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   June News from Datacolor
A perfect color work-
   flow begins
       on location...
...and ends at printing your business cards.

When we think of color management, what comes to mind first, is usually monitor calibration and printer profiling. And while these are very important steps, a perfectly color managed workflow ideally starts when taking the shot. This month we'll show you, how quick and easy RAW calibration can actually be. And we have some other great goodies for you, like a 15% off deal at MOO and some expert advice on screen calibration:
  1. A different photo on each of your business cards - save 15% on your MOO cards order.
  2. Spyder3 + EIZO ColorEdge monitor = a perfect match!
  3. Friends With Vision: Andy Biggs unfolds the world of the Serengeti onto our doorstep.
  4. Expert Advice: What to keep in mind when calibrating your monitor.
  5. RAW calibration - how to capture colors properly, right from the start.
We hope you'll enjoy this month's issue. If you have any feedback or questions, please e-mail us!

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A different photo on each of your business cards
Save 15% on your MOO cards order!

MOO has become the favorite business card printer for many photographers. What sets them apart from other online printers, is something they call 'Printfinity'; the option of a different photo or design on every card in the pack. So, if you carry around a pack of MOO business cards, it's like having a mini portfolio in your pocket.

What also sets them apart from many other printers, is that the color calibration of customer images is something very close to the hearts of the design and development team at MOO. They work with a huge pool of images - from hobby photographers and illustrators to seasoned professionals. Every time a new product is launched or a new paper suggested, batches of images are tested and re-tested to ensure that, no matter what the source of the image, the color is true.

We use MOO for our photo cards as well, and MOO is generously offering our customers 15% off a pack of business cards (50 or 200 pack). Simply use the offer code MOO&SPYDER when checking out. The offer is valid through 30 June 2009, so make sure you don't miss it!

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Spyder3 + EIZO ColorEdge monitor =
                               a perfect match!
...EIZO recommends using the Spyder3.

Professional photographers and designers know very well about monitors by EIZO. When color accuracy matters, the Japanese vendor's ColorEdge series is usually their first choice. But did you know that Datacolor's Spyder3 screen calibrator is the perfect match for an EIZO monitor? To calibrate an EIZO ColorEdge monitor, the EIZO software ColorNavigator can be used. But Spyder3 is not just one of only a few calibrator units that are natively supported by EIZO in that software.

It is also the one sensor that the most highly recognized monitor vendor in the world is recommending and using exclusively, as EIZO Europe bundles the Spyder3 with the ColorEdge monitors. If you have experienced the high quality the Spyder3 sensor delivers, this doesn't come as a surprise. With the combination of the best monitor brand on the market and the best color calibration unit, 100% accurate colors, contrast and creative control are guaranteed.

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Our Friend With Vision
Andy Biggs

An avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer is what Andy Biggs calls himself - and he leaves no doubt whatsoever, that all of those are true. His photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. With a deep respect and understanding for African wildlife, Andy unfolds the world of the Serengeti onto our doorstep with striking emotional depth. Photographers looking for a destination of a lifetime, should definitely check out his photographic safaris - Andy promises not only to enhance your understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but will have you develop a life-long admiration for Africa's beauty and culture. His key to shooting a great photo? Andy makes it a priority to shoot when the light is most dramatic, notably the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.

You can find a link to Andy's website, where you can follow his fascinating blog and learn more about his workshops, in our Friends With Vision section at www.datacolor.eu/fwv.

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Expert Advice:
What to keep in mind when calibrating a monitor

Using the Spyder3 to calibrate your screen is very easy; the software guides you through all necessary steps. However, there are a few additional expert tips, that many are unaware of. When you calibrate your screen, keep the following in mind:

Ensure that your ambient light is pretty dark and stable. The display should be the brightest light source in your field of vision. You might have heard advice, that using two different profiles can compensate for everything. Ignore that. Daylight isn't only much too bright for your work, it's also not stable. A neutral gray would seem reddishly tinted on your screen in the early morning hours and in the evening, because your eyes adapt to the bluish light from outside. A similar effect will occur with unstable light sources in daylight brightness: sunshine, clouds, fog - all of these will influence your visual abilities. Shut the blinds and use an indirect and weak light source in your studio. You can use a D65 neon tube to ensure that the white point between your display and your environment matches - independent of time of day or weather conditions. As a reminder: Re-calibrate your screen on a regular basis. Ideally, do it twice a month and warm up your monitor for at least 60 minutes before you begin.

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How RAW calibration works
Capturing colors with your camera properly.

As with many things in color management, RAW calibration is a topic that is often perceived as something complex; something that only real high-end professionals should worry about. However, both of these assumptions are not true. Capturing colors properly when shooting, can not only enhance your further color workflow dramatically, it is also very easy to do, using SpyderCube. In fact, it's so easy, that it can be explained in three basic steps:

  1. Take a shot with SpyderCube in it. The brighter face of the cube in the shot will be used for setting the parameters.
  2. Open the RAW file in your RAW conversion software Using the white balance (eyedropper) tool, click in brighter gray area of the cube. Then adjust the exposure slider until the brighter white area is very bright, but still has texture. Set the black slider to show a clear distinction between the black in the black trap (without any texture), and that of the surrounding black face (with clearly visible texture). Now save these adjustments in "Presets".
  3. Other shots taken under the same lighting conditions, can now be opened with these presets.
A detailed video tutorial shows you in just a few minutes how to use the SpyderCube. If you are looking for further information about color, please check out our learning section.

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