A welcome tool for improving Windows color management!

It's been a very long time since I blogged about digital photography and yet I noticed that my recent debugger blogs have been appearing on the Digital Photography Community. So, rather than fight the fight I would need to do to get filtering of my debugger specific blogs from there, I thought it might be easier to actually blog about digital photography.

Truthfully, due to some interesting personal issues I haven’t been able to focus on my hobby/passion for well over a year. So please don’t consider me an expert on anything at this point. I certainly have more questions these days than answers.

On to the topic at hand though... Something in the Windows digital imaging arena recently struck me as intriguing. A new, free control panel applet was recently released that claims to simplify some of the headaches of configuring color on Windows systems. You can find it here, if you haven't already.

As I read what it is intended to do, I thought to myself “Hallelujah! I wish this existed years ago!” So I installed it and gave it a whirl.

Well, after playing with it I can't say it answered all my questions or appears to make color management a breeze, but I STILL wish it existed years ago just for the simple feature of being able to associate humanly readable names with some of the worst named files I’ve ever come across. Example? The standard color profile for my Epson 2200 is called “ee231__1.icm”. Go figure.

The 3D Gamut sub-display is also pretty nifty. At first, I didn’t have a clue as to why there was the ability to view the gamut as a wireframe or mesh, or to change the opacity. However, checking the “Compare To:” checkbox and choosing another gamut, it becomes clear what these adjustments can be used for when comparing two gamuts:


Note that you can see my Epson’s Premium Glossy gamut (pictured as a gray blob) has the ability to display hues of greenish blue that aren’t part of the Adobe RGB gamut (assuming I’m understanding this view correctly).

In any event, if you've been struggling with getting your prints to accurately match what you're seeing on your display, this tool is a necessity for clarifying some of the mysteries surrounding color matching and management on Windows systems. Other things you can do to make sense of it all? Maybe I'm preaching to the choir, but you could probably fill a small book about the intricacies color profiling, matching and management, let alone the science behind it all. Maybe somebody out there has a pointer to some good sites. Here's one I made use of a long time ago -- looks like it's even better now!