Monitor Calibration and Printing

Discussion in 'Printing' started by NoTan2, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Now that I have two photogenic grandchildren (2 years old), I decided that I would like to get some printing done to share with the family.

    Expecting the worse (which is what I got), I picked a nice candid of my grandson taken on Christmas Day, did a few adjustments in LR and selected "Edit in Photoshop" as I wanted to crop the image to portrait. Then I set PhotoPro RGB, 300 ppi and saved it as a JPEG.

    For the first attempt, I went to the local office supplies store and printed a 6 x 8. Having done a fair bit of reading on the challenges of printing, I wasn't surprised when the colours lacked saturation.

    I was about to buy an entry level calibrator but chanced upon a deal on an i1 Display Pro that was too good to resist. I ran the software on both my monitors - a cheap DELL S2340L and an expensive (when new) but quite old NEC LCD2070NX. Both have IPS panels. After creating profiles, both the displays looked the same which I though was a good start.

    I loaded the image that I had previously printed back into Photoshop and selected View\Proof Setup\Custom and selected the profile created by the X_Rite.

    Aha!! The image on screen looked very close to the washed out print. I don't use Photoshop very much so I attempted what I thought should have been a similar process in LR - Soft Proofing and selected the same profile under Proof Settings and clicked on Create Proof Copy.
    The image didn't change. No matter which profile I select in Soft Proofing, the image doesn't change so clearly I'm missing something important.

    So back to Photoshop and I adjusted the Proof image to improve the colours, saved it to JPEG and took it to be printed. Success - it looks pretty close to the image on the screen.

    However, the JPEG looks hideous outside of Photoshop. When viewed in any of the image viewing programs or just Windows Explorer, it's scarey - bright pink.

    Anyway, I'm getting the results I want in a round about way but it seems like I'm missing something obvious and I'd rather just use LR if possible as I'm more used to it.

    Am I doing something stupid here, or is this the way it's supposed to work?

    Thanks.
     
  2. pondball

    pondball Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    I doubt very much if your local office supply store is using photopro ... more than likely they are using AdobeRGB. That could make a difference.
     
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    What color space are you assigning to the exported image? Unless the printing service supports Adobe RGB, you should be saving the file for printing with an sRGB color space.

    --Ken
     
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  4. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Their website just says "RGB".

    Under Edit\Color Settings, the Working space is set to sRGB IEC61966-2.1.
    Under the Assign Profile menu, the Profile is set to ProPhoto RGB (I mistakenly said "PhotoPro" above). If I change this to either sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or the profile created by the X-Rite software, then the image on-screen looks like the printed output. If I save it as a JPEG, it looks again like the printed output, so if this indeed prints correctly then perhaps I'm getting somewhere.

    Clearly, I need to set aside at least a day to do some reading and gain an understanding of how LR and Photoshop are handling colour spaces and profiles.

    Thanks very much to both for your suggestions.
     
  5. pondball

    pondball Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    ProPhoto is used by very few, if any big box store photo shops. Most use sRGB or if you’re lucky Adobe RGB.

    Creative Live has a course on printing that has explained a ton of things, most of what I’ll probably never use, but it is very very interesting. I’ll look up the link and post it here.
     
  6. Highlander

    Highlander Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Mar 17, 2011
    USA, Northeast Coast
    Richard Correale
    I'm in the giclee printing business (owner/operator) and I always convert any file uploaded to me for printing to ProPhoto RGB 16 bit and print on an Epson 9900 44" inkjet printer using Epson's High Dynamic Range 11 color ink set which has a dedicated orange and green color. The results are amazing and all materials have been 3rd party tested to show no visible signs of fading for 100 yrs. My website allows for direct upload of digital files which then get analyzed by on site software for resolution leading to a display of multiple proportional sizes with corresponding prices, no cost or obligation to purchase by doing so. PM me if you need details.

    The bulk of my business is digital capture and reproduction of original paintings for artists with brick & mortar galleries where they sell the prints but I do plenty of printing from digital files supplied by photographers and the every day snap shot shooter.
     
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  7. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    FWIW I've always used sRGB out of simplicity if nothing else. Never even heard of ProPhoto I have to admit, so I have no opinion on it, but sounds like that could be the cause if printers don't use it. I do my own printing and outsource some from different vendors and results match my mediocre consumer (not uber expensive pro) monitor. I also calibrated with a free software mainly for brightness and color temp and it worked out fine without having to splurge on a device. In fact, in many cases, the prints look better than my monitor on the right paper or metal. I've sold a good number of prints over the last few years, and I'm not an expert, but not a total noob either. ;)

    I print directly from LR...usually right from a Raw file. Jpeg for outsourced. Good luck sorting it out.
     
  8. pondball

    pondball Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    @NoTan2@NoTan2 Paul... here's the link to the Creative Live course. It's called From Capture to Print, by Rocco Ancora. He explains everything you'd ever want to know about sRGB, AdobeRGB and ProPhoto and more, much more. It's running $99 right now but if you keep an eye on things you can pick it up during one of their many sales for much less. I think I paid around $30 - $40 for it... worth every penny.

    Also... I'd take @Highlander@Highlander 's tip and PM him.
     
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  9. Highlander

    Highlander Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Mar 17, 2011
    USA, Northeast Coast
    Richard Correale
    ProPhoto RGB (developed by Kodak) has an extended color gamut as compared to sRGB and Adobe RGB but you need to be in 16 bit mode and printing with the high dynamic range inks to take full advantage of it.
     
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  10. pondball

    pondball Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    true too... I haven't used it as much as I would have liked to yet but I printed a shot of our kids' dog on my Epson Pro-1000 (12 ink) and I was astounded at the result... actually looks better on the print than it did on my screen... a retina MBPro! The course I referred to in post#8 has a section that shows just how much more information there is between sRGB, AdobeRGB and ProPhoto.
     
  11. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Thanks Highlander. That's interesting.
    If you receive an image with a more restricted gamut and only 8 bit, are there benefits to converting it to ProPhoto 16?
     
  12. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    I just had a look at a well known "better" quality online printing service here in Australia and they specify sRGB, 8 bit and 300 ppi as you have said. I'll have a look at some others later.
    I don't have a colour printer and just intend to find a quality online vendor and use that but I would imagine that you could calibrate to your own printer by trial and error if you owned one.

    I initially used the builtin Windows calibration wizard and the results really aren't a great deal different from what I got from the X-Rite.

    I'd like to export the files for printing from LR rather than sending them to PS. I'm sure I just need to spend some more time on research.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  13. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Thanks pondball - just looking at it now. I'll keep an eye out for a sale. $99 is almost $130 in Australian dollars at the moment. That sounds a lot worse after the rate conversion. :)
     
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  14. pondball

    pondball Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    agreed... same hit to the dime as it is here in Canada... this course has been on sale 3 or 4 times throughout the year. I've got somewhere in the order of 20 or so courses at Creative Live, most of which are top notch... very thorough. CL always has mini sales online and usually in conjunction with major american holidays. I get emails from them 2 - 3 times a week and usually jump when the prices become Cdn$ friendly on topics I'm interested in. I also like them because all their course videos are downloadable for viewing at leisure.
     
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I do not have PS, so I cannot direct you to the appropriate settings, but I do use LR (v5.x) and can give you some suggestions if you print through a service.

    Assuming that you are shooting raw files, it is best to import them into LR and use LR's native color space (Pro Photo, aka Melissa RGB). Pro Photo is a wide color space, as was mentioned above, and was somewhat designed to mimic the smaller sRGB space in its profile. It is also a 16-bit space, and it is usually best to keep your raw file there until you are ready to export and print. Moving files back and forth between wide and narrow gamut spaces is generally not recommended.

    When you are ready to export for printing, export to Adobe or sRGB, depending on the lab preference. If not stated, then always export to sRGB.

    Regarding you monitor, use your puck and software to create a profile for it. DO NOT use this profile for anything else, like your printer or LR.

    Hope this helps a bit,

    --Ken
     
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  16. Highlander

    Highlander Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Mar 17, 2011
    USA, Northeast Coast
    Richard Correale
    Yes.
     
  17. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Thanks Ken. Yes, I always shoot raw but I've never worried about colour spaces before and printing has pushed me to make the effort. Colour spaces and their settings seem to be well hidden in LR. Perhaps I should actually read the manual. :)
    Sorry but I'm confused. Isn't the point of calibrating my monitors to allow me to use the profiles for LR?
     
  18. BosseBe

    BosseBe Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    628
    Aug 7, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'm using Spyder 5 express to calibrate my monitor(s) and when calibration is done the Spyder express program loads the profile into the graphic cards memory and all programs use that profile as long as I don't turn it off. (I can see the colours changing as I start the computer when the profile loads.)
    So no need to specify the profile in LR (which I don't use) or DxO Photolab that I do use.
    I would think that X_Rite does the same thing.
     
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  19. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Paul
    Yes, that's the first thing that I checked after iProfile finished. The new profiles (.icm) were set as the default in the Color Management section of control panel for each monitor. And yes, the colours change as I turn the profiles on and off.

    I was sure that I had misunderstood what Ken was saying due to my (temporarily) incomplete grasp of the concepts but I thought that I'd ask the question anyway. :)

    Thanks BosseBe.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    While I do not wish to contradict Highlander, there used to be discussions about things like possible posterization when moving files back and forth between 8-bit and 16-bit work spaces. What I would say is that it may not always be ideal, and that if you want more information, it may be worth a web search.

    --Ken
     
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