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Author Topic: How many prints does it take?  (Read 5370 times)
Mike Guilbault
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« on: June 23, 2011, 09:27:47 AM »
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Just curious.  Even with a fully calibrated workflow, do you find that you often reprint an image with some adjustments?  In other words, if you do everything possible BEFORE the image is actually printed - do you find that once you see the real print it sometimes needs more work?

Second part to this inquiry is; I understand that monitors can change over time and therefore the need to be regularly calibrated.  However, once you have an image printing exactly the way you want it, do you make further adjustments, lets say when your monitor has been re-calibrated a dozen time, or do you print directly from the file that you were happy with in the first place without further adjustments?
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 09:41:20 AM »
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If a file has been adjusted and you are happy with the print, an uncalibrated monitor will not effect subsequent prints. The monitor is not part of the print pipeline. IOW, if you intentionally remove red from the monitor by messing with the RGB adjustments, your image will look bad, but if you don't adjust the file, it'll print the same as it did last time.
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Randy Carone
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 09:45:24 AM »
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Just curious.  Even with a fully calibrated workflow, do you find that you often reprint an image with some adjustments?  In other words, if you do everything possible BEFORE the image is actually printed - do you find that once you see the real print it sometimes needs more work?

Second part to this inquiry is; I understand that monitors can change over time and therefore the need to be regularly calibrated.  However, once you have an image printing exactly the way you want it, do you make further adjustments, lets say when your monitor has been re-calibrated a dozen time, or do you print directly from the file that you were happy with in the first place without further adjustments?

I can give you a statistical and a qualitative answer to that question. As of now on my Epson 4900 after about six months of use my "waste ratio" is about 7%. That means about 7% of the square footage I've printed I've trashed because I was disappointed with the results. Now the qualitative part: more often than not this happens because despite a good colour management set-up that is normally very reliable, my appreciation of what I've seen on the display doesn't cohere with what comes out in the print - and it is usually related to spot areas of brightness rather than colour, or bits of debris I missed on my high-res display get faithfully reproduced on paper, where they show!

I don't touch any aspect of colour management set-up until I start seeing evidence of systemic under-performance. When that happens, the first suspect would be the need to re-profile the display. Once reprofiled, I would just test it with a known reference printer test image, and as needed, re-profile until the matching is back where it should be. That said, I have been using my NEC PA271W for over half a year and have not seen the need to reprofile it yet.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John R Smith
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 09:58:32 AM »
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Just curious.  Even with a fully calibrated workflow, do you find that you often reprint an image with some adjustments?  In other words, if you do everything possible BEFORE the image is actually printed - do you find that once you see the real print it sometimes needs more work?

Mike, I have a simple answer to this one. I have zero wastage of my final prints because my editing process is exactly the same as it was in the darkroom - I print one or more workprints as I go along (often as many as three or four) to assess my progress with the picture. These workprints are sized at postcard size, so I get two on an A5 sheet. Of course, this does represent ink and paper wastage for every print I make, but the big ones are always OK as a result. I do have a good monitor and it is pretty trustworthy, but there is always a difference between transmitted and reflected light. And the nice part is that I can take the workprints downstairs, prop them up on the kitchen table, and have a think about how things are going over a coffee, or next morning during breakfast  Wink

John
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framah
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 10:01:46 AM »
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I usually print a small "grab of the image first, then if I think I'm where I want to be, I'll print a small version..say 8x10ish. If that matches the original art, then I will go ahead and make my final sized prints.

My feeling is that you can have everything calibrated out the wazoo but the final judgment is in an ACTUAL printout. That's when I might see something in  highlight (or shadow) I might have missed and can then make adjustments before wasting large amounts of paper.
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Garnick
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 10:11:12 AM »
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Just curious.  Even with a fully calibrated workflow, do you find that you often reprint an image with some adjustments?  In other words, if you do everything possible BEFORE the image is actually printed - do you find that once you see the real print it sometimes needs more work?

Second part to this inquiry is; I understand that monitors can change over time and therefore the need to be regularly calibrated.  However, once you have an image printing exactly the way you want it, do you make further adjustments, lets say when your monitor has been re-calibrated a dozen time, or do you print directly from the file that you were happy with in the first place without further adjustments?

Hi Mike,

In some respects I think you've already answered your second question. You have stated that the image is "exactly the way you want it". Therefore, regardless of the calibration quality of your display, it will have no effect on the file from which that image was printed. Of course there could be other factors, such as profile quality and the consistency of the printer. Indeed, if the image looked terrible on a particular display, it would still print just as well as the one with which you have already been satisfied. After all, it's the end product you are concerned about, not what you see on the display, correct? Now of course that doesn't negate the possibility of further corrections in the future, but they would most likely be initiated by your desire to try something different and perhaps better with that particular image. What you settle for today may not be up to your standards at some point in the future. The display is simply a conduit from the computer to your eye, and no matter how tight your colour management is it will never match exactly what you see on paper, canvas or whatever substrate you prefer. That's not to say that a well calibrated system isn't necessary, and I think we all know that it most certainly is, but we also know that perfection simply does not exist in this medium. Trial and error -- in other words, testing! Don't know if this helps in any way, but occasionally I enjoy voicing an opinion.

Gary    
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:13:05 AM by Garnick » Logged
AFairley
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 10:48:09 AM »
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I typically am making 4 5x7 work prints before pulling the final 17x22.  Usually the last two of those are not to so much to dial in what I want but to give me variants to compare to see which "feel" I like the best, that kind of comparison doesn't work for me on the screen as well.  I find that when it comes to the final print I want something a tad darker than what looks good to me on the screen for some reason (I'm not talking about mis-calibration or mismatch, but the effect of a emissive and reflective medium).  I rarely reprint a full size print, and then its usually because I decided on a different approach after seeing the final -- a different crop or other major adjustment.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:49:51 AM by AFairley » Logged

Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 10:49:08 AM »
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Don't know if this helps in any way, but occasionally I enjoy voicing an opinion.

Gary    

and sometimes I ask a question just to reinforce my own thoughts.. Wink

The reason I asked this time, is that I'm working on an image and the shadows are coming out a little too dark.  There's detail on my monitor that I'm not seeing in the print.  At first I was thinking it's one of those "My prints are coming out too dark" problems, but everything else about the print is accurate.  I'm printing on Epson Cold Press Natural using the Epson profile.  The blacks are rich and not necessarily too dark, just missing some detail.  Rendering intent is set to Relative... I may try Perceptual.
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howardm
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 01:33:19 PM »
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Just curious...

What is the measured contrast ratio of the monitor after profiling? 
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 03:17:18 PM »
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I believe it was 642:1 - or somewhere around there. 

I lightened the shadows a little and printed with Perceptual Rendering and it's quite a bit better.  I think part of the problem is that my eyes haven't been calibrated in a while. Wink
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Schewe
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 12:00:01 AM »
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I think part of the problem is that my eyes haven't been calibrated in a while. Wink

Yeah...that's a real problem. Since all you've got is your eyes...it's really important you understand exactly what you are seeing.

Can't really help you there other than to say what you THINK you are seeing (on a computer display) may or may NOT not be what you are THINKING you are seeing.

Ya really gotta lock down your viewing environment relative to your display environment.

If you can't trust what you see, how can you possibly expect to get what you want?
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John R Smith
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 06:09:50 AM »
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Ya really gotta lock down your viewing environment relative to your display environment.

The biggest single improvement that I made in that respect was to fit a (home-made) hood to my monitor.

John
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 07:02:20 AM »
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I turn the bank of overhead florescent lights over and behind me off when I'm doing critical work.  There is a bank on over to the left side, but I don't get much glare from those.  Sometimes I'll turn all the lights off but it's awfully dark in the room then and difficult to work.  I like the hood idea and may look into making one.

I understand the need for a proper print viewing station with consistent and accurate lighting, but what do you generally do for ambient light at your computer monitor?  Do you work in the dark?  hmm... reminds me of my darkroom days!
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PeterAit
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2011, 08:14:00 AM »
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I find that my first print is usually spot-on when I print from PS and use soft proofing. I am talking about individual custom prints that get a lot of attention. This is the reward for good monitor calibration, top quality profiles (I find Epson's to be excellent), and an appropriate work flow. I think having a wide-gamut monitor helps, too. Working in appropriate ambient lighting (dim and neutral) is important. Some people swear by a monitor hood but that makes no sense to me. You will never view the print in a totally isolated situation so why would viewing the on-screen image that way help?

I also think it's important to have a good print-viewing setup that you can see while you are sitting at your monitor. I have set up a large cork board with Solux lights that is about 8 feet from my chair and oriented 90 degrees from the screen. It is set up so there is almost no light spill from the Solux lamps to the monitor area. This was I can see the image on screen, turn my head 90 degrees and see the print, then back and forth as needed. I have found this invaluable in getting my prints the way I want and to match the screen image as closely as possible.
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Peter
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GEOFFREYJAMES
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 10:20:19 AM »
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I would say,  as someone emerging from a darkroom after 40 years,  that the wastage is considerably less with my 4900,  even though I am a beginner in this field.  I tend to print straight to 17x22,  because a small print isn't the same as a big print.  I instinctively print a little lighter to compensate for the fact that a print isn't backlit like my monitor,  however well calibrated.  The hardest thing for me is green,  especially grass.  Don't like high octane National Geographic colours,  and I am still figuring this one out. 
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 01:54:34 PM »
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For grass, I tend to darken the yellows (in LR) a bit to take the 'glow' away.  Works pretty well.
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GEOFFREYJAMES
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2011, 03:12:22 PM »
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Mike,

 I have a -15 desaturation almost as a default.  I'll try with the yellow. 
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2011, 10:26:05 PM »
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You may be surprised by how much yellow is in grass.  I was.  You always think of it as just green.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2011, 08:07:31 AM »
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You may be surprised by how much yellow is in grass.  I was.  You always think of it as just green.
Especially in my front yard right now as a result of ultra-high temperatures and little rain over a two week period!!!
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2011, 08:16:30 AM »
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well... my lawn is mostly Dandelions... so way too much yellow! Wink
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