Saturday, August 12, 2006


What now?

I'll spend hours doing things that a lot of people would find asphyxiatingly boring. But the concept of going to the beach, even though lots of people do it, strikes me as deadly dull. To each his own.

Yesterday I took delivery of my new photo blind! (It says "hunting blind" on the box, but I haven't fired a gun in 30 years.) I set up the blind in the back yard and spent this morning sitting in it waiting for the birds to happen by. I know most people would find that boring if not borderline weird. (Or maybe not borderline.)

The payoff is I have the best goldfinch photos I've ever gotten, plus shots of a downey woodpecker, house finch, chipmunk, blue jay, and chickadee. These images have been added to the Backyard Habitat gallery. I didn't get any turkey images this morning. I saw three of them skulking 20 yards away in the woods, but the big haystack-looking object must have made them wary of coming into the garden. No big deal. I was really gunning for goldfinches and blue jays today; turkeys are big enough to shoot from the house.

Click for larger image
Goldfinch, click for larger image.

Warning: Technobabble ahead. I've been using Photoshop for a couple of years and have always used Adobe RGB as my working color space. I noticed that my photos were a bit dull on most monitors because they are not capable of displaying the full color gamut of Adobe RGB. I've seen recommendations to switch to ProPhoto RGB because it has an even wider color gamut than Adobe RGB. But when the images were displayed on screen outside of Photoshop, my image colors were even more flat and awful than they had been while using Adobe RGB. Hmmm. I don't print most of my images, so why process them as if I was?

I have the color management book I bought couple of years ago and I've read parts of it, but it still seems hopelessly confusing. So I just tried different settings to see what worked. I'm getting decent results by using ProPhoto RGB during the RAW conversion process and using a Photoshop working space of sRGB, which the typical monitor can handle easily. As I said, it's confusing, but this shot of Chip shows much better color saturation on screen than when I was using Adobe RGB for both RAW conversion and working space.

Click for larger image
Chipmunk, click for larger image.

So the moral of the story is to use a Photoshop working space of sRGB when preparing images for screen display. Now I have to figure out what to do if I want to print them.


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