Roy G Biv–quick show of hands if you’re familiar with the term. Even if it doesn’t ring a bell at first glance, once you realize you’re looking at a mnemonic and not some random guy’s name, it starts getting a little more obvious: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Yes, those are the colors of the rainbow, but more importantly they’re also the referred to as the visible electromagnetic spectrum.
Okay, let’s try another one. Show of hands if you know what CIE XYZ means…Okay, that one’s a
little lot more difficult to answer. In a nutshell, it’s a (now) famous color space created by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) way back in 1931.
“The International Commission on Illumination – also known as the CIE from its French title, the Commission Internationale de l´Eclairage – is devoted to worldwide cooperation and the exchange of information on all matters relating to the science and art of light and lighting, colour and vision, photobiology and image technology.”
While the CIE XYZ has become quite revered, understanding how it works and how it affects your photography is also difficult to explain. Fortunately, Forrest Tanaka does a brilliant job of breaking down the most important aspects into an easy-to-understand presentation in, Color Spaces For Your Photographs.
In the video, which you can watch below, Tanaka breaks it down even further as he delivers a walk through of color coordinates using the Color Sync utility, so you get some visual media to help illustrate his words. From there, it only gets more interesting as he shows us the meaning behind rendering intent, and how we can use that to map color coordinates from the source color space (such as a photograph) to the destination color space (such as a specific type of printer or monitor.)
All in all, it’s a pretty sweet tutorial, and (don’t worry) Tanaka does a much better job at explaining it all than I could, so we’ll leave that part to him! Check it out:
[ via Reddit ]
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