Tracey Salazar 4:06pm, 6 March 2006
Oh, my gosh! I nearly forgot about this group...

But this topic is nearer and dearer to me, since I've just entered into new territory: printing and selling some of my landscape/night digital images.

I've tested a few different pro-print labs and have had WILDLY (with capital letters) differing results. First I tried sending each lab a color profile of sRGB, as instructed. Then I tested individual ICC profiles from each lab.

I assume that sRGB is a good benchmark for overall print quality. Am I correct?

But those individual ICC profiles just got nutty results. On every single image I've had to go back and rework and on many of them I've had to rework to exhausting detail.

The profiles, when applied, would sometimes just trip everything out to almost unrecognizable colors. What the heck is going on there?

Is this normal? Or am I missing something very basic, but overwhelmingly important, along the way?

And if it's normal, how to chose a lab?? Good grief, I've spent a small fortune testing results and nothing seems to be consistent.
Phil Nesmith 12 years ago
Oh my....I wish that ColorCritial would jump on this one. The ICC profiles are VERY important. Has your monitor been calibrated? This is important too. I have not sent anything out to be printed by a third party so I really cant provide any real info in that area. Hopfully someone will come along soon to help you out.
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colorcritical 12 years ago
Ok I am back... I have been oh so busy, but now I just got my new baby (D200) and I will tell you I am in love all over again, ok to answer Tracey....

Tracey...this is a huge topic. You need three things:

1 A Calibrated and Profiled Display
2 A Working Space in Photoshop, if you open an image and it is not your working space then you CONVERT to that working space.
3. I like Adobe RGB if your doing print. If you upload the image to the web then you need to CONVERT back to sRGB.
4. Your printer should have profiles that they could distribute to you for whats called "soft proofing" in Photoshop View-ProofSetup-Custom is where it is located. think of your digital files always having a "Working Space" which is independent of the Display. This is a good thing. Ask your printer for profiles but make sure you use them properly, meaning do you CONVERT to that profile or do they....

I have lots to say...so keep in touch!
koaflashboy PRO 12 years ago
sRGB is not a good choice to use for print - as colorcritical made mention of, it's really only good for use on the web. Use Adobe RGB.

ICC profiles are useless text files if not applied correctly - and as you made mention that happened, can "whack out" colors if mis-applied. Assuming they are applied correctly, they're indispensible. In order to know exactly how your prints are going to turn out when printed by a lab, you would

a) have to assign their ICC profile (assuming an RGB-RGB assignment) or convert if their profile is CMYK and color-correct using that embedded, and

b) be certain they are correctly using that same profile and not converting your file to another profile before printing. Also, their printer would have to be properly calibrated as it was when the profile was created. These two points are reasonable assumptions, but maybe the printers you've chosen aren't following one or both?

As Marc mentioned - this topic is huge.
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