Practical Color Management: Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography
Color management is easier than you think.
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2006
Pages: 168

The second book in this acclaimed series from noted photographer and digital imaging expert Eddie Tapp delves into color management, a topic that has needlessly become a mystery to experienced digital photographers, whether they're avid amateurs, serious students, or working professionals. With his easygoing yet authoritative style, Eddie sheds light on this topic and supplies an understanding of color management that readers apply to their own work.

Clear and concise, this highly visual book explains how color management is a part of the overall photographic workflow. Eddie demonstrates the three stages of color managed workflow, from choosing a color space, to calibrating your devices, to applying appropriate profiles, and shows you exactly what you need to know and why you need to know it. Color management scientist Rick Lucas contributes a chapter on the hard-core technical aspects. Other books on color management are much too long, involved and intimidating. This absorbing book sets the right tone and supplies you with key answers quickly.

Our Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography book series brings you the focused knowledge you need on specific areas of digital photography. Acknowledged as one of the premier trainers of digital imaging in the world, Eddie brings his teaching experience to bear on issues that other books gloss over or bury under general coverage. Now, you don't have to buy a doorstop-sized book to get the key information you need on color management, efficient workflow, or a variety of other specific digital imaging topics.

Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography also covers workflow setup; advanced and professional production techniques; controlling digital color and tone; creative enhancement techniques; and more. This series is a perfect complement to O'Reilly's general list on Photoshop and digital photography, and offers you focused books that cover technical issues at prices that are affordable and solutions that are quickly accessible. We're thrilled that Eddie Tapp has finally agreed to publish books -- and with O'Reilly.

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Excellent and understandable presentation on Color Management

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Practical Color Management: Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography:

This book presents the complex topics of color management in an easy to read and understandable manner, suitable for both the professional and non-professional photographer. Eddie Tapp certainly has the credentials to write this book. For more information on the author, connect to his website,, and to

If you have ever said to yourself, "this photo doesn't look like what I saw," then you need to read and study Chapter 2, Understanding Key Color Management Concepts. The author writes about calibration, color profiles and color spaces, all of which can dramatically affect the finished photograph. Or, more accurately, he provides a discussion of "calibration vs. profiling," which I found especially helpful in sorting out the need for, and the appropriate sequence of, the two techniques. The discussion of color spaces, or color gamuts, is also helpful, but the gamut diagrams do not, in my judgment, effectively show the differences between various classes of devices (e.g., monitors vs. scanners vs. laser printers vs. printing presses). Most non-professionals do not know just how much information in an image is lost, compared to a set of healthy human eyes, when using a camera and then trying to create a print from the resulting image. The discussion in this chapter will contribute to changing that situation, despite the need for better gamut comparisons.

I would also like to see a little more information on calibrating LCD's. Having experimented with the gamut numbers on my laptop, and eventually returning to where I started, I could use some additional help understanding this topic. Even if I decide to buy one of the calibration kits recommended by the author. True, there is more information in Chapter 4 on this topic (including those recommended calibration kits). What seems to be missing is a link between setting the correct gamma value by the user, and current industry practice in setting the value (which, in some cases, is "normalized") that is incorporated into actual hardware, when newly shipped from the manufacturer.

You can evaluate this chapter for yourself before you buy because it is available online at http://

If you want to combine scanned photos (and you need to correct those scans), and photos from your digital camera into a printed album, you will find the information in Chapter 3 absolutely essential for a satisfactory result. Considering the vast array of image editing software applications available today, I don't think it is unreasonable to conclude that almost everyone with a digital camera has tried to correct problem photos. What is not obvious, at least to the casual photographer, is that there is a specific sequence needed for effectively applying corrections. That information is provided in Chapter 3, Establishing a Color Management-Friendly Workflow, so don't let the chapter title intimidate you. There are useful nuggets of information on how to set up the image capture devices (scanners or cameras) before you start. There are additional recommendations on which camera formats to use, and when to use them. There is also a discussion of how to "prepare a file for output." While that may sound much too generic, the information on image processing, printer resolution and even paper choices will make a very big positive difference to the quality of your finished product.

There is also a very interesting sidebar on page 29 comparing the qualities of the two primary digital camera sensor technologies.

The remaining two chapters are probably of more interest to the professional photographer, but I suggest you read "The Future of Color Management" on page 133.

The quality of the printing is excellent. There are several sets of graphics that demonstrate subtle color variations.

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in understanding digital imaging technology. It requires some study. If you are satisfied with the processing results from your local retailer, then you will very likely not make use of the information in this book.

For those who enjoy the technology as well as the artistry of digital photography, this book is for you.


Provides Good Understanding and Useful Tips

By Jeremy Hall

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Practical Color Management: Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography:

I was very excited to see this title because color management has always been a difficulty for me with my various job tasks and hobbies. Between web & print design along with heavy digital photography work, getting colors workable across many devices is a constant effort.

At first I was a bit worried that this was going to be just a theory book despite the title. The first several chapters were spent on history and understanding the need and how color management is needed and works. The later chapters delved into some of that nitty gritty I was looking for.

I would not call this a comprehensive guide, yet it was well worth the read for the information it provided. I found it more targeted to those with ink jets and general business printing. Don't be dissuaded if you are often printing on 4 color presses, the workflow tips and understanding here is very applicable.

I enjoyed Eddie's straightforward and easy to understand writing style. The book has a page layout style that is atypical but enjoyable - with heavy emphasis on the visuals.

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