Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lighting and wall colors for an imaging lab

A posting on the IMAGELIB discussion list pointed to a two-part article by George Wedding on lighting and color in a digital darkroom. As the introduction to Part 2 states:
In the first installment of this two-part article, we made the case for turning down the lights in computer editing rooms for graphic artists and photographers who need more-accurate color. Getting your workspace right for color-accurate situations may also require toning down the colors of walls, counters, and even monitor desktop color schemes. In this second installment, we'll give you the information you need to turn your own office into a proper "digital" darkroom, or at least to move it in the right direction.
The articles -- The Darkroom Makes a Comeback and The Darkroom Makes a Comeback (Part 2) -- are technical and do point to ISO standards, but are well-worth reviewing so that you understand the importance of building the correct surrounds for your digital imaging lab. Part 2 even gives the paint colors that have been used in specific labs and information on specific lighting suppliers.

This spring, I had the pleasure of being in a lab that has paid close attention to lighting and wall color, as well as air quality. What I noticed was that the room was very pleasant to be in. The lights did not glare or harm the eyes, and it seemed peaceful. Using the standards, they had built a good workspace both for the work to be done (digitization) and for the humans that were doing the work.

If you are considering building a digital imaging lab, I would encourage you to read these articles, look at the standards, and even visit a lab that has implemented this information. Hopefully doing so will encourage you to build a good environment for your imaging work as well as for yourself.

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