There’s something going on in a professional workspace and workflow that more often than not goes unnoticed. Other professionals will just assume it’s there, and those who aren’t may not even have a clue that it should be. It’s color management, possibly one of the most neglected critical components of a proper photographic workflow. This is somewhat understandable, however, because once you begin, it opens up a veritable Pandora’s Box, and it can be like walking into a whole new dimension where we speak about color profiles, spaces, and so on. But you should still do it.

[RELATED: Guide to Color Management for Photographers – Part One | Finding the Right Monitor]

We’ve spent a notable amount of time speaking to the merits and the how-tos of color management and will continue to do so, and Datacolor is looking to lend a further helping hand by way of a new Spyder5 eBook that provides “the latest expert advice on color management and calibration for photographers.”

The first chapter of the book is available now, and the remaining chapters will be released staggered between now and the end of October. Here’s how the breakdown will look:

  • Chapter 1 – Now available
    • The Fundamentals of Color Management – Which color measuring instruments you need for color management; How the digital color world ticks; Why you should work with RAW data
  • Chapter 2 – Available August 21
    • Camera Calibration – Which tools are available for calibration; How to obtain evenly balanced contrast with the SpyderCUBE; SpyderCHECKR and how it provides color balance; How to get razor sharp autofocus using SpyderLENSCAL
  • Chapter 3 – Available September 6
    • Monitor Calibration – How to initially calibrate your monitor; What the colorimeter does for you during calibration; How to control the ambient light; The options a soft proofing tool can offer you
  • Chapter 4 – Available September 25
    • Monitor/Projector Calibration: Advanced Settings – How to make extended calibration settings; What an advanced analysis entails; The way to calibrate two monitors; What you must pay attention to while calibrating a complete studio and a projector
  • Chapter 5 – Available October 11
    • Printer Profiling for Accurate Prints – What you need to know about printer profiles; How to check if your printer and the printer driver are working properly; What to observe when working with a spectrocolorimeter; Get insights on how to use printer profiling technology
  • Chapter 6 – Available October 30
    • Softproofing and Printing – How to proof your images on the monitor; Printing your photos by yourself; What you need to know about monitor proofing during photo printing from a service provider; What you should consider when printing on paper, canvas and foil

More On Color Management

It’s not uncommon these days for photographers and enthusiasts to spend full workdays worth of time in front of a monitor of some sort, and numerous days a week. It’s on these screens that we see the produce of all the money spent on gear and time taken to use it. Wouldn’t it be almost criminal to rob the work of their full potential, which is, of course, tantamount to our own? That’s a real possible scenario if you’re working without a calibrated monitor, because if it’s not calibrated, what you see may not be what’s in the file, and then when you send the file to someone else, it’ll be different again.

Of course, this gets exacerbated once it comes time for those images to leave your monitor for someone else’s and especially for printing. If you want to get the most accurate colors, the most accurate exposure, and the most accurate prints that actually match what you’ve shot/edited, you need a calibration system. That’s precisely what the calibration hardware and software is meant to do. It’s going to help you to create a workspace that is color standardized, giving you a seamless color-controlled workflow from capture to print.

Check out the reviews below for color space information as well as a review of the Spyder5 and a good color accurate monitor: