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Thread: A printing question?

  1. #1

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    A printing question?

    What color temp. do you print your prints for. I have printed several prints and they look different depending on what light you view them in.

    I printed a sample of this(4 times and i'm still not happy with the results)................

    A printing question?


    With incandescent light the sky look a little purple, with natural light it looks more blue. Also the red color cast of the sunset is a little over bearing under incandescent light and looks pretty good with natural light.

    I decreased the reds and increased the blues and the sky looks good(under incandescent light) , but the red of the sunset is lost and the trees look overly green. (i changed from a red cast to a green one)


    Is this just something you have to play with to get the way you want, or is their something i'm missing.

    It can't be my screen calibration , because some prints come out perfect and an ocational one, will give me fits like this one.

    Any help is most appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Re: A printing question?

    Hi Steve,

    The colour you see on your print is the result of the color spectrum of the light source being absorbed by the dyes/pigments and paper. What is left to be reflected defines the colour we see. So the light source used to view a print will have a big effect.

    The ink you use will probably be designed to be used with a D50 illuminant. This is a precise definition of wavelengths for the light. If you use a different light source to view the print then it may have colour shifts. These shifts may be more noticeable in certain colours.

    You can buy D50 illuminant light boxes for print proofing. However they are expensive and you may not feel the need for such accuracy.

    The solution for strange lighting would be profile the printer under the specific light that you will use to display the print, e.g. If on show in an exhibition with fluorescent lighting. However I am not sure if this is possible. I think spectrophotometers shine light on the subject and read the reflectance. I do not know if they can profile using the incident light.

    Alternatively you just put up with it. D50 is very close to sunlight (5000 Kelvin). So they should look OK for most hanging situations.

    Alex
    Last edited by herbert; 1st March 2012 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Chnaged D5000 to D50

  3. #3
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    Re: A printing question?

    I would think everything you need to get an acceptable image is already a function of the printer profile, the paper used, and your edited photo. But what Steve is describing sounds like a function I have on my hp Photosmart 7600, exif printing and its found on the printers menu, not in the software menu. It works with a camera that supports exif printing. Exposure time, flash setting, and color saturation are encoded in the image file. I have yet to use it as I rarely use the printer's interface.

  4. #4

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    Re: A printing question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    What color temp. do you print your prints for.
    Hi Steve,

    The short answer is "to suit the colour temperature of the light they're going to be viewed under". There's no "magic temp" that will make the image look the same under all lighting conditions.

  5. #5

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    Re: A printing question?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    The ink you use will probably be designed to be used with a d5000 illuminant.
    Hi Alex,

    Tiny "nit pick" - it's actually D50 - not D5000 (although 5000 kelvin is the actual temp).

  6. #6
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: A printing question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Alex,

    Tiny "nit pick" - it's actually D50 - not D5000 (although 5000 kelvin is the actual temp).
    Thanks Colin. I wonder what a D5000 light would look like. Probably very blue (if it would be 50,000K).

    Alex

  7. #7

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    Re: A printing question?

    Thanks everyone for the great info. I figured as much as far as color temp, you can only print it for one.

    My next question......................why are printers (at least my printer) so sensitive to white balance? If i print an image with a perfect or almost perfect WB, everthing comes out exactly as i see it on screen. However if the WB is off just a little bit, or there is a slight color cast (like the image above) it will print some very strange colors. For example the above image will print the sky with a purple cast to it.(sky looks more of a purple color than blue) The rest of the image looks ok, but not the same as the screen. How do you handle an image like this and get it adjusted correctly?

    If i go into cmyk and adjust the levels for cyan and magenta and then add some saturation and hue to the blue channel i can get it to print fairly close , except the land is more saturated than what is on screen, but it looks good. (brings out the yellows and reds of the sunset)


    So what is the right way to handle it other than printing 15 4x6's like i did?

  8. #8

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    Hi Steve,

    For some reason purply blues are a common problem - I never really have understood why.

  9. #9

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    Re: A printing question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    ......................why are printers (at least my printer) so sensitive to white balance? If i print an image with a perfect or almost perfect WB, everthing comes out exactly as i see it on screen. However if the WB is off just a little bit, or there is a slight color cast (like the image above) it will print some very strange colors. For example the above image will print the sky with a purple cast to it.(sky looks more of a purple color than blue) The rest of the image looks ok, but not the same as the screen. How do you handle an image like this and get it adjusted correctly?

    If i go into cmyk and adjust the levels for cyan and magenta and then add some saturation and hue to the blue channel i can get it to print fairly close , except the land is more saturated than what is on screen, but it looks good. (brings out the yellows and reds of the sunset)


    So what is the right way to handle it other than printing 15 4x6's like i did?
    Steve

    The short answer is that none of this should be necessary. If your monitor and your printer are both well calibrated and profiled you should get pretty darn good screen-print match (under something approximating d50 lighting, as mentioned before) whatever WB or other colour choice you made in the image.

    OTOH if, by chance, the colours you are regarding as critical happen to be out of gamut for your monitor (IOW printing correctly but clipped on your monitor) or out of gamut for the printer (displaying correctly but clipped in print) then you have a challenge!

    But making arbitrary changes to some colours in order to try and 'correct' the print will almost certainly stuff up other colours: that's the way colour works. That approach is a bear pit, IMHO.

    It's usually best to test the integrity of your screen print matches with an independent reference image that you don't make any attempt to edit in any way. Keith Cooper has some good ones here: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...st_images.html

    It's a bit hard to be more specific w/o knowing what your setup is: what s/w are you using to print, what printer are you printing to, and whether you're using the correct profile for the paper and ink you're using and so on

    For some background you could look at www.fromcameratoprint.com

    Tim

  10. #10

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    Re: A printing question?

    Thanks again guys.

    Tim, i'm only having a problem with a few images. Most of the time, if they don't print right, i will notice a slight color cast that went undetected when i edited the image. A small color cast will make a huge impact on how the image prints (at least for me, don't know how it affects others). As soon as i correct the color cast it will usually print exactly or really close to what i see on the screen.

    As far as certain blues (skys for some reason) they print purple'ish instead of blue. I printed an image of my nephew with a blue coat on, and it printed a perfect blue (go figure). I will have to say , the WB was spot on though. I guess i will have to just watch my histograms and make shure i don't have any color casts, before i print, and if a sky prints a little purple, i'll just have to adjust the hue and saturation.

    Thanks again for the help, i just want to make shure i'm doing things right.(new to printing)

  11. #11

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    Re: A printing question?

    Steve
    If you have problems with only a few images it does suggest a gamut issue (those few contain the troublesome colours). Have you tried printing with perceptual rendering intent: that should at least pull the colours into the printer gamut: they'll not be exact but differences should be subtle.

    That said, I had a lot of trouble a few years ago with colour casts when trying to print on Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl paper from my Canon Pro9000. That problem wasn't solved until I was able to build a good custom printer profile. Now all is sweet. (Well it was - I've just today installed a new Epson printer so I need to make new profiles!)

    Anyhoo ... Good luck

    Tim

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