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I had promised an opinionated evaluation of viewing prints under an OttLite vs. sunlight vs. gallery lighting (which is pretty darn close to 3200K cause I shoot in the gallery on EPY tungsten slide film). Of course, I choked on delivering in a reasonable amount of time. What I used was an IT8 target printed on Agfa photo paper, plus printouts of the target on 2 non-Epson, non archival "photo papers." The point was to look at a real color print, and a color inkjet print, under each light to try and surmise the effects. This was not scientific, as I couldn't do a side by side test (from one light source to another), but I did come up with an opinion. Under both daylight and the Ottlite the prints had greater detail and contrast. I saw no "deficiency" in the red areas of the spectrum, as someone thought after looking at the specs. The Ottlite (True color) was noticeably bluer/whiter, caused the inkjet papers' white bases to fluoresce a bit. It's possible that the effect was greater with the Ott than daylight cause I had to view the Ottlite indoors, and the daylight was noon on a pretty clear day. But I tried the Ott with both rooms lights on and off. The gallery lights (a closed room with low voltage track lighting) was a better view, IMO. The whites were white without being yellow or blue, the colors looked true without excessive contrast. The prints, both photographic and inkjet, looked clean and friendly, and looked more alike under gallery lights than they did under the daylight lighting. Here's what I think: color balanced viewing lights are great for people in the printing industry, because it creates a controlled environment for the photographer, the designer, the client and the printer to all look at the work and say "this matches." And if you're scanning slides to print on your Epson, you might want a daylight light table and a daylight viewing area. But if you are doing work to hang in a home or gallery, you should have clean, bright, balanced tungsten lighting for viewing your prints. That's where people will be viewing your work anyway (unless you sell at outdoor crafts fairs). I suspect that most of us have a problem with our viewing environs because they are not clean and controlled. A halogen light source (that stays the same color until very near its death), clean neutral walls, and a neutral background on which to view and evaluate your prints would probably be just fine. That's what I'm shooting for. - Please turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for instructions.
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