Color Management The Art of Controlling Print Colors

Often as not, when people are disappointed in their digital photo prints, the problem is that the colors they got weren't the colors they were expecting. Everything looked great on their computer monitor, but when the photo came out of the printer, they were dull or had a color shift or just didn't look right.

The two technologies (the monitor and the printer) simply don't understand color in the same way. As we explained in Chapter 8, scientists, artists, and philosophers have struggled for many years to come up with a universal description of colors. There is, unfortunately, no such critter. One of the reasons is that different technologies create color in different ways. For example, the color on computer screens is transmissive. In other words, the light source is projected to create the colors on your monitor. Printers use reflective color, in which light from another source (the sky, overhead fixtures, desk lamp, and so on) falls onto the paper and reflects it back to your eyes.

To help understand and use these very different technologies, scientists have created color models, which use primary colors (and other aspects of light) as building blocks to define every color that can be reproduced or created by the specific technology.

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