Golden Rules for Printing

Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2019 3:57PM
What are the 'golden rules' when it comes to printing. I've not done much myself lately but am ready to go again and want to check my workflow as well as help a friend. I use Canon, friend has Epson.

I have Canon paper and ink but I also have paper several types of Permajet

I know I can download ICC profiles for the papers but not sure how best to use them with software, monitor and printer.

I can't remember the steps for best practice. I want to edit in Lr or Ps and I'm not bothered which I print from but I want to pick the correct colour space for editing, soft proofing and best settings for printing.

I think first thing is to turn off printer colour management? Always?

I understand it might make sense to resize to match a multiple of output res?

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JJGEE 14 7.6k 18 England
6 Nov 2019 4:20PM
One that I have seen on numerous forums / videos is to view the image against a white background as it assists in judging brightness and colour casts.

Paper ICC profiles...... probably best to use them in soft proofing.... which if I remember correctly LR excels at.

thewilliam2 2 1.3k
6 Nov 2019 5:48PM
When we're judging the colour, it's essential to have the right conditions.

Our workrooms have always been fitted with D65 daylight illumination and have had neutral colour walls since the good 'ol days when we made chemically-processed RA4 colour prints. This was based on the old colour-grading room at Kodak Harrow.

Plain grey walls can be depressing, so Kodak used a wall-covering that looked like a sponged mixture of several different tones of colour-neutral grey and this was what we did.

Every stage of the process needs to be calibrated from the computer screen to the printer. Some printers have a built-in spectrophotometer, otherwise you can take up the offer from Fotospeed (and a few other suppliers) by sending them a print made from their standard test-chart so that they'll send you a custom profile for your printer.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2019 6:06PM
Is it worth working in aRGB without the benefit of an aRGB monitor and bearing in mind many printer drivers expect sRGB?
saltireblue Plus
9 9.9k 36 Norway
6 Nov 2019 6:08PM

Quote:Is it worth working in aRGB without the benefit of an aRGB monitor and bearing in mind many printer drivers expect sRGB?

Interesting. I was under the impression that it was only worth using sRGB when uploading to the www. and not for printing locally.
thewilliam2 2 1.3k
6 Nov 2019 7:34PM

Quote:Is it worth working in aRGB without the benefit of an aRGB monitor and bearing in mind many printer drivers expect sRGB?

We used ARGB for commercial work because the wider gamut gave better reproduction of colours, especially textiles. A monitor that'll display the whole of ARBG, such as the Eizo ColorEdge, is horribly expensive but it seems unwise to deliver colours that we haven't seen during post-production. I'd suggest that the costly monitor is a necessity rather than an option.

The smaller gamut of sRGB is fine for social photography and a monitor to display this colour space can be very much cheaper.

Many printing companies expect files to arrive in sRGB and might just ignore the embedded profile and treat the images as though they were sRGB.

It's worth looking up the colour spaces on Wikipedia to see whether the various gamuts are acceptable.
Railcam 13 773 2 Scotland
6 Nov 2019 7:36PM
Some years ago I invested in an Xrite ColorMunki Photo. Not cheap but for a useful, one off purchase I deem it brilliant.

I calibrated my oldish Sony monitor and then produced bespoke profiles for each paper I use in my printer. It basically is a "what you see on screen you get on the print". (Obviously it is not an exact match, the monitor being transmitted light and the print being reflected light - before someone points this out). I do have a Color Confidence Grafi Lite (daylight balanced D65) for viewing my prints.

A few months ago I upgraded my monitor to an Eizo CG2730 which self calibrates to ICC standard. In theory, this should have slotted in seamlessly and in fact it did. Having a colour managed workflow takes all the hassle out of printing. I use a Canon Pro 10s with genuine Canon inks and Calumet Billiant and Olmec papers.

No longer do I need test prints, I can go straight to an A3 print as long as it is right on screen, after checking in Soft Proofing that everything is within gamut.

I print straight out of Lightroom and it is simple to select the appropriate paper profile in the Print Module (the printer driver not providing any colour input of course).

Hope this is of use.

Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 8:41AM
Railcams setup is the same as mine apart from I am on a Mac...

The ColorMunki Photo although expensive is an excellent piece of kit and allows (with the latest software) for three different iCC profiles for each paper including black and white. I do use two Graf Lites for viewing and set my monitor brightness for that. The GrafiLite is not too expensive, is a worthwhile investment giving consistent viewing conditions.

Having moved now I have a dedicated area that I will be decorating in neutral colours but that is a luxury that many will not have, but the essentials are... good accurate profiles for monitor/paper/ink and consistent viewing conditions (should have added earlier I find a monitor hood is worthwhile, Doesn't need to cost a fortune, DIY one out of black foamboard)

Finally I find LR the better program to print from and all editing there is using a linear ProPhoto colour space.
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 10:08AM
I use a calibrated monitor (Spyder 3 Pro) and also use a calibration profile (XRite Colour Checker) for my camera which is tagged automatically to Raw files when imported. For printing, I use an Epson P600 which uses a pigment ink so different types of paper are less of a problem. I generally buy Pinnacle Paper (four different types) plus I also use one of the Permajet papers and occasionally Epson. My Raw files are rendered to TIFF or PSD with Adobe RGB profile. My monitor and printer are close to this profile so it is worth it.

For B&W, I use the special printer B&W mode which then uses the multiple black inks and LR is set to let the printer manage colours. For colour I set colour management off in the printer driver and let LR manage and select the relevant paper profile. Until, I bought the P600, I used the profiles one could download from Permajet, or Pinnacle and they were accurate enough. However, when first using the P600, I found that the profiles were not correct and obtained bespoke profiles for all the papers I use (free from Paper spectrum and Permajet if you buy their paper). LR Classic is excellent for printing particularly using the Soft proofing and making small adjustments which are stored in a linked virtual copy. I always print first time and never need test prints which I used to have to do 12 years ago.

Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 12:13PM
I'm happy with my calibration, it's an older Spyder 2 but it works great. After processing I try to view my images and videos later on other people's phones, tablets, TVs and laptops and I'm very happy that the colours are as expected with no nasty surprises.

With prints the colours are very good and they never come out "too dark". I really got my head round the fact that a monitor has a bright internal light back illuminating the image which the printed version doesn't. A print won't show the same shadow detail if viewed in dim light from a distant window on a gray December day, I always view prints in decent light.

What I was wanting to relearn are the settings that get the best out of the printer. What should you do in Photoshop or Lightroom in print settings dialogues, what should you avoid doing, where and when should profiles be applied etc.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 12:47PM
Personally I prefer to print from LR, it does a very good job of scaling the image without intervention (obviously within reason). I find the soft proofing to be far superior to lightroom as you view the soft proof alongside your original edit, but find I only have to make slight adjustments and use the simulate paper and ink option (obviously choosing the correct paper/ink ICC profile) then open the virtual copy in the print module...

If I remember correctly you print to a Canon, I set the PPI to 300 (saves any awkward rounding of the output resolution), choose the layout I want, choose LR controls colour and select the correct ink/paper profile, (I am on a Mac so choosing those settings turns off colour matching in the driver). Difficult to list the other driver settings as Mac and PC are different.

I know you know all this so apologies if I have oversimplified Tongue It is helping me too as I have done very little printing since our move to Devon, serious illness got in the way.
Railcam 13 773 2 Scotland
7 Nov 2019 2:22PM
A few more comments.

When I got my Eizo the one thing I did was turn the brightness down to 80 candelas per metre squared.

As to resolution, Juliette Kost from Adobe recommends that you do not put in a figure in the Lightroom module. LR communicates with the printer and sorts it out for you.

Joe Brady, who is a pro photographer and prints larege versions of his work, is very scathing of the "Simulate paper and ink" feature in LR when soft proofing. It does look strange on screen when I have switched it on so I heed his advice and do not use it.

For Canon printers stopping the driver from interfering with the colours, do the following steps:

In the Properties panel select the Main tab. Click the Manual radio button and click Set. Select the Matching tab then highlight the None line. Back out with a seies of OKs. You can give it a name and save it.
sherlob Plus
13 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 2:55PM
Have a read of Jeff Schewe's book The digital prin t. It's a little old now, but still worth a read. It will help you get a print workflow up and running that helps minimise the number of prints needed to get the result you're after. I really recommend it.

Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 4:12PM
Ah great thanks

Phil I'm sure you typed 'lightroom' when you meant 'photoshop' - that's how I've taken it. It's going to be Lr from now on for the printing even if I'm roundtripping to Ps for some work.

Quote:I know you know all this
I don't or rather I'd forgotten a lot of it, it was gleaned from several threads on epz starting when I first got the Canon couple of years' ago, then did no printing since last Xmas and totally forgot best practice.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
7 Nov 2019 5:05PM

Quote:Phil I'm sure you typed 'lightroom' when you meant 'photoshop' - that's how I've taken it. It's going to be Lr from now on for the printing even if I'm roundtripping to Ps for some work.

Yes... its an age thing Wink

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