nigel_roberson 8:31pm, 22 October 2013
Perceptual (P) or Relative Colormetric (RC) rendering intent.

The differences are largely to do with how the rendering copes with out of gamut colours and reference to Adobe etc will tell the tale, but in real life I was wondering whether anyone has any particular thoughts on it and what do you use ?. Do you change back and forward studying the soft proof or leave alone because you have always used one or the other. Even the writers on this such as Jeff Schewe dont tend to have any set opinion. P seems to make the most difference between screen and soft proof while RC has no noticeable change when soft proof is applied. RC is then perhaps more user friendly as it maintains a near exact relationship between in gamut colors and clips the ends of the gamut which is probably of no use as we cant print or view on most screens ProphotoRGB for instance.. Also how do any monochrome practitioners fell about the differences.
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
The default seems to be RC although I have seen P recommended. For me it's about being pragmatic, the ultimate test is whether one's happy with how the final print looks.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
I am currently using P with no blackpoint compensation as I am not worried about colours being true and in gamut.
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
That's what I normally go for Nigel but if I don't like the rendering I change to RC and see how that looks and never compensate for black point.

We used to print by inspection and I see no reason not to continue.

The plethora of options we now have that we didn't before gives students the illusion that if they only tick all the right boxes then they'll get a perfect, accurate, print every time.

Those ideas consistently throw them off the scent of what makes a good print. Whenever did we worry about accuracy? It's all about interpretation, cf. Adams' metaphor with the music score, and there's no set and forget about producing images as prints.
semiotic 5 years ago
"We used to print by inspection and I see no reason not to continue." - second, third and fourth that Clive.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
Is the answer then to just use as much paper as you can afford each time you need a print by doing endless "try outs" rather than try to understand that perhaps there is something to be gained by trying to understand some of the technical theory behind colour management and workflow ?
profstoff Posted 5 years ago. Edited by profstoff (member) 5 years ago
Not just paper but ink as well. To be frank, I know the value of test prints but what puts me off is the cost of it. And it's not just the printer settings, colour balance, exposure and contrast and sharpening all should be verified. You can end up using a lot of paper and ink that just gets thrown in the bin. Any tips on reducing this demand?
historical price [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by historical price (member) 5 years ago
Well with practice you should be able to get it in two or three prints, less perhaps if you do test strips.

With the wet process you did a test strip which established the exposure, then a first work print that you evaluated. From that you might decide to burn in some areas and hold back others, not to make it correct but to make it more expressive of your intention.

When you're in practice that might be the final print or if you haven't controlled it enough maybe one more print would be needed to finally refine it. Then you make another one or two exactly the same so that you have spares or if you have more than one portfolio.

You can't really judge the final print without making a work print and I believe the same is true of digital even if the screen soft proof is fairly accurate.

The difference between students that really carefully control their prints and those who achieve an acceptable average print shows in the final result.

It's the difference between "yep, that's OK" and "woooo look at these" which might happen once or twice in an assessment session.
semiotic 5 years ago
Again totally agreeing with Clive. It is much quicker to the 'nearly right' stage with digital because you have a positive on the screen rather than a negative and with a little experience you get to know more or less what a given screen image will print like and a couple of test strips usually gets the to the final result. The costs are no greater than they were with wet photography and reduce over time with practice. Constantly fiddling with settings (I don't mean editing here) and changing paper will keep the uncertainty going so restrict yourself to one or two papers till you get to know them and only adding others (and getting to know them) when it is necessary. All forms of image making are expensive; ask a painter!.
I always find it a bit odd that people will spend thousands on 'my sensor's bigger than you sensor' cameras, lenses. computers, software, monitors and printers then baulk at spending £20 making a really good 20 x16 print.
These days I only have prints made when I need them for exhibition and have a print house that I know make C types (because that's what they do rather than any deep preference for C types; though I do like them!) and mount/frame them. After a couple of goes they know what I like and I know what their prints look like and if I don't like the result they do it again...not frantically cheap but so reliable.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
I agree. We all have a general methodology, derived from experimentation that gives us printed output that we find acceptable. My OP however was initiated after a day spent looking and working with different rendering intents and BPC after some online research and reading Jeff Schewes book "The Digital Print". The waste bin is now full, I had to put a new roll in the printer and I am back to where I started with "yep, that's OK" and thinking that maybe Thomas Knoll is providing me with options I dont need, but maybe others have found useful.
@ Peter, when preparing a file for C type printing what rendering intent / BPC combination works best for you ?
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
Perhaps you're reaching for something that's not there Nigel.

There comes a point where, just like in the wet process, things can't get any better only different. With all your experience you're maybe being too self-deprecating with "yep, that's OK", it needs another pair of eyes to decide on that, familiarity breeds contempt.

After all it's eyes that are the final arbiter irrespective of the numbers that have gone into the making.
nigel_roberson Posted 5 years ago. Edited by nigel_roberson (member) 5 years ago
CliveDoubleU:

2 minutes before reading your latest I did a small entry in my learning journal.

Lesson1

and had come to the same conclusion.
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
I think what you have to bear in mind Nigel is that after all these years you have very high standards. The vast majority of people now doing digital printing don't have the experience of years in the darkroom to call on so they can benefit from reading some of the literature to get more of an idea.

It's something as tutors we've discussed before and gets brought up at assessment sessions from time to time; the difficulty in distance learning of teaching someone what a good print should look like. Face to face with the wet process you could take them into the darkroom with one of their own negs and show them how to make a good print and what one looks like.

Knowing what a good wet process print looks like is transferable into digital. But starting from scratch with digital printing and distance learning it's much more problematic, especially with the siren call of the numbers.

You see work at assessment where students have convinced themselves that their stop and a half too dark prints are the best they can be because they've ticked all the right digital boxes in the making.
semiotic 5 years ago
Do you know what Nigel, I don't know. I simply send them an sRGB jpeg!

The 'colour management' consists of setting up my screen to produce a nearest match between a digital file they gave me and the print of the same that they also gave me. quite Jeff Schewe but a darn sight more 'Real World' than all those enormous books!

On the other hand my inner geek is fascinated by all the verbiage produced by Schewe and his cohorts and I love playing around with all their settings but I suspect they are more concerned with the process than anything; when it comes to 'real' images I still prefer to rely in my eyes.
standickinson 5 years ago
Just to back up what has been said in here (and for the benefit of others reading who, like me, come to it without the [benefit? ;-)] of wet process experience, this is a tough area to learn. For a start, this process begins well before one gets to the P or RC decision. There will be others who, like me (in the past, thankfully!) have struggled with trying to understand why I can't get the print to come out right when the problem was with the original camera settings!

As you say, Clive, starting from scratch with this, in a distance learning context, is very difficult. Going to exhibitions to look at 'good prints' is certainly helpful - and with practice and experience, you do start to spot the differences in quality. But it's also frustrating, because working at home is never going to match the most expensive gallery prints. And there is the own prints/lab prints decision that has been discussed regularly on here and elsewhere. One benefit of printing your own (if you can put up with the cost, time, and frustration - and providing your blood pressure isn't too high!), is that you do learn a lot. I guess if you have a print lab round the corner who will discuss the detail with you and be supportive, that works as well, but I really do feel that I have benefited from trying hard to get it 'right' on my own. I do still have a great deal to learn; and I don't rule out going outside for my prints for Ass 5 on PwDP, and quite possibly for Level Three submissions, too. But I will do that from a much more knowledgeable position having battled with it myself first.

It's tough to work out how best OCA/tutors can help students with this issue; and I know that it has been discussed in the past, as you say, Clive; but I do wonder whether some sort of 'Study Guide' or video or something on 'Printing' could be a really worthwhile investment?
obsolete mask [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by obsolete mask (member) 5 years ago
I'm not trying to advocate everyone joining a group or anything, but would a workshop day on printing with one of the regional groups be a helpful suggestion? I know I've struggled just like a lot of others, but if one of the tutors who's prepared to teach us could come along with the kit and show what needs to be done it would be much better. As we used to say in the army don't try to teach a skill, demonstrate it.
standickinson 5 years ago
Lerpy:

Well, yes and no; the downside of this approach is that, in a distance learning context, it will only ever reach a small minority. (Yes, Clive/Peter, I do also realise that the majority of students may never look at a study guide or video, too; but it would be available for a significant number.)
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
I'm not sure how helpful a video would be because it's about making judgements finer than could really be conveyed in a video.

In terms of the print driver settings and the image editing settings that can be read up on in many places and anyway as we've indicated one still has to be pragmatic about even if you've set everything as recommend and it's still not looking the way you'd like it to, or as good as you'd like it to, you have to go in and make changes, either visually in your editing or trying other combinations of settings in the driver and print dialog boxes.

From the workshop point of view I think they could, and should be, student led. As students a lot of our learning came from that, working together in the darkroom and looking, somewhat competitively hahaha, at one another's wet prints in the print viewing area and upping one's game to not be voted off. Hahhahaaha

I can think of perhaps four students off the top of my head who would be capable of leading something like that but I won't out them. Hahaha
standickinson 5 years ago
I was thinking more of the general guidance that comes across in threads such as this one, Clive; rather than specific settings or the finer judgements between 'that's OK' and 'Wooo that's special'. In the end, you may well have discussed and come to the conclusion that these are things best learned the hard way - like lots of other stuff on the journey! :-)
nigel_roberson Posted 5 years ago. Edited by nigel_roberson (member) 5 years ago
semiotic:

This is geeky stuff and mostly of little practical interest until you get to where it says

"Relative colorimetric, on the other hand, does destroy color information. This means that conversion using relative colorimetric intent is irreversible, while perceptual can be reversed."

I therefore wonder if some of the problems that people have are not correctly diagnosed and they would benefit from knowing the best safe default place to start when setting up Photoshop for instance. Schewe does get most of that right in his book but all that needs to be said could be done in half the words I agree.
semiotic 5 years ago
but -
"This means that CONVERSION using relative colorimetric intent is irreversible, while perceptual can be reversed." (my capitalisation)
I don't convert the colour space ever.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
semiotic:

Sorry Peter I wasnt suggesting that this applied to yourself. My point is that little know issues like this could spoil work and I doubt the user would know why and subsequently try to correct with the wrong tools.
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
Well of course it's an on the fly conversion and choosing the rendering intent is one of the last steps toward a particular print so methodically it's one of the first undo steps on the way to a different rendering, rather than jumping all the way back to editing the file.
semiotic 5 years ago
I didn't think you necessarily did...and it is something that I didn't know!
These days i do most of my work via Lightroom anyway so colour spaces are something I tend not to think about much as they tend to be buried away in a variety of presets and exist only as a text file. :)
honorable person [deleted] 5 years ago
I think I'm set to perceptual, I haven't looked for ages. I like what Peter says about finding a paper , getting that to work and sticking with it until and unless there is a reason to change. Printing is, at the end of a very long day, an eye thing. The eye becomes attuned after seeing the work spilling out of the printer or from the last wash. I think it's either putting the hours in yourself ( or £'s) or invest in a lab printer who has done that work. A tutorial/study day will provide the basics, but you could probably get that from Linda(?) or somewhere similar. Oh and I wouldn't advocate moving the printer around too much either......
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
JSU_MB:

About a month ago I moved the Z3200 from the office in town to my new workspace at home. 5 miles in the back of a transit was a bit traumatic but it survived. Generally I use an HP satin paper but recently got some Canson Baryta Photographique on your recommendation.
honorable person [deleted] 5 years ago
nigel_roberson:

I'd be very interested in your view of the paper, I suspect they will be very beautiful
CBArreton PRO 5 years ago
This is so frustrating! You're all having these technically erudite discussions regarding printing and I don't know half of what you're talking about. Anyway - two good aspects - I'm pleased I've mainly used the same paper so far (Epson premium semi-gloss) so I know how it responds and I have also tried Harman Baryta and, recently, a metallic type paper to see the effect. Also, I'm fortunate to be in the TV group with Keith and John and watch fascinated whilst they're discussing how the ink lies on the paper etc.

I'd already decided to learn more about printing when I start on DPP so all this discussion has reinforced that for me. I also agree with Eddy about the demonstration being important. You need to handle prints and move the paper around to see how it catches the light.
standickinson 5 years ago
CBArreton:

"You're all having these technically erudite discussions regarding printing and I don't know half of what you're talking about."

That's what I was getting at above, Catherine; you and perhaps many others who may read and 'lurk'. It can be confusing and off-putting for those starting from little or no knowledge. (I'm not complaining about the 'erudite' discussions, by the way, just speaking up for those who do not come with the same level of knowledge/experience.) If the finer judgement of printing is important, which it obviously is, then maybe we need to find a way of guiding students on what they need to know and how they might go about learning it. It probably comes with the territory in a 'bricks and mortar' organisation; it doesn't in distance learning.
semiotic 5 years ago
I would hope that the student who doesn't understand a particular discussion would feel able to ask and also to be encouraged to research the topic for themselves. I understand that sometimes the problem is that a student doesn't know what to ask and this is always a problem but just remember there really aren't any stupid questions, but sometimes a technical question at a reasonably complex level in a subject like photography can easily lead to a discussion of technique over content!

On the subject of of "the finer judgement of printing", what is important is the look of the final result rather than any technical matters. A photographer need not know much (some might say anything) about the technicalities of printing but she must know what a good print looks like. That is an aesthetic rather than a technical judgement.
CBArreton PRO 5 years ago
standickinson:

thanks for acknowledging that Stan - even if it's only a day that gives the basics. If I find something which looks useful I'll give it a go and report back.

semiotic:

I accept your point of course Peter. It is an aesthetic judgement but then one has to know how to get the effect wanted in the first place - and that is a technical matter I think?
historical price [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by historical price (member) 5 years ago
Just concentrate on what you need to know Catherine, basically that's understanding the settings in your printer driver, Photoshop's colour settings and Photoshop's/Lightroom's print dialog boxes.

The only items there's no definitive answer to are the above P or RC. Go with P and not compensating for black point, no need to really understand what it means. If the results look good to you it doesn't matter.

Take your prints to your next local meeting and see what people think; not about the images but the rendering. It would perhaps be good to do a series of prints of the same image with different interpretations.

Adams' metaphor about music was a good one. Each print is a performance, do a series of different performances by modulating densities across the print and overall colour rendering; fortissimo, pianissimo, andante and allegro but always with a light careful touch, not banging away with the loud pedal pushed down, keep a note of what you did for each one.
CBArreton PRO 5 years ago
CliveDoubleU:

I'll do that.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
CBArreton:

I knew at the outset P or RC would develop into a general discussion about printing and how people work. Its no more different than when out shooting. There are those who seemingly make it look easy and come back with amazing results and those who benefit from learning. By engaging in this we can all learn , I hope. As I heard said the other day: " A rising tide raises all ships".
Richard Brown 56 PRO 5 years ago
" A rising tide raises all ships".

Like it!
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
Did you rework those pub images Richard?
Richard Brown 56 PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Richard Brown 56 (member) 5 years ago
Hi Clive

Yes reposted the group one (www.flickr.com/photos/rb56/10408364046/0

I've also played around with the other one but haven't posted it yet.

Richard
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
Left a comment.

Oh my wife was at the Brit Floyd gig at the Albert Hall. In fact she left her ticket at home so I had to photograph it and mms it to her, luckily she got in.
honorable person [deleted] 5 years ago
CBArreton:

Catherine, I've seen your prints - most notably the one last week, I would have been very proud to have created it and so would many others I suspect; and the blurb book of images contain some equally accomplished work, as Peter says, the print is an aesthetic thing that needs to do a job which is to allow you to communicate your intent. There is no doubt in my mind that your prints are a match for that. Printing may seem a technical jungle but you have little to concern yourself on that count in my opinion.
CBArreton PRO 5 years ago
JSU_MB:

Thanks John. I grew up with photographs around me, also regular copies of Picture Post magazine etc, so printed images are imprinted in my psyche. What a shame that my dad never broached the darkroom because I'm sure that I would have been an intent pupil!

!'ve been to so many Exhibitions with wonderfully large and beautiful prints that my own prints always seem so amateur. I guess I just have to accept that I need to achieve the best I can as I progress through all the levels.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
JSU_MB:

At the moment I am printing an assignment so sticking with my normal paper. I may get around to it soon when I am making some for sale. Ive opened it up and it smells nice .
semiotic 5 years ago
Printing is an art in and of itself and through its history, photographers have engaged printers to print their negative and digital files. There is no reason why one should do one's own printing unless one has good reason for doing so.
Black and white printing from film was always something that, with a bit of ingenuity anyone could attempt, and the requirements needed to make a superb print was mostly the skill of the printer and the quality of the enlarger lens so not a desperately expensive business; expensive enough once the bug bites! Colour printing film and digital printing is a different ball-game altogether. However skilful the printer, anything but top grade equipment is likely to give inferior results or at best will be inconsistent however skilful the printer. Which is not to say "Don't do it under any circumstances" but don't feel diminished if you outsource your printing.
historical price [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by historical price (member) 5 years ago
What did you decide about the Blurb book Catherine?
CBArreton PRO 5 years ago
CliveDoubleU:

Thanks for asking Clive. I put in the second version as supplementary material with an explanation.
I also communicated with Blurb who eventually did me a free reprint on the basis that it might not be any different. I'm sure the paper has less gloss on the reprint but memory is a strange thing.
It's been a big learning curve for me. If I use Blurb again I'll definitely use Pro line paper. I've also discovered that there's a new photographic printing shop not too far away and they provide the software and print photo books. Cost is £50 though - still it's worth going and having a chat with them about printing in general. They also have an arrangement with our local bookbinders who can do some wonderful unique covers - otterbookbinding.com. I'm doing a book for my lovely Templemere gentleman and also for the friends who introduced me. I think I have scope for various edits - just have to decide.
historical price [deleted] 5 years ago
Well I look forward to seeing it and comparing.

Yes the web isn't the only route. We've used our local bookbinder before successfully. You can talk to the person who's actually making it, feel the materials, get good advice and a custom job that's very competitively priced, especially for a run of several.
nigel_roberson 5 years ago
semiotic:

I can think of many reasons why I continue to print. Good reasons maybe not.
Groups Beta