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Book Review: Practical Color Management by Eddie Tapp and Rick Lucas

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How do you make sure that the color you're seeing on your screen is what the rest of the world will see when you distribute your finished work? That is the question that Eddie Tapp attempts to answer in his latest book Practical Color Management.

Over the past decade, color management has gone through massive changes with the use of ICCs and the incorporation of color spaces within digital cameras. By taking advantage of technological breakthroughs you can now easily create a color-managed workflow.

Practical Color Management is divided into five chapters and one appendix. Chapter one, "The Search for Consistent Color," covers where the concept of color management came from and why it has evolved into what it is today. He explains ICC color management and the use of profiles.

Chapter two, "Understanding Key Color Management Concepts," explains the difference between calibration and profiling. Tapp describes the difference between gamma and color space as well as identifying and understanding key terms in the color management arena.

Chapter three, "Establishing a Color Management-Friendly Workflow," guides you through developing a efficient workflow. According to Tapp, color management does not just happen; you must control the input stage, processing stage and the output stage. He also describes file archiving.

Chapter four, "Three Stages of Color Management," describes breaking the basic color management into their three stages: establishing your color workspace, calibrating and profiling your devices, and converting to your output profile.

Chapter five, "Technically Speaking," brings in color expert Rick Lucas to explain in-depth color management concepts.

While the book's topic can be a very confusing one, Practical Color Management is only 150 pages and easy to read, written in a very understandable style. Tapp has an easygoing approach that makes you feel like the undertaking will be easy.

At first look, it almost seems that the approach will be too basic, but it builds quickly and will be of benefit to newcomer and professional alike as they try to make sense of world of digital color management.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.