Re: Color management

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David Dyer-Bennet read my excessively long post and commented:


Okay, the alarm bells are starting to ring here.  Epson doesn't sell
profiles to photographers; they give profiles for Epson media and standard
Epson printers.  If you want a profile unique to your own printer, or for
a combination of ink, printer, and paper that crosses company boundaries,
you can either make it yourself, or use one of a number of commercial
outfits that make custom profiles.  But Epson isn't selling profiles
anywhere I've ever heard of.  And thus there is no benefit to Epson from
making this "hard"; what Epson benefits from is satisfied customers.


Here in Oz they did sell profiles, they had a seperate firm develop them, but then they were onsold, I made the mistake of presuming it was the case the world over. .




While for extreme enlargements you can probably do better in your own
software than in the printer, I find sending original-size images to my
printer for ordinary print sizes to be the best practice.  There are very
modest gains in sharpness from excess data, and skipping the resizing step
in the workflow saves me from a range of possible mistakes (saving the
wrong thing, possibly the small version over my master version).

here again you're right to a point, the printers rip will be better often than a cheap, bought RIP unless it's for a specific non-photographic purpose like an architects RIP. My point was as I alluded, sending excessively large images to a printer will just upset it. I also still feel it's good practice to store printable images at the 'optimum' pixel count for given sizes

I'll confess I have Irfanview batch rip all my printables straight to folders labeled 8x10's, 6x4's, largescreen and email within subfolders. THis is done in a DOS batch process with one click so my brain disengages ..




And I don't even know what you mean by saying "I tell the Epson I'm using
Ilford paper".  The only meaning I can see is that you're using an Ilford
profile?  But that should be in Photoshop, not in the printer (at least
that's the preferred workflow for everybody I've talked to about this).

Whatever software package is used, the printer dialogue box will still present it's self and that's where people will select the profile (paper type).



the way it looks by having a monitor profile 'adjust' the image to look
good, you have another calibration profile adjusting the printer.. now,
should one go wrong - which is it?  Could it be they're all adjusting each
other to give you what you had in the first place? (and that's not even
going anywhere near the 'hidden' profiling done by the OS, browsers and
graphics cards)

Not if you're doing it right.  The opposite, in fact -- with proper
profiling, what's going on is each device is coming as close as it can to
properly representing the colors recorded in a file.  If you start nudging
each one individually, *that's* when you end up chasing your tail.

Might be just what I've seen, but the first step in any courses I've been on has seen the instructor telling the students we begin by profiling the monitor. Say we follow this step, then we go to the printer.. Straight up, they've utterly ignored the OS and the graphics card's intervention - utterly. No mention at all. Next thing is people start working on the images based on what they see.. and when it doesn't print quite right the fiddling starts.

The graphics folks do every step according to densitometers and colour analysers, so they don't even need to see the images at any point, it's all colourmetrics to them - as soon as us photographers start making adjustments at any point along the path we're fouling up their carefully designed path.

Now sure, if you only fiddle one aspect, one variable in your path then you'd be minimising the chance of errors as you say, but.. Let's say at the monitor calibration point you have the OS saturating the colours up.. so you tweak the monitor to tone them down according to your Spider/Eye-One. That's two variables changed. The Video card is also smoothing and dropping colour data, so now we're at 3 variables.

At this stage though the image is unaltered, but we have 3 'profiles' at work already. Now we go look at the image and start changing it to look 'better'. We send it to print and it's not quite what we expected - what do we change? We've already done the workflow profiling and it should be bang on.. so we start changing settings in the printer - now we're making 2 changes based on 4 different system profiles, two of which we have access to, 2 we do not.

I've still had no answer from anyone whether Quartz (in Apples) colour space and management can be turned off .. http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/graphicsimaging/conceptual/drawingwithquartz2d/Introduction/Introduction.html

My method is just starting with the printer, calibrating that and then having the monitor 'best represent' what the printer produces. I honestly couldn't think of a better way to do it as a photographer.



Your approach also makes your files unique to you, not usable by anybody
else.  Because they encode all the adjustments you've made to your
personal environment.

Here I apologise as I laugh and contemplate the discussions I've heard at pro printers and photo kiosks as arguments break out over profiles, colour spaces and flared tempers go head to head over who's right and who's wrong about image files.

My image alterations are minimal (most of the time there's no alterations done from camera to print, since the printer is 'profiled' at day 1) and sure, I cannot hand an image to a graphic dude without them having to do some work, but then that's the way it always was, the relationship between graphics companies using photographs in publications - they did that side, I did the picture taking side. If they have a clue then it's a straightforward process for them to make the image print ready and look as good as it can..

Me, I don't want to know about 4 colour print process - I'll always hate the results, just as any E6 shooter who saw their lovely slide projected with all that lovely gamma was dissapointed when they saw their darker tones descent to black. Projected V reflected is never what we want.

Again though, loading other folks tagged images into my PC I can happily show them the *same image* loaded into 4 different programs all looking utterly different. version 1 applies a colour space alteration, version 2 applies a colour space + profile, version 3 ignores colour space and profile, version 4 applies a profile and ignores colour space.

but back to printing - the end goal of all photos - the graphics dudes prints will look wrong to me as he has his colour management set for a 4 colour printer. and that's the gist of colour management for all-platform-total-100%-portability, restricting the colour space to the lowest common denominator to ensure ALL output looks the same! If you do it the 'right' way this is what you're aiming for

I do not want that, I want the full gamut of the 8 or more ink set printer available to me. So by not employing a software profile I have no tags clipping the image colour range and my images will preserve the full gamut of whatever the camera was capable of producing.

THis method is not as strange as it initially seems, it's 'working backwards' against the graphics method, but don't forget, graphics workflows are designed to start at the monitor stage as they input values to create their colours.



This is where we were before color management became available.  I have to
say that color management works monumentally better than this for me.


I've never encountered anyone who started at the printer and worked back before, and my recollection of events was that photoshop was well established before any of us had access to a colour printer (or even a colour PC) at home

just saying..

k

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