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Oculus

testing, testing, one two three

The last few weeks I’ve been making final adjustments to the images. Tweaking color balance, shadows, highlights, etc. on the way towards having the project turned in and getting pre-press proofs before the final printing. I’m also taking this opportunity in the process to make a new dummy—the ‘final’ one (aren’t they all final? …you think you’ve ‘got it’ and have gone over it a million times, but there is always some glitchy thing that doesn’t work in terms of the assembly or something that gnaws design-wise…). Well, I swear, this is it. This is the one.

And proofing the color is tricky. The computer screen uses transmissive light, but the print-out is seen via reflective light and so the two read quite differently, so there is the matter of getting the output to match what you have on the screen. And I’m not taking calibration here. Every medium “sees” things in it’s own way, and is attuned to certain kinds of color balances and color palette. Yeah, I know, with computers and profiles you can mitigate such things and pick and choose your “look.” And you can get close, but you are still going from transmissive to reflective. But be careful, each paper has its own unique ‘look’ as well. Not to mention working with the profiles that get implemented in a specific (and not always intuitive way) to correlate screen to print. And I haven’t even mentioned the elephant in the room, the real deal CMYK, the actual press printing. Maybe because I’m not there yet. But its another beast altogether that has its own set of tweaks and balances. Everything is flexible. You want that flexibility though–it can aid you creatively. It just has to be repeatable across mediums and technologies.

In InDesign (I finally figured this out) you have to be careful not to double the profile up (there’s two spots where the profile can get assigned. In Photoshop it is a bit more straight forward).

Ideally I’d print on something double-sided for a dummy, but the papers that give that option can be rather thick or just doesn’t render the way I want. But the technology is getting there and my options are a whole lot better than a few short years ago… Printing is pretty nice on this Epson 7900. Certainly beats my old 4800, which always had paper loading issues (and more).

I think it’s looking good. Damn good.

here it comes

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About kenschles

Ken Schles is the author of Invisible City (1988; reprint 2015 and 2016), The Geometry of Innocence (2001), A New History of Photography: The World Outside and the Pictures In Our Heads (2007), Oculus (2011) and Night Walk (2015 and 2016). His work has been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Prize, exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art, noted by the New York Times Book Review, cited in histories of the medium (Parr/Badger, Auer & Auer, 10x10 American Photobooks) and issued by some of the foremost publishers of our time (Steidl, Hatje Cantz, Twelvetrees Press). They're considered “intellectual milestones in photography” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “hellishly brilliant” (The New Yorker). Ken Schles’ work is included in private and public collections such as The Museum of Modern Art, The Rijksmuseum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museo d"Arte Contemporanea (MACRO) Testaccio Museum, and more than 100 other museum and library collections world-wide. 
 Ken Schles is a NYFA Fellow. http://www.kenschles.com

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