Case Studies

Alexander Semenov - Marine Biologist and Professional Underwater Photographer

Mr. Alexander Semenov

My relationship with digital world started a long time ago when I was working as 3D modeler and CG artist. Later I switched to scientific imaging and underwater photography, turning my hobby into my dream job. Now I’m working with the biggest nature and wildlife magazines, publishing my own books, holding exhibitions and giving lectures all around the world. From the beginning, image quality has always been at the top of my needs, and that’s the reason why I’m in constant search of perfect equipment for my work – both hardware and software. Good tools are essential for professional results. 

In the underwater world you never can get what you see by your own eyes. Even the most modern cameras go crazy – white balance and colors are always shifted, some colors in the spectrum just disappear because of light adsorption by the seawater. That’s why it’s almost impossible to get good image without proper editing (sometimes really heavy editing). The main goal is to get not only proper colors, but to make your picture shine and look natural, without over-editing – that’s what every wildlife photographer wants. As a final result, all these images will be in the books, exhibitions, galleries and magazines, so you need to be sure that your pictures look great not only on the screen, but as physical prints too.

I used a lot of displays in my life and I noticed that the overall quality improved dramatically in the last decade, but there is still a ways to go. Two years ago when my last screen mysteriously died, I turned my eyes to my long-term dream - EIZO ColorEdge CG276 and bought it just because of curiosity spiced with tons of good reviews all over the internet. At first I was quite disappointed – a very expensive screen was “just working” without any of the magic I expected, and also it was quite complicated to learn how all its functions and modes work. Then I checked almost all of my old photos and noticed a lot of mistakes I made with editing – sometimes black wasn’t black, with the darker holes on a background made by the burn tool or eraser, some colors were not as rich as I thought, and some oversaturated. I corrected all this stuff and continue working for a few months with my new professional monitor still trying to get the idea of its pricey advantages.  I understood all the pros immediately after I switched back to another monitor I have at the White Sea Biological Station where I work for 4–5 months in a year. It was also brand new and a 4K screen from a well-known manufacturer but it can’t even come close to EIZO – its super-contrast screen and saturated colors are good for watching action movies and playing games, but it’s a huge problem when you need precise control over your photos. All images I edited on this screen appeared to be too dark and hardly contrasted at all. With EIZO I get what I actually see on the screen, with this – no. Downgrading from the professional equipment was painful.

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But I solved this little problem buying a second EIZO – this time new CG277 and now I have a chance to work with the pictures at home and at the station, being sure that I’ll get perfectly the same results. With the automatic calibration I also have no headaches about proper colors on the screen. One of the things I like most about the EIZO CG Series color science is pre-press editing. With custom color profiles (or even without them) from the photo laboratory I always get perfect prints and, sometimes, questions from color correction guys from the lab: “Alex, what monitor do you use?” because they don’t even need to touch my pictures before printing. That’s really a pleasant compliment from professionals. For me they are scientists and magicians, but it seems I can do the same tech-based magic!

Lastly, EIZO monitors are a great long-term investment because of 5 year warranty, bullet-proof steady construction, great service and dealers. I’m really happy with both of my displays. Me and my little team of underwater cameramen recently switched to video production, so now we have a lot of grading, again, with EIZO. We’re planning to buy more monitors as a company – not only to work with the best, but to be sure everything will work perfectly correct. Looking forward to a new EIZO 4K!

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Alexander Semenov is a member of EIZO's ColorEdge Ambassador Program. The program showcases creatives who are committed to inspiring and educating artist around the world of all levels. To view his profile, click here. Ambassador Program

 

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Case Studies