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At 08:34 AM 10/25/00 -0500, Holland wrote: >rafe, > >>From your prior posts I gather you are using XG ink, an 1160 and gelatin >paper (?Ilford Glossy). No, not Xg, or any other Ilford derivative. Not at the moment. 1160-yes. Gelatin papers when I want a crisp, photographic print. If it's a more relaxed, "soothing" image, I go with coated matte papers. Glacier, Denali, Somerset Enhanced, etc. >I have nearly gone crazy trying to get good looking color without >profiling, trying different paper type settings, and tweaking the Brt, >Cont, Sat, Cy, Mag and yellow sliders. Until I began messing with MIS-arc inks, I never touched the sliders in the Epson print driver. For the MIS-arc inks, I generally use: -5 brightness, +5 contrast, +5 saturation. At least as a starting point. I still don't mess with the color sliders in the print driver. >I finally gave up and ordered Profiler RGB, which I have not yet >received. Good luck... >Anyway, would you mind sharing either the settings you are using in the >epson driver, or some tips on how you managed to get good color? Gad, I think I've covered it many, many times. Please bear in mind that my photos do not rely on, and are not meant to represent "objectively accurate" color. If you need that, ignore the rest of this post. For my photos, I strive for an image that is pleasant to look at, and believable. For landscapes, there's often a good deal of leeway. Of course, people will not generally want to look at a photo that's obviously off-color. On matters of color spaces and profiles, I defer happily to The Man from Maine. I'm still happiest working with Photoshop 4, un-color-managed, and profile-less. But I do take my numbers seriously <g>. But the gist of it is to "go by the numbers" as much as possible. I try hard to identify something (even a few pixels) close to pure white, and pure black, in each image. I use the curves tool to get the black to (5,5,5) and the white to (250,250,250). I look really hard for something in the image that ought to be neutral (a rock, say) and set that to R=G=B. That's the core of it... If there are no neutrals in the image, it's tough. But by the same token -- an image with no neutrals is less likely to be seen as "off-color." Unless, of course, you've messed up some reference colors and printed the bananas as orange, or the oranges as lemon yellow... <g>. The actual values used for "black" and "white" are somewhat negotiable, within reason. If you plan to do a lot of unsharp masking, you might want to be more conservative, and use 10,10,10 for black, and 245,245,245 for white -- because the USM step will push the tonal range back out toward the limits. One very useful "trick" is to look at each of the color planes separately in Photoshop, and consider each as an image in its own right. If any one of the color planes is blown out, muddy, or blocked up, re-do the scan. Of course, it's not always possible to get all three looking beautiful. Most likely the blue channel will look less appealing than the other two, and red will have the best detail and contrast. If it's not possible to re-scan, use the "Calculations" tool (PS4) or the channel mixer (PS 5 and above) to "steal" detail from a good channel and lend it to the channel that's hurting. Another thing to remember about the curves tool... the steeper the slope, the better the contrast. Find the "focus" of your image, and work the curves gently to make them more steep in that area. This takes some experimenting, and there's always a hard tradeoff. If the curve is made steeper in one region, by definition it must end up less steep in other regions. Margulis calls this horse-trading, and Haynes/Crumpler show how to use "lock-down" curves to carefully tweak color or contrast in a select region of an image. Contrast and sharpness go hand-in-hand. "Unsharp Masking" is nothing more than a contrast-enhancement where colors change. Contrast has everything to do with the *perception* of sharpness and detail. Well anyway... most of these tricks come from a dude named Dan Margulis (there, I said it...) Dan's a bit of a CMYK fanatic, so that part has to be taken with a large grain of salt, if you're working in RGB. But it is impressive how many of his "tricks" translate to RGB space as well. Dan is by no means the only expert... I learned a few good tricks from the book by Haynes/Crumpler called "Photoshop Artistry." The beauty of the numerical approach is that I don't rely on monitor calibration, and my images often look better in print than they do on the monitor. I'd also posit that, with Epson inks and Epson papers, profiles are not needed to get excellent prints. Where profiles *are* useful is when non-standard inks and papers come into play, with dot-gains (for each color) that vary a good deal from Epson's design values. rafe b. - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.
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