one day at a time

darkness

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

As I posted yesterday, I have started a bit of a special 365 project now that will have me looking not only at photography every day, but also practice my drawing and painting skills. So, what does this look like? Well, it is not so much different from what I had done before. On the photography side of things I was editing some pictures, calibrating my screen, and learning more about colour management. In between I was also reading a book about black and white photography and my friend Damien came over for tea, which means that we ended up looking at my test prints.

After I calibrated my screen I was rather surprised to find posterisation in all my jpegs. I was slightly confused about this, especially since it also happened on 500px, which is not really the place where people have colour management and compression issues. Finally I realised that the MacBook Pro screen isn’t exactly the best screen for photo editing. I found a review of the MacBook Pro screen which basically said that this posterisation effect is rather normal, because the screen doesn’t quite like to be calibrated. It’s not meant for this kind of work, which is understandable because there are dedicated wide gamut displays for photographers. Hardly anyone who is serious about editing pictures would just use the internal MacBook Pro screen. For me this was slightly frustrating, because these dedicated screens are obviously way out of my price range, but luckily there was a good tip in the review as well: To calibrate the screen properly without the posterisation you have to run it at a lower brightness value. I now have it at 3 bars below the brightest with calibration and the posterisation is not noticeable anymore, while the colours and and details in darker areas seem way better than before calibration.

My friend Damien and me also figured out why my test prints at the cheap lab were so horrific: they seem to run automated optimisation algorithms over all the pictures. This might be fine for the pictures of people who upload them straight from the camera, but I actually do my own postprocessing. I’m now really hoping that the other cheap lab that does colour management comes through for me with some better printing quality. They at least already had an option to print the pictures without any image optimisation, so that’s a start.

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

The pictures I edited yesterday were definitely very dark. On that day I made the mistake of going out in the dark and not taking my fastest lens, so I had to push the pictures a bit in postprocessing. Well, it’s always a learning experience, isn’t it? Next time I know that the 35mm f/2.0 is kinda too slow for the low light situations around here.

So, as you can see, yesterday was full with all things relevant to photography, although I didn’t actually touch my camera. Practicing my postprocessing skills on pictures that are less than ideal has a tremendous learning curve as well, so I think yesterday was a very good day where it comes to learning.

Where does the drawing come in then? Well, last night I sat down and started drawing again while listening to some music. It was rather relaxing. I will post the results later today on my drawing blog.

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