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| Re: Why Color Profile? |
+1 @ relative
One other difference to remember is that one process of generating the luminance values is additive (monitor), the other is subtractive (print). The monitor will always be 'brighter' than ambient ... the print will always be 'darker' than ambient ... and your eye/brain will always be performing adaptive accomodation.
When I think about my ambient light level as X, then it is kind of an (monitor luminance)Y-X vs. an X-Z(print reflectance) kind of relationship between them.
Also, even if you can' t get you monitors to have equal lumination levels relative to each other, you can still gain a more neutral spectral (RGB) response between the two. I've got one LCD (HP ips) & one CRT (La Cie), that I use side by side. I can get the luminance levels pretty close, but not exact. I edit mostly off the LCD for easier viewing, but when I want to "soft proof" my print, I know that shifting to the lower luminance level of my CRT gives me a "hint" at what a print will be (i.e. darker) ... since my LCD is 'brighter' than my CRT.
When I remembered the additive vs. subtractive relationship relative to the ambient light levels ... the "light came on" for me as to why "picture lights" are used above wall art ... and I'm no longer chasing a ghost to get "matching" luminance levels to be the same between monitor vs. print. Rather, I cross-check with my numbers (objective) instead of my (subjectively adaptive) eyes for the dynamic range/values I want in the image ... KNOWING that the monitor vs. print can't, won't and aren't "supposed to be" a perfect match of luminance values ... under the SAME ambient levels.
The scientific aspect of "repeatable" and "constant" still apply ... it's the (errant) EXPECTATION that one process (additive) is EQUAL to the other process (subtractive) is the part that makes it seem "unscientific". The "fluid" part is the fact that you've changed processes for presenting the image to your eyes when you go from monitor to print ... i.e. Y-X vs. X-Z.