Int J Esthet Dent 1 (2006), No. 1 22. May 2006
Images play a vital role in the publication and presentation of clinical and scientific work. Within clinical photography, color reproduction has always been a contentious issue. With the development of new technologies, the variables affecting color reproduction have changed, and photographers have moved away from film-based to digital photographic imaging systems. To develop an understanding of color, knowledge about the basic principles of light and vision is important. An object's color is determined by which wavelengths of light it reflects. Colors of light and colors of pigment behave differently. Due to technical limitations, monitors and printers are unable to reproduce all the colors we can see with our eyes, also called the LAB color space. In order to optimize the output of digital clinical images, color management solutions need to be integrated in the photographic workflow; however, their use is still limited in the medical field. As described in part 2 of this article, calibrating your computer monitor and using an 18% gray background card are easy ways to enable more consistent color reproduction for publication. In addition, some basic information about the various camera settings is given to facilitate the use of this new digital equipment in daily practice.