F.A.Q.        (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q.: Is this site about photography, graphic design, printing or color itself?

A.: As one can see from countless examples, such as the co-operation between Pentax and Hewlett-Packard on a new digital reflex camera (the EI 2000), there is now a considerable cross-over between the fields of classic, silver-based photography and digital imaging using a computer. You will find a graphic designer including a scanned or CD-photo in his composition, a photographer exploiting a vectorial (draw) program to place a headline in one of his photographs, an artist using the digital brushes in Painter to produce a limited edition. All of them are likely to output their work, at least initially, on a color ink-jet printer. In other words, the boundaries between these disciplines have become more diffuse. And all of them are obliged to understand the different color spaces used in computing.

Q.: You don't seem to make much use of Java or other "cutting-edge" techniques on your site. Why are there no frames, for example?

A.: Personally, I am one of those people who is distracted, when looking for relevant information on a Web page, by flashing banners, balls jumping around and other commercial acrobatics. I prefer to leave these gimmicks to the video, multimedia and web-page wizards. PiezoMagic is a site set up for people who appreciate the still, durable image. In fact, there has always been a certain division between cinematography (motion pictures) and still photography, both from the technology concerned as well as the mentality of people occupied in these professions. The first is definitely a team job, dynamic yet ephemeral, while the second is contemplative, individualistic but permanent.

Concerning frames, applets and so on, I have heard that these can cause trouble when a site is referenced by certain research engines (e.g., HotBot, Excite, WebCrawler). I would like my pages to be readily accessible to as many people as possible, also those with a modest configuration. The fact is that many of those sites with the highest traffic get along very nicely without frames! It's the contents which count.

Q.: You claim this site is about printing. Well, There's not much information about the techniques for 4-color offset printing here. Can we have a little more, please?

A.: High-end offset printing for glossy magazines, catalogues and advertising is a highly-specialized full-time occupation, requiring proper, hands-on training. On this site we are concerned, rather, with desktop printing in the RGB color space. Just because your desktop printer uses yellow, magenta, cyan and black inks, do not think it is necessarily a CMYK (Postscript) printer. To produce a perfect ink-jet print, even on a 54-inch wide-format machine, it is not necessary to have an intimate knowledge of color separation techniques for high-end printing (although the basics are useful).

Q.: Why do you say "Best viewed with MS Explorer 5"?

A.: I have tested my pages with Netscape Communicator 4.5 on the Windows platform as well and they showed correctly. Should you have any problems with Macintosh or older versions of these navigators, please let me know (see below).

Q.: Do you test printers?

A.: Yes and No. The individual designer, photographer or writer does not have the facilities to test, say, the imaging quality of six printers all at once - and compare the results. This is the task of large-circulation magazines to whom the manufacturers are quite willing to lend a machine, short-term. After all, it promises publicity. However, I have done calibration reports on individual printers, the most recent being the Epson Stylus 1270.

Brian Morrison

[email protected]