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>have the colors of the image the way i want them on my monitor
In what program? Is your monitor calibrated and set up for accurate
color, or are you just adjusting until they look right?
>assign the print labs profile
In what program? If Photoshop, what action/options do you use in
assigning the profile? Is it an RGB or CMYK profile?
> assign the print labs profile
If you're happy with your on-screen color, then you should convert to the lab's profile, not assign. This, of course, only works if your monitor is properly calibrated and profiled so that you can rely on what you see on-screen.
It also assumes the lab knows what they are doing, that they recognize and honor their own profile, and that they don't invoke some "auto" adjustments to "make your image look better". If lab profile you have is accurate and if they honor that profile and print it straight, you will get good prints using Rick's suggestions. It varies from one lab to another.
the correct move would be CS3> Photoshop> Edit> Convert to Profile: print labs profile
then Save As new name, and send it to the printer (with their embedded profile)
if they are providing you their profile, it is likely they will Honor it (one way or another)
but as said, you will need to have a good custom monitor profile and Photoshop to proof it faithfully on your monitor
Thankyou for replies so far i think i,m getting it but just to fill you in more
i,m working on a [reasonably] well calibrated Mac in PS10 and the correct RGB
The lab is a professional lab and the profile is for a high end Lambda printer
it,s just when i assign /convert the embedded profile the color shift is dramatic
and ugly. Its disconcerting to send that off to the lab but if i,m correct, i think your
telling me that this ugly color shift will magically turn back into my original intention
when it is printed
Once again: DO NOT assign a profile, CONVERT TO a profile.
> think your telling me that this ugly color shift will magically turn back into my original intention when it is printed
No way! I don't think anyone is saying that.
>> when i assign...the embedded profile the color shift is dramatic
that is expected under Assign Profile, it may be in your interest to review post #4
>> the correct move would be CS3> Photoshop> Edit> Convert to Profile: print labs profile ----- then Save As new name, and send it to the printer (with their embedded profile)
and the info on my link...
Lambda's (and Lightjets) are notoriously lacking in the ability to print certain colors, so, if it's in the range of colors where the Lambda is deficient, you might very well see a big color or tonal shift even when you convert to their profile.
How the profile was made can be critical to how well it performs in the real world. The software package and the specific settings, as well as how the target was read, can all make a big difference, not even to mention rendering intents.
Assign profile can be useful in determining just how close an output device is to your RGB working space and how much work the profile is going to have to do when it does convert the pixel values, but it's generally best left to those who understand when and how to use it.
If your working space happend to be something really wide like ProPhotoRGB, and you have large areas of saturated colors, then I wouldn't be at all surprised to see you running into problems with a Lambda.