Saturday, February 13

PrintCrafting 2:

Katelynn's Six! Christmas 2015 - The print
Okay, all sorts of challenges are wift-ing out of the PrintCraft project process. And most of them are looking back at you in Katelynn's Six! up there. It perfectly matched every nuance of what I saw on my monitor... AFTERWARD! Uh-huh seems I used Adobe 1998 as my primary color work space as I worked on this image in Photoshop. And I was pretty happy with the result...

Catelynn's 6!: The Original

And since I worked on this on my carefully calibrated iMac monitor. And I tested this image on my iPhone, iPod, and a couple of Mac Pros. They all showed me that image immediately above.The colors are subtly but DISTINCTLY different from the "The Print" at the start of this essay (BlogEssay?). 

So, where'd the ethereal light come from in the print? Unintentionally it seems. Because in converting the image for print on my new Epson P-800, I used the profile for the printer and Epson's Premium High Gloss paper. And POOF! the colors shifted. When I did the hard proofs, the images both at 4X6" and 8X11.5 were exactly matched to the print version at the top. 

Now... It's important that WYSIWYG happens. Important? No - critical. So, now that I can match the monitor to the paper, I need to match the monitored image to the printer, not a capricious gamma shift. As you can see I've not even bought 13X19" or 19X24" sheets. In fact, I'm still holding onto the Epson super premium paper sampler I got with the printer. In the interim I've been popping out 4X6" tests with a final 8X11.5" of each on that premium high gloss double weight. Best way to test the sparkle, right?

Last post handled the color space differently and the colors of that row-block in Lancaster were almost spot on the monitor. Almost. That's why I redid all of the color management settings and, well, I opened with the result. Once again, even though the gamma shift was unexpectedly dramatic, it did give me an image that was completely transferrable to the paper. 

So, I think this tells me that I need to start my images in the final color space. But that looks to mean that I have to understand in advance... at the very inception of pulling an image from the FlashCard.... have to understand the paper upon which I shall finally print it.

That cannot be correct. Do you think about that when you capture images? The paper upon which you might finally print the image? 

So, while a lot's getting better, this looks like a project that will fill productive hours yet. But that's what a hobby's about, right? And in this case I'm learning from the books, essays, and videos of world class experts (who apparently also have editors who know all about  communicating. 

BTW--- GEEK STUFF:I handheld my Canon 7D with an EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens cranked all the way out. And the fill lights were table lamps, the primary light was from the TV monitor Katelynn was watching. Which meant cranking the ISO to 16,000. That, of course either cursed the final image, or flattered it through a gentle shower of noise. I grew up with Kodak's Tri-X as the goto film It shot at 300ASA, but everybody cranked it up 4 or 5 stops. Which meant that grain gave images their authenticity. It was a wonderful texture. 

Friday, February 5

Thinkin' About This Stuff. 1

Okay... There's this thing called "Color Management". And it's all about sliding what you see on the screen into a different-sized envelope.  Only the dimensions of the original are defined in color numbers, and a unique set of metrics Like pushing a hot dog into a cube.

Gamma is a term that defines the dimensions of different spaces. So gamma defines different work spaces like sRGB, or RGB, CMYK, or my favorite RGB (Adobe). There are others. My Canon 7D is set to create RGB images. But net images are usually contained inside of an sRGB box. And each printer/paper combination has its own unique envelope that shapes colors that will be reproduced.

So... Color Management has to do with a series of moves from Camera envelope to monitor envelope to printer/paper envelope. I think of each of those envelopes as gammas. And they just don't overlap. No matter what, it's almost impossible to match a monitor image to final print. 

The cheaper the monitor, the less likely that the process will be predictable. And even with the best monitors, if their screens aren't identically calibrated, both with themselves and standards for other gammas, then what you see you really won't get into a printer and onto its paper.

Three are so many variables here. It's terrifically complex and discouraging if you're printing test prints while changing values of the transmitting gamma. 

Oh... and then there's viewing light. I replaced all of the lights in my studio so that they'd mimic daylight. Tungsten lights darken the dynamic range while shifting the perceived printed image toward red/magenta. I can now hold my print next to my monitor and actually compare the range of colors.  

I'm using the image above as my first level test. The palette is vivid but they fall within a narrow color range. I'm tweaking my computer/monitor combo and working to get the monitor's gamma as close to the Epson P-800/chosen paper gamma. I'm about 90% there.