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Retouching in the dark

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2008, 07:29 PM
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flieckster flieckster is offline
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Retouching in the dark

Hello everyone. I wanted to get everyones opinion on room lighting conditions when your retouching photos? I am of the believe that lights should be off, and desk lamps used so you don't get glare. My staff on the other hand likes the windows. before i decided to force everyone to the dark side, i wanted to get everyones ideas.

how do you work? keep in mind you might be doing color correction, retouching, basic editing, color changes. what works best?

one of the options i was thinking was turning the lights on, but making everyone use hoods, but i feel like they cause tunnel vision.

links and articles would be great.

thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2008, 08:59 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Retouching in the dark

I normally see people with the "hoods". But I can see how that could get annoying.

An alternative could be this color calibrator that adjusts its calibration to the light temp, Pantone huey Pro MEU113. I have not used it but I am getting it for x-mas.

huey™PRO
+ World’s first built-in ambient light sensor enables consistency never seen before in any lighting condition.

Embedded with a high-precision sensor, huey automatically measures the ambient light within a room for a new level of precision calibration. Even after the calibration process, huey will observe the light falling on the display and automatically adjust the screen brightness for accurate onscreen viewing any time of the day.

-Keven

Last edited by igot2pman; 12-01-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:22 PM
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Re: Retouching in the dark

Flieckster,
Welcome !... or should I say, glad you decided to chime in !

I'm sure there are books on the subject, although I don't have a link for you. The rules for the office aren't much different than in a home office. However, you have many other issues to deal with, namely everyone elses' idea of what's right, wrong or just bothersome.

The color of walls, carpet, ceiling all play in as well as lighting sources. Neutral colors are generally best. Overhead lighting should be standardized (all bulbs, reflectors, etc the same), and generally are chosen to be 5K or 6.5K. Outside lighting is generally not good, as it varies too much based upon the weather. The whole key is consistency - unfortunately sunlight is not consistent.

Be careful not to overdo the lighting. There are also numerous studies by energy engineers contributing work related health problems to too high a candela rating on reflective work surfaces. These vary from headaches to eye sight problems. So, brighter is not always better. Consult someone before making dramatic changes in lighting.

Hoods are a standard way of preventing other lighting from affecting critical retouch work. Maybe everyone doesn't need a hood, but some will. Make them available for those critical tasks. If you settle on hoods, there are many. Here is one link to a reputable source. GTI Graphic Technology, Inc.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:04 AM
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Re: Retouching in the dark

Instead of a dark room, try an evenly lit room with reduced lighting. It doesn't have to be dark, in fact a room that is too dark can create eye strain as much as too much light, as the contrast between the lit monitor and the dark room can be very sharp. In my opinion, a softly lit room, with neutral colors works about the best.

Tommy's comments above are also pretty much on the mark.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:01 PM
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Re: Retouching in the dark

Thanks for all the great advice so far. My area is in the back of the building and is surrounded by windows. one of my ideas is to get simply shades. something that blocks out the sun but still lets in some light. This way its not completely dark but is controlled. does any know have any experience working with shaded or tinted windows? or is it better to black them out? i would hate to do that since people to enjoy seeing out side. any suggestions?
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:54 PM
E Sugg E Sugg is offline
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Re: Retouching in the dark

I had the same challenge of setting up a color correction/retouching dept. We are in a room that is very large with no windows, but with bright florescent lights. Only a few people needed controlled lighting so we put up partitions and hung drapes around the ceiling to cut out the harsh florescents (just removed the blubs over the workstations). Then each area got D50 lighting that each person could control at each station. I used a Solux kit Solux Color Proof Kit and I've been very pleased with it! It was a bit expensive but it's been great since I needed the controlled lighting plus being able to get an accurate look at my prints without a lighting booth.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:13 AM
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Re: Retouching in the dark

Try some heavy drapes.
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