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Author Topic: Sunset Print Epic Fail. What's going on here?  (Read 3418 times)
Ed Blagden
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« on: November 11, 2013, 12:27:14 AM »
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Hi,

I'm afraid this is another "why doesn't the print look anything like the image on my monitor?" thread.

My wife, who does some interior design, asked me to make a print for one of her clients as part of a project she is working on.  I don't much care for the image myself but WTH, it isn't going on my wall.

Anyway, I did a small ~7x4 proof print on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl 285 using my HP9180.  Lightroom 5, yes I did soft proofing and yes my monitor is calibrated (only with Spyder 2 Express, I'm planning to upgrade to Color Munki when I next visit the UK). 

The result was absolutely hideous - I won't attempt to describe how bad the sky looks beyond saying it looks like a poorly executed attempt at an oil painting of an H Bomb.  I have made a scan of the proof on our cheap and non-colour managed desktop scanner just so you can get an idea of what I mean.  I also attach the "original" jpeg export from Lightroom Raw.  I didn't really do much to the master image in post processing - just a little crop plus adding a bit of contrast, clarity and a small bump to vibrance.  When I soft proofed the image I checked carefully for any out of Gamut colours and there wasn't much - just a few speckles around the top of the sun.  So all I did in soft proof editing was increase contrast a tiny bit more and reduced saturation a little - we are talking about +/-5 adjustments in LR5, nothing gross.  Also there doesn't seem to be anything fundamentally wrong with my setup.  The other proof images I made on the same sheet are basically fine - a little dark maybe but the colours look accurate to me.

What's going on here??  What can I do?  I have someone who would like to buy a print and I will probably get something like $200 for it but I can't give them this rubbish.



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David Sutton
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 03:05:40 AM »
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The usual suspects often are:
1) not enough data. What are the pixel dimensions of the original file?
2) double profiling or wrong profile or wrong printer settings. It helps if you can do a screen shot of both the LR and printer dialogues.
3) corrupt profile (it happens but not that often)
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 04:51:05 AM »
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The usual suspects often are:
1) not enough data. What are the pixel dimensions of the original file?
2) double profiling or wrong profile or wrong printer settings. It helps if you can do a screen shot of both the LR and printer dialogues.
3) corrupt profile (it happens but not that often)

David

Many thanks for replying.  To answer your questions:

1.  The image is pretty big, cropped dimensions are 5616 x 3007, ie 21MP.  Should be more than enough for a 13x19 print.
2.  Not sure what you mean by double profiling.  I attach a screen shot of the LR Print Page with the Print Job settings, and the Printer Dialogue boxes open.
3.  The weird thing is that all the other images on the proof sheet came out just fine.  Do you think it could still be a corrupt profile?

Thanks again



Ed
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 04:53:24 AM by Ed Blagden » Logged

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Simon J.A. Simpson
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 02:45:31 PM »
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Hi,

I'm afraid this is another "why doesn't the print look anything like the image on my monitor?" thread.

My wife, who does some interior design, asked me to make a print for one of her clients as part of a project she is working on.  I don't much care for the image myself but WTH, it isn't going on my wall.

Anyway, I did a small ~7x4 proof print on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl 285 using my HP9180.  Lightroom 5, yes I did soft proofing and yes my monitor is calibrated (only with Spyder 2 Express, I'm planning to upgrade to Color Munki when I next visit the UK). 

The result was absolutely hideous - I won't attempt to describe how bad the sky looks beyond saying it looks like a poorly executed attempt at an oil painting of an H Bomb.  I have made a scan of the proof on our cheap and non-colour managed desktop scanner just so you can get an idea of what I mean.  I also attach the "original" jpeg export from Lightroom Raw.  I didn't really do much to the master image in post processing - just a little crop plus adding a bit of contrast, clarity and a small bump to vibrance.  When I soft proofed the image I checked carefully for any out of Gamut colours and there wasn't much - just a few speckles around the top of the sun.  So all I did in soft proof editing was increase contrast a tiny bit more and reduced saturation a little - we are talking about +/-5 adjustments in LR5, nothing gross.  Also there doesn't seem to be anything fundamentally wrong with my setup.  The other proof images I made on the same sheet are basically fine - a little dark maybe but the colours look accurate to me.

What's going on here??  What can I do?  I have someone who would like to buy a print and I will probably get something like $200 for it but I can't give them this rubbish.

Well, assuming this isn't the result of the scanning, the image of the print print looks very badly posterised which would suggest that somewhere some data is going missing somehow you've gone from an 816 bit image to something a lot less.

Trying to troubleshoot this kind of problem is a process of elimination especially since there are so many links in the chain from the image editing software to the printer.

There are many possible causes.  Lightroom, the printing colour management workflow (what you've got set in the myriad dialogue boxes), the printer, the printer driver, the profile, factor X.

First step is to download a test image and try printing this.  One such can be downloaded here:http://www.outbackphoto.com/printinginsights/pi049/essay.html
Are you getting the similar results ?  This will eliminate the image as a potential source of the problem.  If it is the case that both images print the same or similar then you then need to eliminate each of the possible causes.

If the scan of the print is representative then the most likely cause of posterisation is going to be somewhere in the printing software pipeline.  So I'd start with eliminating Lightroom and try printing from different software (Photoshop ?).  Then I'd try printing without using colour management (let the printer manage the colours).  Then try printing using a different profile.  Try using a different paper/profile combination, using a different printer.  You just have to keep going until you identify the problem; frustrating, time and paper consuming though it is.  I speak from experience !

I hope this helps.  And good luck !
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David Sutton
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 05:43:41 PM »
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David

Many thanks for replying.  To answer your questions:

1.  The image is pretty big, cropped dimensions are 5616 x 3007, ie 21MP.  Should be more than enough for a 13x19 print.
2.  Not sure what you mean by double profiling.  I attach a screen shot of the LR Print Page with the Print Job settings, and the Printer Dialogue boxes open.
3.  The weird thing is that all the other images on the proof sheet came out just fine.  Do you think it could still be a corrupt profile?

Thanks again



Ed
As Ed says, the print looks posterised. I was wondering if you had accidentally printed from a low quality duplicate jpeg.
Double profiling is having both LR handle colour and the printer as well. So I was checking that printer colour management was definitely turned off. I assume that "Application manages Colours" in your printer does this (I'm not familiar with the HP). In mine, it is the "no colour management" option in the printer dialogue.
David
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tradman9
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 06:07:05 PM »
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Any time something like this happened to me, it turned out that somehow (probably operator error) the printer settings had gotten changed.

Ken
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 01:15:37 PM »
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Ran a print test (see below) from your sRGB image on the section that posterized on my Epson NX330 "All-In-One" using Printer Manages Color on Epson Presentation Matte and got pretty darn close. So your image is definitely within gamut of an inkjet printer. Didn't even Soft Proof.

But I did figure a way to fool my printer into giving me a closer match since I've been noticing a lot of my prints come out a bit over saturated and on the reddish side and that was to convert to AdobeRGB and assign my (sRGB) Display profile which is the version on the left and convert back to the original ProPhotoRGB.

Never could figure out how my $50 Epson using "Printer Manages Color" out of Photoshop could get so close but be slightly off until I came across the Fuji Frontier DL 430 at my Walgreens which I found an ICC profile online and noticed it behaved similarly to assigning AdobeRGB to an sRGB image with regards to Hue/Saturation. My prints just came out too vibrant.

Using your sunset image to test I kind of figured out how the Epson was interpreting color as long as I chose "AdobeRGB" in the printer driver instead of "Vivid" no matter what color space the image was encoded. I needed an actual printer profile (the Fuji Frontier) to induce the proper gamut and tonal transition appearance using a Relative Intent which is what it appears to be by the results shown below.

These printer manufacturers are doing their own thing under the hood with color management that's quite puzzling in how they get their results.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 01:20:05 PM by Tim Lookingbill » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 08:21:21 PM »
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When you send an image to an Epson and set to Printer Manages, the driver assumes the image is in sRGB unless you choose AdobeRGB in the driver in which case it assumes the image is in AdobeRGB.  (So choosing Vivid assumes sRGB, for example).

For consumers, this is close enough 99.99999% of the time (OK I made that figure up, but you get the idea).
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 09:22:51 PM »
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When you send an image to an Epson and set to Printer Manages, the driver assumes the image is in sRGB unless you choose AdobeRGB in the driver in which case it assumes the image is in AdobeRGB.  (So choosing Vivid assumes sRGB, for example).

For consumers, this is close enough 99.99999% of the time (OK I made that figure up, but you get the idea).

I'll have to disagree that Vivid assumes sRGB because the results are nowhere near the color managed preview of my sRGB display. AdobeRGB setting looks a lot closer if just slightly off as I described. Also two Epson papers give slightly closer matches over the other like say Presentation Matte VS Ultra Premium Glossy which requires I apply .95 to middle RGB slider and .90 to Blue Channel slider in Levels to get spot on results and perfectly neutral gray ramps. The matte paper only requires a .95 adjust to the blue channel.

What puzzles me is how these newer inkjets including the Fuji Frontier DL 430 now know how to make their printer drivers define how a synthetic matrix color space renders color without an ICC workflow. How do you make a mechanical output device duplicate something that doesn't technically exist unless you have source data knowing how to match to display characteristics that knows how to output to glossy or matte substrate and adjust accordingly.

I mean these inkjet drivers can now properly map clipped sRGB data so there's no posterization and dulled down and darker versions of highly saturated colors such as I demonstrated in the OP's sunset. That's a bit too precise for a printer driver at least compared to what I used to get from both inkjet and wet labs ten years ago. And the ink formulation and spectral reflectance properties are from another planet.

No wonder most of the one hour photo chains in my area are dropping old wet lab technology and going strictly dry lab inkjets.
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 10:25:47 PM »
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Interesting.  What is the *actual* colour space of the image you're sending through that achieves that result?
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 12:21:56 AM »
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Interesting.  What is the *actual* colour space of the image you're sending through that achieves that result?

The color space (or encoded data...meaning not the preview) doesn't matter. That's my point about the mystery behind "Printer Manages Color" at least in Mac OS 10.6.8. Not sure if PMC works the same on Windows.

I can convert (change the data/not preview) to any working space or color space. As long as the preview remains the same the results are as I demonstrated above with the sunset using Printer Manages Color.

The sunset version on the left was produced with a sort of a round trip Soft Proof (without using traditional Soft Proof) routine requiring finding the right color space to convert (change the data), then another to assign (change the preview) in order to emulate the default sunset print on the right.

Converting/Assigning synthetic matrix type color spaces (sRGB/AdobeRGB) causes way too much luminance driven saturation (posterization) where as table based printer profiles that are larger than sRGB (even larger in some areas than AdobeRGB) such as the Fuji DL 430 map luminance driven saturation very close to the smooth roll off behavior of an inkjet printer except with spectral reflectance characteristics in its ink formulation that mimics matrix type vibrance. BTW this routine only worked on this Sunset image. I don't have to do this on images whose gamut is well within sRGB.

I'll demonstrate another puzzling aspect of these newer inkjet inks on newer polymer surface receiver papers (Fujifilm Quality Dry Photo Paper) I examined with the Fuji DL 430 that's left me scratching my head on how a spectro is going to measure and build a profile from.

Anyone who's viewed color Ektachrome slides over a light table will recognize/remember? the transmissive fluorescing (high vibrance/luminance) of the dyes when moving the slide over the light table and away where they become very dark. The Fuji DL 430 prints were doing the same except reflectively. See below where I attempted to take shots of this fluorescing effect. The Fuji's rather wide color gamut caused by the fluorescing of their dyes on the print in similarly lit captured scenes as the sunset leaf below are beyond my DSLR and sRGB display to reproduce.

When I move the print away from the 5000K fluorescent viewing lights the print looks close to the original file, get it right under it like I have to do with regular Epson ceramic surface inkjet prints and it gives a new reference point for the meaning "My Prints Are Too Dark". Imagine what a print of a sunset on this paper and ink combo would look like fluorescing like this. It's like you're there. You'ld probably need sunglasses to view it.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 11:26:08 PM »
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Thanks for all your replies.

I think it must be something wrong with the Hahnemuhle profile: I had another go printing this using bog standard HP Advanced Photo Paper Glossy plus the canned profile, and it came out OK, with no posterization.  The final print has lost a bit of tonality because some of the colours are out of gamut according to the soft proofing in LR5 but it basically looks OK.

I think I will have to start making my own profiles.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 02:24:47 PM »
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Thanks for all your replies.

I think it must be something wrong with the Hahnemuhle profile: I had another go printing this using bog standard HP Advanced Photo Paper Glossy plus the canned profile, and it came out OK, with no posterization.  The final print has lost a bit of tonality because some of the colours are out of gamut according to the soft proofing in LR5 but it basically looks OK.

I think I will have to start making my own profiles.

Hopefully you didn't waste too much paper and ink to find this out. I always do a print test on small section I think is going to clip before I commit to printing a full size print. Never used or needed to rely on Soft Proofing because I've never had a custom printer profile made to see if I can trust printing full size first run. Small print test works for me in my situation.  
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 03:54:07 AM »
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Hopefully you didn't waste too much paper and ink to find this out. I always do a print test on small section I think is going to clip before I commit to printing a full size print. Never used or needed to rely on Soft Proofing because I've never had a custom printer profile made to see if I can trust printing full size first run. Small print test works for me in my situation.  

No, I always make a "hard proof" of prints I intend to make in small postcard sizes, so no real harm done.

I really am beginning to think that the problem is with the icc profile rather than user error.  The reason for this is that the problem is actually clearly visible when I soft proof the images in Lightroom 5 using the Hahnemuehle supplied icc profile.  OK, the problem is even worse in the final hard print but you can definitely see it in the soft proof.  To illustrate what I mean see attached a couple of images with soft proofing turned off and then on.  The first image is colour, and the effect is very obvious.  The second is in BW and the effect is more subtle, but still there.  Both images look good when soft proofed and printed on alternative papers.

Anyway I am in touch with Hahnemuehle tech support about this, so let's see what they come up with.

Ed
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2013, 11:49:44 PM »
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Just an update, and a question.  I got in touch with Hahnemuehle tech support yesterday and after a bit of back and forth they offered to make a new profile just for me!  Very nice of them I must say, especially since I didn't even have to ask.  They have sent me a patch target for me to print out and mail to them.  Kudos for their customer service.

So now a dumb question: how do I print the target?  The person at Hahnemuehle told me to print it from photoshop with colour management turned off.  Unfortunately I don't have photoshop in my environment, only LR5 running on Windows 7 64 bit.  So turning off colour management doesn't seem to be an option.  So what do I do?  Do I print from LR using the existing icc profile for the paper, or do I print directly from Windows?  I did ask the tech support person but she doesn't seem to be familiar with a Lightroom only environment.

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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2013, 02:05:54 AM »
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Use the Adobe Color Printer Utility it,s free, designed for printing profiling targets and available to download at http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/no-color-management-option-missing.html

This will define out Hahnemuhle's customer service department as in the Widnows environment it will resize the target slightly and make it awkward to read. If they are up to speed, it shouldn't be a problem, if they're as bad as this supplied profile would suggest they might struggle.
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TonyW
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2013, 04:16:41 AM »
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...
2.  Not sure what you mean by double profiling.  I attach a screen shot of the LR Print Page with the Print Job settings, and the Printer Dialogue boxes open.

First post here (have been lurking for a while) and I hope that this may be of some help.  

Your screenshot (reply 2) LR and the HPB9180 printer settings indicates a mismatch of paper profile, assuming you are using the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper.

LR colour management is set  correctly (I think!) as HFA_HPB9180... but your HP dialogue box show paper type selected as HP Advanced Photo Paper glossy in the right hand drop down box therefore it looks like this has not been changed when/if it was selected in the Printing shortcut dialogue?  Even though you have told the HP driver that the application (LR) should manage the printing I am fairly sure that you need to indicate in the HP driver dialogue the paper you are using
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 04:32:15 AM by TonyW » Logged
Ed Blagden
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2013, 12:11:47 AM »
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Use the Adobe Color Printer Utility it,s free, designed for printing profiling targets and available to download at http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/no-color-management-option-missing.html

This will define out Hahnemuhle's customer service department as in the Widnows environment it will resize the target slightly and make it awkward to read. If they are up to speed, it shouldn't be a problem, if they're as bad as this supplied profile would suggest they might struggle.

Many thanks for the link.  I will print the target today when I am back near my printer.

First post here (have been lurking for a while) and I hope that this may be of some help. 

Your screenshot (reply 2) LR and the HPB9180 printer settings indicates a mismatch of paper profile, assuming you are using the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper.

LR colour management is set  correctly (I think!) as HFA_HPB9180... but your HP dialogue box show paper type selected as HP Advanced Photo Paper glossy in the right hand drop down box therefore it looks like this has not been changed when/if it was selected in the Printing shortcut dialogue?  Even though you have told the HP driver that the application (LR) should manage the printing I am fairly sure that you need to indicate in the HP driver dialogue the paper you are using


Thanks for that.  What I may have missed is the need to create a custom paper using the HP solution centre.  The problem I have with this is that the Hahnemuehle setup guide says that the paper type should be specified as HP Advanced Photo Paper High Gloss.  However, no such option exists when I try to create a custom paper in the HP Solution Centre.  The options they give for Paper Category are: Photo, Coated inkjet, Photo rag, Watercolour, Canvas etc.  Any ideas about which one I should use?

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TonyW
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2013, 08:49:18 AM »
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...What I may have missed is the need to create a custom paper using the HP solution centre.  The problem I have with this is that the Hahnemuehle setup guide says that the paper type should be specified as HP Advanced Photo Paper High Gloss.  However, no such option exists when I try to create a custom paper in the HP Solution Centre.  The options they give for Paper Category are: Photo, Coated inkjet, Photo rag, Watercolour, Canvas etc.  Any ideas about which one I should use?
I guess that you must have downloaded unzipped and installed the profile from http://www.hahnemuehle.com/site/us/472/hewlett-packard.html as it shows in Lightroom?

I use the same printer but am unable to test due to it being out of action.  But I downloaded the profile and installed.  As this is a photo paper the categrory should be Photo for good measure I used both the Add Custom Paper and Install New ICC Profile


When you get to the Printer set up dialogue you should be able to locate the Fine Art pearl profile - in my case at the bottom of the window after scrolling


Had a look at your jpeg via LR soft proofing and can see the 'posterisation' using this profile is farily pronounced and switching to another profile e.g. HP Advanced Glossy, HP Advanced Photo Satin, or virtually any other looks better.  It also looks better (at least on screen!) using Relative Colorimetric.  So I wonder if this is really the correct paper choice for this particular image.

Hope that this helps you get a better result and also hope that you do not mind me making a couple of comments (which may or may not be relevant to the current issue  Smiley)

When I first saw the posterisation I wondered if it was possible that this could be related to a poor monitor profile (but why only in soft proof?).  You said that you use the Spyder 2 for calibration and profiling I also have this model using SpectraView software rather than the Datacolor app.  What I am aware of is this version of Spyder is not suitable for wide gamut calibration and could cause problems.  Probably not the case however but worth a mention?

I noticed in the LR Print dialogue that you have set the Print resolution to 360 ppi.  This would seem to be a multiplier used by Epson printers e.g. 360/720/1440.  The HP printers similar to Canon use 300/600/1200.  I think that the general recommendation is to use multiples of your printers native resolution and therefore it might be a better idea to use either 300 or 600 ppi.  TBH I doubt that it will make a noticeable difference with this particular image.

EDIT: FWIW screen grab showing comparison in softproof Fine Art Pearl and Hahnemuele Smooth Fine Art, Perceptual rendering
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 09:25:07 AM by TonyW » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2013, 01:18:30 AM »
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Hi,

THe problem is posterisation. I am pretty sure it is caused by bad (or improperly used) printer profile, if you are using soft proof.

Best regards
Erik


Hi,

I'm afraid this is another "why doesn't the print look anything like the image on my monitor?" thread.

My wife, who does some interior design, asked me to make a print for one of her clients as part of a project she is working on.  I don't much care for the image myself but WTH, it isn't going on my wall.

Anyway, I did a small ~7x4 proof print on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl 285 using my HP9180.  Lightroom 5, yes I did soft proofing and yes my monitor is calibrated (only with Spyder 2 Express, I'm planning to upgrade to Color Munki when I next visit the UK). 

The result was absolutely hideous - I won't attempt to describe how bad the sky looks beyond saying it looks like a poorly executed attempt at an oil painting of an H Bomb.  I have made a scan of the proof on our cheap and non-colour managed desktop scanner just so you can get an idea of what I mean.  I also attach the "original" jpeg export from Lightroom Raw.  I didn't really do much to the master image in post processing - just a little crop plus adding a bit of contrast, clarity and a small bump to vibrance.  When I soft proofed the image I checked carefully for any out of Gamut colours and there wasn't much - just a few speckles around the top of the sun.  So all I did in soft proof editing was increase contrast a tiny bit more and reduced saturation a little - we are talking about +/-5 adjustments in LR5, nothing gross.  Also there doesn't seem to be anything fundamentally wrong with my setup.  The other proof images I made on the same sheet are basically fine - a little dark maybe but the colours look accurate to me.

What's going on here??  What can I do?  I have someone who would like to buy a print and I will probably get something like $200 for it but I can't give them this rubbish.




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