So after last Wednesday's presentation, I thought I would take a deep breath and have another go at printing! I really like the idea of printing my own work, but I always seem to end up finding the whole process all rather stressful 🙁 .. too many paper's to chose from, and the results on the paper invariably don't look half as good as they do on the screen .. infuriating!
I'm printing direct from Lightroom to a Canon Pixma Pro10-S and have a variety of different Hahnemuhle papers (I sent of for some of their "variety packs" .. not half as enjoyable as the Cadbury equivalent!). I am downloading the icc profile for the paper I'm printing to and am selecting that profile in the "Colour Management" section of the print menu.
The prints look sharp enough, but they just don't "pop" in the same way that they do on the screen. Difficult to describe, but it looks like the vibrance and/or saturation have all been dialled right down by the printer.
Is it my choice of paper (I'm going Ultra Smooth matt .. don't want any of that glossy business here 😉 or something to do with my Mac setup?
Any and all thoughts welcome!
I'm not really qualified to answer (but I've got a question coming up below) however from what others told me when my purchased prints don't quite look right one may need a screen calibrator.
Question: Am I wasting my time trying to photo print with an HP OfficeJet Pro 7740? I have some transparent, A3 media which I might have a bash with!?
I think you will find its the matt paper. I suggest you use a semi gloss paper such as Silk, Pearl etc., they go under various names. Matt colours can have depth to them but don't usually sing out. I can't advise on Hahnemuhle as I generally use PermaJet but would assume the results will be similar, given that each have been profiled for their respective printers. I also use a Canon Pixma even if its not as smart as your one! I presume you are using the proper Canon Inks and you switched off the Printer Colour Management.
Only this afternoon I printed out a picture on Matt Plus paper and ended up reprinting it on Ultra Pearl, as like you have found, the colours didn't 'sing out' even though they were quite rich, the picture just looked a bit flat.
I try to keep printing simple. My monitor came about 95% RGB calibrated. I use a Canon Pro 100 s printer with Canon inks. I print using Canon paper mainly lustre. As the printer is calibrated for Canon papers I haven't had the need for ICC profiles as the print is very close to the monitor image. Hope this helps.
Thanks everyone - all very helpful. So having read your comments and watched a load of YouTube videos, what I THINK I understand is the following:
- If profiles (ICC files) exist for my printer/paper combination I can use them and don't need to make my own profiles. I am using Hahnemuhle paper for which they provide ICC profiles for my printer, so as long as I download / install them, my printer should be setup OK.
- I need to calibrate my screen to ensure that what I am seeing on the screen (colour temperature, brightness etc) matches what the printer will print. Given I don't need to calibrate my printer/paper combo (because of I am downloading ICC profiles), I only need a tool that calibrates the screen .. any recommendations from club members? The SpyderX Pro seems the most reasonably priced (£120) and the reviews seem OK .. views?
- When printing from Lightroom, I THINK in the "Colour Management" section of the menu I should be changing the "Profile" to the paper profile (the ICC file) that I have downloaded for the paper I am about to print on. Other settings that I am using are 300dpi for resolution, standard sharpening, perceptual intent (no idea what that is!) and then Matt or Glossy media type as per the paper choice.
- And then finally in "Print Settings" I select the correct paper type and tray feed from the "Quality & Media" screen (Mac remember).
Does that all sound about right? A number of you have said I need to turn off Printer Control for colour management. With the above settings i.e. when I use the printer/paper ICC profile I have no option to change this on my Mac: on the "Colour Matching" screen the option is set to ColourSync and greyed out so I can't change it .. not sure if that's correct or not (the option becomes selectable if I go back to Lightroom and change the Colour Management profile from my paper/printer ICC file to "Printer", but I don't think I want to do that ..
Does anyone with a Canon printer print via the Canon print application? There are eom YouTubers who sing it's praises, but it sounds like another lay of complexity to me and I don't need more confusion right now 🙂
The first think to say is that a print will never have the same ‘pop’ …as a screen image because the light in the image is generated differently. In one, the coloured LEDs generate the light and in the other the brightness comes from ambient light reflected off the base white of the paper.
To get an idea of how your prints look on the club’s easel, it helps to view them at a similar level of illumination. We have ceiling LED lamps that are quite bright and give the same amount of light as the easel strip lights. I know this because I have measured them both using an incident light meter. They both give an Exposure Value of 6.7.
I have calibrated our monitor using a Spyder and check it from time to time. Like you, we use the ICC profiles provided by the paper manufacturer. We print from Photoshop so have no experience of printing from Lightroom. I assume that there is some setting you use that says something like ‘let Lightroom manage colour’. However, it may not be enough just to set this. You may also need to make sure the printer’s driver is not imposing its own profile on top of the paper profile. This can cause inaccurate colours in the print.
Turning off Image Colour Management by the printer driver varies with the make of printer so you may need to look up how to do it.
We have a Canon printer (Pro-300) and the driver software may be laid out in a similar way to your Pixma so it might be helpful to tell you how we set it up to print. We print through Photoshop so you may have to figure out how to do the same thing in Lightroom.
Go to Print in Photoshop and set Color Handling to Photoshop Manages Colors.
Select the Printer Profile to the profile that suits your paper.
Set the Rendering Intent to Perceptual. I believe this sets the colours to those closest to the ones perceived by the eye.
Tick the Black Point Compensation on.
Then click the Print Settings button to open the Canon printer driver software.
On the Quick Setup tab:
Choose the Printer Paper Size and Orientation.
The Media Type would have defaulted to a Canon paper. As you will be turning off colour management by the driver, I don’t think it matters what you have selected here.
Choose the highest Print Quality.
Click on the Main tab:
In the Color/Intensity box, click Manual, then Set.
It opens on the Color Adjustment tab. If your prints are not coming out quite how they should, you can make some fine tuning adjustments here.
Click on the Matching tab:
Under Color Correction, choose None. This is what turns off colour management from the printer driver so that it’s just your downloaded profile that is controlling the colour rendering. Click OK.
Now it’s a good idea to go back to the Quick Setup tab and click on Save. Enter the name of the paper you are using. This will save all the settings you have for this paper and you won’t have to do it again.
Anyone think we are doing something wrong here, please let us know. All I know is it seems to work!
The biggest problem is that everyone has different monitors, lighting, paper, ink, settings, etc. etc. It's a proverbial Pandora's box.
All I can tell you is that, in my view, the calibration of your monitor is vital. I've got one that constantly monitors the ambient light so that my screen will always be as close to set calibration as possible. Like Diddy, I also have daylight LED lights where I print so that I can see the look in "natural" light, rather than artificial light or in conditions that are too bright or dark.
I used to print from Lightroom but found it never gave me the right size and I've never worked out why. Now, I will always use Photoshop to print. It just has a far more user friendly set up in its print set up.
Every reply here offers you excellent advice and to get it right, you would need to find a mix of all of the above. There is an excellent ebook by Robin Whalley that is very clear and easy to follow in setting up in both Lightroom and Photoshop.
Perfect Prints Every Time: How to achieve excellent photographic prints https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VAH8HU2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_QK96JPZYHP1X2JMVD006
My general advice: keep going! It will be worth it.
David A. I'd be pretty sure you won't get the results you want from a HP office printer.
Thanks everyone for the great advice - really helpful! I now have a monitor calibration thing on order and two packs of Fotospeed paper (their PF Lustre 275 and Smooth Cotton 300, plus a selection of same packs) .. I've also invested in Brian's eBook recommendation, so I think I should be set! I know what I'll be doing next weekend 🙂
Thanks again - the advice is really appreciated!
Brian, you might find this YouTube vid helpful re. printing from Lightroom. Noting I'm a printing novice, I picked up lots of useful info!
Thanks Mark! Really useful and lots that I'll be able to work with on my Lightroom printing. I've only recently discovered the Fotospeed YouTube channel and I think I will be visiting it frequently.
There is a lot more on this Fotospeed channel than just paper. I recommend it for anyone looking to better understand how to use the settings in their photo editing software for the best results.