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Using color profile

818 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 4, 2012 3:03 PM by Kirby Krieger RSS
CarlWhite Calculating status...
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Jul 4, 2012 8:26 AM

I've noticed that when I output some of my photos to my HP Photosmart C7280 printer, the printed photo is often darker than my original (or, at least, how it is displayed on my monitor).  When I print, I have always used the "Printer Managed" option under the Color Profile setting.  Is there a better option to use here?  Or, is this more a problem with my printer?

 

Thanks,

Carl

MacPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 2.66 Ghz Intel Dual-Core Xeon, 4 Gb Ram, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 8:29 AM (in response to CarlWhite)

    It may be a problem with the color calibration of your display. Have you calibrated your display? If not, then search this forum for the posts of Kirby Krieger on calibrating your Display.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,440 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 9:00 AM (in response to CarlWhite)

    Carl,

     

    Admonitions to calibrate are good advice, but I have never yet found a pressing need to calibrate my 23" Apple Cinema Display.  I base this on many opportunities to see my images on other screens and computers.  These include my iPads, including one that is Gen 3 with Retina.  So it may or may not be related to monitor calibration.

     

    I particularly like Aperture's print presets having in the Image Adjustment section sliders to brighten the image (and other adjustments) upon printing, and I find that gives me the best match with all papers and their matching Profiles without adjusting the image within Aperture.

     

    Ernie

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,440 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 9:53 AM (in response to CarlWhite)

    Carl,

     

    I would probably do calibration if ever may images looked different on other screens, or if I were sending to labs to print where I would want to be sure to match their results.  So only you can judge whether the problem is such as to strongly suggest calibration.

     

    It is simply hard to print to look like back-lit images.  But with the print section adjustments I get very, very close.  Also those I have had printed from the providers available to me on SmugMug are really close.  But they may make adjustments beyond those I make prior to uploading.

     

    Ernie

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 10:40 AM (in response to CarlWhite)

    While calibration may be good - it doesn't seem totally necessary, especially when it involves spending scarce $ on software to do it.

    It is not necessary to spend $ on display calibration - if you open the System Preferences and then the "Display" tab, then click the "Colours" tab, you can calibrate your display with the tools provided by Apple. Check the color profile your display is using; and if you press the "Calibrate" button, you can refine the display profile.

     

    At least you will get an idea how much your display differs from the optimal setup, by walking once thr the calibration process.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 11:18 AM (in response to CarlWhite)

    You are welcome, Carl!

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)
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    Jul 4, 2012 3:03 PM (in response to CarlWhite)

    Hi Carl,

     

    A couple additions to the discussion so far.

     

    1. "My prints are too dark" is a very common query.  I suggest starting by reading the top two Google hits, the article from Luminous Landscape and the article from Northlight Images.

     

    There are many causes.  Those articles will inform you what they are.

     

    2.  You may be able to modify a single workflow in order to have prints from one printer match the images you see on-screen.  While that is useful, it is not (except by luck) applicable to any other workflow, or any other hardware.  A significant danger of this is that when you change your hardware, _all_ of your images will need to be re-adjusted.

     

    I edit tens of thousands of images a year.  I want my edited pictures to look the same regardless of what hardware my clients use or what hardware I might be using next month or in two years.

     

    That is why I recommend a color-calibrated workflow.  Calibration is the process of providing a hardware-specific set of adjustment to each device.  The devices are calibrated to standards.  The end result is that any image you produce on your color-calibrated hardware will look the same -- and print the same -- on any color-calibrated device, anywhere, at any time (within the limits of the devices, of course).

     

    This is fully explained in terrific little book, Abhay Sharma's "Understanding Color Management".  (Not up-to-date, but not at all outdated.  Also not inexpensive.)

     

    The only acceptable color-calibration is done with photospectrometers.  The built-into-OS-X color calibration tool is better than nothing, but should in no case be considered a substitution for the accuracy and reliability of a hardware calibrator.

     

    As Léonie kindly pointed out, I have posted many times about color calibration.  This post probably has the most usable information.

     

    Feel free to ask more  .

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