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Author Topic: Wierd Print Bureau Experience  (Read 15645 times)
rdonson
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« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2007, 09:53:12 AM »
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John (Deanwork),

I'm not quite sure why you're so upset but please keep in mind that Jeff Schewe and Andrew Rodney have been participating in these and other forums for a good, long time.  In that period they have willingly and openly shared their knowledge and expertise.  Most of us really appreciate that and find it extremely valuable.  Many of us have learned a great deal from them and consider them esteemed members of the online digital photography community.  They have earned our respect through the years.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
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« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2007, 11:10:03 AM »
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Walker - you can further calibrate your machine using Colorbase (free download from Epson) if you wish.  You can also have a technician do the factory level calibration for you (at whatever they charge) if you have any concerns or want to see if you can get a touch of improved performance.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163149\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes. I am aware of that, thank you. The printer is very stable for now (ala the factory calibration that they did before shipment). The only problem I've found is the auto-nozzle clog mesh (the electrified ink crap) gets just one piece of dust on it and won't stop cleaning the head every 2 prints. So that is turned off and is a useless hunk of metal now. Thank you Epson. Yet again their engineering just almost blows me away.

Regarding ICC soft-proofing, I think the relationship between printer and photographer must be based on a level of trust. That is a two way street. If a customer requests an ICC profile before he talks to the printer about things like their ideas around working spaces, monitor calibration, etc, they are assuming a lot of things that might become problems in the future. If I was talking with a possible client who requested an ICC profile I would want to know all about their setup and make sure they knew about mine before I pointed them to the ICC profile to use.

I've had some clients who are way into the technical aspects of printing. This can either be a great thing (and often is) or it can be hell on earth. The hellish customers are the ones who are assuming that color management is way more advanced than it really is. They are negating the weight of human perception in the whole process. These clients end up doing many more re-prints and re-proofs than the ones who trust their eyes and their minds (like the darkroom days) as much as their technical acumen.

take care,
Walker
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2007, 12:40:20 PM »
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Thanks!  I got what I needed from this thread - go to a lab who *will* share their profiles *and* feel comfortable discussing possible profile issues / pitfalls with their clients.

The picture I posted is a HUGE reduction of the original image - the banding and blown highlites are a *perfect* example of converting the image to a lower gamut space - neither are present in the original.  As I mentioned in my orginal post, I was barely able to get this to print on my B9180 with acceptable result.  With MY workflow (thanks to Bruce, Jeff & Andrew's books & of course this site), softproofing was the only rational way to get that.  I'm looking forward to seeing the result on a wider gamut device, like the Epson 11180

Cheers - John
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John:

I print and sell my own panoramas and have no interest in selling anything to or buying anything from forum members.   I've tried the soft-proofing thing and didn't find much value in it beyond checking for out-of-gamut issues on the odd image.  Nothing posted above has changed my opinion.

As someone else pointed out your printers are most likely using the epson profile and can't legally distribute it.  Hiding this fact shows some suspect insecurity for sure but the authors may very well be correct and the profile will be as good as any custom profile anyway.  I've had a couple epson papers re-profiled because I wasn't happy with the stock result but by and large they are very good.  Download the driver package from epson and install it-- you'll have the profile if that is in fact the one they use.

I don't quite understand though why neither the promoters or detractors haven't pointed out to you that the wider gamut of the 11880 is not going to make much difference for the image you posted and that soft proofing isn't automatically going to help -- blown is out of gamut to the camera sensor.   If it's blown in sRGB it's going to be blown in any other profile.   Banding is a particular problem with panoramas as the less sophisticated stitching programs often use little more than a gradient (or blur) to blend sections of sky and that coupled with very, very light colors  that the printer is only marginally able to reproduce is a recipe for a not-so-great result.

Of course you've reduced the image to display here but in my experience some artifacts like banding and dust are only visible on the screen at certain resolutions and may not be easy to detect at 100%.   I usually zoom in and out to examine the skies in particular at numerous resolutions.   Sometimes the defects still appear only at printing -- hard proofing.

You have a definite seam issue in the sky about 2/3across L-R.     Whether this will show up on an actual print depends on a number of factors that have little to do with the colour space or softproofing and should be fixed in the original image.  

The point though is that the 11880 is not a magic bullet and the more precise dot patterns may actually make image problems like banding more visible (mere conjecture here).      The size of the image at 60 inches wide would be  7.6x60 inches which is easy for any wide format printer to print as premium luster (and all run of the mill papers) come on ROLLS and if the printer knows what they are doing printing panoramas is simple -- 2 seconds to create a custom paper size.  It is much easier to deal with a 10 x60 print rather than a 40x60 print since the chance of denting the narrow print is relatively small.   In this manner you can also print 1 as a test.

As my only opinion regarding the artistic merits I would suggest resizing  the image to 8x48 inches which will be easier to frame and display and the compression in the horizontal direction will give it more impact.  You should be able to see on screen if you like this effect or not but if you do this I would suggest doing it with a separate layer or file to preserve the original as changing the aspect ratio is a destructive change.  The above comments regarding banding and seams is not a criticism of you or your work -- it's impossible to shoot into the sun without blowing or severely underexposing the image.  For panoramas of any size it is normal to go from complete black to completely blown in small areas; more than the entire luminosity range of any device.

Sorry for the long pedantic post.................happy boxing day
Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 01:35:39 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2007, 01:36:23 PM »
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I've tried the soft-proofing thing and didn't find much value in it.  Nothing posted above has changed my opinion.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Doug,

With all due respect, I might suggest that if soft proofing hasn't helped you in the past, that possibly, you haven't actually learned how to soft proof?

When one soft proofs using both the output profile _AND_ checking the options for the Display Options (paper white and ink black) it will of course, make your image look like crap. That's what it's designed for in Photoshop. To simulate both the final gamut of color as well as the dynamic range of the print (the contrast range between max black and paper white).

In my experience, assuming an accurate display profile and output profile, Photoshop's soft proofing is about 90% accurate...the limit is that fact that most displays these days can't show all of the gamut of color that printers such as the 11880 can print. But a lot of those deep, saturate colors don't often appear in "natural" photographic images any way.

The other disconnect is often the fact that people get used to seeing the RGB image on their display and when turing on the "make it look like crap button" (soft proofing) they may not be evaluating the results properly. First off, the eye does what's called "white adaptation" which means the eye looks at the lightest tone value in the field of vision and assumes that to be "white". Therefore, if you have a lot of white UI showing (the palettes in Photoshop), the soft proofed image will appear darker and flatter than it should based upon the white surround. Therefore, it's important, when soft proofing, to turn that Photoshop UI off. Hit the Tab key to hide the UI and the F key to give a dark gray or black background.

Then the problem is that often, the viewing conditions of the print may not be consistent...i use a GTI viewing booth (set 90 degrees to the display) that allows me a digital dimmer) so that the luminance value of the display and the paper white of the print match.

Done properly, the resulting soft proof display view and final printer piece allow a very accurate comparison. About 90% accurate in my experience. Which is close enough to adjust an image accurately for the final print without actually making the print.

There are also issue using actual printed downsized proofs to predict the final large size print. JP Caponigro says that large prints tend to need a tone/contrast adjustment over the same image printed small. Large prints need to be darkened a bit from a small image proof. He actually has suggestions regarding the amount to alter the image based upon the square footage if the small print vs the large print. Check his web site at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/ in the Techniques section and look for a PDF named tech proof for scale.

If you are printing on a watercolor paper that has a substantial texture, the small print proof will also have problems predicting the extent to which the texture will alter the ability to predict the impact of texture on the details of your image. JP also suggests printing smaller swatches of the image at the final large print size on the same paper you'll be using for the large print. This allows you to fine tune the sharpening for the final detail in the print.

All of these factors impact how one arrives at a printable image for the final print. If all factors are taken into account, the final large print should not be a surprise.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2007, 02:52:44 PM »
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All of these factors impact how one arrives at a printable image for the final print. If all factors are taken into account, the final large print should not be a surprise.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163224\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
There, in a (large) nutshell, is why these forums are so valuable and why people like Jeff deserve a little respect for taking the time to even politely respond to people who sometimes just won't listen.

Soft proofing can and does work well enough to be damn useful. It is rocket science how it works but certainly not to use. I outsource my bigger prints to Lambda/Fujiflex and by softproofing exactly as Jeff explains above I get no surprises - every print comes out as I expect. The lab supplies me with their current week's profile and I do the rest with a 100% success rate so far. QED.

To respond to the OP and to agree with Andrew's comments, if a lab won't supply a profile or worse, doesn't understand the question, go elsewhere...
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Nick Rains
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2007, 03:11:34 PM »
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Jeff:  

Again with all due respect I think your post has made my point better than I ever could.  

I think there are too many factors to rely on photoshop's soft proofing and many of them are out of the user's control especially if the printer itself is with an outside party.   There could be as many as three profiles for the individual monitors involved (the user, the printer, and the profile creator) in addition to the actual paper/printer profile and everyone may not be using the same software, same versions, types of monitors, lighting etc.  

If a person has their own printer or easy access to the printer in question then hard proofing, even to a cheaper media than will be used like DWM is far more productive in my experience.

But I really did not intend to further the soft proofing argument with the last post and was trying to bring this back to the OP's problem.    There was actually a challenge in there for digitaldog and yourself but this wasn't it  

Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 03:13:06 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2007, 03:56:14 PM »
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As someone else pointed out your printers are most likely using the epson profile and can't legally distribute it.

That's rubbish. They are posted on Epson's web site and with all the Epson drivers for anyone who wishes to download INCLUDING these:

http://pixelgenius.com/epson/

Bill Atkinsion continues to provide superb profiles for fixed papers and printers by Epson:

http://homepage.mac.com/billatkinson/FileSharing2.html
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Andrew Rodney
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2007, 04:22:16 PM »
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That's rubbish. They are posted on Epson's web site and with all the Epson drivers for anyone who wishes to download INCLUDING these:

http://pixelgenius.com/epson/

Bill Atkinsion continues to provide superb profiles for fixed papers and printers by Epson:

http://homepage.mac.com/billatkinson/FileSharing2.html
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163247\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You have published profiles for exactly one paper and it's not the OP's premium luster.

Unless the printer is also using Mr. Atkinson's profiles they do not apply.

Read the legal rubbish on epson's website it's quite clear that if they do not grant the right to redistribute then it is forbidden.

It's probably illegal to even quote the software agreement so don't tell:

Other Rights and Limitations.
The Software is licensed as a single unit, and its component programs may not be separated. You agree not to modify, adapt or translate the Software. You further agree not to attempt to reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the Software.

---> You may not rent, lease, distribute, sublicense or lend the Software to third parties. <-----

 You may, however, transfer all your rights to use the Software to another person or legal entity provided that you transfer this Agreement, the Software, including all copies, updates and prior versions, to such person or entity, and that you retain no copies, including copies stored on a computer. Further, you agree not to place the Software onto a server so it is accessible via a public network such as the Internet.

Kind of surprised the author of copy written material would think otherwise.

I think we've argued this part as far as it's going to get anyway..........
Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 04:28:19 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2007, 05:17:28 PM »
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I think there are too many factors to rely on photoshop's soft proofing and many of them are out of the user's control especially if the printer itself is with an outside party.   There could be as many as three profiles for the individual monitors involved (the user, the printer, and the profile creator) in addition to the actual paper/printer profile and everyone may not be using the same software, same versions, types of monitors, lighting etc.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163238\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And, I think you are making everything MORE complicated that it needs to be. While I generally only do my own prints, there's one time each year where, because of deadlines, I allow somebody else to print my images. Each year, Epson puts on a print gallery display for Photo Expo. Since Epson is willing to have Nash Editions do the prints and have them framed at Epson's expense, I go for it.

So, I find out what paper Mac Holbert is going to be printing (this year a lot of the prints were on EFP), I soft proof and make image tweaks, do final output sharpening for the resolution I'm sending and then I FTP the images to Mac. I don't bother to have "hard proofs" of the images because I trust my ability to soft proof and prep the images and I trust Mac to be able to pull good prints. So, the first time I see the prints, they are already printed, framed and hanging in the Epson Gallery at PPE.

So far, the prints always look exactly as I preped them and they always look really good–nice framing and good lighting really helps!.

Now, I will admit that Mac & Nash Editions know what they are doing and I would never expect them to screw up my images. Mac also knows that I know what I'm doing so he doesn't expect to have to do anything to the images I send besides print them.

But, the key to doing this is to make sure A: I know what I'm doing and B: He knows what he's doing. It ain't a dark magic art...it's simply using the tools available to make sure the final images are executed and printed to the highest quality standard possible. Of course, all these prints for Epson are done on Epson paper...but with the choice of Sommerset Velvet, Ultrasmooth Fine Art, Luster or the new Exhibition Fiber Paper (EFP), I personally see no need to use any non-Epson papers anyway...and...I'm pretty sure Mac is generally using Epson provided basic paper profiles. I'll ask him.

:~)
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2007, 05:38:30 PM »
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And, I think you are making everything MORE complicated that it needs to be. While I generally only do my own prints, there's one time each year where, because of deadlines, I allow somebody else to print my images. Each year, Epson puts on a print gallery display for Photo Expo. Since Epson is willing to have Nash Editions do the prints and have them framed at Epson's expense, I go for it.

So, I find out what paper Mac Holbert is going to be printing (this year a lot of the prints were on EFP), I soft proof and make image tweaks, do final output sharpening for the resolution I'm sending and then I FTP the images to Mac. I don't bother to have "hard proofs" of the images because I trust my ability to soft proof and prep the images and I trust Mac to be able to pull good prints. So, the first time I see the prints, they are already printed, framed and hanging in the Epson Gallery at PPE.

So far, the prints always look exactly as I preped them and they always look really good–nice framing and good lighting really helps!.

Now, I will admit that Mac & Nash Editions know what they are doing and I would never expect them to screw up my images. Mac also knows that I know what I'm doing so he doesn't expect to have to do anything to the images I send besides print them.

But, the key to doing this is to make sure A: I know what I'm doing and B: He knows what he's doing. It ain't a dark magic art...it's simply using the tools available to make sure the final images are executed and printed to the highest quality standard possible. Of course, all these prints for Epson are done on Epson paper...but with the choice of Sommerset Velvet, Ultrasmooth Fine Art, Luster or the new Exhibition Fiber Paper (EFP), I personally see no need to use any non-Epson papers anyway...and...I'm pretty sure Mac is generally using Epson provided basic paper profiles. I'll ask him.

:~)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163261\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I remain unconvinced.  With decent profiles I am much more concerned with consistency between the three machines that print our images.  Tweaking in soft proofing mode would, at best, be more work and headache for very little gain from my perspective and experience.

Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 08:51:03 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2007, 05:57:34 PM »
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I'm pretty sure Mac is generally using Epson provided basic paper profiles. I'll ask him.
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I just talked to Mac and indeed, when printing on Epson substrates, he DOES use the Epson SP (the special profiles Epson US had offered) rather than making his own custom profiles.

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I remain unconvinced. I am much more concerned with consistency between the three machines that print our images

If you have three Epson printers, all in the same series (ie, like 78/9800) and you are seeing differences between them using the same profiles, I think you may have some issues with the printers. It's been my experience that the Epson pro printers are VERY close on unit to unit variation. That was our experience when Andrew and I did the EFP profiles. So, if your printers are drifting, I would look into the cause of that.
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2007, 06:14:56 PM »
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I just talked to Mac and indeed, when printing on Epson substrates, he DOES use the Epson SP (the special profiles Epson US had offered) rather than making his own custom profiles.
If you have three Epson printers, all in the same series (ie, like 78/9800) and you are seeing differences between them using the same profiles, I think you may have some issues with the printers. It's been my experience that the Epson pro printers are VERY close on unit to unit variation. That was our experience when Andrew and I did the EFP profiles. So, if your printers are drifting, I would look into the cause of that.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163268\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Printing is on a 4000, 9880 that I own as well as a phatte 9800.  So the last three generations plus a rip for extra fun.  I don't have to match the 4000 to the 9880 but must match each to the 9800 for key prints.  I've always found the 4000 profiles from epson acceptable but find that the 9880 is hit or miss and had to profile enhanced matte in addition to the non-epson media.  The imageprint profiles are top-notch.  The 9800 and 4000 are very close for both colour and B&W, less so with the 9880.  

Once re-profiled the enhanced matte on the 9880 was acceptable and the outside profile for photorag, piezo pro, etc are good.


Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 07:54:42 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2007, 06:25:51 PM »
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Printing is on a 4000, 9880 that I own as well as a phatte 9800.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163273\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, that would explain the differences...as far as I know, Epson hasn't released any SP profiles for the 880 series yet. So, all you got is the ones bundled into the drivers. The phatte 9800 obviously being non-standard would require the rip which requires its own profiles (and I've never really like the output tables for ImagePrint profiles) and the 4000, if you are also using ImagePrint would have the same set of issues.
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2007, 06:34:18 PM »
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Well, that would explain the differences...as far as I know, Epson hasn't released any SP profiles for the 880 series yet. So, all you got is the ones bundled into the drivers. The phatte 9800 obviously being non-standard would require the rip which requires its own profiles (and I've never really like the output tables for ImagePrint profiles) and the 4000, if you are also using ImagePrint would have the same set of issues.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163276\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, I've got to stop adding to my posts after I've made them.  

The 4000 is running the epson drivers as is the 9880.  Only the 9800 runs image print to gain the phatte black.  This is not my machine but the results have been very good and the matching to the 4000 is quite close and at most times indistinguishable colour-wise at least.

With custom non-epson profiles for both the piezo pro and breathing color canvas on the 9880 I sometimes can't tell the canvas brand apart until I feel the canvas.  That is how it should be IMHO.  No tweaks, no fuss.

Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 06:35:25 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
adiallo
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« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2007, 06:51:12 PM »
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There are also issue using actual printed downsized proofs to predict the final large size print. JP Caponigro says that large prints tend to need a tone/contrast adjustment over the same image printed small. Large prints need to be darkened a bit from a small image proof.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163224\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That's because going from a small print to a significantly larger one leads to a print with lower perceived contrast. The details in shadow areas are now physically larger so we "see" much more into them at the greater magnification. Going from say an 11x14 to a 30x40 you will usually have to bring down shadow values while maintaining highlights (or in some cases opening them slightly) to arrive at a large print that "feels" the same as the small one in terms of contrast. Of course this is outside the ability of soft-proofing and relies primarily on the printer's experience. Some shops always provide full-size proofs in order to eliminate the issue.
One thing I think the responses to this thread shows is the importance of trust and communication between client and printer when the output is for discerning eyes.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 06:51:54 PM by adiallo » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2007, 10:44:26 AM »
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When people like Andrew or Jeff post and publically identify themselves or when they publish a book or a website or speak in public etc, they allow for peer review.  This is the same as one would find in the scientific community or, even, in the arts community (yes, even photographers :-)

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163150\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It always amazes me that people go on the attack on the net and they do not really backup what they say.  I really appreciate that Andrew, Jeff et al take the time to respond, and that they offer real help.  These are the folks that help us create our art through their interactions with the makers of printers and software. How cool is that  To borrow a line from an article on Jeff, Jeff Schewe has forgotten more PS stuff than most people know about PS.  I thank you guys for being on here and giving your time to help
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« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2007, 10:54:30 AM »
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I can only speak for myself but the disciple/master sort of thing?  Question authority, grasshopper.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 11:35:01 AM by DougMorgan » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2007, 10:56:15 AM »
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Question stupidity equally.
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« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2007, 11:09:12 AM »
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Totally Right, and scale differences are  image and media dependent, not something that is visible on even the finest monitors. You can't design a software to do that. That is exactly why we make hard proofs because scaling work is an object oriented process. A physical process that is a translation from one medium (screen) to another (print). A print is not a backlit display (or a film transparency for that matter)  governed by Photoshop and assigned simulation numbers.

My clients always prefer having the object in their hands to consider. One reason for that is that they still have the option of making changes from their originally prepared file, once it is translated into a specific paper. Even with the greatest printmakers of all time, printmaking is a physical thing - and a paper  process  object oriented procedure. One that often grows as it is explored. Digital technology has not eliminated those variables. Maybe one day we will all make images designed for led screens hanging on the wall. I hope that day never comes.

Of course when one is working with monochome inksets and rip control the differences are much more subtle. Black and white is a terribly subjective world in and of itself, even if you don't include print color assignments for toning (not done in Photoshop). There are so many delicate things that can be accomplished on the print level that will never be visible on what Walker refered to as a glorified light bulb, the monitor.


john





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That's because going from a small print to a significantly larger one leads to a print with lower perceived contrast. The details in shadow areas are now physically larger so we "see" much more into them at the greater magnification. Going from say an 11x14 to a 30x40 you will usually have to bring down shadow values while maintaining highlights (or in some cases opening them slightly) to arrive at a large print that "feels" the same as the small one in terms of contrast. Of course this is outside the ability of soft-proofing and relies primarily on the printer's experience. Some shops always provide full-size proofs in order to eliminate the issue.
One thing I think the responses to this thread shows is the importance of trust and communication between client and printer when the output is for discerning eyes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163281\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 02:44:52 PM by deanwork » Logged
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« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2007, 11:24:07 AM »
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Question stupidity equally.
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My point exactly!  You guys are reading my mind
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