Digital prints look washed out.

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Dogfart, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Dogfart

    Dogfart Guest

    On screen, the photos look great, good colour tones, etc.

    When I print (Epson R800), most of them look a little washed ou.

    Mainly portrait stuff.

    What should I do to tweak these slightly? Does the monitor need
    Dogfart, Nov 3, 2005
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  2. Dogfart

    Marli Guest

    sounds like a colour space or calibration issue
    Marli, Nov 3, 2005
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  3. Dogfart

    Dogfart Guest

    How to fix?
    Dogfart, Nov 3, 2005
  4. Dogfart

    Chris David Guest

    Without more information it seems that you are viewing the image in AdobeRGB
    colour space but using sRGB for the printing which is somewhere around 20%
    less saturated. If using photoshop check which profile is embedded into the
    image and what working space your in. Also check the right media settings
    are on in print settings
    Chris David, Nov 3, 2005
  5. Dogfart

    Dogfart Guest

    I am using Picassa2. Not sure what setting I have on the camera.

    The printer has the right settings - high quality photo, etc.
    Dogfart, Nov 3, 2005
  6. Dogfart

    Baz Guest

    I presume you're using quality ink and paper.

    Baz, Nov 3, 2005
  7. Dogfart

    Dogfart Guest

    Epson archival stuff. High gloss blah blah.
    Dogfart, Nov 3, 2005
  8. Dogfart

    k Guest

    | On screen, the photos look great, good colour tones, etc.
    | When I print (Epson R800), most of them look a little washed ou.
    | Mainly portrait stuff.
    | What should I do to tweak these slightly? Does the monitor need
    | calibrating?

    Each camera, monitor, printer and any other 'digital' device which records,
    displays or outputs any colour will have it's own colour space or gamut,
    i.e. it will have it's own colours that the others may or may not be able
    to reproduce.

    Each colour space/gamut when defined or controlled by a 'profile' will
    restrict or expand the colours produced or recorded by a device, either by
    clipping or altering in either a linear or logarithmic fashion (in the case
    of smaller gamut) OR expanding in a linear or logarithmic fashion if the
    gamut is expanded for display or outputting.

    If you know how the colour is treated in a profile - clipping/linear
    alteration etc, then you have more knowledge of how 'accurately' the
    colours will be reproduced and thus more control over the input/output, by
    selecting the appropriate handler for the modifying profiler. This way you
    can make sure the image has the best chance of looking right in it's
    intended final output.

    Each gamut/colour space is real - that is, your printer can't print greener
    than it's greenest green. Each software defined colour space makes
    assumptions about your input/output device which may or may not be accurate
    based on whatever calibration the device receives and as a consequence, the
    gamut may be unduly restricted or excessively forgiving of expected
    colours - hence the reason 'profiling' a workflow through a number of
    different devices and software packages is both a headache and critical.

    Some colour spaces are desirably restricted for graphic designers working
    with magazines - i.e., many ICC profiles are designed for 4 colour offset
    printing devices where having the full colour space of an 8 colour inkjet
    will NOT produce good or accurate results, however for a photographer who
    wants the full gamut of their printer to display the depth and richness of
    colour possible, cramping the gamut is less than desirable (though a lot of
    people do this without realising it, and they could have far better
    pictures than the flat images they print!)

    - I suspect this might be what's going on with your images..

    of course using a very broad gamut for images designed for the web produces
    problems too - a gamut wider than one supported by monitors will produce
    flat, washed out colours when displayed on profile independent web
    browsers. Horses for courses - the gamut MUST be selected appropriately
    for the intended output, and the image worked or modified so it will
    reproduce 'correctly' in that output.

    Each colour space has it's advantages and disadvantages - some are designed
    for rgb display*, others for cmyk, others (very few) for clcmlmyklk fewer
    again for clcmlmykrg - anyone actually see an option anywhere for a
    clcmlmykrg profile or gamut?? ;-) - *device dependant OR device
    independent - it depends..

    and then there's 'soft proofing' profiles.

    The International Color Consortium (ICC) is mainly dedicated to the
    printing industry where CMYK devices are the final destination for images,
    hence the reason I have problems with the idea of ICC profiles for

    Working with guys in the background of the print industry, they say they are
    gut sick of new colour standards popping up all the time, each
    promising to solve everyone's problems - failing, and being replaced next
    year with another new and exciting and better management system. They are
    also gut sick of the graphic designer/photographer conflicts that occur
    because of the difference between colours *perceived* and colours *actual*.
    Perception of colour and the interference created by memory is very much at
    odds with sensitometric colour renderings and measurements.

    but I digress.

    Simple answer - Maybe you want to work in AdobeRGB for altering images and
    printing, (for it's broader gamut) and sRGB for web output.

    slightly less simple answer but one which will teach you a lot more about
    your printer - open and print images out of something that doesn't impose
    any profiles on the image (***more on this below), then go through each
    printer media choice and knock out a small print so you can compare them all
    and see what each option does. Each 'media' setting on the epson changes
    the ppi settings, the amount of ink dumped on the paper and the colours that
    are squited onto the paper. Then once you've found a mnedia setting that
    most cvlosely approaches what you want, go into the colour management
    options and repeat the process making sure you set the media to that same
    setting each time. You'll find you get quite different results ! Eventally
    you'll stumble across something that works best for what you want, and at
    the smae time you'll get a feel for what the printer is doing.

    After that, set everything up that same way (tyo the best settings you've
    obtained) but turn OFF the colour management and go into the MANUAL colour
    settings option and making an educated guess based on what you see as the
    flaws in the current, most likely candidate for a 'good' print - tweak the
    colours seperately, tweak the gamma, tweak the contrast, tweak the
    intensity - then SAVE the new 'profile' you've created and give it a
    sensible name. If the resulting print needs more fine tuning, again
    applying a sensible adjustment, modify this profile you've created and save
    it again before printing until you get the sort of print you're after.

    (***) the reason for picking a profile-free program to print out of (like a
    browser or Irfanview) is that you may inadvertantly be crossing up profiles
    all over the shop - remember the old days of photography where we tried to
    minimize all the variables and just change a single thing at a time when we
    were developing / printing? Same thing applies. Progs like PS and the like
    are riddled with profiles that may or may not get turned on when your
    computer boots or the software loads. it's a fact. Sometimes if the prog
    or the OS can't find a profile it will just ignore it, sometimes old
    profiles are used instead, sometimes profiles are accidentally overwritten..
    whatever, things go wrong, but the main problem is that there are multiple
    profiles being loaded across a computer which may be in conflict and it's
    hard to know WHICH one is throwing things off!

    I mean, you have a screen profile, then if you're using photoshop, IT alters
    the way the images are displayed in the program, and then if the image is
    sent to print through PS, other profiles are attached before finally going
    thru the printer profile. Which one is wrong? eeek!! Using the method
    I've described above, you'll see the image in it's bog stock RGB form on
    screen, then when it's sent to print the ONLY profile being used to modify
    the image is the printer profile in the printer, no other software
    imposition is taking place.. thus you can easily work out what colour
    /gamma/intensity setting needs changing.

    Once you've done all this and got the best print you can, you'll find almost
    ALL papers passing thru your printer on the print settings (profile) you've
    created will be almost indistinguishable from one another, irrespective of
    surface, weight, brand, etc.. Small tweaks will be needed to customise for
    paper colour variations, but not much - and each new 'profile' you create
    can be named appropriately for the media used.

    hope this helps

    karl shah-jenner
    k, Nov 4, 2005
  9. Dogfart

    Dogfart Guest

    Hope so! Thanks for taking the time with the explanation.
    Dogfart, Nov 4, 2005
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