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Author Topic: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?  (Read 886 times)

Hening Bettermann

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Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« on: August 20, 2017, 03:37:45 PM »

Short version:
How light should the room light be for TONAL editing?

Background:
There has been some discussion on this forum concerning the influence of surround light for editing, but it was about COLOR editing, not tonality. For color editing, it is obvious that total dark surround is ideal. Wrt tonal editing, my own experience is that the surround light in the room has the same influence as the surrounding frame or matte on an image: a black surround makes the image look more contrasty. So no surprise, when I edited an image in a dark room, and saw it in daylight (on the screen) next day, it looked dull.

As a consequence, I have tried to establish a standard room light for tonal editing, using 6x60W D50 bulbs of these:

https://store.yujiintl.com/collections/bc-series/products/bc-series-a60-high-cri-remote-phosphor-led-bulb-unit-2-pcs

by which I hope to have achieved something that is as close I can currently come to anticipated gallery light. The white walls around me have exposure values between 7 and 8, measured by the white card of the ColorChecker Passport and my spot meter (which is about 35 years old and not re-calibrated); so if they were middle gray, that would mean EV 5-6.   

Now I have treated my second image in this environment. When I see it in the near-dark room, it looks not over-contrasty, but too light. It does not convey the mood of the late afternoon in which it was shot, and which I also felt was coming across nicely - viewed in the D50 light.

So now - what will this and planned-for 19 other images look like when they come back from the print service?? What am I to do?

Thank you for your help!

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 09:17:44 PM »

The immediate surround darkness as in the surround around the frame of the actual photo which can be adjusted in Lightroom but not ACR when editing Raw has far more influence on MY EDITS than how dark my overall room surround is.

Print viewing light as it has been said many times should have the white of the paper viewed under the lights the same brightness as the white of a 255RGB display white.
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Garnick

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 08:51:21 AM »

Short version:
How light should the room light be for TONAL editing?

Background:
There has been some discussion on this forum concerning the influence of surround light for editing, but it was about COLOR editing, not tonality. For color editing, it is obvious that total dark surround is ideal. Wrt tonal editing, my own experience is that the surround light in the room has the same influence as the surrounding frame or matte on an image: a black surround makes the image look more contrasty. So no surprise, when I edited an image in a dark room, and saw it in daylight (on the screen) next day, it looked dull.

As a consequence, I have tried to establish a standard room light for tonal editing, using 6x60W D50 bulbs of these:

https://store.yujiintl.com/collections/bc-series/products/bc-series-a60-high-cri-remote-phosphor-led-bulb-unit-2-pcs

by which I hope to have achieved something that is as close I can currently come to anticipated gallery light. The white walls around me have exposure values between 7 and 8, measured by the white card of the ColorChecker Passport and my spot meter (which is about 35 years old and not re-calibrated); so if they were middle gray, that would mean EV 5-6.   

Now I have treated my second image in this environment. When I see it in the near-dark room, it looks not over-contrasty, but too light. It does not convey the mood of the late afternoon in which it was shot, and which I also felt was coming across nicely - viewed in the D50 light.

So now - what will this and planned-for 19 other images look like when they come back from the print service?? What am I to do?

Thank you for your help!

Hi Henning,

Once again the issue of lighting rears its ugly head.  You have asked some very important and necessary questions, most of which can only be answered by you and your printing service.  Here's what I mean by that.  If you want to display your images as prints, the ONLY thing that matters in that equation is indeed, the PRINT.  Printing photographic images is my business, some of my own work, but the majority for my customers.  I've been doing this since the late 60s, and then setting up my own business in the mid 70s.  During those years have printed on almost all of the substrates available within that period of time.  It's a long and probably very boring story, so I will skip to the main point at hand.  For most of those years I've been using the standard 5000K lighting to view/evaluate the prints I make.  I am now using dimmable 4000K LED Bars from a company in Toronto - http://lumicrest.com/, and I'm very satisfied with the results.  It's a very clean light with high CRI values, as is necessary for this work, especially colour.  The intenisty(brightness) setting I'm using is 550 LUX, which is slightly higher than I have been using for that past 10 years, and it is serving me well.  Now to get back to my first few sentences.  The only way to insure that your prints are expressing the mood and quality you want is to make a direct comparison between the print and the display.  Of course you are somewhat at the mercy of your print service, in that you have to believe that their quality control is at top performance.  In other words, Consistant.  Then you can determine the difference between what you see on your calibrated display and the actual print itself.  A good term for that would be "hard proofing", as opposed to "soft proofing".  Once you have determined that "difference" you can build it into your images once you have processed them to your liking.  For that you could of course create an action in PS(assuming you are using PS), or perhaps a preset in LR.  The final "printing correction" is simply a "layer" of information that sits on top of all of the adjustments you have already made, and can be removed after the print has been made.  Or of course you could leave that "final adjustment" with the file and an accompanying note.  If your printing service does indeed practice good QC/colour management, you should be able to reproduce what you are seeing on your display to a great extent, by following this path.  It does work.  Hope this helps in some manner.

Gary   
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 09:39:39 AM by Garnick »
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digitaldog

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 09:57:52 AM »

The darker, the better! Can't be too dark. Any ambient light that strikes the display affects your perception of black and black perception is pretty critical both in the contrast ratio of the display and the surround.


Of course, you will calibrate for that non changing ambient light for whatever goal you have for said calibration.



http://digitaldog.net/files/BlackisBack.pdf


http://www.lumita.com/site_media/work/whitepapers/files/calibrating_digital_darkroom.pdf


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Andrew Rodney
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Hening Bettermann

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 04:18:13 PM »

Hi Tim,
thank you for your reply.

> Print viewing light as it has been said many times should have the white of the paper viewed under the lights the same brightness as the white of a 255RGB display white.

That formula is new to me - obviously, I have not read enough - or don't remember enough - I'm afraid the latter in particular ... :-(

That would be EV 9 1/3 in my case, 1576 Lux. That seems to refer to critical print viewing in a booth and is far beyond what can be exspected in a normal home, including my own, or in a gallery. For the latter, Ernst Dinkla has mentioned figures down to about 300 lux (quoted by memory), EV 7.  But my question is not print viewing, it's the surround light for monitor viewing. As said, in my experience, it makes a huge difference.


Hi Garnick,
thank you for your extensive answer.
Hm, I had hoped to replace 'hard proofing' by soft proofing. My print service is very good I think (I have recently experienced another one for a few small images, and some difference!).
Maybe instead of sending 20 files at a time, I will send them more drop wise?

Hi Andrew,
first off: Great to see you back on this forum - good that you changed your mind!

Unfortunately I can't reproduce the monitor black test you describe on my system, using PhotoLine instead of Photoshop - I can't get rid of the image border even in full screen mode.

Karl Lang's whitepaper gave me something to think of. Strange that I have never read it before (or don't I just remember ??). In particular new to me is that the monitor dynamic range has to match the DR of the paper. I can't do that on my Eizo. Do I need an Artisan?
I can't find any for sale. Is it discontinued? If so, is there a successor?

I don't quite understand what you mean by "Of course, you will calibrate for that non changing ambient light for whatever goal you have for said calibration." I can calibrate the screen for a black level (the lowest, 0.2 cd/m2) and a white point, but not for brightness of the ambient light.

Even though I can't imagine that the black darkroom will work, since it is in conflict with my experience - since you and Karl Lang say it, I'll try it, cautiously with one or a few images at a time. If they are too dark, I'll blame it on you ;-)

Good light! - Hening






digitaldog

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 05:10:10 PM »

You don't need (or want) an Artisan these days. There are products that can calibrate the display and control contrast ratio:
http://blog.xritephoto.com/2011/07/x-rite-i1display-pro-advanced-features-contrast-ratio-with-coloratti-andrew-rodney/
And something like a NEC SpectraView can as well via control over black within the panel.
Of course you will calibrate the display and do so with the non changing ambient light conditions meaning if you want the calibration for some purpose like matching a print but you want that goal to involve a consistent ambient condition, not one that changes throughout the day.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 05:58:47 PM »

Hi Tim,
thank you for your reply.

> Print viewing light as it has been said many times should have the white of the paper viewed under the lights the same brightness as the white of a 255RGB display white.

But my question is not print viewing, it's the surround light for monitor viewing. As said, in my experience, it makes a huge difference.

Then your eyes work or adapt differently than mine when editing tonality (lights, darks, contrast levels). I've edited over 1000 Raw/Jpeg images that were taken outdoors and indoors under various lighting situations and the most difficult for me was to remember how bright was the original scene I shot in, not the surround of my editing workstation and room. I work on a 27in. LED display in ACR 6.7 with its light gray frame surround.

Nine times out of ten I end up making the image too dark after examining the overall downsized for web version within the white surround of folder view in Mac OS.

I just did this last night with a shot of a deer resting in the shade at midday with bright background foliage. I had to ask myself how dark was the shade and usually I go by highlight detail like say on the deer's horns where the sun spot lit it in a dappled pattern so I darken the overall image to preserve the highlight only to see later that I could've added more fill and/or reduced contrast which would've opened up the shadows. I ended up making it brighter and still preserved highlights.

You're going to have to work this out for yourself. I don't have your problem working in an overall darkish room side lit by two daylight flotubes to my left and behind giving off about 1200 lumens.
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Hening Bettermann

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 01:24:41 PM »

Tim,
> You're going to have to work this out for yourself.
Yes, but it looks like x-rite has given me a great tool that I didn't know of.

Andrew,
so the DR of the screen has to match the DR of the paper. Fine. So I have these 2 parameters settled, if I can determine the DR of the paper. But what about the brightness of the light in which the print will be viewed? Obviously, I can not really predict that. But I could try to meet a "standard" range. This was what I had in mind with my Yuji lamps. And I see that the GUI of the i1Pro has a checkbox that says "Adjust profile based on my ambient light". Now if I maintain a CONSTANT ambient light that tries to emulate "standard" viewing light, and use that checkbox - then I would have it all --?

digitaldog

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 01:32:54 PM »

Tim,
> You're going to have to work this out for yourself.
Yes, but it looks like x-rite has given me a great tool that I didn't know of.

Andrew,
so the DR of the screen has to match the DR of the paper. Fine. So I have these 2 parameters settled, if I can determine the DR of the paper. But what about the brightness of the light in which the print will be viewed? Obviously, I can not really predict that. But I could try to meet a "standard" range. This was what I had in mind with my Yuji lamps. And I see that the GUI of the i1Pro has a checkbox that says "Adjust profile based on my ambient light". Now if I maintain a CONSTANT ambient light that tries to emulate "standard" viewing light, and use that checkbox - then I would have it all --?


Yes, ideally DR of display to paper or whatever settings produce WYSIWYG as close as possible. This like all other settings is trial and error. You do not need to be concerned with ANY lighting other than that next to the display, illuminating the print while viewing the soft proof with the idea of a visual match. This video might help:


Why are my prints too dark?
A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013

In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:


Are your prints really too dark?
Display calibration and WYSIWYG
Proper print viewing conditions
Trouble shooting to get a match
Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem


High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_my_prints_too_dark.mp4
Low resolution: https://youtu.be/iS6sjZmxjY4
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 02:40:03 PM »

Yes, but it looks like x-rite has given me a great tool that I didn't know of.

How come I don't need it?

And as I've said above about editing tonality which is what you made this thread about (not prints), a machine's measuring by the numbers of any reflected or transmissive device or light source expects a fixed condition, something the adaptive nature of human vision doesn't adhere to so now what do you do.

The time you've taken asking about this you could've knocked out several edits on a collection of images unless you have vision problems we and/or you don't know about.
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Hening Bettermann

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »

Thanks for that video, Andrew. It is not the first time I see it.
Tim,
regardless the adaptive nature of human vision, it sounds like a good idea to me to match the contrast of the screen to the contrast of the paper. No I have no vision problem relevant to the topic. And I could not have knocked out any edits, since I don't print myself.

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 03:27:08 PM »

Thanks for that video, Andrew. It is not the first time I see it.
Tim,
regardless the adaptive nature of human vision, it sounds like a good idea to me to match the contrast of the screen to the contrast of the paper. No I have no vision problem relevant to the topic. And I could not have knocked out any edits, since I don't print myself.

Since you don't print why be concerned about reducing the contrast and DR of your display to match that of the paper?

How come I don't find this useful? Why do I get screen to print matches even when I print from a Walmart Fuji Frontier drylab?

How is what you are doing practical? It looks like too many extra steps and hassle to make it worth my time.
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Hening Bettermann

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 03:42:39 PM »

> Since you don't print why be concerned about reducing the contrast and DR of your display to match that of the paper?

Well I meant I don't print MYSELF, I use a print service.

Garnick

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 05:46:55 PM »

> Since you don't print why be concerned about reducing the contrast and DR of your display to match that of the paper?

Well I meant I don't print MYSELF, I use a print service.

Hello again Hening,

Tim and I had a rather interesting discussion concerning print evaluation light sources and lighting intensity some time ago.  In the end we agreed to disagree on some level.  However, there's one thing you have to keep in mind about Tim.  He owns a massive number of shares in Walmart   :)  ;)   OK Tim, have at me.  I probably deserve it  :(

Gary 
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Even though a big part of my life has been spent dealing with negatives, they generally end up being positives -- gan

digitaldog

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Re: Room light for TONAL editing - how light?
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 06:15:06 PM »

Hello again Hening,
Tim and I had a rather interesting discussion concerning print evaluation light sources and lighting intensity some time ago.  In the end we agreed to disagree on some level.
A time saving tactic  ;D
Quote
He owns a massive number of shares in Walmart
Sam's son, no?  ;)
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Andrew Rodney
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