Was a bit late getting into town Wednesday, prob’ly cos I’m a bone-idle sod that can’t get his act together. Consequently not much time to have a mooch around taking piccies.
But no big deal… for I had a cunning plan.
Y’see, there’a a particular “effect” I’ve decided I wanna try achieving with certain types of pic; an effect moreover that I suspect can be fairly readily achieved in post-pro, once one knows what parameters to tweak. And there’s the rub, cos I ain’t got a clue. Nothing new there then.
So I needed some test pics. Nothing special. Just something I could mess around with. And of the right sort of scene. Sure, I could simply just have had a rummage around in the jolly old archives… but that’s too straightforward and uncomplicated for me. Plus, I’ve already seen all those pics (at one time or another… musta done cos they’re archived) and I’m bored by them now.
However, given my vast experience in attempting to shoot at least one decent pic inside my old haunt The Bear I knew that the interior thereof would readily lend itself to some shots for messing around with. The sort of shots I have in mind for this treatment.
And of course, where do I always end up when in town? Yep. The Bear.
Hence the lack of concern at not having used the early part of the day in any productive sense.
Unfortunately part of my cunning plan included a huge imponderable… the need to have The Bear somewhat devoid of bodies. Not mine of course. That’d be silly. Cos how could I take the pics if I weren’t there? (And no, that isn’t an invitation for some smartarse to explain how I’d do that!)
As luck would have it though (and, it has to be said, not altogether unusually) there were brief interludes when the pub was empty. Apart from me of course. And mate. Though he don’t count, cos he’s sort of… well, he just doesn’t, that’s all.
So, a handful (er… rather more than a handful actually) of shots later sees mission accomplished and me in a position to fully relax with nowt other tasks beckoning. Apart from messing around with the pics when I get back home, but that’s for later.
Incidentally, and this is the “later bit”, all the pics accompanying this post are the fruits of my endeavour. And a right sorry bunch they are too. Haven’t really come anywhere even close to the effect I was after. But its a start. And at least now I know some of the tweaks that don’t work. So one step forward. Watch me now spending the next six months or so mulling about it!
Right. With all that out the way you’ll no doubt be disheartened to learn that’s not what this post’s intended to be about at all!
What I really wanted to do was return to that thorny issue of colour management for prints.
Yep. Still not fully sorted yet but at long last there’s a glimmer of light on the horizon. Hoo-bloody-ray do I hear you say?
So there I was then, ensconced in The Bear when who should walk in but another photo nutter. Seems the pub’s gradually becoming a sort of haven for a whole bunch of us pic-taking types. Can’t be bad.
Pleasantries exchanged (well, what passes for pleasantries amongst our little circle… anyone else could be forgiven for interpreting them as insults) we settle into whatever it is we wanna be doing.
In my case resume my slobbing at the bar with a mug of coffee, and in his case settle down at one of the tables and start messing around with something that looks suspiciously like a laptop to me.
Oh, I nearly forgot, there’s other mate too (wish I could bloody forget), but he’s loitering behind the bar pretending to be busy working. Yeah. Right.
All’s peace and quiet (just how we like it) when suddenly laptop mate pipes up “Anyone got a USB stick?” (or words to that effect).
Ever-helpful me instantly responds “Hang on a mo’, I may have” and starts rummaging in the backpack. Cos I usually do. Rummage in the backpack. And have a USB stick or three with me.
But whaddya know? Useless bloody me appears to be totally stickless. Absolutely sodding typical.
However, all is not lost.
“What about,” sez I, “an SD card and a card reader?” See… I’m not always as brainless as I appear.
Uglymug behind bar reckons he has one and sure enough, moments later, proudly brandishes his offering. Except it turns out to be some stupidly useless ancient thing with a capacity measured in Mb wouldya believe? Well, that’s just a whole bunch of crap. Not surprising really, coming from him.
Whereupon a discussion ensues regarding what capacity card’s gonna be needed. Turns out laptop mate wants to transfer some pics to it so he can whip along to a Kodak shop in the town centre and have some prints done.
Suddenly my innate helpfulness receives a huge boost of vested interest and has me rummaging once more in the old backpack.
To produce with a flourish my… memory card wallet! Tra-la!
“So what size do we want then? One gig? Two gig? Four gig? Eight gig?” Don’t you just hate bloody show-offs?
And of course I’m able to furnish a card reader as well.
Fast-forward now to laptop mate returning from Kodak shop, prints grasped firmly under arm.
Naturally we wanna have a looksee. Me especially. Then (as if you couldn’t guess) I sez “Ok, can we compare them to how they look on the laptop then?”
And whaddya know? They’re exhibiting exactly the same sort and degree of colour shift that t’other mate and I have already seen in our prints.
Bizarrely though, laptop mate hadn’t noticed it! And apparently he’s quite accustomed to having prints of his pics done. And generally quite satisfied with the results.
Mind you, once I point out to him areas of the pics where the shift’s most noticeable he can see what I’m chuntering on about. And, having spotted the differences, in some cases actually prefers the print version to the onscreen version!
Well, there’s a turn-up for the book!
Now what all this has done is sort of resolve two issues for me.
One… that the colour shift mate and I have noticed is not, apparently, at all unusual. Nor is it confined just to our pics (thankfully). Which suggests that folk who’re always getting loadsa prints of their pics done are quite accustomed to it. May not, in fact, even “see” it.
Two… that the product of these print-on-demand places, whether online or elsewhere, seems to be quite acceptable to the average user, regardless of what they may have seen onscreen.
And that leaves me with a question: this whole colour management business, is it just one of those geeky things that’s only ever of real concern to the obsessive perfectionist, whilst for the rest of us hoi polloi its all really just a load of old bols?