11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2009 10:12 AM by (Trevor_Pocklington)

    Control of printing by PSE 6

    (Trevor_Pocklington)
      I have recently calibrated my HP Pavillion HDX display using eye-one display 2. With the new profile installed I then selected PSE6 to control the printing rather than my printer which is an Epson Stylus Photo R2400. I also downloaded printer/paper profiles from Epson. No matter what I do my prints are coming out too dark. When I revert to my printer controlling the printing I get a good result and close to the picture shown on the screen. Can anybody help? The simple answer is to let the printer control the output but I am told that the PSE6 route will give much better results. Apparently not for me. I am frustrated and any advice would be much appreciated.
      Trevor Pocklington
        • 1. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
          (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
          Just a bit of background: many printers can give you "decent"
          consumer-level response automatically. They do this by adjusting
          colors towards an ideal - darken if it is too light, lighten if it is
          too dark, saturate the greens to make nature look more "natural"...

          This is exactly the same thing that photo laboraries did for years
          when you took a film to them, so everyone assumed their films and
          camera were fine, until they started using professional services who
          did not do this automatic processing.

          So the situation is the same with color management on PCs: once you
          turn off automatic processing, you have to make sure everything is
          good, monitor and print profiles, viewing conditions, calibration...

          I realise this isn't solving your problem, but it maybe explains why
          there _is_ a problem. If you stick with it you should be able to get
          better results, but when you abandon the automatic route, there is a
          lot of work.

          I hope someone else can give more specific advice.

          Aandi Inston
          • 2. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
            (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
            Trevor Pocklington wrote:

            >The simple answer is to let the printer control the output but I am told that the PSE6 route will give much better results. Apparently not for me. I am frustrated and any advice would be much appreciated.

            Two observations:

            1) Audit your procedure. When you print using a color-managed workflow, make sure to turn off any color controls in your printer driver, and make sure that the only active color controls are in the Photoshop print dialog box. Also make sure to select the proper paper type in the driver, and the proper resolution and dithering.

            2) The "canned" (OEM) profiles that you are using reflect a statistical condition that may not reflect the behavior of the actual unit that you own. If everything else checks out, the profiles may be the culprit. Make your own custom profiles, and the output will likely improve, as long as all your settings are appropriate.

            Aandi Inston wrote:

            >So the situation is the same with color management on PCs: once you
            turn off automatic processing, you have to make sure everything is
            good, monitor and print profiles, viewing conditions, calibration...

            True, but let's make sure not to give the impression that "automatic processing" (which is effectively a "black box", opaque to outside control) is a solution that gives results as consistently reliable as a properly color-managed workflow. One may accidentally produce a "good" print through automatic processing, but will consistently and predictably produce good-to-excellent prints by means of CM.

            It's all a matter of careful profiling and even more careful printing procedures.
            • 3. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
              Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
              One more thought:

              If your monitor is too bright, your prints will be dark.

              An accurately calibrated and profiled monitor is the start of color management. Its brightness level should be proportionate to your ambient light.
              • 4. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                Very good point, Ramón. I failed to mention that.
                • 5. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                  (Trevor_Pocklington) Level 1
                  Aandi, Macro and Ramon
                  Many thanks to you all for the time and effort that you spent in replying to my concerns. They were all very useful. Ramon hit the nail on the head with his comment about screen luminance. I feel stupid for not trying this. Although the luminance had been calibrated and set to approx 115 candela per sq meter reducing it and printing again with PSE6 in control produced a very good result. I took a "dark print" and adjusted the luminance to match the print within a little, made some adjustments in "levels" and printed.
                  Result - fantastic.
                  The question has to be why does a screen that is too bright produce a print that is too dark?
                  Best regards to you all - where abouts in the world are you? I am in southern England.
                  Trevor
                  • 6. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                    (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                    Trevor Pocklington wrote:
                    >The question has to be why does a screen that is too bright produce a print that is too dark?

                    Well, if the calibration is done properly, the luminance should be accounted for in the profile. If you find yourself having to lower the luminance *after* making the profile, there is probably something amiss in the calibration portion of the profiling procedure.

                    Also, if the display is profiled, but too light (for any reason), then the print MUST look darker, because the screen should be darker too.

                    I'm in Northern California, SF Bay Area.
                    • 7. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                      (Trevor_Pocklington) Level 1
                      Marco
                      I will check the luminance calibration again but at least I have an answer now. Thanks once again. Hope you dont mind if I contact you when I start pulling my hair out again with some other PSE6 concern.
                      Regards
                      Trevor
                      • 8. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                        (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                        Trevor Pocklington wrote:
                        >Hope you dont mind if I contact you when I start pulling my hair out again with some other PSE6 concern.

                        No, not at all.

                        All the best.
                        • 9. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                          (Trevor_Pocklington) Level 1
                          Marco
                          Hello again. If you are able I would like some advice on whether it is sensible or not to invest in a professional quality display monitor. I am currently using a HP Pavilion HDX laptop which is a portable ( just about) PC replacement. It has a 19 inch screen with a max resolution of 1680 x 1050, no contrast control and some brightness control.
                          The screen is calibrated and I use a Epson R2400 printer which I have not profiled. Does a professional screen make a significant difference in the process of getting a good print and if so are you able to suggest any for a keen amateur.
                          Regards
                          Trevor
                          • 10. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                            (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                            Trevor,

                            If what you are after is a monitor that gives you a good preview of your print results, then you should not count on your laptop's.

                            For example, stand in front of it and move your head even slightly to the left or right, or up or down, and you will probably notice that the brightness of the image changes more or less subtly. Color does shift too. The uniformity is usually poor as well, meaning that some areas of the display are lighter or darker than others.

                            What you want is an external display, a desktop model that you then attach to your laptop. You will gain uniformity, much more stable viewing angles, and a better performance all around.

                            Also, if your printer is not profiled -- so that no profile is loaded and activated in the soft-proof feature for the image on screen -- you cannot expect that your print will match what you see on your display. In other words, the whole exercise becomes rather pointless.
                            • 11. Re: Control of printing by PSE 6
                              (Trevor_Pocklington) Level 1
                              Marco
                              Thanks once again
                              Regards
                              Trevor