Review - “Not about the Art, but the Colour” with Rex Waygood, 26 Apr 2021

A review by Janine Scola - “Not about the Art, but the Colour” with Rex Waygood, 26 Apr 2021
This was an evening where a large piece of chocolate – and a biscuit – were required to keep the concentration levels ‘on track’!

The first part of the evening covered ‘Colour Management’ and how the human eye can easily be fooled with colour, and although a comparative sensor, it is not an absolute sensor, which was ably demonstrated to good effect by Rex’s slides. Thus to achieve good colour management the first step (if you have not already done this!) is to ensure your monitor is calibrated. From here Rex then progressed to ‘what is Colour Space’ and the mathematical method, describing the various colour spaces adopted using the commonly known profiles – sRGB / Adobe RGB – Gamut is used to describe the sub-set of colours that can be accurately represented within a working space, again usefully demonstrated with slides.

Rex talked through his workflow in Photoshop and his best practice. Similarly, for those who choose to use a print bureau – he advised that they are likely to use sRGB and thus it was important to get our colour management correct, because if it is wrong, then the colours of our print will come out wrong. In essence he considered that our working space should be larger than our destination gamut to fully exploit the capability of our own printer. Rex then went on to discuss the attributes of printers and the specialist papers commonly used and how the manufacturer will supply a generic file for the use of that paper in our printer. To help get a print from our printer that matches our expectations, Rex gave a tip that there is a facility in PS and LR that permits a preview – called soft-proofing, where the image on the monitor will more closely match what you will see when the image is printed.

After a short break – and more chocolate and another biscuit - Rex took us on an ‘Exploration of Colour’. This covered his experimentation with 40 of his own images and the science behind the various colours which he named ‘Rex’s Gamut”. Various polygon slides demonstrated the ranges of colour compared to sRGB / Adobe RGB. Prior to the evening several members sent Rex an image which he analysed in terms of the colour management used and the paper selected. Interestingly, in some cases, this highlighted what colours were not being used to their full potential and thus out of gamut.

The evening provided a ‘trip into the unknown of unknowns’ but a provided an informative and educational insight into the world of colour printing, art and physics classes to the fore – there was much to take in and learn – no doubt areas of our printing workflow will now be getting a closer look!

~ Janine Scola