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Author Topic: Clarification on the Fine Art Printing Video  (Read 4473 times)
Panorama
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« on: December 16, 2009, 03:30:20 PM »
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I purchased Michael's Fine Art Printing Video at Calumet (vs. downloading) quite a while ago and I'm finally getting around to watching it - better late than never I guess.  

I've enjoyed it quite a bit (have some more to go) and while I realize the video was created a couple of years ago, I think most of the information is still current. There are a few area that left me puzzled though so I thought I'd ask for clarification.

I learned to print years ago with a 'west coast' based photographer, whom I know both Michael and jeff know, so I'm not new to this, but what left me scratching my head was the segment on "output sharpening". Many here may be going "what segment on output sharpening"? That leads me to one of my questions. There doesn't seem to be any information on output sharpening; there's lots of talk about using Photokit sharpener, but nothing substantive for those of us that a) don't own it,  can't run it even if we did (it's not 64bit compatible), and c) want to know other ways to handle things in our native applications, such as Photoshop. this seems to be a large hole in the 'craft' of preparing to print, so I'm wondering, am I missing something?

Also, when jeff talks about setting the Prophoto gray gamma to 1.8 (vs. 2.2) Michael questions that and then finally says "OK". I never knew that so my question is should that be done for a PC and a Mac, or is that Mac only? I was also a little unsure about what Jeff meant by copying from B&W to color, so if anyone can clarify this I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for the help. Back to watching...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 03:34:19 PM by Panorama » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 03:44:59 PM »
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Quote from: Panorama
....so I'm wondering, am I missing something?

Yes, PhotoKit Sharpener is 64 bit compatible (if you don't mind using a "beta" installer)...see this page: 64-bit beta

As for going into great depth with a sharpening workflow, why? Between Camera Raw and Lightroom the only mystery these days is "creative sharpening" and that goes well beyond the purview of the video...if you want sharpening in depth try this: Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom

Quote from: Panorama
Also, when jeff talks about setting the Prophoto gray gamma to 1.8 (vs. 2.2) Michael questions that and then finally says "OK". I never knew that so my question is should that be done for a PC and a Mac, or is that Mac only? I was also a little unsure about what Jeff meant by copying from B&W to color, so if anyone can clarify this I'd appreciate it.

It has ZERO to do with Mac/PC and EVERYTHING to do with the GAMMA of the working space...Adobe RGB has a gamma of 2.2. So, if you want to work with color and B&W (grayscale) you want to set the gamma of your grayscale space to match the RGB working space.

When I was talking about color/B&W and pasting back and forth I'm referring to copying color channel info into grayscale documents. As long as the RGB color space and the Grayscale space have the same gamma, you can copy from color channels to grayscale layers without suffering a gamma conversion (if the gamma is the same in the color and grayscale space).
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Panorama
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 04:25:51 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Yes, PhotoKit Sharpener is 64 bit compatible (if you don't mind using a "beta" installer)...see this page: 64-bit beta

As for going into great depth with a sharpening workflow, why? Between Camera Raw and Lightroom the only mystery these days is "creative sharpening" and that goes well beyond the purview of the video...if you want sharpening in depth try this: Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom

Thanks for the quick reply and info.

Actually, I still think it matters and there are basic suggestions that could have helped everyone. I use CS4, but even under the CS3 environment (as in this video) I've found that certain images would respond better to USM (or smart sharpen which is basically, but not quite, the same), some images respond better to Hi pass, etc. Are you suggesting that it no longer matters, or are these more targeted techniques what you're calling "creative" processes?

Anway, discussions of Radius, Amt, Threshold, fading, etc. are all relevant to output, especially those using CS3. PK sharpener while I'm sure it does a good job, is a black box vs. the way to do it when you don't havve that installed.


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It has ZERO to do with Mac/PC and EVERYTHING to do with the GAMMA of the working space...Adobe RGB has a gamma of 2.2. So, if you want to work with color and B&W (grayscale) you want to set the gamma of your grayscale space to match the RGB working space.

When I was talking about color/B&W and pasting back and forth I'm referring to copying color channel info into grayscale documents. As long as the RGB color space and the Grayscale space have the same gamma, you can copy from color channels to grayscale layers without suffering a gamma conversion (if the gamma is the same in the color and grayscale space).

that's good to know. While I have copied/replaced color channels, it's not something I do often. So to make sure I have this clear, whenever we're working with color or B&W images, in the same workspace, we should have the gray gamma set to 1.8 (assuming Prophoto).just to be 100% clear on this though, is this when you're replacing a blown channel with the intention of going to grayscale, or is there a specific example of when you would do this?
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PeterAit
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 05:15:27 PM »
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Quote from: Panorama
I purchased Michael's Fine Art Printing Video at Calumet (vs. downloading) quite a while ago and I'm finally getting around to watching it - better late than never I guess.  

I've enjoyed it quite a bit (have some more to go) and while I realize the video was created a couple of years ago, I think most of the information is still current. There are a few area that left me puzzled though so I thought I'd ask for clarification.

I learned to print years ago with a 'west coast' based photographer, whom I know both Michael and jeff know, so I'm not new to this, but what left me scratching my head was the segment on "output sharpening". Many here may be going "what segment on output sharpening"? That leads me to one of my questions. There doesn't seem to be any information on output sharpening; there's lots of talk about using Photokit sharpener, but nothing substantive for those of us that a) don't own it,  can't run it even if we did (it's not 64bit compatible), and c) want to know other ways to handle things in our native applications, such as Photoshop. this seems to be a large hole in the 'craft' of preparing to print, so I'm wondering, am I missing something?

Also, when jeff talks about setting the Prophoto gray gamma to 1.8 (vs. 2.2) Michael questions that and then finally says "OK". I never knew that so my question is should that be done for a PC and a Mac, or is that Mac only? I was also a little unsure about what Jeff meant by copying from B&W to color, so if anyone can clarify this I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for the help. Back to watching...

PK Sharpener runs fine on 64 bit systems using the 32 bit version of PS. I think there's a 64 bit beta version available, too. I find that I never run 64 bit PS because there are too many plug-ins that won't run in 64 bit PS. Yes, there's a small speed trade-off but not all that much because even the 32 bit PS can take advantage of the vastly superior memory management of a 64 bit OS.

Output sharpening is conceptually simple. In a nutshell, the optimum amount of sharpening depends on the resolution of the image at its final output size and also on the type of printer. PKS has built-in settings for various resolution/printer combinations so it simplifies the task.
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Peter
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Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 08:57:26 PM »
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Quote from: Panorama
Anway, discussions of Radius, Amt, Threshold, fading, etc. are all relevant to output, especially those using CS3.

Actually, no it isn't. Only a fool would try to sharpen by eye on the display for images sent to print output...you can't do it because the display is a low resolution device not suitable for determining optimal output sharpening for print. The only way to do that is to sharpen, make a print and then adjust...if you want to spend your life doing that, good luck to ya. Michael and I have other things to be doing...which is why Michael & I used to use PK Sharpener–and now we both use Lightroom for output because it has PhotoKit Output Sharpener built in. There's really no reason to even TRY to teach people how to output sharpen these days...

Quote from: Panorama
So to make sure I have this clear, whenever we're working with color or B&W images, in the same workspace, we should have the gray gamma set to 1.8 (assuming Prophoto).just to be 100% clear on this though, is this when you're replacing a blown channel with the intention of going to grayscale, or is there a specific example of when you would do this?


When converting from color to B&W I often use color channels copied from the color version of the image and placed as grayscale layers in the grayscale document. So, it has nothing to do with "blown channels" but has to do with B&W conversions...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 12:17:26 AM »
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Hi,

Regarding the gamma issue:

It does not matter what gamma Prophoto RGB uses internally as long as you work in a color managed workflow, preferably with 16 bits/color. The gamma is internal to ProPhoto RGB, so it's nothing you can change.

Regarding the gamma setting of 1.8 on the Mac it's also old stuff, I think new Macs use 2.2. Technically speaking 2.2 is a better value because the steps are more evenly split in the gamma space than with 1.8, sorry I can not explain it better without working trough the math. The reason 1.8 was chosen for the mac was really because it was used in lieu of color management. Printers used to have a gamma of 1.8.

Now, Macs are pretty good at color management so you'd get decent color whatever the gamma, most folks outside the creative arts use the other OS starting with 'W' and neither the OS or their users do much about color management. The other OS and most hardware is probably closer to gamma 2.2.

Conclusion is forget about gamma 1.8.

Regarding color calibration, many experts recommend calibrating for native gamma, forcing the monitor to a gamma not supported by it's internal gamma may cause excessive bending of the gamma curve. This is probably seldom a problem but it's probably good advice.

If you make pictures for the web or uncalibrated environment sRGB is your best choice (well, least evil choice). sRGB has gamma 2.2.

BTW. Windows actually supports color management but few applications use it and I expect that very few PC-owners outside creative arts do color management.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Panorama
I purchased Michael's Fine Art Printing Video at Calumet (vs. downloading) quite a while ago and I'm finally getting around to watching it - better late than never I guess.  

I've enjoyed it quite a bit (have some more to go) and while I realize the video was created a couple of years ago, I think most of the information is still current. There are a few area that left me puzzled though so I thought I'd ask for clarification.

I learned to print years ago with a 'west coast' based photographer, whom I know both Michael and jeff know, so I'm not new to this, but what left me scratching my head was the segment on "output sharpening". Many here may be going "what segment on output sharpening"? That leads me to one of my questions. There doesn't seem to be any information on output sharpening; there's lots of talk about using Photokit sharpener, but nothing substantive for those of us that a) don't own it,  can't run it even if we did (it's not 64bit compatible), and c) want to know other ways to handle things in our native applications, such as Photoshop. this seems to be a large hole in the 'craft' of preparing to print, so I'm wondering, am I missing something?

Also, when jeff talks about setting the Prophoto gray gamma to 1.8 (vs. 2.2) Michael questions that and then finally says "OK". I never knew that so my question is should that be done for a PC and a Mac, or is that Mac only? I was also a little unsure about what Jeff meant by copying from B&W to color, so if anyone can clarify this I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for the help. Back to watching...
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 01:32:24 AM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Conclusion is forget about gamma 1.8.


As it relates to DISPLAY calibration, yes, absolutely...as it relates to a grayscale WORKING space however, you DON'T want to forget gamma 1.8 if you are using Pro Photo RGB as your color working space.

See, what I was talking about had ZERO, nada, zip, the big NOTHING to do with display calibration and only related to setting up your grayscale working space gamma to match your color working space gamma.

Normally, photographers ignore their "grayspace" settings in the Color Setting preferences...what I'm saying is unless you actually are going out to a halftone press, there is no reason to keep the grayscale working space set to a 20% dot gain...that will force a space conversion if you want to copy back and forth between color and grayscale images...

Instead of a 20% dot gain, I suggest you match the gamma to that of your color space. So, ProPhoto RGB would be 1.8 and Adobe RGB would be 2.w (I trust nobody on LuLa would normally use sRGB unless they were prepping images for the web).

The issue of displays should NEVER have been brought up in this context...
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Panorama
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 07:10:19 AM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Actually, no it isn't. Only a fool would try to sharpen by eye on the display for images sent to print output...you can't do it because the display is a low resolution device not suitable for determining optimal output sharpening for print. The only way to do that is to sharpen, make a print and then adjust...if you want to spend your life doing that, good luck to ya. Michael and I have other things to be doing...which is why Michael & I used to use PK Sharpener–and now we both use Lightroom for output because it has PhotoKit Output Sharpener built in. There's really no reason to even TRY to teach people how to output sharpen these days...

yes, most of us know about display resolution and the problems translating from screen to print. We've all spent too much time trying to compare and then one day you just accept that it ain't never gonna happen and you move on to a more sane way of working. Explaining this to clients however, can be more of a difficult challenge. Anyway, I have LR, but I rarely use it; PS has the tools that I need 99% of the time. I had no idea that PK sharpener was built in to LR so that's great to know. thanks.

I appreciate the information but I want to clarify the subtext of my original question. Making an assumption that everyone has purchased PK sharpener (or wants to purchase it), and then simply dismissing the tools nearly 100% of the people watching your video have purchased, is less than optimal. not everyone likes or wants LR. Between LR and PS, I'll take PS 99% of the time because it's the right tool for the job(s). LR, on the other hand, is superfluous to what my clients want.

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When converting from color to B&W I often use color channels copied from the color version of the image and placed as grayscale layers in the grayscale document. So, it has nothing to do with "blown channels" but has to do with B&W conversions...

I've copied color channels (e.g., the green channel) when doing B&W conversions because the blue (for example) is noisy, bad, or what I quickly called blown. Calling it a blown channel was incorrect on my part. Mea Culpa, I was using the term expeditiously. Not to be confused with blown highlights, but simply "bad"...
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:26:43 AM by Panorama » Logged
Panorama
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 07:19:09 AM »
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Quote from: Schewe
As it relates to DISPLAY calibration, yes, absolutely...as it relates to a grayscale WORKING space however, you DON'T want to forget gamma 1.8 if you are using Pro Photo RGB as your color working space.

Normally, photographers ignore their "grayspace" settings in the Color Setting preferences...what I'm saying is unless you actually are going out to a halftone press, there is no reason to keep the grayscale working space set to a 20% dot gain...that will force a space conversion if you want to copy back and forth between color and grayscale images...

Instead of a 20% dot gain, I suggest you match the gamma to that of your color space. So, ProPhoto RGB would be 1.8 and Adobe RGB would be 2.w (I trust nobody on LuLa would normally use sRGB unless they were prepping images for the web).

So cutting to the chase, I use many workspaces. I use CMYK (obviously for 4-color output), Prophoto, sRGB, Adobe RGB, it all depends on what I, or the client needs. but I have not been changing the gray working space. I understand what you're saying and it makes sense, but what are the repercussions of forcing a space conversion? Is it detrimental (i.e., conversions errors) or is is just a processor crunch?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:20:06 AM by Panorama » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 08:37:38 AM »
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Quote from: Panorama
I appreciate the information but I want to clarify the subtext of my original question. Making an assumption that everyone has purchased PK sharpener (or wants to purchase it), and then simply dismissing the tools nearly 100% of the people watching your video have purchased, is less than optimal. not everyone likes or wants LR. Between LR and PS, I'll take PS 99% of the time because it's the right tool for the job(s). LR, on the other hand, is superfluous to what my clients want.

Well there's zero in PKS that isn't Photoshop functionality. You can do what Bruce and Jeff later have done: get a pile of printers, a pile of papers and files, then output using various settings you mention above, ignoring the preview and only evaluating the print. Then you have a recipe for optimal sharpening for that device, size etc, all based on capture sharpening to begin with. If you want all this as a base to start this series of exhaustive testing, Bruce wrote a book that Jeff just updated on sharpening IN Photoshop. Knock yourself out.

Or just use PKS or Lightroom or ACR and press the button and move on.
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Panorama
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 10:09:09 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Well there's zero in PKS that isn't Photoshop functionality. You can do what Bruce and Jeff later have done: get a pile of printers, a pile of papers and files, then output using various settings you mention above, ignoring the preview and only evaluating the print. Then you have a recipe for optimal sharpening for that device, size etc, all based on capture sharpening to begin with. If you want all this as a base to start this series of exhaustive testing, Bruce wrote a book that Jeff just updated on sharpening IN Photoshop. Knock yourself out.

Or just use PKS or Lightroom or ACR and press the button and move on.

Now that was helpful...  

or maybe not... Again, a black box solution, which is all you're recommending, is not the answer for everyone.

I don't actually want to accumulate another pile of printers, I have 3 already which should be enough for a little while. I also don't want to print out hundreds, or thousands, of images looking for the perfect solution for an image, at a size, on a particular type of paper. what seems to be impossible to discuss here is what should people do if they DON"T own PSK, bundled into LR or not. Or if I've misinterpreted something, which happens more often than not on the net, forgive me.

What's important to me is a discussion of the merits, the techniques, etc. and learning ways to make my prints better. That is after all, why i spent $40+ (can't remember exact price), on the video.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 10:34:16 AM by Panorama » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 10:47:30 AM »
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Quote from: Panorama
Now that was helpful...

You’re going to have to help yourself. Start by getting Bruce and Jeff’s book, read it, understand it, then start testing.
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Andrew Rodney
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 10:51:04 AM »
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Jeff,

I did not read the thread carefully enough. Very sorry!

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Schewe
As it relates to DISPLAY calibration, yes, absolutely...as it relates to a grayscale WORKING space however, you DON'T want to forget gamma 1.8 if you are using Pro Photo RGB as your color working space.

See, what I was talking about had ZERO, nada, zip, the big NOTHING to do with display calibration and only related to setting up your grayscale working space gamma to match your color working space gamma.

Normally, photographers ignore their "grayspace" settings in the Color Setting preferences...what I'm saying is unless you actually are going out to a halftone press, there is no reason to keep the grayscale working space set to a 20% dot gain...that will force a space conversion if you want to copy back and forth between color and grayscale images...

Instead of a 20% dot gain, I suggest you match the gamma to that of your color space. So, ProPhoto RGB would be 1.8 and Adobe RGB would be 2.w (I trust nobody on LuLa would normally use sRGB unless they were prepping images for the web).

The issue of displays should NEVER have been brought up in this context...
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