Constellation_XXVI_Shadows

One of the keys to making a great print is great shadow detail.

Shadow detail is something to be mindful of during exposure, processing, and printing. Curiously, even if you see shadow detail in your file on a calibrated monitor you may not see all of the details in your print. What can you do about this? Many things!

First Check Your Color Management

Before you start editing your files based on your proofs, check your color management system.

Recalibrate Your Monitor

Make sure you’ve calibrated your monitor with hardware. Set a brightness value of 90-100 lux, instead of using the default brightness target of 120 lux. If you monitor is too bright, your prints will look dark overall, especially in your shadows.

Read more on Profiling Your Monitor here.

Give Your Prints Enough Time To Dry

Inkjet prints come out of the printer almost dry, but not quite fully dry. When they’re fully dry, they’ll appear slightly lighter, especially in the shadows where there’s a lot of ink. So before you evaluate prints critically, give them a few minutes to dry. This affects absorbent matte surfaces even more than glossy surfaces.

Find my resource on Outgassing here.

Look At Your Prints In Good Light

Look at your prints in good light. You need the right amount of light (a CRI of 90 or higher), you need the right color temperature light (5000K is the standard but many viewers prefer the warmer 3600K), and it helps to use full-spectrum light (Many manufacturers now make full spectrum bulbs.)

Read more on Controlling Your Environment here.

MediaType_P800

Media Type sets the amount of ink that's used.

Set Your Media Type Correctly

Your printer driver will allow you to set your media type, which controls ink the amount of ink that is sprayed on your paper. Use too much ink and you’ll lose shadow detail. Use too little and your blacks and midtones will appear weak. If you’re using a paper not made by the manufacturer, choose the nearest media type and then adjust its settings with the printer driver’s advanced utilities. (You’ll find this under Advanced Media Control with Epson printers.)

Find my resource on Ink Limit here.

testfile_shadows

Print test patches to determine when maximum black is achieved and when separation is lost.

Print A Target To Determine How Much To Lighten Shadows

Before you adjust your files for printing precisely determine how much you need to lighten your deep shadows by printing a target. While they vary a little, most media settings lose shadow detail around a value of 96% on a grayscale. If you print patches of values between 100% and 90% you’ll see exactly where you lose shadow detail. Printed results will vary slightly with each different media setting, so you’ll need to adjust files slightly differently for different media.

You can download my targets here.

Next Adjust Your File


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:

JPCaponigro_ColorChecker-1024x1024

What color management tools do I use? Why?

Find out in my post Better Color Better Perception.

Get my free Gear Guide here.


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:

GearGuideCover_425

Great tools can change the way you see.

Discover my go to gear in this free eBook.

You'll learn what I use and why I use it.

Table of Contents

1    Cameras

2    Lenses

3    Trip Essentials

4    Computers & Accessories

5    Color Management

6    Printing

Plus, my Gear Guide includes links to many helpful resources.

Download it here.


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:
xritepink_425
"X-Rite is very excited to announce a limited edition “Pink” promotion!
 .
Limited Time Offer Supporting the Cure
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're supporting the Breast Cancer ResearchFoundation (BCRF), the highest rated breast cancer organization in the U.S. We've developed two limited edition products with 20% of sales donated to theBCRF!
 .
Capture for the Cure Limited Edition ColorChecker Passport Photo
For more than 40 years, ColorChecker Targets have delivered accurate and repeatable color results in photography and filmmaking with targets right for every shoot. This handsome and convenient ColorChecker Passport has a custom image with The Cure's pink ribbon imprinted on the case and a pink lanyard.
 .
Calibrate for the Cure Limited Edition ColorMunki Display
You know ColorMunki Display as advanced display calibration made simple. This handsome ColorMunki features side panels in the signature pink that is recognized around the globe as a symbol of efforts to find the Cure to breast cancer. 
.
Each of these products is limited to 2000 pieces.
.
20% of the proceeds go to the BCRF.
.

Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:

Recently on TWIP’s (This Week In Photoshop) The Fix I spoke with Jan Kabili about the power of printing your photographs. Then I demonstrated how to get the best results possible with Softproofing & Proofing practices. Watch this and you’re sure to get better prints in less time with less waste.

Find more useful videos on TWIP’s The Fix here.

Read more with my free Color Management and Printing resources.

View more in my DVD series R/Evolution.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:

SyntheticProfiles_425

How can you change the appearance of a digital image without changing the numbers that assign the color values? Change what those numbers mean by changing the image's ICC profile. Using abstract or synthetic profiles, you can make massive changes to an image with little to no cost, changes that ordinarily would cause big problems using standard methods, such as posterization and noise. It's a practice known to color geeks and few others. When you've got a big job to do, it can get you out of a pinch in a hurry.

In most cases, we think of using color management to accurately match colors when moving between different color spaces; ICC profiles are used to describe different color spaces and to make precise transformations to values moved from one to another to maintain consistent appearances. In very rare cases, when profiles are assigned to image files without a color conversion, the appearance of the image changes; values stay the same, but their meaning changes, so the image looks different. So when you use this unorthodox method of color adjustment, you get a change in appearance without changing the values in the file, and this is particularly useful when you want to pay a very small price for making very big changes.

Am I saying that ICC profiles are used to change values so the appearance stays the same? Yes. Am I saying that a color space is just a recipe for color, and that there are many different RGB recipes? Yes, but while they're the standards, sRGB, ColorMatch RGB, Adobe RGB (1998) and ProPhoto RGB are just a few among many.

With just a little experimentation, you'll find you, too, can make big changes to your images and pay a small price using synthetic profiles. Using synthetic profiles is color adjustment without editing values; they change no values, but they do change the meaning of those values—and thus their appearance. Don't believe it? Check your histogram when you assign a profile. You won't even see it move! It's kind of unbelievable. Try it. See it with your own eyes. You'll quickly become a believer, too.

Learn the steps you need to take to make your own synthetic profiles ...

Read more on Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
Email:

keep looking »

Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email