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Old Oct 10, 2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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I have been struggling with correcting the resulting change that my paper & printer make to my images (I'm using an Epson 4000 & Epson Archival Matte paper.) My monitor is a very good NEC CRT monitor that I profile using a Monico Optrix XR Pro. I don't believe my problem is in settings up my hardware.

If I soft proof my prints in Photoshop, I get basically an exact match between the printout and my monitor. But I don't *want* the image with the changes that the paper & ink make. I want the image I see without soft proofing turned on!

Do you have any tips for how to correct the changes that printing makes?

Maybe its just because I'm a software designer, but I think there has got to be a better way.

Does anyone know of a plug-in which will "correct" for the effects of the paper and ink/printer on your image?

If you use Photoshop and turn on soft-proofing (with a calibrated monitor, which I have) you will see what your image should look like when you print it. Often it is slightly darker and less saturated, but the effect varies depending on your printer & paper.

But the computer *knows* the effect the paper & printer will have! Why can't it look at the mappings and see what color in the printer's color space fits what the color was before soft proofing? And then just replace all occurances of the original color with the color that would produce what you *want* on paper? (Yes, it would have to handle colors in the image that your printer can't reproduce - you have that same problem now.)

Yes, this wouldn't work well if it didn't have enough data points in your paper/ink profile. But if you did, why wouldn't this work?

I've never seen any kind of plugin that does this. Am I missing something?

Eric
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 11:04 PM   #2
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Eric,

You are talking about color management, and I think what you want is to download the .icm profiles for the printer/paper combination you are using. Epson has these for a number of their printers on their website.

The soft proofing is to allow you to edit the picture to get exactly on your monitor what will be on the paper. If the results aren't satisfactory, well, you are using an editing program......

I guess maybe I don't understand your problem completely, huh?

brian
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 5:08 PM   #3
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Some of the paper makers have profiles for popular photo printers if you aren't using the printer manufacturer's paper. That might be a place to start as VTphotog suggests.

There are services that will profile a specific printer/paper combination for a price.]
If you pretty much use the same paper all the time it might be worth the price.

Mike Chaney, who developed Qimage, also has a relatively inexpensive profiling program called Profile Prism.]You scan a print of a test pattern and it generates a profile for that printer/paper combo. I bought an older version of it several years ago and it wasn't great. But newer versions are reported to be better. You might ask about it on the Qimage forum as Mike often answers posts there.
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 9:20 PM   #4
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No, I must not have described my issue well enough.
I have very good profiles. Epsons profiles for their own paper are high enough quality that most people don't get custom profiles made for them (at least, the pro photographers I know who own a 4000 don't.) I get results that match nearly exactly what I see on my screen - when I turn on soft proofing using the ICM profile of my paper and printer. This means that the profiles for the paper & ink (and my monitor profile) are all good.

My problem is that I dislike what the paper and ink does! It shifts my image so its more muted (in a non-linear way, not all colors are as muted as others.) I would like software that corrects for the effects of the profiles.

Maybe I need to change it from photoshop managing the colors when printing to the printer managing colors when I print?

Maybe I'm just so far out in left field (due to basic mistake in what I do) that we are understanding each other.

Eric
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 8:49 PM   #5
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As I understand soft proofing, the idea is to give you a preview of what your printed pic will look like. If it is not what you want, you need to edit the image (with soft proofing on) to look the way you want.

I have calibrated my monitor to match the printed colors, so I get what I see. In general, prints tend to look darker, unless viewed in strong light. The color temp of the light you use to view prints also matters. This is the dreaded 'metamerism' .

It probably is not possible to get an exact match under all conditions, so I tend to go for something that looks good under artificial light.

brian
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 9:59 AM   #6
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Yes, what you describe is what I'm seeing.

I was just hoping there was a better way to correct for the effects of the paper and ink. In some cases the difference isn't enough that I'm that bothered by it. In other cases it really destroys the effectiveness of the image. Then I try to do things like boose the saturation, brightness and/or contrast and that helps.

But there are times that I'm really just unable to "Fix it". I can't get it close enough to the unproof'ed image so that I'm happy with the result. It just seems like there should be some way to reverse the lookup table in the ICM profile to get back to what I had (assuming the color is even possible with the equipment that I have... I accept that not every color is reproduceable on paper.)

Eric
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 9:09 AM   #7
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Hi Eric,

I know what you are talking about, we've postedon issues of color mgmtin several threads.

I soft proof my stuff using icc profiles as well. I use several profiles (labs that do printing for me,paper companies and some I've created myself with Gretabmacbeths Eye-One) and of course calibrate my CRT. I do what's been mentioned already on stuff (tweak the images while viewing the soft proof). I beleive I'm usingthe same monitor that you are (Refurb NECwith the same tube that the LaCie Big Blue had).I'm using an HP 8750 at home and the color is quite good, but there are many times when the gamut of the printer can't capture the original image.

I'm looking to get a new LCD either a Eizo 24" SE LCD or the new NEC 260OUxi due out in November that is supposed to cover 92% of Adobe RGB, I assume this will only make matters worse in what the printer can reproduce.

I know I don't have an answer for you, doubt that anyone will.

By day I'm a Unix Admin/Oracle DBA (longtime programmer before that).

Good luck,
Joe
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 2:21 PM   #8
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Yes, I believe we do have the same monitor. Very lovely monitor, I have to say.

I'm not sure you're problem will be worse. I bet that CRT can handle all of AdobeRGB (but I honestly don't know.)

I'm really thinking that some kinda reverse lookup on the ICM profile would solve my problem... maybe it doesn't work because the profiles are not that detailed. If they were, they would be HUGE. I might have to interpolate so much data that I would be actually "looking up" very little of the data.

The forums that used to be on Rob Galbraith's web page had one of the absolute BEST color management forums I found on the web. It had people with lots of experience giving good advice (people who own photo labs with 20+ monitors all kept in color-sync with each other... people who *really* care about proper calibration and monitor quality.) Here it is:
http://www.prophotohome.com/forum/colour-management/

A great source for info about color management. I would definitely go there before buying any monitor.

Eric
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 6:39 PM   #9
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Sorry to butt in here but I would like to know how to calibrate my LCD monitor so it comes close to the printed picture?:shock:

Let me know if I need to post this question in some other forum. I have noticed that not only my pictures look different on my monitor than printed one they also look different on my friends monitors...:?
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