The New Velvia

Photography is awash with digital photographers who try to emulate the “Velvia look”; using ultra high contrast, “vivid” camera settings, Velvia plug-ins, and making blocks of colours that look like they’ve been painted with enamels! There may be several reasons for this saturation frenzy. DSLR’s are now so common, that they have become the new “Christmas Jumper”, a must have present and stocking filler for many. Everyone is a “photographer” now. But pulling on a Christmas jumper was easy, just check the label and off you go, and it’s the same with DSLR’s, which have cheapened and dumbed-down photographic craft (although it can be argued that in some ways this is a positive thing). And it seems that many people don’t bother to find out how to work their new toys, and especially their processing software. Turning it up to eleven and aiming for loud, bold, and bright at any cost, often masks both a lack of knowledge and average pictures. At the same time that DSLRs have become must have accessories, the understanding of what goes into making a good print also seems to be fading. The whole process of profiling and colour management can seem daunting to begin with, but it is essential; sadly though many people don’t have the integrity to make the effort, and assume that their printer (just like their camera) will do it all for them. Relying on oversaturation or gimmicks like HDR to try and rescue dull or flat pictures is just one response to this skill (or integrity) gap. [...]