The trouble with understanding colour management is that it’s an imprecise term that helps achieve a very precise result. Colour management is a cross-platform process that allows the appearance of colour to be consistently controlled and registered so that the colours that you see on your screen and through your workflow are the same colours that you get in the final print. Note for note. But colour management is about more than management – it’s about having confidence and being more efficient through the creative process. Creativity flows more smoothly if you don’t have to constantly double- back and make adjustments for the imperfections of colour. That makes a big difference.
So the management part of colour management doesn’t give full credit to the process. But it’s the colour part of colour management where the term really shows its limitations. It seems to offer no value to creatives who live in a black and white world. Chromalink is fortunate to work with a few black and white photographers who know otherwise – including Michael Levin who has achieved the status of International Photographer of the Year three times in his career. For Levin, colour management is key to achieving the perfect print.
“In my photographs there’s a degree of precision that I wouldn’t be able to achieve without colour management and the assistance of Chromalink. They let me see my work more accurately”.
Levin’s work is highly regarded for the way he renders light and brings clarity to a scene. He makes full use of the tonal gradations possible with black and white imagery. In some photographs, the gradual fall of smooth white clouds breaks sharply to a hard grey or a jet black. The tonal details heighten the drama in his images and keep the eye alert to the whole photograph, the full range of his ability to measure the mood in a scene.
“As I‘m working I want to see and print an image as I have it in my head. Every detail has to be the way I see it. So I like how Chromalink offers tailor-made solutions just for my specific workflow”
Chromalink started by helping Levin select the right monitor for his purposes and then properly calibrating it. We then built custom ICC profiles optimised for black and white printing specifically for Michael’s work. Standard ICC profiles provided by the manufacturer are a “one size fits all” option that often fall short for creative professionals. Using colour management and ICC profiles, Black and White prints are free of any colour cast (usually green/blue or red/brown), gradients are much smoother and densities are more controllable. With a custom profile, you can expect to see better colour accuracy, improved shadow detail and more neutral gray balance.
Despite its name, colour management lets you make more of a black and white image. To find out why Michael Levin won all his international awards, go to his website.