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Presenting Your Ink With Realistic Colours. Counter The Differences Between Paper And Monitor



Morbus Curiositas

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Morbus Curiositas

Dear FPN friends,

 

This is more of a technical issue on Ink reviews. It deals with the colour of your ink and the difference between the real written text and the results on your screen in your post.

 

You might have noticed a difference sometimes…. The written text is much more beautiful in your hand than on the screen. I hereby show you an example of what Bookman wrote me and present the solution I found.

 

In a reply to my review of De Atramentis Document Ink Dark blue our Fountain Pen friend Bookman posted the following:

 

Posted 07 May 2014 - 17:37

Thanks for your review. It is curious and frustrating that, looking through all the reviews and all the photos of handwriting with this ink, there is no consistency in the color so that I can definitely say I have a vague idea of what this ink looks like on paper. Your photos make me want to run out and buy this ink right now. My favorite ink color is dark blue shading slightly toward purple, and that is what I'm seeing in your photos on my monitor. Don't tease me, bro. Is that a fair description of the color: dark blue shading toward purple?

 

Edit: In hindsight, I see that I had looked at the photos and reviews for Document Blue and not Dark Blue. I apologize for the error. But my question remains the same.

 

Mr Bookman struck a delicate issue there, as colour trueness can be a major problem in the days of computers and digital photography.

 

I am a hobby photographer and I know a little bit on this subject, I only know a little though, since I am an amateur but may be the pros can help or improve me here. I will try to explain some of the background of the problem with depicting colours of your ink on a monitor.

 

The first bit is a very technical part on the background of photography and the trueness of the colour presented on your screen.

 

As I can imagine it can be very boring. :wacko: If you are not interested, simply ignore this part and jump to the part where I present my solution which is maybe more interesting. To make this easy for you I have made the technical part blue and the solution part black… Simply jump for black :thumbup:

 

Colours and photos, how it works

 

One photo taken, 2 Monitors, and a print... a world of difference…

 

The problem today in the era of digital photography is that every camera and every monitor processes photos in a different way.

 

The same photo can have different looking colours on two monitors. How did that happen?

 

In the early days life for the amateur photographer, say you and me, was simple. You made your photos brought them to photo studio for a print and we were all jolly happy with the result.

In those days the only thing we as amateur photographers could do few more than this-

.

Only a few things influenced the results.

 

· Optics the quality of the lens

· The Film: There were major companies like Agfa, Fuji and Kodak for example. Each company had their own way of making films resulting in a minor difference of colour hue between the companies

· The photo print studio

 

Though there were differences between the films of the above mentioned companies and differences between the print studios, the results were more or less the same. That is if you take the same film, say Kodak, to the same studio the photos were likely to be equal on the different prints.

 

Back to the Future…

 

Most of us (amateurs) use digital cameras now and only some professionals use films in for example technical cameras. This causes a few problems:

 

1. Every camera (brand) uses different photo sensors. These sensors have different way of recording and saving the image and it’s colours

2. Every monitor has a different way of presenting the image and the colours. Even in the same monitor colours can be depicted differently from time to time. They therefore need regular calibration by software or a calibrating machine

3. Photoshop and others. Today even amateurs use these programs and may sometimes heavily influence the result. It is possible to put the face of Paris Hilton on the body of Oprah Winfrey (guess they are both not happy with that) :D

4. Surrounding light

 

In modern photography few things have to be considered if you want a photo to depict the truth, as seen by a human in ‘life circumstances’. The human eye can differ between more contrast and many more colours and details. Humans are wonder machines! :D

 

1. Most cameras mainly use 2 different ways to register a photo. JPEG and RAW format. JPEG has the advantage of smaller files which are easily exchangeable through E-mail. RAW can be compared to film negatives. It records all details of a picture only limited by the sensor and optic limitations. Though they produce larger files, RAW has a major advantage over JPEG! It can be much more processed because of the registration of all details. Like a film it has ‘to be developed’ using RAW conversion software.

2. As I described above, colour depiction differs from monitor to monitor and from time to time within the same monitor. To tackle this and to present the colours, ‘as neutral as possible’, Monitors need to be calibrated frequently. This can be achieved with a machine like the Spyder calibrators I will put in a link in case you’re interested in one) These give the best results, The other option is not as good as the machine but it is free. This software has a disadvantage over the machine; YOU have to manipulate the monitor settings. Good free software is Calibrize. I will put in a link. It is not only good for your Ink reviews but for your normal photos as well. www.calibrize.com

3. Photoshop and others. I already described that the photographer can influence the end result beyond the truth… Oprah Hilton. There are several ways of colour registration and imaging, each with a different colour spectrum. Best known is RGB the system used by your camera, it mixes Red Yellow and Green resulting in a colour spectrum of 256 colours. In Photoshop there is also the CMYK model. It mixes Cyan Magenta Yellow and black. It is mainly used for posting pictures in magazines. So forget about this since it is much nicer to send someone a handwritten letter with your beloved ink. The goal here is to present the colour of the ink as realistic as possible. To achieve this I will explain this later in the solution part.

4. Surrounding light. First you have to differ between artificial and natural light (daylight). A normal neon tube has a totally different colour tone than sunlight for example. Talking about sunlight. The colour temperature (tone) of light, usually expressed using the “Kelvin Colour temperature Scale” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature has a massive influence on the presentation of colours. There is a great difference between the light sources and also a difference in colour temperature during the day if you are using natural light. Photos taken on a sunny day at noon have less colour depth than on a cloudy day (and very high contrast). On the same sunny day the colours appear warmer (more reddish or yellowish) than ones taken in the late afternoon. You have to take this in consideration if you make photographs (of your ink). But this problem can be tackled. I will explain this later.

 

Down here I posted 2 photos to show you the differences as mentioned in the text above

 

fpn_1399627661__full_text_unprocesed_sun

 

 

fpn_1399627706__full_text_procesed_one.j

 

So far the technical and boring part

 

Now for all you Ink lovers

 

I hope that I did not bore your to death with the technical stuff. If you are still among ‘the living’, just read what I do to give you the most beautiful and realistic results in my future ink reviews.

 

What do I do and what can you do to present your ink colours as real as possible.

 

Ask not what the computer can do for you; ask what you can do for your computer

 

· I make both a photo and a scan

· I develop the RAW photo using the Raw Therapee software http://raw-therapee.en.softonic.com/ . I then adjust the White Balance to achieve a neutral colour temperature. I do this by using the Eye Dropper tool to click on a white part of the paper (make sure your paper is white)

· In Photoshop I adjust the brightness and contrast using the levels tool. I slide the sliding buttons for the dark and light areas to the beginning of the pyramid curve.

· I use the same steps for all the ink photos

· You might consider changing the image size

· I save the photo as a JPEG high quality file

· I compare the result with the scan

· I then upload the photo in Photobucket www.photobucket.com and put in a link in my review

· I compare the review with my hand written text

 

By doing so I hope to present the colours of the ink as in the most realistic (colour true) way. Hopefully this results in best way of showing the ink with all its brilliance. :)

 

I used this method for the first time in a reply on my review on De Atramentis Document Ink

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/266158-de-atramentis-document-ink-dark-blue/

 

 

The next review with this method is my review of the lovely Pelikan 4001 Violet ink.

 

This is it dear FPN Friends. I hope it was informative and helpful. Beware I am just an amateur giving its best. All input by professionals or just you ink lovers is welcome. :)

 

I kindly invite you to look the review of Pelikan 4001 Violet. I will post it today and it is the first full review that uses the above described method.

 

By the way I have posted 2 more detail photos to show the difference between processed and un processed photos at the bottom of this review

 

Have a nice day

 

Peter

 

fpn_1399627741__detail_unprocessed_1.jpg

 

Not processed

 

 

fpn_1399627776__detail_processed_1.jpg

 

 

Processed

 

Warmest Regards,

 

Peter :)

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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canibanoglu

This is very nice and informative, thank you very much! I've been working on my ink review format and scanning/photo stuff scared me a bit but this will be incredibly helpful.

 

Thanks a lot again!

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Brilliant tips and links - thank you!

 

I pretty much do the same as you only with different software & hardware.

I run Macs and use i1Profiler software and hardware, here, to calibrate my monitors monthly and I process and correct most of my files using Photoshop.

 

I've not much to add really. You've been very thorough B)

My only tuppence would be to either include a grey card in the shot or shoot one separately at the same time for use as colour correcting - often correcting from a "white" sample can be tricky.

 

When shooting my colour swatches for these forums, I'll use indirect daylight and have the swatch on my desk to look at (again in daylight) whilst I correct the digital file.

I will tweak things manually too, not just a grey correction, to ensure what I see on my screen depicts exactly what I have in front of me.

 

http://www.taskyprianou.com/fpn_akkerman_10_swatch.jpg

 

 

I'm a photographer by trade and don't expect ANYONE to go to the efforts mentioned. I find this a fun place to spend time and would prefer to see any review rather than none just because it's not 100% accurate :)

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Morbus Curiositas

Brilliant tips and links - thank you!

 

I pretty much do the same as you only with different software & hardware.

I run Macs and use i1Profiler software and hardware, here, to calibrate my monitors monthly and I process and correct most of my files using Photoshop.

 

I've not much to add really. You've been very thorough B)

My only tuppence would be to either include a grey card in the shot or shoot one separately at the same time for use as colour correcting - often correcting from a "white" sample can be tricky.

 

When shooting my colour swatches for these forums, I'll use indirect daylight and have the swatch on my desk to look at (again in daylight) whilst I correct the digital file.

I will tweak things manually too, not just a grey correction, to ensure what I see on my screen depicts exactly what I have in front of me.

 

http://www.taskyprianou.com/fpn_akkerman_10_swatch.jpg

 

 

I'm a photographer by trade and don't expect ANYONE to go to the efforts mentioned. I find this a fun place to spend time and would prefer to see any review rather than none just because it's not 100% accurate :)

 

Dear Tas,

 

Thanks a lot for your excellent input :thumbup:

 

Just what fits in perfect tips from a pro!

 

You make me a little proud, by writng I have been very thorough... But....

 

Not perfect considering the grey card issue... It is classic photography stuff I believe. I will buy one soon, come s in handy for my photography hobby (Though my theory an my practice are worlds apart, but hey practice make almost perfect ;)....someday :) )

 

I am willing to go the extra mile on my reviews. So could you maybe give me some tips on using the grey card....

 

Well I agree better less extensive review than no reviews.. :)

 

Thanks again for the input,

 

Kind regards Peter

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Grey card is simple to use.

No need to take exposure readings from it just use it, instead of your writing paper, as a "click" point to correct to neutral in your software.

 

Looking forward to your next review !

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Morbus Curiositas

Grey card is simple to use.

No need to take exposure readings from it just use it, instead of your writing paper, as a "click" point to correct to neutral in your software.

 

Looking forward to your next review !

Thanks al lot that was quick

 

I am taking photographs of Pelikan 4001 Violet now... In indirect daylight of course...

 

It will be online in about an hour, I will give you notice

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Share on other sites

What other inks do you have?

We could do a cross channel comparison showing that our respective techniques will work - or not :(

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Sinistral1

It's hard right now for me because I don't have the equipment or software to do this with my new ink organizing system. I have had one person grab my photos and correct them, so I think I'll add a line in my reviews that people are more than welcome to do that, since I can't.

 

Also, what size should I set my camera to get the best picture with the least amount of data size? 640 x 480? This is my first real venture into web posting of digital photos.

 

Edited to add: Tas - How do you get the cards to lie flat? Nothing I've tried works.

Edited by Sinistral1

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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Morbus Curiositas

It's hard right now for me because I don't have the equipment or software to do this with my new ink organizing system. I have had one person grab my photos and correct them, so I think I'll add a line in my reviews that people are more than welcome to do that, since I can't.

 

Also, what size should I set my camera to get the best picture with the least amount of data size? 640 x 480? This is my first real venture into web posting of digital photos.

 

Edited to add: Tas - How do you get the cards to lie flat? Nothing I've tried works.

 

 

Hello Sinistral,

 

I am glad to help you out on your photos though I am an amateur of course. It Doesn't mather what image size you choose on your camera. You can simply change the image size and the quality in most foto editing programs. Again I can help you here.

 

Anyway I believe the Image size should not be the largest in your camera. I use the largest myself because I know how to change the size in my computer.

 

The quality will still be good. It is only for the Monitor and not for printing (a bill board)...

 

I hope I am right here but maybe Tas can correct me if I am Wrong.

 

On the flat laying paper issue.... I ususally drug my papers with narcotics :headsmack:

 

Regards

 

Peter

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Share on other sites
Sinistral1

Peter:

 

I appreciate your offer of help. Thank you. Unfortunately, unless you can grab my review photos and correct them, it still remains that I have no access to any photo editing software. I use my computer at work, and where I work the only photo editing software is Paint 2 - so, it's like using a chisel and a piece of granite to manipulate an image! I'm barely able to justify moving the photos off my camera and uploading them onto this site, due to the nature of where I work, security, the crime syndicate we here refer to as "IT", etc., etc.

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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Morbus Curiositas

What other inks do you have?

We could do a cross channel comparison showing that our respective techniques will work - or not :(

 

De Atramentis

 

Document Ink Blue (old method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/263866-de-atramentis-document-ink/

 

Document Ink Dark blue (new method photos somewhere in the reply to this topic)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/266158-de-atramentis-document-ink-dark-blue/

 

 

Khaki (old Method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/263185-lovely-liquids-de-atramentis-khaki/

 

Jane Austen Green Old Method

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/262586-lovely-liquids-de-atramentis-jane-austen-green/

 

 

More De Atramentis is on its way

 

Pelikan 4001

 

Royal Blue 18 years old vs Brand new (old method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/264220-pelikanss-royal-battle-battle-of-the-blue-kings/

 

Brilliant Green (old method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/266092-pelikan-4001-brilliant-green/

 

Violet (NEW Method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/266286-pelikan-4001-violett-violet/

 

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Blue (old method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/263548-j-herbin-1670-blue/

 

Waterman Bleu Sérénité old name Florida bleu (old method)

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/263496-waterman-bleu-serenite-waterman-serenity-blue/

 

Not yet tested Inks

 

Kaweco Black

Lamy Red

 

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant black

Pelikan Turquoise (will do that on request of FPN member Constance somewhere next week)

 

As from now I will ofcourse always use my 'new method'.

 

Nice ideas to compare my Inks with yours, may be I can learn something from your technique :) ...

 

Oh and er .... As you might have seen I have published the Pelikan 4001 Violet review (link is above)

 

Have a nice weekend,

 

Peter

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Share on other sites
Morbus Curiositas

This is very nice and informative, thank you very much! I've been working on my ink review format and scanning/photo stuff scared me a bit but this will be incredibly helpful.

 

Thanks a lot again!

Thanks...

 

Do not be afraid to try... It is trial and error... And learning goes quickly.

 

Afer 2 or 3 times it gets easier

 

Regards,

 

 

Peter

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Share on other sites

Edited to add: Tas - How do you get the cards to lie flat? Nothing I've tried works.

 

Ha, the old lie flat trick. Well, don't tell anyone but I use a layer mask in Photoshop cut slightly smaller than the card size to quickly retouch away curled up edges. Shhh . . .

http://www.taskyprianou.com/fpn_layer_mask.jpg

 

 

Peter, out of all your inks I only own Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black. :(

Edited by Tas
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Sinistral1

I won't tell a soul! I just did my review of Akkerman #10 last night. That stuff sure dries quickly!

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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I flipping love that stuff. Proper ink . . . :thumbup:

 

Looking forward to your review.

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Hi,

Many thanks for sharing your method. :thumbup:

I follow a rather different path which starts with a scanner and a range of known points: a calibrated Grey Scale.

 

A highly varied IT8 target with the more sophisticated software supports even greater tuning of the rendering algorithm.

Using a scanner has a significant advantage over a camera in that the scanner manufacturer has the opportunity to match the sensor and light source to give a linear scan.

Setting White Balance in the camera or during post-capture processing uses a single-point sample to shift all colours [by a fixed amount], and does not address variation in value (light to dark) or chroma (brilliance/vibrancy). Also, if the light falling on the sample is not very close to 'ideal' daylight, (most often found in photo studios and on motion picture sets), the incoming image data will be interpolated to the extent that the result is misleading. It can work well for photos because we humans manipulate our perceptions to be 'as expected', but that is less applicable to accurately render unknown things without a context.

Being able to generate a linear scan is highly beneficial to show how an ink appears on various papers, and on-the-level comparison of inks. No doubt that approach is limited by inconsistencies of paper stock, but that's also realistic.

Showing how ink dances with certain ink+paper combos is an anathema to those who would nail down an ink as if it was a paint chip. (Good luck chasing Cacao du Brésil!) Then again, that approach does winkle out the inks that are all but oblivious to changes of pen+paper, who dance the same dance regardless of their partners or the music.

 

Also, we should be aware of things which cannot be depicted, such as the influence of florescent optical brightening agents in the paper; and dyes in the ink that are beyond the digital colour gamut, such as Spectral Violet, (which may address shared concerns voiced by Member Bookman regarding Purple leaning dark Blue inks.)

And last but not least, individual variations in colour vision. This exercise may amuse ladies, gentlemen and those of tender years: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge

I doubt we will ever see ink depicted on a display with such fidelity that we won't have that blossoming pleasure of seeing ink on paper from the pen in hand.

 

Bye,

S1

Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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Sandy1, your method as far as I'm concerned is spot on - alas I gave away my scanner years ago :(

 

Your reviews are often the first and again the last I look at when researching an ink :notworthy1: :notworthy1:

Thank you.

 

P.S

 

http://www.taskyprianou.com/perfect%20colour%20vision.jpg

 

PPS. I've still not nailed the true meaning of "Majik" :crybaby:

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Waski_the_Squirrel
For those who want to be less technical, something as simple as changing the white balance is a huge help. The adventurous can do a custom white balance, the less adventurous can use an automated setting like "incandescent" or "daylight".


I don't do ink reviews, but I do a lot of photography. A few "smurfy" looking kids at outdoor events are enough to remind me to turn my camera from "fluorescent" to "daylight." (I take pictures of events at the high school for the local paper.)

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

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Sinistral1

Peter (and anyone else who wants to provide assistance).

 

I did a little checking into the one and only photo editing program available to me at work. It's called PaintNET v3.5.6. Under the "Adjustments" tab is has the following options:

 

Auto Level

Black & White

Brightness/Contrast

Curves

Hue/Saturation

Invert Colors

Posterize

Sepia.

 

The camera I have is a Panasonic DMC-ZS10. It's features include 21x intelligent zoom, a Leica DC Vario-Elmar 1:3.3-5.9/4.3-68.8 ASPH. lens, Lumix (whatever that is), 16x full HD. If I'm using the macro to take a photo, I usually leave the flash off, because I don't like the faded look the flash gives so close to the paper. I can set it for "incandescent" and "outdoor".

 

There you have my equipment and software parameters. Any advise will be appreciated!

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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Morbus Curiositas

Hi,

Many thanks for sharing your method. :thumbup:

I follow a rather different path which starts with a scanner and a range of known points: a calibrated Grey Scale.

 

A highly varied IT8 target with the more sophisticated software supports even greater tuning of the rendering algorithm.

Using a scanner has a significant advantage over a camera in that the scanner manufacturer has the opportunity to match the sensor and light source to give a linear scan.

Setting White Balance in the camera or during post-capture processing uses a single-point sample to shift all colours [by a fixed amount], and does not address variation in value (light to dark) or chroma (brilliance/vibrancy). Also, if the light falling on the sample is not very close to 'ideal' daylight, (most often found in photo studios and on motion picture sets), the incoming image data will be interpolated to the extent that the result is misleading. It can work well for photos because we humans manipulate our perceptions to be 'as expected', but that is less applicable to accurately render unknown things without a context.

Being able to generate a linear scan is highly beneficial to show how an ink appears on various papers, and on-the-level comparison of inks. No doubt that approach is limited by inconsistencies of paper stock, but that's also realistic.

 

Showing how ink dances with certain ink+paper combos is an anathema to those who would nail down an ink as if it was a paint chip. (Good luck chasing Cacao du Brésil!) Then again, that approach does winkle out the inks that are all but oblivious to changes of pen+paper, who dance the same dance regardless of their partners or the music.

 

Also, we should be aware of things which cannot be depicted, such as the influence of florescent optical brightening agents in the paper; and dyes in the ink that are beyond the digital colour gamut, such as Spectral Violet, (which may address shared concerns voiced by Member Bookman regarding Purple leaning dark Blue inks.)

And last but not least, individual variations in colour vision. This exercise may amuse ladies, gentlemen and those of tender years: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge

I doubt we will ever see ink depicted on a display with such fidelity that we won't have that blossoming pleasure of seeing ink on paper from the pen in hand.

 

Bye,

S1

 

Hi Sandy....

 

Interesting approach. I must look into that.

 

 

The funny thing is that my scans look over exposed. Both in my old canon and HP scanner....

 

I must do some trial and error with those, I suppose.

 

Peter

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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