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Thread: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

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    arith's Avatar
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    What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    My display is lit by artificial light when processing images, and if I choose to print without changes I get exactly the same print as on my screen in artificial (the same) light.

    What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at if you want to show the prints elsewhere and how do you do it?

    For instance, a magazine is viewed in lots of different places, but my photo's change colour when viewed in daylight, more so than a magazine. cheers

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    Hi Steve,

    Hmmm, not something I had really considered before.

    My instinct tells me the eye of the viewer will adapt to the WB of the room or place any print is viewed in, so "print neutral" and the eye will do the rest.

    Two things that might upset that;
    a) the print is viewed under a lamp that is a different colour temp. to the rest of the place, and/or
    b) the ink pigments absorb the light spectrum in a non-linear (across the frequency domain) way, leading to shifts that the eye doesn't see on the white paper
    c) ok, now there's three things; maybe the paper is at fault for having a spiky spectral response or absorbing some pigments more than others

    I'm well outta my zone of experience, so I'll pipe down and somebody better can advise

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    It's all a bit new to me; the reason I was going for print was the idea of bigness could be illustrated but also I thought everybody saw the same image on a print.

    Not so, the printer has a facility to print in different temperatures,(don't know how to though), my prints look right when viewed by the same light I use for editing but turn yellow in natural light.

    I use the artificial light because it gives me consistent ambient for my calibrated display, it's a new thing.

    I use the most expensive paper in this experiment, well maybe not the most expensive, but high resolution smudge resistant waterproof 240gsm gloss. It is very reflective.

    I understand a) but b) and c) are things I didn't think of; I was working on the basis that it was a) and the only way I know how to change that is with a test print but viewed under what light?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I understand a) but b) and c) are things I didn't think of; I was working on the basis that it was a) and the only way I know how to change that is with a test print but viewed under what light?
    Me either until now, but regardless of that, what you suggest probably still holds true, if printed for viewing at a certain colour temp. it'll probably be correct at that temp, but not any other.

    Cheers,

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    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    I ran into this sort of thing when I got my Xerox Phaser 8500 solid ink technology printer.

    The inks from Xerox turned out to almost be over saturated, like they were designed to mimic the luminous nature of a display screen.

    Then I switched over to ink produced by Media Sciences, not only was it cheaper, it actually rendered less saturated colors and this really came through when printing photographs later viewed under various light sources.

  6. #6

    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    You could consider using a hood to reduce the amount of ambient light that reaches your monitor. I'm not sure if it actually improves colour accuracy, but I use it anyway ;~)

    A better solution might be to eliminate all external light sources, and view the final photo on the monitor in darkness. I do this just before printing because working in darkness for long hours strains my eyes.

    PS: This is taken from a website, http://backup.cambridgeincolour.com/...e/diy-hood.jpg

    What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    cheers The hood is a good idea But I've tried another method:

    First of all, the paper isn't 16" x 12", it is more like 17" x 11.7" which is why I had problems printing up to the border, these are solved by making a white border appropriately big enough to make the image A3. I did one by adding 200 x 600 pixels on a 5400 x 3600 image.

    Second, my workflow has changed for printing because the printer prints in a wider gamut than my display, so I print 16 bit aRGB test images and now check against current light and then against the window and choose one inbetween.

    The prints are considerably more colourful than on my display, so that's that cracked. Arty paper would be nice, have you seen how much it costs.

    Did this lovely pic of pinkness everybody else seems to hate, but I like cos it is very bright.

    What is an appropriate colour temperature to print at?

    As you can see the test print is viewed where the print is to be displayed to get correct colour temperature, and I'm extremely pleased with it.
    Last edited by arith; 3rd January 2011 at 12:24 PM.

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