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Old 05-26-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Getting good copies from scan-to-printer




What are you secrets or methods for going from the image on your computer monitor, to getting a fairly truthful copy when you click "print?"

I use Photoshop Elements, by the way, and use a simple 4 mp camera. I get serviceable photos.

My problem seems to start in selecting the photo I want to print out for use as my reference. I get what looks to me like a good reproduction on my computer monitor, but when I print it, the result is often quite off the mark.

I often find it necessary to go back and twiddle the knobs, so to speak, until I've almost made garrish, poster-like images that, nonetheless, print out fairly well.

Is it me, my monitor, printer? I know you can't answer without seeing and using my equipment, but can your share your ideas or experineces?

I've heard of using the computer monitor, itself, for the "source" material, and I often think that would be a good thing. The source photo often looks more lifelike with a kind of "inner glow" you don't get from printed out photos.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Computer monitors generate color with three light guns: red, green and blue. Computer printers generate color with four ink jets: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. They speak two different color languages and getting one to translate perfectly to the other can be impossible.

The closest you'll be able to get to "matching" the color on your monitor to what comes out of your printer will be by going through a process of calibrating your monitor, being sure the monitor and the software and the printer are all working in the same "color space", RGB, CMYK, CIE, LAB, or any of a bunch of other color descriptions, etc.

And even then, the printed output won't look the same because the monitor is an actual source of light and the printer ink is just reflected light coming off a piece of paper.

I spent years working on color balancing and color correction, with various hardware and software and finally gave up ever getting anything you could call an exact match, to be quite frank!

Many artists do paint directly from their monitor to avoid this whole issue entirely.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:38 PM   #3
Marcus Lim Marcus Lim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele Rushworth
The closest you'll be able to get to "matching" the color on your monitor to what comes out of your printer will be by going through a process of calibrating your monitor, being sure the monitor and the software and the printer are all working in the same "color space", RGB, CMYK, CIE, LAB, or any of a bunch of other color descriptions, etc.
Hi, michele is right. There needs to be a process of calibrating the monitor, and the printer as well. As far as i know, newer printers come with printer profiles - or icc profiles as commonly known - that enables you to efficiently calibrate to the monitor.

In this case, you'll find it's a priority then to calibrate your monitor first before you can calibrate your printer. Monitor calibrator softwares like Spyder and Gretag-Macbeth (GM) works well. In my case buying the low end GM software serves my purpose.

For me, the next step comes in deciding which icc profile to use. After reading a few digital photography books i've come to decide on using RGB profile, which is said to have the widest gamut and easy to use.
Too bad my printer doesn't come with profiles...

With the screen and printer aligned, next step is to print photos and adjust the brightness / contrast according to the output quality. But if you find that you still can't achieve the same / near similar quality printouts even after a few tries, then i reckon that's as far as your printer can take you.

But for your info, even the best printers will still be slightly off as compared to screen quality. I don't know if the rest of you agree with me on this or not...
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