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Author Topic: Editing in Too-Dark a Room  (Read 13079 times)

Frans Waterlander

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Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« on: September 01, 2016, 01:35:07 am »

Is that even possible? I think it is and I'll explain why. Pay attention, Andrew.

Our eyes' sensitivity to brightness is far from absolute. Our eyes adapt to huge changes in brightness. We can see the Milky Way at night and sunny ski slopes at noon.

I hope we can all agree that too bright a room is a problem for image editing on a monitor: the image looks too dark and drab and contrast is low; shadows will be washed out by light falling on the monitor, either directly from light sources or indirectly as reflections off of objects, including the clothing of the person behind the monitor.

But how about too-dark a room? Let's look at that a little closer. Assume we have a room with good quality digital darkroom lighting (e.g. a viewing booth or SoLux lighting) and no other direct or indirect light sources (if we turned off the monitor and digital darkroom lighting, we would be in total darkness). We should have a good match between images on the monitor and prints illuminated by our digital darkroom lighting (assuming we did everything right: calibration, color profiles, color and brightness matching between the monitor and the digital darkroom lighting, etc.). The monitor and print colors and brightness should match very closely. So far, so good. But what happens when we switch off the digital darkroom lighting? The brightness level in the room drops dramatically since the only light is now coming from the monitor, our eyes adapt to this lower level and become more sensitive, the image on the monitor appears brighter to our eyes and if we edit the image now, we would turn down the brightness. If we then make a print, it would be too dark. The digital darkroom lighting provides a reference point for our eyes, not only during print viewing, but also during editing, when it prevents our eyes from becoming too sensitive and messing up our editing.

For these reasons I believe that you shouldn't edit in too-dark a room. I suggest you put your print viewing area right next to your monitor, keep the digital darkroom lighting on during editing, use a monitor hood to keep the digital darkroom lighting from falling directly onto the monitor screen, and wear appropriate clothing.

Constructive feedback is always appreciated.
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stamper

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 03:37:38 am »

and wear appropriate clothing.

What is appropriate clothing? :-\

rasworth

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 10:40:07 am »

I can't buy the argument, because my 27" monitor, running at 80+cd/m^2, subtends a large angle of my view, and IMO its illumination will swamp the effect of a dim room vs. a dark room.  i'm not sitting 10' away, there's no small source of light with a large black surround.

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 10:56:03 am »

I can't buy the argument, because my 27" monitor, running at 80+cd/m^2, subtends a large angle of my view, and IMO its illumination will swamp the effect of a dim room vs. a dark room.  i'm not sitting 10' away, there's no small source of light with a large black surround.
Don't buy it, it's more rubbish.
http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=113202.msg930900#msg930900
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 11:00:48 am by digitaldog »
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 10:57:14 am »

and wear appropriate clothing.
What is appropriate clothing? :-\


Tin foil hat?  ;D
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N80

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 11:15:20 am »

Not going to weigh in on stuff I don't understand but I can say, as a physician and an person who is getting older (53), I can say for certain that our ability to adapt to brightness levels decreases with age. Pupil reaction times are slower. Glare is also an issue as we age as corneal transparency decreases with age also. All this is to say that the editing environment will need to be tailored to the individual.

As for proper clothing...........who needs clothing at all for this task?
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George

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rasworth

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 11:38:55 am »


Quote
As for proper clothing...........who needs clothing at all for this task?
Depends upon your ethnicity :D :D

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 11:41:21 am »

Depends upon your ethnicity :D :D
And unfortunately how you bias your ideas based on ethnicity....
https://www.amazon.com/Obama-Doctrine-Socialism-Corruption-Economic/dp/1463641133/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472738979&sr=8-1&keywords=Frans+Waterlander
Not a plug by any stretch of the imagination, just a data point on the abilities of some to form ideas!
Political science fiction and color science shouldn’t be confused.....


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.
-Thomas Jefferson
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 12:01:37 pm by digitaldog »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 12:37:12 pm »

What is appropriate clothing? :-\

Dark/black.

petermfiore

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 01:15:02 pm »

Dark/black.


Exactly...Black reflects nothing in the monitor. For the same reason artists working out doors should wear neutral colors. Strong colors will affect the the color cast of the painting. Wearing black is best.

Peter

digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 01:46:27 pm »

Exactly...Black reflects nothing in the monitor.
Exactly, And the lower the ambient light, the less likely anything reflects into the monitor. A concept Frans seems to miss.


I wonder what this old, in the bag black Radius PressView smock is worth:
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 01:50:32 pm by digitaldog »
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BradFunkhouser

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 02:00:48 pm »

To make sure I'm thinking about this in the right framework...

We have machine measurable accuracy for color using spectral power distributions, that's physics, but it gets fuzzy when we introduce the spectral response curves of the "standard human observer" ...  2 degree, 10 degree, emissive, reflective, adaptations, etc.  Plus, every person sees things a little differently.   Then we have scotopic vs. mesopic vs. photopic vision that definitely changes our perception.  For most images, there is an end user who's going to view the image in some environment that's probably different than where it's edited/print matched.  Sometimes we actually know what that environment is going to be.  Sometimes we don't.  Scientists have created various color appearance models in an effort to mathematically define our perceptual adaptations to different conditions. 

And what we're trying to determine is whether the ambient light level in an editing/print matching environment can be TOO dark.  Do we cross over into a different perceptual state when the entire room is dark except the monitor?  Is it better to have some other light source in the room for adaptation purposes?  I don't know, but it's interesting.

What does the latest color appearance research say about this?   Who's doing the latest research?

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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 02:06:54 pm »

And what we're trying to determine is whether the ambient light level in an editing/print matching environment can be TOO dark.  Do we cross over into a different perceptual state when the entire room is dark except the monitor?  Is it better to have some other light source in the room for adaptation purposes?  I don't know, but it's interesting.
From that other topic post that started Frans here:


From way back in 2007, on the ColorSync list by Karl Koch of BasICColor. This may help the OP and persuade other's to ignore Frans who's got a history here and elsewhere of providing odd ideas about displays and color:




Hi Roger,

its actually 2 relevant standards that need to be taken into consideration: ISO 3664 and ISO 12642.
If you interpret both, you end up with the following suggestions:
Ambient light below 64 lux, best below 32 lux (Bold and underlined for dear Frans)
Monitor luminance ABSOLUTELY above 80 cd/sqm, better above 120 cd/sqm
Viewing light 500 lux ± 125 lux

If you now want your monitor to match the viewing booth, it should be set to 160 ± 40 cd/sqm (= 120 to 200 cd/sqm). basICColor display takes this into account when calibrating the monitor and JUST color communicator2 (basICColor diLIGHT). The brightness of the viewing booth is being adpted to the calibrated luminance of the monitor. A traffic light will show if you meet or exceed any of the 2 standards, also for any other viewing booth that cannot be automatically calibrated but which can be manually dimmed.

The conclusion is that there is not much variance allowed in the ambient light and thus no necessity to "dynamically" calibrate to varying conditions. To do so would mean shooting at moving targets. All the "solutions" I have seen so far, check ambient light in shorter or longer intervals. If ambient light changes during these intervals, you have a sudden change of monitor characteristics when your correction kicks in. Do I need say more?

Regards,

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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 02:15:35 pm »

Further, the concept of Frans from the other post needs proof of concept of his exact quote:
Quote
Care to explain how, in a room that's too dark, you won't edit your images to be too dark.
He's stating that IF we edit in a dark room, our images will be too dark. The ISO provided some guidelines I've provided via Karl Koch. So maybe he can tell us exactly at what ambient light level, in lux, all of a sudden, we'll ruin our editing process and end up with dark images.
Don't hold your breath.
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BradFunkhouser

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 02:16:53 pm »


its actually 2 relevant standards that need to be taken into consideration: ISO 3664 and ISO 12642.
If you interpret both, you end up with the following suggestions:
Ambient light below 64 lux, best below 32 lux (Bold and underlined for dear Frans)
Monitor luminance ABSOLUTELY above 80 cd/sqm, better above 120 cd/sqm
Viewing light 500 lux ± 125 lux

If you now want your monitor to match the viewing booth, it should be set to 160 ± 40 cd/sqm (= 120 to 200 cd/sqm). basICColor display takes this into account when calibrating the monitor and JUST color communicator2 (basICColor diLIGHT). The brightness of the viewing booth is being adpted to the calibrated luminance of the monitor. A traffic light will show if you meet or exceed any of the 2 standards, also for any other viewing booth that cannot be automatically calibrated but which can be manually dimmed.


Yes.  I'd read that.  To me, it doesn't fully answer the question about perceptual adaptation to just a monitor versus a monitor with additional light source.  I'm not saying you're wrong.  I'd like to see more explanation from research.
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 02:18:08 pm »

Yes.  I'd read that.  To me, it doesn't fully answer the question about perceptual adaptation to just a monitor versus a monitor with additional light source.  I'm not saying you're wrong.  I'd like to see more explanation from research.
The burden is upon Frans to prove that levels below 32 lux produce dark images. Despite the recommendations of a color scientist quoted below.
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N80

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2016, 02:52:49 pm »

In all honesty ALL of this sounds fetishistic. Lots of heavy theory which seems to presuppose that most, or even some, high end prints are going to end up in situations where the lighting is perfectly controlled and each viewer of that print will have the visual acuity and color perception, and, of course, be wearing black cloths. I suspect very few prints, no matter how high end, end up in such an environment....which seems like it makes this sort of argument, well, academic.

Just my thoughts from the outside looking in. Not trolling. But not sensitive to the heat either.
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2016, 02:56:38 pm »

In all honesty ALL of this sounds fetishistic. Lots of heavy theory which seems to presuppose that most, or even some, high end prints are going to end up in situations where the lighting is perfectly controlled and each viewer of that print will have the visual acuity and color perception, and, of course, be wearing black cloths. I suspect very few prints, no matter how high end, end up in such an environment....which seems like it makes this sort of argument, well, academic.
To clarify, this has noting to do with prints per se. Yes, sound (practical) print viewing conditions are necessary. The finest print you've ever seen will look too dark if only illuminated by a 5 watt night light bulb. The same would be true in the most ideal situations but you're wearing very dark sun glasses.
But this 'debate' again is Frans idea that IF the ambient light is too low, your images will end up too dark. Cause and effect, proof of concept; that's what Frans has yet provided.
The topic is about editing our images and the environmental condition when doing so, not what a print may or may not look like after, in some known or unknown viewing condition.
Frans:
Quote
For these reasons I believe that you shouldn't edit in too-dark a room.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 02:59:49 pm by digitaldog »
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digitaldog

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2016, 03:30:29 pm »

It's really quite simple (and no, it has nothing to do with ethnicity or politics): editing room too bright, tendency to crank up the image brightness, print too bright; editing room too dark, tendency to dial down the image brightness, print too dark. Try it yourself and you may learn something beyond the "common wisdom".
I have tried (and have been doing so for years and years) so no, I'm not buying it and so far no one else has. The burden of proof that editing in a dark or totally dark room produces dark images is yours to prove and you haven't. Nor have you defined what level in lux is too low, and at what point, just above that is the minimum value that 'protects' us from this idea of yours that we'll edit our images such they are too dark.
Without data, you're just a person with an opinion.
As I stated, there's a huge difference between political science fiction which may be your forte and color science which clearly isn't.
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N80

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Re: Editing in Too-Dark a Room
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 03:31:03 pm »

It's really quite simple (and no, it has nothing to do with ethnicity or politics): editing room too bright, tendency to crank up the image brightness, print too bright; editing room too dark, tendency to dial down the image brightness, print too dark. Try it yourself and you may learn something beyond the "common wisdom".

I don't think Andrew would disagree with you here. If it is TOO dark, then it is TOO dark. If it is TOO bright, then it is TOO bright.
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George

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