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Understanding why you can't trust your eyes

From: Color Management Fundamentals

Video: Understanding why you can't trust your eyes

Let's discuss why monitor profiling is so important and why do you need hardware and software to do it? Why can't you just do it by eye? Well, the problem is your eyes are very adaptable. That's good for those of us walking around from light to dark areas and seeing different colors but we can easily be fooled when we're dealing with a monitor. Because your eyes adapt to colors they're influenced by surrounding colors. That's a reason you don't want to have a hot pink desktop on your screen, because your eyes will get something called color fatigue. They'll stop seeing that color.

Understanding why you can't trust your eyes

Let's discuss why monitor profiling is so important and why do you need hardware and software to do it? Why can't you just do it by eye? Well, the problem is your eyes are very adaptable. That's good for those of us walking around from light to dark areas and seeing different colors but we can easily be fooled when we're dealing with a monitor. Because your eyes adapt to colors they're influenced by surrounding colors. That's a reason you don't want to have a hot pink desktop on your screen, because your eyes will get something called color fatigue. They'll stop seeing that color.

They're also influenced by how much sleep you've had, what kind of mood you're in, how much coffee have you had, how many red bulls have you drank? They all affect your color perception and you need hardware and software to get your monitor to show you the best color it can. For example you may have seen this image before, it's kind of a famous image and notice the two squares on the checkerboard labelled A and B. They look quite different, don't they? Would you believe they are exactly the same color and tone? Don't believe it? Let's throw some bars over top.

And how I did this was I just went into Photoshop, used the color picker to sample one of those squares and created rectangles to put over top. So check that out. Your eyes are very adaptable and easily influenced by surrounding tones as we see here. The grey bars are simply made up of that same color. This is one reason why professional graphics displays are moulded in dark grey charcoal color or a black. This minimizes influence from ambient colors and reflections. Just to see this one more time, you can see as you're staring at A and B right now, here, you can see they're the same color.

Just pull away those bars and it immediately goes back. Put the bars in front and you can see they are absolutely the same color. Now this does happens with brighter colors as well. Would you believe squares three and four are exactly the same colors? Let's remove boxes one and two. Still not seen it, alright lets bring box four around and over the top of box three and take a look. Notice again how neighbouring colours affect what we think we see, just another example why we need hardware and software to calibrate your monitor.

One more another favourite of mine, this happens with cooler colors as well. Now the blue bars on the left appear to be much lighter than those on the right. However, I bet you can guess what's coming. Let's pull away the black bars. And once they're gone, you get to see that those blues are exactly the same shade of blue.

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This video is part of

Image for Color Management Fundamentals
Color Management Fundamentals

29 video lessons · 8828 viewers

Joe Brady
Author

 
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  1. 2m 46s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
  2. 15m 33s
    1. Understanding color spaces
      6m 0s
    2. Ensuring that you have the best possible image at capture
      4m 25s
    3. Understanding tools required for color management
      5m 8s
  3. 8m 6s
    1. Exploring what happens without color management
      3m 6s
    2. Understanding the basics of color workflow for photographers
      1m 48s
    3. Understanding the basics of color workflow for design and the web
      3m 12s
  4. 9m 43s
    1. Setting up a digital camera for the best image file
      3m 56s
    2. Exploring the benefits of custom camera profiles
      5m 47s
  5. 16m 7s
    1. Choosing a monitor, the window to the digital world
      2m 28s
    2. Understanding why you can't trust your eyes
      2m 31s
    3. Calibrating a display using ColorMunki Display
      6m 42s
    4. Calibrating a display using i1Pro 2
      4m 26s
  6. 9m 31s
    1. Understanding and choosing color settings in Photoshop
      3m 26s
    2. Understanding color workflow in raw applications, including Lightroom, Aperture, and Capture NX
      2m 50s
    3. Setting color standards for the Adobe Creative Suite
      3m 15s
  7. 54m 15s
    1. Choosing the best printer
      4m 37s
    2. Exploring the benefits of custom printer profiles
      3m 29s
    3. Comparing factory printer profiles to real-world printer profiles
      5m 31s
    4. Creating a printer profile with ColorMunki Photo
      5m 45s
    5. Creating a printer profile with i1Pro
      5m 13s
    6. Understanding color gamut and rendering intents
      3m 20s
    7. Soft proofing images in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    8. Getting prints that match the image in the soft proof
      3m 4s
    9. Soft proofing for lab printing and for the web
      3m 41s
    10. Soft proofing in Lightroom and other raw processing applications
      6m 16s
    11. Choosing the right fine-art paper
      7m 1s
  8. 2m 44s
    1. Next steps
      2m 44s

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