commented to me the problem was my fault for not installing the printer the truth was I hadn’t installed the printer twice. Who would have thought such defective logic would be hidden from the owner of a new printer?

So Case Closed?

When printing had been going so well with review test prints, or in fact, any prints then why overnight a green cast appeared and wouldn’t go away.

There is a little tale to hear. The system, of course, had been calibrated at regular intervals, both screen and print. Monthly updates on screen and a really deep 9-page colour swatch check on the printer a while back.

The regular intervention meant recalibration was only a small chore but then nothing ever changed. The images always looked their best on the system and on the choice of my regular choice of paper.

Almost imperceptibly the recalibration reminders fell silent. But this was a result of the computer OS being upgraded to 64 bit somewhere along the line. The Spyder software simply faded away and stopped working and almost consigned to the bin.

A bit of begrudged time was needed to backtrack over emails to uncover the software suppliers policy followed by some checking on their website. The whole set of equipment was obsolete overnight except I was pleased to discover that the Spyder5 and associated SpyderPrint scanner were the oldest gear to remain in support.

Next followed some tracking down to find the 64-bit drivers on the datacolor website. Never an easy task but they were eventually found. Before locating the drivers in the support area there were several opportunities to purchase the latest all 64-bit offering SpyderX. That would have been a mistake as it was not required.

A bit of usual messing around with technology followed then without any razzamatazz the Spyder5 and SyderPrint were working again.

That gave a sense of ease but did it solve the problem? Well no, not exactly.

Next up was a colour correction problem caused by a double action of printer and computer. I describe this as two bullets in the barrel firing at once making a bit of a mess.

I was printing from Photoshop opting for Photoshop to control the colours rather than the printer. But still, the vital printer driver settings I needed to alter were greyed out and besides, there was no Generic RGB profile on the system. The embedded YouTube video from datacolor explains all.

There was a deep dive investigation required but once the solution was found it worked really well. First I had to find a Generic RGB colour profile. The reason for this is that it is a no-action option, what goes in comes out. The next step on my computer was to find the ColorSync utility and use it to set the Generic RGB setting from behind the greyed out controls. The manufacturer doesn’t want the general user tampering, I suppose.

Having done a full system calibration I now had a new set of icc profiles. I could see in the making of them how a whole range of colours had been inexact. So a new icc profile was made for each paper (and ink)..

In Photoshop I could now pick the exact profile and let the printer add its neutral /no effect correction and all became good.

The thing was I spent a day or so away from my work solving the green colour cast problem.

When things are going well each print is spot on first time. When things are going wrong in printing they really go wrong and you notice by the amount of reprinting and wasted prints that begin to pile up. There are so many adjustment options that dissapoint and it is only when getting behind the software driver in ColorSync that you retake control. At least that was my hard found experience.

The hanging questions have to do with why did it suddenly go wrong. The 64-bit aspect was one problem, the print manufacturer forbidding vital change with greyed out settings and lack of a neutral Generic RGB profile another.

Add to this a change of paper type. I was now using double-sided matte for the book and poster board matte for the exhibition prints. In the past, the solution had been narrow. I’d kept to what worked. For the FMP publications, I needed to learn to respond to expanded options and change.

A year ago I first used double-sided matte for my Ed Ruscha challenge book, which was a summer activity. Some of that printing was off I recall but I brushed it aside and should have dived into the software behind the scenes to correct the problem back then. I’d have placed myself in a better place. for the delivery fo the FMP assignments. The most significant impact of the printing being held up was that less drying time was left for the hand-bound book.

Summary

Through making FMP publications and both as a photographer and hopefully some may allow artist, I’ve been able to develop printing skills even if progress was hard-won.

As a self-professed print-virgin only two years ago I was aware of the benefit of the photographer printing their own work and always made my own prints. From review comment on the paper selection, I’ve expanded the wider creative options.

What started out as a preference for letting Photoshop control colours turned around. In spite of giving Photoshop colour control, it made more sense to let the printer do the work. I have more confidence with my new choice at the moment at least as the printer tends to control the hidden variables like ink drying and paper feed and size detection.

There was another benefit in that the December Digital Imaging Symposium I attended that helped me sort out issues of residual Infra-red IR detection had a session of colour spaces with lots of examples and comparisons. So the knowledge is building and with practice, it is leading to controlled higher quality publication.

As a consequence of all that is said, I can now confidently go public with my photography in a wider range of forms.

PHO705: Week 24 Reflection

Done. The work has been done. Everything was handed in well in advance or in advance.

It proved important to leave enough time for checking as the inevitable was ready to happen – the screen freeze and colour printing going all wrong with an unexpectedly deep dive into ColorSync print technology.

Restart work on the Exhibition items put on ice

The video refresh, the music, the exhibition in a box were all in work but lost out as publication turned to book when the exhibition was postponed. Now there is time to prepare for a new date.

I’ll continue to check this blog for any mistakes. I know there a few.

Reflection

At the current point, much has been taken from the course. Starting with a new passion for bookbinding. Things there are going wild with three more hand bindings lined up.

Practice in using media tools with a vengeance was a highlight too.

Fulfilling the objective of making a portfolio of publishable work was the aim at the outset and how that has been helped along.

Making pictures as Art based on cutting edge Science ArtSci became a revelation in the area of genetics This genre is ripe for new picture making.

PHO705: Assignment Final Major Project (PDF)

Submit Assignment here

Depending on the nature of your practice, your resolved project may take one of a variety of forms, however, and it will be an original, authored piece of creative practice, of a publishable standard. It will have been developed over the FMP module and will extend from or otherwise draw upon work created throughout the course.

The FMP submission will evidence and document your critically informed project that is resolved to a professional and publishable standard.

The form that your project takes will depend on the nature of your practice and should reflect your creative intent. It should be resolved as appropriate to the work itself and with considered purpose. As the consideration of audiences and markets are key concerns throughout the course, you are strongly encouraged to present it to an appropriate public audience.

This may include, but not be limited to:

  • An installation
  • Solo or group exhibition;
  • Editorial feature;
  • Book;
  • Online project;
  • Workshop;
  • Performance, screening or talk;
  • Symposium or conference presentation.

These artefacts and/or activities should be clearly evidenced in your FMP submission.

The document should include:

  • A concise description of the work,
  • The final images of the project or an edit thereof,
  • Documentation of the publication (e.g. installation shots, tear sheets),
  • Critical feedback or analysis from other professionals (if applicable),
  • URLs to relevant video or other supporting material.

You may wish to remind yourself on guidance for documenting your FMP submission.

Format

It should be:

  • A colour, page-numbered, PDF document
  • Text should be 1.5 line spaced and use a 12 point, sans serif font
  • Fully Harvard referenced throughout, where applicable
  • All images should be fully titled and referenced
  • No more than 15MB

Assessment

The Final Major Project accounts for 60% of the final grade for the FMP module. It will be assessed on the following Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Technical and Visual Skills

Demonstrate an awareness of a range of photographic and image-making processes, and display accomplishment of photographic skills relevant to your practice specialism.

LO2: Visual Communication and Decision-Making

Exercise discernment in the making, resolution and presentation of practical work, and an ability to communicate ideas through creative visual strategies.

LO3     Critical Contextualization of Practice

Apply a critical awareness of the diversity of contemporary photographic practice to the development of your own work, and inform your practice through historical, philosophical, ethical and economic contextualization.

PHO705: Week 4 Assignment Final Project Proposal

This was a week for handing in the FMP Project Proposal

Proposal PDF

The next step is to book a 121 meeting with my Supervisor.

Bibliography

Howard Rachel (2018) Repetition is truth via Dolorosa. Edited by A. C. Beard Jason. London: Other Criteria Books. Available at: newportstreetgallery.com.

PHO705: Week 23 Reflection

Week 23 has been about letting the work fall into place given that all the research and the practicalities of exhibition and book had been readied. Now for the resolved body of work.

Critical Review of Practice CRoP Update

The Critical Review of Practice had input from a group of reviewers during the week. Review has been especially valuable given the abstract surreal nature of the pictures. The work does communicate! This accords with feedback from the August 2019 practice exhibition although the work did move on.

The CRoP was submitted before the Easter break and one more review was received later in the week which will be incorporated and the CRoP will be resubmitted with a tighter ending.

Picture Edit and Book Draft

The picture edit took place during this week. Having tightened this down considerably from the original set of 50 – 80 images I then got productive and created a whole other set of family archive / DNA edits.

So far I’ve resisted adding these as sometimes the temptation is to over embellish at which point it can get out of control, especially if a distraction to the work.

This page-turning video was made. I recycled prints made for an external review which here are made into a brochure.

This is a practice for the FMP PDF book submission part.

Past-Present-a-mythology-of-time-V0.4-spreads

Narrative Lines

There was at least 6 months of research into themes and creating a visual narrative. I had believed I’d need to place an abstract surreal on recto pages to keep them from clashing, but have a text to picture or cloud DNA composite on the verso to pick out the narrative with clouds of text or alternatively, text to picture generative art.

What happened during the edit was that picture matching fell into place and some well matched pairs resulted (my view and a reviewer view).

This eliminates the need for the verso narrative with a cloud of text or text to picture plate. The cloud method developed now unused is quite focussed on theme through word selection. Thinking about DNA bases annotated as ACGT, then by selecting 100 words I can make narratives out of the English language set of around 1100 words where those four letters appear e.g. ’photographic’ (phoToGrAphiC). Still singing the praise of the method inspired by Recombinant rhymes and DNA Art (RRDA), it provides the photographer with exceptional flexibility in overlay as narrative creation which is important to my choice of conceptual approach in the abstract surreal, if it helps the viewer along. There is a visual challenge of overlaying the text with an appropriate photograph that blends sympathetically with the work. There is a variation where a poem or song lyric can be overlaid on an image as text to picture (rather than as emphasised words in a cloud). The outcome of RRDA subtlety leads the narrative line as the other of the 300 words are still shown. As the viewers eye scans the composite they may trigger not just on the emphasised words but others they see. By leaving this open to the viewer they do in effect choose their own interpretation as they do normally but each time they return to the verso and recto they can gain more as the method keeps on giving.

So why so much thought on something that didn’t get used in Past-Present in the Artist’s book or the extended Exhibition with multiple themes in separate spaces?

It’s just that the method is contemporary and works in its own right. It is combinatorial in word selection (100C3 for the current approach for the mathematicians amongst us). Out of Past-Present has been created a whole area of endeavour and here the idea is shared with anyone interested in such ways of visual language creation. I have time to consider a side exhibition of RRDA pictures as a standalone group of theme common that contrasts with the figurative forms from my main exhibition of abstract surreal pictures.

I now think these verso images deserve a separate portfolio. An early example of the method was to use poem or song lyrics (in text to picture generative art) overlaid on the source picture. There is no creative limit. The fact I like it so much as photographer was the trap if I shovelled in too much research spoiling the simpler visual narrative that was used in the end. Post-FMP submission I’m going to return to RRDA.

The rules that developed for this included a) not crowding out the central pictures, only allowing then to punctuate transitions in picture style.

The text method is flexible and effective but for ‘Past-Present a mythology of time’, these verso images graphic content I decided would push against the grain of abstract surreal pictures.

What I’m focussed on is creating a resolved body of work.

The textual method formed a valuable part of my research and acted as insurance if there was viewer disconnect. The abstract surreal images paired up well visually and this reduced the need for additional support. That turned out well.

The resolved body of work approach led me to rationalise the use of ghost pictures. Place is represented as ghost landscapes and are core to the work. The people ghosts and the cellular division theme together are dropped as themes in the book. Ghost have a place in the exhibition as a side exhibition.

A-V production that included ghosts was researched as part of the FMP PDF. Again it is interesting and possibly quite dramatic but is not needed for now.

Poems and Interview

A version of the book has been created as a PDF and ISSUU publication in order to gather in review comments.

I had to resolve different views about supporting pictures with text. For now I’m happy to have:

  • a short section of prose relevant to the theme
  • a poem about place and archive picture
  • an interview
  • the core pictures
  • repeated as miniatures with caption and print details as an index

There are improvements and review inputs to deal with before imposing and collating the pages into the book.

The book will be case bound, with a block comprising kettle stitched signatures. This type of hand-bound book was created in an earlier module. The current book will be the fourth to be hand made.

It is expected that an even tighter edit will arise from this for the Final Major Project PDF submission.

Final Major Project FMP PDF document

This is the last major assignment to be handed in and is worth 60 points. It is due before 1May. I have this in synopsis form ready to pull together.

Inputs to this will include the picture edit developed out of both the exhibition and the book.

Media will be created to demonstrate the materiality of the book.

In lieu of the exhibition, the 3D model created, for now, will be set-up with the selected pictures and screen captures will be taken from a 3D model I’ve made to synthesize the studio/gallery space.

Audio

I’ve been keen to address a requirement to present in different forms. Recently I gained insight. I’d seen the exhibition and book as equivalent when in practice they have very different sets of demands even though the pictures overlap.

I want to avoid forcing the narrative with audio in the FMP PDF. When the pictorial element starts to resolve why then distract the viewer?

When it dawned how different the exhibition and book are then the problems resolved. I enjoyed the learning and it was simply a journey I had to make.

Although the audio has been dropped it may well find its place in the exhibition later on where the physical space benefits from creating a conducive atmosphere with linked but contrasting works. The thing is our aim is a professional body of work of high quality. Adding media, audio in this case, that produces a Ronald Dhal-esq scary story feel which he did aimed at the child audience then it clearly goes wrong. The work would start to emphasise the child in me and while the creative child never went away the style goes against the level of publication required for this FMP.

I did additional external studies on sound recording and on podcasting and set about practising technique within my practice. It proved to be quite sustaining and a) took my mind away from being too focussed on my practice. This led to a breakthrough with selecting the edit and b) settled my thoughts during the lockdown.

My work was not halted because I’d chosen at the start of the degree second module to work on a subject that was sustainable. However, there are many distractions to photography while comprehending the impact of the lockdown.

External courses, applicable to my practice proved a welcome distraction. There has been knowledge and skill development that I’m glad to have had even if audio is dropped.

External Practitioner Reviews

The reviewers have adapted to circumstance with the COVID-19 move across from physical exhibition to making of a book. I shouldn’t complain that the project changed emphasis as in a last year critique I not only began to be recognised as a maker of books but was strongly advised to make a book. Why didn’t I listen? It would have been too easy to follow the guidance but once more I had a journey of learning to embark upon. I came into the course with a specialism in books and it would have been my loss to only had done books and not have explored what this course has to offer to practice development.

I met a chosen art photographer reviewer at the exhibition space before lockdown and they kindly went over an extended set of test prints and later the draft portfolio website. I decided to engage early and bring my external reviewers back in towards the end. It is a delicate art interacting like this as it chews up the time, and actually had to disengage for a fortnight to get on. Usually it saves failure and avoids starting all over again.

The practitioner reviewers onboard I’m delighted to say are:

  • a fellowship art photographer
  • a fellowship fine art photographer
  • a fellowship book collector and editor
  • a journal editor and
  • a multi-genre, multi-award winning and twice professional photographer of the year finalist.

PHO705: Opening Night Party

PHO705: Easter Reflection

This an important Milestone in my assignment plan.

Hand in statuses

FMP Proposal 10 points

Status Green – submitted and marked at Week 4

FMP Critical Review Journal CRJ 10 points

Status Amber/Green – up to date with around 4 more posts to make.

Important Note:

  • All FMP entries are titled by module identifier PHO705
  • Search is provided- page all the way down to view the tag cloud, category selector and search box.

Link michaelturnercrj.blog

FMP Critical Review of Practice 20 points

CRoP-Version3c

This is ready for review.

FMP PDF 60 points

Status Amber/Red – completion is dependent on making that’s work in progress.

The FMP PDF is WIP:

Exhibition Prints

Status Amber – poster board printing and edit of 50 down to 20 images is lined up to start. Materials available and inks replenished.

Book

Status Amber – interview text and some poetry/prose is written and ready for an edit. The picture edit is to be tightened up and layout created in InDesign. This is a time-consuming activity. The book was proposed by the University as the replacement activity of the postponed exhibition.

ISSUU

An electronic publication on ISSUU is a step in visualising the book before printing and hand binding.

Portfolio Website

Status Amber – draft published pre the edit. The picture edit is in work.

Link: https://www.michaelmturnerphotography.com

Other Elements

Status Red – these activities have been prioritised down in favour of the marked assignments and in line with Exhibition postponement.

Note: the August 2019 exhibition ran for eight days for the same project with the last module images. The other elements were used for that.

Supporting elements to be remade: audio recording, moving stills, and video.

Review

I’ve planned to gain review, some is in and other practitioners will need the items above to make comment.

This will be my final stage adjusting to the public presentation of my FMP and a vital opportunity to make adjustments before handling in.

PHO705: Easter Reflection

The Final Major Project is expected to adapt to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Falmouth University Self-help

A series of Thursday meetings have been run or engaged in for students as a Final Major Project cross-cohort group. We are all affected by the pandemic that is currently peaking.

Effects of imposed social isolation are many, from not being able to shoot project images anymore, through to cancelled exhibitions.

There is increased engagement from our tutors and module leaders at this time with many inspirational guest lectures.

A personal challenge, exhibition apart, is simply writing with distractions and increased communications with families and through a media storm.

Completion of the MA

There are two key communications:

  • PhotoHub – Announcements – ECs Updates from the University Course Leader 20 Mar.
  • Office of the Vice-Chancellor 3 Apr. Coronavirus: update on assessments.

I’ve really no idea how to fully interpret these in my circumstances, without stopping to clarify. With time already lost to the pandemic, I cannot sustain too much more delay.

As for self-isolating, I’ve been isolating in effect since the end of September and I’m quite used to it now.

My work was designed to be sustainable from 3 months into the course. If necessary I could simulate glow using pressure marks in a similar way to exposing photographic paper.

As for making I planned in advance and have enough materials for printing and book binding. The main problem is the writing of a 20 point review that has taken an inordinate time and is currently 2/3 rds of the way through it third incarnation.

In a sense, it is needed in advance of making as the guiding intent. But then it can’t complete until the work has gone public. I think the Critical Review of Practice CRoP should be renamed the Catch22 Review of Practice CRoP because of this gotcha. I hope this entanglement might be recognised for future cohorts.