Jay Maisel


About Jay Maisel >>
"Photography doesn’t have to be as complicated as rocket science, which is great for me because my formal training was in painting. Although I did shoot black and white film early in my career, probably 99% of my work to date has been shot in color. Accurate color has always been a very important aspect of my images and I often ask my workshop students to try and create an image where the subject is purely about color."

"They say you can’t teach old dog new tricks, but my more technically inclined friends and colleagues helped me see the light in 2000 - I gave up film after (45) some-odd years and switched to shooting digitally. The change involved growing pains, but as any demanding photographer knows, having the best technology available is always a plus and I have never looked back. An artist’s body of work however, is the sum of their life experiences and my philosophy and approach to shooting remains pretty old school – I spend as much time as I possibly can having fun looking for and shooting anything that might be interesting. Beyond that, I just want the rest of the process between shooting and presenting work to be accurate and simple."

"That is what I like about the NEC MultiSync monitors we use at my studio. The color is accurate and the design is ergonomic and simple. It’s easy to adjust the display height, or angle, and it’s a real bonus to be able to be able to orient the display vertically. The accurate color of these monitors along with display calibration, and soft proofing is what we use to make limited edition prints. I also like the consistency – when I use more than one monitor with my classes it’s great to know that the color I’m showing is the same no matter which monitor the students are viewing."

David FitzSimmons


About David FitzSimmons >> Q & A >>

What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?

Successful color-critical workflow starts with planning. Consider how you are going to create and edit your files and how and where you plan to output them.

I begin with my cameras. I choose the best cameras. I shoot with two 45 megapixel Sigma SD1 bodies and one Nikon D800E, plus a wide range of pro Sigma lenses. When it comes to capture, I work in RAW. I then process my images utilizing the widest color gamut available, ProPhoto RGB. This ensures that my conversion produces the most colors possible in my images.

The most critical part of color control comes next: working with color-accurate displays. What I value in a good studio display is precise color reproduction, high resolution, and consistent color. The system I work on day-in and day-out is configured with dual NEC PA301W displays, both calibrated with the NEC SpectraView II system. The color accuracy of these PA301W displays allows me edit pictures with outstanding color accuracy. Few monitors allow for 30 bit color—the PA301W displays do. With spot-on color, I can on-screen proof 4-color publications and know exactly how they will look when printed.

I mentioned consistency. While we all might aspire to calibrating weekly, of course, there are times when I do not follow such a regimen. My NEC monitors are forgiving for such errors. For more than a decade and with different NEC displays, I have seen highly consistent colors , day after day. Even when I forget to run my calibration, colors remain consistent.
Finally, there’s your output. As a publisher of photographic books, the vast majority of my output comes through partnerships with designers and four-color printers. When my studio setup, my designers’ systems, and my printers’ equipment are all synchronized—meaning we all calibrate precisely to the same standard—we produce consistently top-notch reproductions.

Beyond printing, I also present many image-based programs to all kinds of audiences, from photography groups to nature-focused organizations, from elementary and middle schools to college and graduate students. For these presentations, I have been using NEC projectors for over a decade. They are rugged—I’ve never had one fail—and, even more importantly, produce beautiful, bright, and color-accurate images. I currently travel with an NEC NP-M402H projector. It produces 1080p images that are bright and beautiful—they make my work shine. And, as a professional presenter, I am happy to say that I have never been let down by any of my NEC projectors. They are built to last.

What do you currently use to edit your work?

My photography is edited in Sigma PhotoPro, Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix Pro, and Helicon Focus, running on a Intel-based PC that drives two NEC PA301w displays. While many photographers prefer Macs, I cut my teeth in high school programming early PCs. Today I build my own PC systems to match my photography and publishing workflow.

In terms of software, Sigma PhotoPro and Adobe Camera Raw are my RAW image converters. I use Sigma PhotoPro for my SD1 Merrill images. These extraordinarily-detailed files require unique processing software in that Sigma cameras contain sensors that are different from all other brands. Their color-accurate Foveon chips record all three colors—red, blue, and green—at every pixel site, unlike the interpolation of two of the three colors at every photo site in all other camera sensors. This produces extremely even color gradations and results in precise edges. My D800E images are processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

The bulk of my photo editing—mostly optimizing images—is done in Photoshop. I work in many layers as I work on landscape and wildlife images. And I use a combination of Photoshop and Photomatix Pro in producing HDR images. For focus stacking, I use Helicon Focus. This amazing software allows you to focus on different planes of your subject and combine them into one almost infinitely-sharp image.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?

As a photographer, I always talk to other shooters. I read reviews. And I visit brick-and-mortar stores. Magazines and online publications provide all kinds of good insight. I enjoy both editing content on sites such as DPReview, Popular Photography, and other photo sites. I also extensively read consumer reviews. Besides the numeric rating, such as 4.5 out of 5, I find discursive comments highly useful.

Of course, nothing beats going to your local brick-and-mortar retailer to find out whether your dream equipment is a good fit for you. Seeing many choices before you, and trying it out, is invaluable. Trade shows are great places not only to see gear first-hand but also to get good deals.

How did you get started in photography?

It was handed down to me: My grandfather was a photographer, and my father is a photographer. I was inspired by them, and I had a number of cameras handed down to me—I cut my teeth on an Argus C-3. I loved winding the shutter, focusing using the split-image range finder, and taking double exposures of myself using a tripod and the screw-on self-timer!
My parents were both teachers—now retired—and our family of five traveled extensively in the summer. We took lots of pictures. When we got home, Dad would project his slides, and we would critique them together. It was a great way to learn about subjects, composition, color, texture, and other components of good photographs.

After teaching for a couple years, I decided to start my own photography business. I took pictures of whatever I could, for whatever fee I could get. My craft improved, and my images started appearing in newspapers and magazines. In 2010, I caught the eye of Dave Metz, marketing, at Sigma. He was assembling a team of Sigma Pros. I now travel around the country teaching people how to produce better images.

That same year I began work on my award-winning Curious Critters children’s books. These have sold over 100,000 copies. There are now five books in the product line, and eight more are coming out by the end of 2016.

The message is we all start somewhere. If you are looking to take the next step, do it. Learn always. Have confidence in your work. And share it widely. You are your best salesman!

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

I am really enjoying working on my Curious Critters photography series. This fun project began by taking a few high key photos of animals for use in Sigma ads for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Quickly I realized the potential for other uses of these up-close and personal, white-background animal portraits.

Right away, people kept telling me I should create a children’s picture book with the whimsical images, so I did. Right away the book started receiving awards. It sold out in four months, received six national book awards, and was licensed by Scholastic for their book fairs and book club. To-date, “Curious Critters” has sold over 100,000 copies.

Naturally, I began work on additional books. In 2014 I released “Curious Critters Volume Two,” which featured more common North American animals. And on Earth Day 2015 I released “Curious Critters Marine,” focusing on creatures of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

To accompany the various critters staring readers in the eyes, I wrote short narratives in which the animals share fun facts about their natural histories. To write these, I imagined that I talked with the subjects during our photo sessions and then wrote down what they had to say. I try to create different personalities for each one.

I am now introducing state board books for the youngest readers—forthcoming are Curious Critters books on Ohio (my home state), Michigan, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri—and I have four exhibits of Curious Critters prints traveling across North America. In addition, I lead photo workshops teaching people how to photograph live animals using my signature high key approach.

See more of David’s work at www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com or www.curious-critters.com

I have a dual PA322UHD setup in my studio, and—Wow!--these extraordinary displays have greatly improved my productivity. I anticipated how two large, extremely color-accurate displays would aid my image editing, but I never anticipated how much the spacious screens would facilitate other aspects of my workflow. Keeping multiple browser, word processor, and spreadsheet windows open at one time allows me to move from document to document easily and efficiently. And, of course, the brilliant color and sharp image-rendering make working with my photos a real pleasure.

As far as seeing my work during editing, doing my post-production on NEC’s PA322UHD displays is unbelievable. Their super-high resolution, accurate colors, and beautifully large size of these 4k displays create an incredibly immersive experience. I feel like I am in the scenes—right there with my subjects—in a way unlike any other before. Jumping from one display to multiple displays only increases this experience.

To see more images from Curious Critters, visit www.curious-critters.com or my website at www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com

Mark Brady


About Mark Brady >>
"The computer display has come a long way in the last 25 years. Still only a few companies make a display for critical professional graphics use. NEC MultiSync is the one I choose for my commercial photography and my fine art reproduction work."

"I use the MultiSync 30" PA302W-BK. It is great to be able to rotate the display quickly into portrait mode for all my vertical images."

"NEC MultiSync monitors saves me valuable time in post-processing by having 99.3% coverage of Adobe RGB color space. This kind of accuracy is an absolute must in any type of digital editing. Equally as important is the ability to calibrate my display accurately. I use the SpectraView ll color calibration solution for obtaining perfect calibration and it is extremely user friendly saving me time."

"The PA302W-BK is my main display for post production and fine art reproduction but it is fantastic as my main tethered monitor when doing studio portrait or product work. This also allows the art director, stylist and client to see exactly how the shoot is going and we can rely on accurate colors for print and web."

"I highly recommend the NEC MultiSync to all professionals and non-professionals who need the best in consistent color accuracy in a display."

Jean-Christian Rostagni


About Jean-Christian Rostagni >>
"I have been a photographer for 40 plus years, which means that I come from film, and a time when photography required extreme rigor. Which is to say that I do not compromise easily."

"I work almost uniquely in fine art, and my name is associated with uncompromising quality. My prints are supposed to be stunning, second to none, and to make matters worse, I deliberately choose contrasted subjects, difficult lights. None of this would be possible without an accurate display. It would then be extremely frustrating, prohibitively time consuming and expensive, as it would amount to editing “in the dark.”

"But life is good and merciful, I have two 27-inch monitors, including an NEC PA272W-BK-SV with a hood. Both of my monitors deliver very accurate colors that I can trust. 27 inches is a good size for me, as it is comfortably supported by my Mac Pro’s video card, and 27” is plenty large. I have the NEC with Spectraview (the “-SV” at the end of the display’s name means “with Spectraview”), as it is just the best way to calibrate this monitor and is effortless. A hood is a must in order to eliminate parasite lights, especially in a several monitors configuration. It is also not a luxury if one has light in a studio, if nothing else so that the keyboard commands are visible. The NEC hood is the best one I know, simple to assemble, and well secured to the monitor, which I have known to be an issue with other brands."

"I mostly print on matte paper, specifically the Museo Portfolio Rag, That paper gives my photographs an incomparable depth, intensity and crispness. But printing on matte paper is more challenging, as it goes further away from an LCD monitor native rendering than luster or glossy papers. It is therefore necessary to tone down the monitor quite a bit, both in luminance and contrast ratio. Please note that while printing on matte paper accentuates that necessity, the other papers require that as well, albeit to a lesser degree."

"My other monitor is an Eizo CG 275, which is quite more expensive than the NEC PA272W-BK-SV. But the Eizo does not do well when the luminance goes below 60Cd, the monitor starts then to have color shifts. There is also no way to choose a contrast ratio which is typically anywhere between 400 and 700. With the NEC PA 272W-SV, I can calibrate at 40 Cd and with a 150/1 contrast ratio and you can see on the studio shots here what difference that makes. Additionally, NEC is the only brand to offer the multi-sync capability. This allows me to use only one keyboard for two computers, which is very helpful."

"This is why the NEC PA272W-BK-SV has become my premier monitor, the one that is essential to my printing workflow."

Matthew London


About Matthew London >>
"The monitor is everything. As a visual artist, the monitor is the interface between my intention while making the photograph and the visualization that leads to the printed or displayed image. Only a wide gamut monitor which reproduces colors accurately will do. The black point must be deep, and the image must be consistent from edge to edge and top to bottom. I had been using the excellent 30” NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXI-SV for 5 years. But when the new MultiSync PA302W came out the difference blew me away. The monitor is simply stunning."

"For THE SPIRIT OF TEA, I shot over 120,000 digital images in four years throughout China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. My editor Marie Koller, who has edited for National Geographic and Smithsonian books, is a color genius, with an incredibly accurate eye. For her, the NEC is the best display she has ever seen. And for me, I can finally see the visual truth of my images."

"The new PA302W is so accurate that it is reliable for soft-proofing before sending our images to our fine art printer in China. We do all of our editing in 16bit using the ProPhotoRGB profile. Then we soft-proof using an CMYK output profile calibrated to the color gamut, Dmax and tone of the coated paper the book will be printed on. With the SpectraView hardware and software, we can ensure that our monitor is set to the exact same settings as our prepress house. They also use NEC monitors so we know they are seeing the same thing as what we see. This closes the color loop, and reduces the number of rounds of proofs which need to be generated, saving us considerable time and money. More importantly, it ensures that the color of the final files sent to our offset printer are as accurate as possible. The goal is to have the printed page using CMYK wide gamut ink be as faithful as possible to the original RGB image displayed on the monitor. The monitor is the key factor and we trust our NEC PA302W to deliver."

Seth Resnick


About Seth Resnick >> Q & A >>

What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?

The ultimate goal of most photographers is to capture a great shot and produce a print, book, blog, social media or some other form of output and do so as efficiently and as accurately as possible. Many photographers spend enormous amounts of time and money on their cameras and lenses but often neglect to consider the actual workflow, which can be a huge mistake. For the workflow to flow the color management must match as the image moves from through the chain from camera to output and it all really starts with with an accurate color profiled monitor. Folks fail to realize that the monitor as just as important as the camera and lens. Maintaining accurate color not only insures quality but in the long term in lowers the amount of time and money you will spend because with accurate color management you can produce a print or any other output faster, cheaper and more efficiently.

What do you currently use to edit your work?

I use Lightroom and Photoshop with two NEC MultiSync PA302W monitors.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?

I think the most important thing for photographers to do when searching for new equipment is to understand what their goals are and to fully understand the process to get their. For example if you want to make a print and you spend $50,000 on camera gear and use an old monitor without proper color management you simply won’t succeed at your goal. Read books from trusted authors and take the time to take workshops and then talk with other photographers and finally shop around and buy from a reputable vendor.

How did you get started in photography?

I wanted to be a photographer since high school. Back in the Kodachrome days I was just starting my career as a newspaper photojournalist in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse, according to the Farmers Almanac, ranks fourth among the rainiest cities in the U.S. and cloudy 212 days annually. One might think that I would be unhappy in Syracuse but gray is a wonderful background for color and images standout against a dark sky.

My career has changed dramatically over time based on what inspires me. My inspiration in Syracuse was photojournalism and I completed what is still one of my most rewarding stories ever in Syracuse. The story was about a little girl who was burned and it ran on the cover of Empire Magazine. I continued photographing Renee and photographed her college graduation and even her wedding 20 plus years after working on that story. Finishing that story also made me realize that I had accomplished what I wanted to do with journalism and the publishing of that story led to my conclusion that it was time to move on.

When I finished the burn story I had grandeur ideas of changing journalism. My first assignment when I went back on the street after that story was an assignment photographing a woman with a very large cucumber in Baldwinsville, NY. It was great to get that assignment because I realized that it was time to move into my next phase. Sometimes we can get very comfortable in an uncomfortable place and we need a kick in the pants to move forward.

The moving on led to magazine journalism and eventually onto corporate annual reports and then to teaching and self generated assignments and fine art. Each phase of my life has come naturally but I would have never guessed that I would be teaching and traveling the world while I was in Syracuse. If I had to do it all over again I would take the exact same path. Working at a newspaper provided an excellent foundation for my future and I cherish that experience to this day.

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

For projects involve teaching…teaching is part of the growth process for me and I love it. I have the ability to work one on one with students and watch them grow. We tend to have many repeat clients and there is an immense amount of joy is witnessing the growth that takes place when you have the opportunity to work with someone over and over again. As a teacher I strive to engage, challenge, and inspire growth in my students. It is my hope that every student is capable of the same passion that I feel for photography and with that philosophy in mind, I teach within a structure which I believe fosters critical thinking both creatively as well as technically.

My teaching philosophy revolves around the idea of being as well-balanced of a photographer as possible. Technical skills must be mastered as well as conceptual skills but it must start with a solid image. No matter how accomplished you are technically, if your ideas are weak, then your images simply won’t work, and, conversely, no matter how good your ideas are, if your technical skills are lacking your images can’t work. No matter how innovative the idea is, it is not worth showing if it is done poorly. My teaching philosophy is to enable each photographer to create their own vision—to see things others would not see if they were standing right next to them. In this way, you learn how to see the subject matter that you might otherwise overlook. We all see color, but no two of us experience it exactly the same way; my shade of red is not what you’re seeing. Yet as a photographer, I want you to see what's in my mind's eye, which is where the challenge lies to capture and render a particular vision.

My second goal is to hone in on a students personal aesthetic point of view. We examine the choices that we make when producing a photograph, the choices that differentiate a great photograph with a lasting impression from a mere snapshot. I want to enhance their vision into the world of reflections, patterns, gestures, tone, abstractions, movement, and texture to name a few.

I want to extract their personal creativity and bring it to a new level.
I believe that photography is best learned by immersion. To challenge and be challenged by my students is my third goal. I begin with the belief that every student possesses unique capabilities that can be shared with others if given the appropriate supports. I challenge my students to share opinions with and to mentor one another. I also expect to be challenged by my students. I encourage my students to ask questions, and I am straightforward about not having all of the answers. When I become “stuck” I seek the input of my colleagues. Above all else, I challenge my students to understand that I am open to their thoughts, eager to hear their opinions, and thrilled to learn with and through them.

Finally, I attempt to inspire growth in my students.
For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. Teaching is never stagnant and it is a constant process of learning about new philosophies and new strategies, learning from fellow photographers and colleagues.

I believe in a flexible manner of instruction, responsive to the unique atmosphere of a given class. I am aware of students’ different experiences and temperaments in hopes of developing their strengths while ameliorating their weaknesses. Every student, regardless of background, can improve his or her abilities and be emboldened to push beyond their own experience expanding their skills and their vision.

My schedule for teaching and workshops is always available at
http://www.sethresnick.com
http://www.d65.com
http://www.digitalphotodestinations.com

My workflow mandates absolute critical color and my two NEC Multisync PA302W monitors deliver in every conceivable way. The monitors are incredibly sharp and deliver edge to edge accuracy. I am able to find details that would have been lost on other monitors.

The gamut of these screens is among the widest of any monitor and the color is bold and rich and accurate. I have two monitors with an exact match allowing me to really take advantage of utilizing a grid of my selects on one screen and a loupe view on the other.

With precision control over contrast and brightness my prints match my screen which is a big time saver and ultimately financially more advantageous and ecologically better, because I am using less paper. I also love the ergonomic adjustments which allow me sit at my monitors for hours without strain.

There are a lot of monitors on the market but NEC is a clear winner for my workflow.

Michael Grecco


About Michael Grecco >>
"We rely on our NEC MultiSync PA271W-BK to get us the accuracy in color I require for my work. In two major projects, converting all my Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait book images for an eBook and a composite image for a major client, our NEC display gave me the confidence to know that I am delivering the best product possible. My work rides the edge of both mood and color and the NEC is the most neutral, yet vibrant, monitor I have ever used."

Michael Grecco
Photographer & Director   http://www.michaelgrecco.com/

Eric Meola


About Eric Meola >> Q & A >> Current Projects

What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?

Your monitor is the most important part of your workflow.  It’s critical that you not only get the best, but that you calibrate it and understand how important it is in insuring your images are reproduced the way you intend them to be seen.  The old computer saying of “garbage in, garbage out” is just as important here as it is in anything dealing with accurate data—why waste your time with something that isn’t the best? 

What do you currently use to edit your work?

Two NEC PA302W-BK 30” monitors. They’re arranged in a visual “V” in my line of sight, so I have a virtual 60” wide monitor setup. I calibrate every week so I can feel assured the color file I deliver is accurate.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buy-ing?

Do your research, but also ask those whose opinions you value what they are using and why—color has been the focus of my career in photography, and what I am known for. An accurate monitor that can be hardware calibrated is, ultimately, the single least expensive and yet single most important component of your workflow over time.

How did you get started in photography?

As a kid I was interested in magic as a hobby, and my father was a doctor. A patient of his—an engi-neer—taught me how to develop film and make prints. Seeing my first print come up in the developer was a moment when I actually watched my own future “developing” in front of me—it was a pivotal moment. I apprenticed in NYC and then opened my own studio, doing editorial and advertising work.

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

I’ve always wanted to do a landscape book on America—but where? The cities and the canyons of the West, and the coasts have been the subjects of so many books. I’ve always been drawn to the work of the photographer David Plowden, whose minimalistic images of the “commonplace” in America’s heartland became all the more compelling when I made a road trip to Nevada in 1977 with Bruce Springsteen. So I’m working on a book about the landscapes of America’s Great Plains called “Tornado Alley: The Sky Above the Land Below”. Just this year I’ll make four trips out to the prairie as I work towards finishing the book. I’m three years into the research and photography and hope to have it published in 2020. An exhibit of my prints from the project is scheduled to open in NYC in September 2015:

“Chasing the Storm”, Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, 37 West 57th Street. September 3 - 27, 2015

Some of the images from this project can be seen at these two links:

http://www.ericmeola.photography/portfolio/photography/tornado-alley

http://www.ericmeola.photography/portfolio/photography/prairie-light
A Window on the Universe

- Eric Meola -

As a photographer, I’ve spent a large part of my life looking through a very tiny window— concentrating on the image, the composition, and the placement of the elements in the frame. I’ve always been looking through that tiny window at the universe in front of me.

But that was in the film era—my world in the 20th Century. As I began shooting with digital cameras, I started looking at my images on CRT monitors, and then graduated to Cinema Displays. And as I learned more about color profiles, I began profiling my monitors, and working in the ProPhoto color space.

In the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to hook up two exquisite, identical 30” NEC MultiSync PA302W-BK monitors, which use LED’s that run cooler and are more energy efficient than their predecessors, the PA301W’s. This allows “instant on” and far more precise control of the whitepoint.

The first thing I did when I set them up was to profile them using NEC’s incredibly logical and intuitive SpectraView II software, which handholds you through the process of not only creating profiles, but profiles that you can tune to your own specifications—in my case, I changed the default intensity from 140 to 120 cd/m2.

Built-in, drop down choices for color temperature range from D50 through D65 up to D75 and even 9300 K. Once the monitor is calibrated, it’s easy to toggle between the monitor’s gamut, and sRGB, as well as Adobe RGB, and compare them to this monitor’s vastly larger color space.

It’s important to understand that what you are paying for in a monitor of this caliber is hardware calibration, as opposed to software calibration. Although software is used in the calibration process, the NEC alters the display electronics internally (using 14-bit LUT’s, or look-up tables), resulting in a display that shows reds and blues that Adobe RGB just can’t reproduce. This is a completely different approach than using a “puck” to modify the video signal.

What do I see when I look at the NEC PA302W-BK ? I see a universe I never knew existed. I see a screen that is uncannily even from edge to edge. Calibrating both monitors, the profiles match each other almost like fingerprints overlaid on one another. Viewed side by side, the same image on each monitor looks exactly identical, and they look like no monitor I’ve ever seen before—these are my images displayed in a way that allows me to adjust them far more accurately than ever before, and apply those adjustments with total confidence that what I am seeing is state-of-the-art color. This is calibration as close as is currently possible to the parameters I have chosen and that the monitor has set. I could look at my images on these monitors for hours and my eyes would never get tired, because the color is so accurate and so even. These are windows on a universe I never knew existed, nor ever realized was possible, and for the first time I am not only seeing digital photography’s full potential, but revisiting my “analog” film images with an appreciation for the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the two mediums.

It is also possible to have the monitors adjust themselves to the current ambient illumination, and just a day with these monitors makes you rethink every single aspect of your working space. I’ve had so much fun with them in just the first week that I’ve already set up a number of macros that let me work a lot faster and much more efficiently in Lightroom. Now that they’re in front of me, I’m editing a lot faster, and my entire workflow has improved—for the first time I have complete confidence that I’m seeing sharpness, tones, contrast and gamut that is as good as it gets. I’ve read all the technical explanations and specifications, but in the end my eyes don’t lie to me. What I am seeing makes my long days in front of these windows on a new universe a lot more fun and give me complete confidence in the digital files that I send to the people who reproduce my images. I can’t imagine looking at my images again on a lesser monitor, and why should I?

John Paul (JP) Caponigro


About John Paul (JP) Caponigro >>
"Investing in a high quality monitor is one of the most important things we can do to ensure our digital files and prints achieve the highest quality. Visual artists who don't invest in a great monitor are like audiophiles who don't invest in good speakers. The monitor is what we look at; the speaker are what they listen to."

"NEC's LCD2690WUXi monitors are among the monitors that achieve the widest gamuts available today, making it possible to see more of the color contained in your digital files and more accurately represent the saturated colors that are printable with today's fast-evolving digital printing media."

"Simulating print brightness and contrast with monitors has always been one of the most challenging tasks. NEC's unique combination of hardware and software solutions are the most sophisticated solutions available for setting monitor white, far exceeding the accuracy of the vast majority of other LCD monitor's too bright results. As a result, predictions of print quality are significantly more accurate, saving time and media."

"The image on screen looks gorgeous and so do the prints made based on it. Excellent results are achieved more quickly. And, I enjoy the whole process more."

"It wasn't easy to recommend an LCD monitor to the thousands of people who read my columns, attend my seminars, and participate in my workshops - until the NEC LCD2690WUXi monitors were released. Now, the choice is clear."

Ron Martinsen


About Ron Martinsen >> Q & A >>
What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?

Start with the right equipment. A high quality display that can display a wide color gamut is critical so that your time spent photo editing today doesn’t need to be revisited in the future. It’s also absolutely essential to have a colorimeter used regularly to ensure that colors you see on the screen actually match the data being stored in your image file. Nothing is more frustrating than to make color adjustments while post processing on a display showing inaccurate color only to discover the problem when printing or sharing your image with others on the web.

What do you currently use to edit your work?

I use a NEC MultiSync PA322UHD display with the NEC colorimeter and an X-Rite Spectrophotometer for my color management hardware, and the NEC SpectraViewII software for calibrating my display.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Any color display can look impressive when displaying wallpaper or watching movie at the store, but it’s when you try to calibrate that device and start doing color critical work is where you really start to separate the professional photo/video editing products from the consumer TV grade devices. For example, is that hot sports car yellow or orange? It doesn’t really matter when you are using a display device for entertainment, but if that is your photo that has been edited to appear yellow on your screen and it prints orange you aren’t going to be happy. This is why it is essential to have the right equipment that can be calibrated for accuracy and maintain those adjustments when you restart your monitor. It’s critical to be able to have the colors in the center behave the same as the colors at the edge, and that’s where the cheap displays fall short. What’s more, just because the display is in a shiny all in one computer that advertises 5k color, doesn’t mean its high quality. A prudent shopper wouldn’t buy a book just because it has a sexy cover, so don’t be fooled by displays in sexy cases that are really cheap consumer TV grade displays underneath.

How did you get started in photography?

I fell in love with photography around 1984, but what really caused me to get the bug was in 1986 when I got my first car. I took an insane amount of pictures of that car every time I cleaned it because I had no life – ha, ha! The chaos of college and starting a family caused me to get disconnected for a while, but I went all in shortly before my first trip to China in 2007 when I decided to go digital. After that point I’ve never looked back, and it’s been a labor of love ever since.

"Great imaging begins with a great display. I’ve had the luxury of reviewing many great displays, but when it came time to spend my own money I chose the NEC MultiSync PA Series. The reason I chose NEC was because I could get accurate color on both my Windows and Mac systems independent of operating system quirks for a fraction of the price of the more expensive competitors."

"In doing my printing series on Canon and Epson printers, it was critical for me to have accurate color for soft-proofing my photographs against my fine art prints in a GTI desktop viewer. The quality of this display allowed me to accurately assess what was going to happen with my final print before the image was sent to the printer which saved me both time and money."

"I’m well-known for preaching the value of a color managed workflow starting with a well calibrated display and have educated students and color management groups alike on the subject. Using NEC’s SpectraView software with the SpectraSensor Pro colorimeter, I’m able to get the most accurate color available on the market today – even at 10-bits per color channel."

Ron Martinsen: http://ronmartblog.com

Jeff Schewe


About Jeff Schewe >>
"I've been doing digital imaging for over 20 years, and in that time, the real weak point has always been the computer display. Being able to actually trust what you see requires an excellent display and of course, proper color management that ensures that your display is accurately profiled."

"Today's displays need to have a wide gamut of color and a bright and uniform backlighting but they also need to have the ability to calibrate and profile extremely accurately. Applications like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom base their image display upon that profile and without an accurate one, you really can't trust your own eyes."

"For my digital imaging studio area, I chose NEC displays because they had the right combination of resolution, wide screen display, wide color gamut and yet extremely accurate profiling so I can rely upon what I see on the display. I use it day in and day out and it's proven trustworthy... As a visual artist, everything depends upon what I see. From left to right in my imaging area I have 3 displays on my main imaging machine, an LCD2690WUXi for Photoshop panels and dual LCD3090WQXi 30" displays for maximum real estate. The 4th display is a PA241W for my second workstation."

Greg Gorman


About Greg Gorman >>
"What I love with the SpectraView II software is that I can set the calibration I want and walk away. It allows me to focus on other aspects of my photography. In the past, with other products, I had to set the white point, gamma and luminance and then work with the display controls to get everything in sync. This took time and it never seemed to be dead on. However, with SpectraView, I know I can rely on the results and I do not have to stand over my monitor while it is calibrating. It controls the panel and sets everything."

"Since I primarily print on matte and glossy papers, I like how I can control the contrast ratio of the display calibration. The nice thing is I can set it lower for matte papers (150:1) and higher for glossy papers (300:1) so the screen matches my prints much more closely. I can create as many of these calibration targets as I want, then in the SpectraView II software, load them based on what I am working with and the software updates the display and loads the proper display profile automatically."

"I can get really good screen to print matching due to all the additional controls the software provides to set the white point. Using the instrument to measure my light viewing booth and then by tweaking the settings, I get a really close match which seems to work really well."

"I was also impressed with the optional MultiProfiler software that calibrates the display without the use of an instrument. Since the display is measured at the factory with a high precision instrument and this information is embedded in the display, MultiProfiler is able to calibrate itself without an instrument. I also like how I can setup MultiProfiler to simulate SRGB for those times when I have to view images on the web or non color-managed applications."

"Needless to say, my NEC monitors with the SpectraView II software are the perfect solution for all of my retouching and output needs."

Lou Manna


About Lou Manna >> Q & A >>

What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process? 

I would say that investing in a NEC monitor is a must.  Their monitors are an invaluable tool in the color correction process.  Obtaining accurate and faithful color rendition is one of the key ingredients to providing clients with a final image that will help sell their products. 

NEC monitors ensure stunning, consistent visual quality from edge to edge which is crucial in the image editing process.

 

What do you currently use to edit your work?

I use Photoshop CC.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?

I would suggest reading reviews and talking to other photographers to get their opinion before buying new equipment.  Attending tradeshows and taking a look at one of NEC’s monitors will let you see their quality for yourself.

How did you get started in photography?

As a child growing up in Brooklyn I always loved taking photographs and that love led me to study photography in high school and college, join photo clubs and take photos for my respective schools’ student yearbook and newspaper.  While still in college, I started working for a local newspaper and sold my first photo for $5.  From that point on I was hooked on photography as a career.  After putting together a great portfolio of printed work and seeking out the right connections I was able to get an interview with the New York Times.  Soon thereafter, I was shooting news, food, and feature stories for the New York Times.  I eventually opened up my own commercial studio in Manhattan.

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

I am currently shooting all of the desserts and other menu items for Ferrara’s Bakery and Café in Little Italy in New York City.  It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.  My NEC monitor makes my job easier because when it comes to food photography, color fidelity in the final output is what creates appetite appeal.

"During my 35 years as a professional photographer, I have found that faithful color rendition has always been a key ingredient to producing a stellar final image. Ever since I switched over to digital in 1995, it has been a struggle to match the color of the food I have photographed on the set with the correct color value on my monitor. Food has the largest range of colors and was very difficult to portray on a monitor until I started using the NEC MultiSync PA301W."

"Since I primarily print on matte and glossy papers, I like how I can control the contrast ratio of the display calibration. The nice thing is I can set it lower for matte papers (150:1) and higher for glossy papers (300:1) so the screen matches my prints much more closely. I can create as many of these calibration targets as I want, then in the SpectraView II software, load them based on what I am working with and the software updates the display and loads the proper display profile automatically."

"The stunning visual quality of the screen with its high resolution and large capacity for tonal range shows off every color nuance of my delicious subjects. Even the blacks and whites are clean without any color shift or variation throughout the entire screen."

"The wide viewing angle and glare-free flat screen make it a pleasure with which to work. My clients are delighted with the quality of my photographs as they see the images on my screen during a shoot."

"I use my NEC monitor in my workshops as well, and my students are always impressed with the quality of the images that they see on screen. I love that I am able to tilt, swivel and adjust the height of the screen for all of them to see."

"I have been using my monitor on a daily basis, and I am so happy with its consistency, technology, and workmanship."

Lou Manna
www.loumanna.com/

Falcon


About Falcon >> Q & A >>
What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?

Take color management seriously - what you see isn’t what you get unless you understand and use color management.

The quality of the monitor has a direct impact on the quality of the finished image. Even with color management, a cheap monitor will not accurately represent the total palette of colors the human eye sees.

Calibrate your monitor frequently and if necessary, use color profiles for different environmental conditions - example working in a room with a lot of natural light versus working in a room with little natural light.

Color management is an end to end process. If you have the tools to calibrate your camera as well as your monitor, we recommend you do. We calibrate our printers as well.

Use the same color space all the way through. In other words, if you use sRGB in your camera, use sRGB in your photo editing environment and calibrate your monitor to reflect the fact that you will be using that color space.

What do you currently use to edit your work?

That depends on the camera we are using. For our commercial work we generally use the Pentax 645D which is not supported by DxO Labs. As a result we use Adobe Camera RAW when we process those RAW images. For our older DSLRs, we use DxO Labs’ Optics Pro Elite. Our current general purpose camera is the Samsung NX-1 and we use DxO Lab's Optics Pro to process those images. We do very little work in native Photoshop. We use Nik/Google’s Veveza to fine tune our images. Occasionally, we use ColorEfex Pro as well. We also use onOne’s photo editing suite.

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?
  1. Buy the best you can afford. In the long term that will save you money.
  2. Do the research. Don’t buy a product just because a friend says you should or because everyone is buying it. As we learned when we moved from Canon to Samsung, sometimes the best isn’t the most common. Make sure the sources you are using are objective. There are websites that are particularly good when it comes to finding objective research. For Example, we use DxO Mark to check lens quality and DPReview to garner the experience of other photographers with products we are thinking of purchasing.
  3. Resist the urge to buy “the latest and the greatest.” Stick with what you have until you outgrow it or it fails.
  4. There’s a perception that digital images are cheap to produce - if not free. Don’t buy that for a moment. Digital photography is every bit as expensive as film, perhaps even more. In the “old days” once you bought a camera you generally had it for life - unless it was too worn to fix. In the digital world, that is not true.
    1. Look at it this way. If you buy a camera body for $1,500 and a lens for $500, and the camera body has a life expectancy of 3,000 images, then each image will cost you about $.60.
    2. Add to that the cost of several memory cards (which have a life expectancy as well), camera bag, tripod, laptop or desktop, software..... And the cost per image could easily hot $3.00.
    3. If you cover a wedding, for example, say you take 500 images, your cost, not including your labor, transportation, etc., will be $1,500. If you charge only $500, you will lose $1,000 each and every time you do a wedding.
    4. The average professional photographer survives in business for about three years. Doing photography might seem glamorous and lucrative, but I can assure you it isn’t.
How did you get started in photography?

I was in the midst of a long term relationship with a woman and I knew it was unraveling. I was working in Europe and NYC. When I was in Europe, I couldn’t call her till 3:00 AM Swiss time. I bought my first camera - a digital point and shoot - in the summer of 2002 in order to send photos back to her in the hopes that I could save the relationship. When the relationship ended October 13, 2002, I decided I wasn’t going back to the corporate world. So, on January 1, 2003, I turned pro and founded The House of NyghtFalcon with JD Milazzo. JD remains a partner in the firm and our COO.

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

In 2006, we published a book called “The Face of Woman.” The book included some 60 images of ten women from our gallery exhibit by the same name. We are working on volume two now. It will contain all the previous images and articles about each model plus another ten with whom we have worked since then.
The project started shortly after I turned pro. I had an assignment with a local newspaper - covering the bar scene on a Saturday night. When I arrived to a woman working as a server who was so beautiful; I couldn’t take my eyes away from her. Well, she confronted me later - “You won’t photograph me because I’m ugly,” she said. We ended up making a bet that I could prove she was beautiful. When she saw the first photo I took, she started to cry and she said, “I AM beautiful!” That image was published by Digital Camera World and won their Gold Star Award. We remain dedicated to showing each and every woman that she is beautiful.
We hope to have the web site up later this year and the book out by early 2016.
Another book, which is about the founding of The House of NyghtFalcon as well as about our unique lighting methodology, is in the last stages of editorial revision. We hope to release it in the middle of next year.

Also, we publish a quarterly magazine - NyghtVision (http://www.nyghtvision.com) - our next edition is due to be released in mid-November. The magazine is free. In addition to articles about photography, one of the series is called "Lighting the Un-lightable" and it focuses on applying our lighting methodology to complex, real life, situations.
"In the early 1990s, I became the CEO of a computer company that designed and built custom CAD systems. Before selecting the monitor that we would use, we did extensive research and determined that there was one and only one that meet the demanding needs of engineering systems. That was NEC. The days of designing and building CAD systems is over for me, and CRTs have given way to flat screens. Again, after extensive research, there was one and only one choice for all our production systems: The NEC PA series displays."

"We’ve tried other LCDs, but in the end, our demanding need for near perfect color reproduction from camera and image creation to the final print, left other brands short of the mark. The quality of our flat screens is as important to us as the quality of the printers, cameras, lenses and computers we use. Other monitors may cost less – or even more – but in our experience, over time all have “drifted” – lost the ability to accurately represent color, contrast and detail. In the years since we have been using NEC, we have never experienced this problem."

"At The House of NyghtFalcon, when we think of NEC, we think of accuracy of color reproduction (97% of Adobe RGB coupled with 14-bit 3D internal programmable lookup tables (LUTs) for calibration and an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display's brightness based on lighting conditions), performance (1000:1 contrast ratio, 2560 x 1440 native resolution, 300cd/m2 brightness), and reliability. Since we often take our LCDs into the field, NEC’s XtraView+™ technology, allows a number of people to view the images on the screen with minimal off-angle color shift and the built in ambient light sensor, as we have already noted, keeps colors accurate no matter where we are working."

"The wide viewing angle and glare-free flat screen make it a pleasure with which to work. My clients are delighted with the quality of my photographs as they see the images on my screen during a shoot."

"We offer a number of seminars for photographers – from beginners to professionals. For a complete list of courses, please email us at info@nyghtfalcon.com."

Arthur Meyerson


About Arthur Meyerson >> Q & A >>

What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process? 

My suggestion is to settle on a system like Lightroom and learn how to use it properly by taking a workshop from an expert instructor. My personal choice is my friend and fellow photographer, Seth Resnick. He and his wife, Jamie, have been conducting their D-65 Workshop for many years now. They have the unique ability to take a technical subject and present it in a way that is both informative and entertaining. Once you’ve learned the program you’ll have a roadmap to your images and your archive.


What do you currently use to edit your work?

Lightroom

When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?

First and foremost, determine what are you planning to do with the photographs you make. Are they just for the web? Are they for books? Are they for exhibition prints?

These are just some of the questions one needs to think about before buying a camera. Too often I see people with top of the line camera gear and all they are doing with their photos is posting them on social media. For that, one doesn’t need a 50+ megapixel camera with several state-of-the –art lenses.

The bottom line is that the camera is a tool and selecting the right tool for the right job is what one should consider when buying a camera.

As for other equipment (computers, software, displays, printers, etc) it’s important to have the best that you can afford. These are the items that become your digital darkroom and therefore are necessary for allowing you to finalize your photographic vision.

How did you get started in photography?

My interest in photography had a lot to do with my growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. The big picture magazines… Life, Look, National Geographic… all fascinated me… in particular the photographs. But it was not until I was in college as a journalism major and had to take a course in photojournalism (basic black and white printing and processing) that I got serious. Seeing that image come up in the developing tray the first time had me hooked!

Later I took the dive into freelance commercial photography and the rest was history. It was a combination of right place, right time and a burning desire to make photographs. Everything in my life began to focus around photography and I became a bit of a “photoholic”. I studied the work of the masters sensing the importance of knowing where photography had been as well as where it might be going. When I wasn’t shooting assignments, I was constantly working on my personal images and projects. This method of working continues today and I can easily say that I am as enthusiastic now as I was when I began.

Do you have any current projects that you would like to share with us?

My first book, The Color of Light, was published in 2012 and is almost sold out. It was a collection of personal photographs from the past forty years dealing with the three elements in photography that interest me the most; light, color and the moment.

Now I am at work on my next book that explores my photographic journey as well as several places I have travelled. I hope to have it available soon.

Finally, I am continuing to teach my photo workshops in Santa Fe, Maine and PNW Arts Center (Whidbey Island) as well as leading photo tours to Japan (February), Turkey (May) and Portugal (May). For more information, please check my website, http//:www.arthurmeyerson.com.

The first time I saw an image come up in the developing tray, I was hooked on photography. It was magic!

And even in this, the digital age, it still is for me.

But that developing tray has now been replaced by a monitor, an NEC MultiSync PA301W. By that, I mean that the magic now occurs on the screen. And the better the screen, the more exciting the magic. For it is there that the developing of the “vision” can begin… regardless of how much one wants to post process the image.

I had been searching for the “ultimate” monitor for some time and having talked with several of my photographer friends, the consensus was that the NEC unit was the way to go. And, ever since I purchased it, I’ve never looked back.

The thing about having the best color balanced, sharpest resolution, non-glare screen is that you have the ability to see the possibilities of where your photograph can go prior to actually printing it. And, when you finally reach the point that you are ready to hit the print key, the proof is in the pudding when you see that image roll off the printer and it mirrors the one on your screen. This, for me, is what I was hoping for and got.

The magic continues!

Andy Fowler


About Andy Fowler >>

The first time I sold one of my photos I realized the importance of color calibration and having the best control of the color, from camera through editing and then printing.

After several iterations of setups, building my own computers, buying printers and monitors I finally found the perfect monitor to match my perfect setup and workflow. I had been searching for a 10-bit monitor that could display my images the way I see them on paper and allow me the best control of the colors and subtle shades that I craved. The NEC  27” PA272W-BK is the perfect complement to my system.

When I set the NEC monitor side-by-side with my previous monitor, which I thought was the best, it showed me what I had been missing. The blacks, the shades of grey, the accuracy of the colors was immediately apparent.

It is easy to use, smart enough to save power, allows me to share my devices through its USB ports, and most importantly allow me to print exactly what I see. The NEC monitor is now my primary display and I have it connected to my two main systems, a PC and a MAC and it switches between them flawlessly. The high resolution is crystal clear and my eyes never fatigue.

My goal now is to replace my other monitors with NEC monitors as they are do not compare with the quality of the NEC.

Alison Wright


About Alison Wright >>

I strive for precision and clarity with my cameras and lenses so it makes sense that I would want the same for my editing viewing platform. I love the set up of my two side-by-side MultiSync PA302W screens that give me edge-to-edge sharpness and precise color clarity. As the digital world becomes more finessed we need all the elements to come together to help us produce the best images possible and my NEC color monitors are a great aid with that process.  The large monitors seamlessly switch back and forth to help me edit with ease and cause less eye fatigue. I love having the large area real estate--the only drawback it makes me less inclined to edit on my laptop in the field! They are the envy of everyone who walks into my office.

www.alisonwright.com 
www.facesofhope.org 
www.natgeocreative.com 
http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photographers/photographer-alison-wright/
twitter: @awrightphoto
instagram: alisonwrightphoto
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisonwrightphoto

Robb Carr


About Robb Carr >>
"Our ever-unfolding digital world of photography comes to a level of fruition, so I believe, with the genius behind this extraordinary technology. The NEC is simply the best display in its class, and what's more it sells for an honest price."





Liz Kreitschmann


About Liz Kreitschmann >>
“Throughout the course of my four years at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I have had the pleasure of using NEC’s beautiful professional desktop monitors in our digital labs. With their precise color and brilliant clarity, I found myself spending many hours editing and printing from these monitors. Now that I’m graduated and ready to start on my own, I am thrilled to have my very own 22” NEC P221W-BK-SV digital monitor at home to help my work stay to par and always be color calibrated correctly.”