12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2014 1:20 PM by Alp Er Tunga

    Overview of Colour Management

    John1010

      Hi - I'm having some difficulty getting consistent colours from my camera through to a print.

       

      Could someone just give me a quick summary of the settings I need on my camera, monitor, software and printer to ensure that colours are consistent end-to-end, from the camera right through to a print? I use a Nikon D80, Elements 11 on an HP Pavilion g6 with Windows 7 and an HP Photosmart 5510. So far I've been using Jessops 260 gsm gloss paper which (as they recommend) I've set as 'HP Premuin Plus Photo Paper Glossy'. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Overview of Colour Management
          jdanek Level 4

          I believe your camera's capture is going to be the most important piece of the puzzle.  That looks like a pretty good product and I sense it packs quite a bang when it comes to picture quality.  I'd recommend maintaining somewhat "raw" data coming out of and going into your computer.  Most consumers make the mistake of capturing in sRGB and keeping that as the colorspace.  Your printer is not as robust as other photographic printers.  I find the Colorsmarts print a little weak.  That's just me.  HP's "Z" printers or Epson Stylus Pros are a better choice.  That said, whatever you use, it has to be calibrated along with your monitor.  You do not mention details in what is or is not meeting your muster.  Another mistake consumers make is relying on a miscalibrated monitor for determing their file;'s color quality.  So, I would recommend calibrating your hardware the best you can.  Final print files should be saved ( as a copy ) as Adobe RGB colorspace.  If you are seeing color casts or major differences in gamut, density and saturation, that could be linked to uncalibrated hardware.

          • 2. Re: Overview of Colour Management
            thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            The most important step is producing a calibrated and profiled display that visually matches the print next to it. See:

            http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml

            Then you need good ICC profiles for the printer for soft proofing and output.

            • 3. Re: Overview of Colour Management
              Alp Er Tunga Level 1

              Andrew Rodney wrote:

               

              The most important step is producing a calibrated and profiled display that visually matches the print next to it.

               

              For viewing prints in a desktop viewer (like GTI PDVs), should we dim or completely turn off the ambient lighting? If you have time, can you please give some information about the ambient (room) lighting for editing digital photos on the screen and evaulating prints?

              • 4. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                AlperTonga wrote:

                For viewing prints in a desktop viewer (like GTI PDVs), should we dim or completely turn off the ambient lighting? If you have time, can you please give some information about the ambient (room) lighting for editing digital photos on the screen and evaulating prints?

                You can't have the ambient light too low but you can go too high. If you can control the environment such only the display and booth are on, and of course, no light from the booth spills onto the display, that's ideal. The lower the ambient light, the less it affects how you perceive black on a display. The GTI is ideal as it has a dimmer which doesn't affect it's white point so that's good. The Fluorescent blub has a spiky spectrum so that illuminant isn't ideal. I use them as I work with other's who have the same type of booth. But I also use Solux bulbs (better illuminant).

                 

                As for dimming, lower is better due to longevity of bulbs but you do need to make sure whatever display system you use can natively hit that lower cd/m2 (meaning not with the LUT but in the panel itself). I have my booth set around 50%, have my NEC PA272W set for 150cd/m2 (and that LED will last a very long time <g>).

                 

                http://digitaldog.net/files/Print_to_Screen_Matching.jpg

                • 5. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                  Alp Er Tunga Level 1

                  Solux lamps are 3500K. Aren't they very warm for print viewing job?

                  • 6. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                    thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    AlperTonga wrote:

                     

                    Solux lamps are 3500K. Aren't they very warm for print viewing job?

                    They come in different CCT values. CCT is a range of colors so not entirely useful or precise anyway. Further, the CCT values of the GTI don't ensure much either and if you're working with papers that have a lot of OBA's, the spectrum and it's effect on the paper and color is far more problematic than the defined CCT values. If you're working in a collaborative environment and others are using GTI, stick with that. But if you started from scratch, there are better illuminants out there. The big disadvantage to Solux is heat and control. You can't dim them or the CCT changes radically. You have to move them around, not super ideal but doable.

                    • 7. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                      Alp Er Tunga Level 1

                      Thank you so much.

                      • 8. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                        Alp Er Tunga Level 1

                        Maybe a strange question.

                         

                        I don't have a desktop viewer, so I can not experience it myself. Let me ask it to you, if you have a little bit more time.

                         

                        Let's say we use D50 monitor and we evaulate our prints under the D50 light. We edit our image and we print it. Exact match between the screen and the print. After printing the image and without changing any edit adjustments we made to the image before, let's say we change our monitor to D65. If we also change the lamp inside the viewer to D65, we should get the same exact match between the screen and the print which is printed before, should not?

                        • 9. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          AlperTonga wrote:

                          Let's say we use D50 monitor and we evaulate our prints under the D50 light.

                          But we don't. Keep in mind a few things. D50 is produced by that object 93 million miles from here. It's quite a large number of measurements made around the planet and averaged. We can attempt to simulate D50 with various degees of success. What counts really is that you can calibrate the display such what you see matches to a good degree the print next to that display. It's explained in the URL I provided.

                          • 10. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                            Alp Er Tunga Level 1

                            Ok. Let me read the article again. Thanks a lot.

                            • 11. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                              John1010 Level 1

                              Thanks for your suggestions - and please accept my apologies for being so long in replying. A few unexpected things came up.

                               

                              I remembered I have a Spyder 3 which I used to calibrate a monitor on an XP machine I once had, so I loaded the software onto my current Windows 7 machine (fortunately it worked) and now have a profile for the display.

                               

                              How do I get hold of a profile for the printer? Should I use a site such as pureprofiles.com? They seem to offer a good service. Any suggestions?

                              • 12. Re: Overview of Colour Management
                                Alp Er Tunga Level 1

                                I'm using the generic profiles installed with the driver of my printer for soft proofing and printing. For other brand of papers, you may download the printer profiles if your printer is listed on the site of paper manufacturer. I don't know the web site you mention, but if color is not extremely important in your work, you don't need custom profiles for your paper-printer combination, you can work with generic profiles.