This week we’ve been working with Datacolor to stress the importance of colour management in your photographic workflow and the need to regularly calibrate your monitor.
In the last of our series of articles we spoke to fashion photographer Holly McGlynn who explains how colour management is crucial to her image-making process and how Datacolor’s Spyder X calibrator helps her achieve the bold colours that signify her unique style.
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How important a consideration is colour management in your workflow?
Colour is a hugely important part of my identity and style as a fashion photographer. I need to make sure the effort I put into making my photos pop, through lighting and creative decisions, isn’t wasted and I do this through using various ways to colour manage my workflow.
Do you shoot raw or jpegs, and why?
I shoot raw because it captures the raw data of the photo whereas a jpeg makes decisions, about colour for example, for you. Ultimately, it’s about control over the end product.
Do you set white balance manually, and if so why?
I do because I always shoot with flash and I want to make sure the colour temperature is right. Shooting with flash can make the photo really warm so setting the white balance essentially balances that out. But sometimes, I prefer how my photos look using auto white balance, sometimes I prefer the photos to look a little warm. It depends on what my vision is for the shoot.
What are your favourite lighting setups for capturing bold colours?
I’m pretty partial to a coloured gel. I really like using 3 different lights. Firstly a key light then 2 other lights with different coloured gels. I’ll point 1 against the background and another on the model and play around until I like how it looks. It’s an art, not a science, which is something I have to keep reminding myself when I’m under time pressure!
Can you take us through your editing workflow and how you bring out the colours in your images?
I hit the saturation and contrast adjustment layers hard!
How important is monitor calibration and how often do you do it?
It’s crucial. I need to know that the time and effort I put into colour grading my images isn’t futile. Calibrating your monitor means the colour you see on your screen is the colour you’ll see in your final output, such as a magazine.
I use the SpyderX by Datacolor which calibrates my monitor so quickly. Once the software is installed, it reminds me regularly to recalibrate. Monitor screens deteriorate over time so regular calibration takes this into consideration.
If you print in the studio how do you calibrate you printer?
I don’t, I outsource my printing to a company called M Print. Before I started using a monitor calibration device they used to get pretty exasperated with me!
You can see more of Holly’s work on her website at www.hollymcglynn.com or on Facebook and Instagram as @hollymcglynnphotographer and Twitter at @hollymcglynn.
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