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Target Characterizer

The MegaVision philosophy for making pictures differs from other digital capture companies by designing tools that function in keeping with the photographic fundamentals of great photographers like Ansel Adams only with the use of modern and high tech tools.

MegaVision considers the photographer the best translator of tonality to a chosen target, so the MegaVision toolbox is designed with that in mind.

Photography is a medium that follows physical laws. The number of tones a target can render, reflective or transmissive, is a function of physics. Paper can be measured with a spectrophotometer and the density of the paper can be known, when printed with the inks used. It is possible to observe the highest and lowest separable values for any paper and ink combination. Target Characterization is the measured density and observed endpoints of the rendering destination. At MegaVision, Target Characterization is very important because it defines the approach to making pictures.

It is necessary to know how much contrast a paper and ink can print. Why shoot more contrast than the paper can hold? The photographer can start by knowing the paper's endpoints-- the highest and lowest separable values. Why send an important 95%-96%-97% transition to a fine art matte paper that plugs at 94%? It's the same for the high values - why print 1% and 2% highlight detail to a paper that won't print it? Professional photographers have always been good at shooting specific tonality for a target; Velvia is different from Ektachrome, and Ektachrome is different from Portra.

It is possible to determine the target properties, reflective or transmissive. Printing MegaVision's Target Characterizer file will display the target's renderable endpoints, and measure the target's density. The Target Characterizer file can be used to test if the transmissive monitor in use is valid when it's displaying an output profile-- which should match the printed output of the file. It's also possible to print the Target Characterizer in ink densities, in zone system values, or in RGB levels-the photographer can use whatever scale is suitable for the project.

The Target Characterizer is an important tool for determining if a printer is behaving properly. Because the file is built in grayscale and converted to color, it's a valid test file to determine if a printer is neutral from highlight-to-shadow, when printing with color inks.

Knowing how a target performs at the endpoint highlights and shadows will assist in lighting these important segments of an image. Knowing the measured density of a target will allow setting Photoshoot's contrast to match the paper. The all important rendering translation happens in front of the lens, instead of a monitor. That's an important part of the MegaVision Workflow.

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