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03-23-2017, 09:12 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Getting into printing on MacOSX, printing software/pipeline?

So I bought myself an Epson 1430 yesterday for my first foray into inkjet printing in about 10 years. My last printer was a Lexmark 4 ink that treated me well, but eventually had some sort of issue and I got rid of it. I bought a stack of Epson "Premium Presentation Paper Matte" to go with it to give it a good soak in test and work out colour management issues.

I realize I probably need to get somewhat serious about my colour management workflow to get best results. Currently I use Rawtherapee for raw development, and occasionally GIMP for touch ups (rare). I was wondering if anyone could advise of a good program for printing on Macs, and if you have any general suggestions for getting ballpark color correct results, using Rawtherapee.

I've downloaded the Adobe ICC profiles and in RawTherapee and tried setting AdobeRGB as a Custom Profile under Colour Management in Rawtherapee. I found it drastically changed the character of the image I was intending to print. After redoing the processing, I saved it as a TIFF and printed from my image viewer, Xee (using the Adobe RGB colour management profile). I found the resulting print to be a bit drab. Instead selecting "No Profile" in Rawtherapee and using the Epson Vivid colour management seemed to provide better results...

Anyway, I realize I should really colour calibrate my screen (an ASUS VH202), but I was wondering if you find folks had any words of wisdom for where to get started. Any recommendations for a good Mac OS X tool for photo printing would be great, or do they all basically do the same job? I have DxO 9 as well, though I prefer RawTherapee's interface.

---------- Post added 03-23-17 at 01:05 PM ----------

As an update, I set my monitor back to it's default ICC profile from AdobeRGB, (this had a noticeable effect in Rawtherapee), the Color Management Input Profile to "Auto matched camera profile", working profile to Adobe RGB and output profile to RT_sRGB (not sure about this one). Printing using the Epson Vivid setting got my really close to on screen for this photo. Progress!



03-23-2017, 10:37 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Note: Color management is a religion, this response is heresy to the "true believers."

Not to get into any software/profile/printer specifics, I have generally found that a saturation boost to the image just before printing gives the print the intensity that the monitor shows. I use +20 in PS, which is considerable, but not to the point where the colors "bloom." Also, make sure your histogram goes all the way to d-max and d-min unless it is a low contrast image. Use the whitest paper base you can find. I use Premiere Premium Luster.

My own set-up includes a Canon Pro-100, A late model MacBook Pro (Color LCD calibrated, maximum brightness) and Photoshop. I print with "printer determines color management" and the Canon driver is set to Highest Quality and "Photo Paper." It is simple and it works for me, every time.

YMMV.
03-23-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
Note: Color management is a religion, this response is heresy to the "true believers."
Hehe, I get you 100%. It's crazy how much money you can spend going down the colour management path.

I am not a true believe yet, I'm more of the "hey that looks pretty good camp" (really goes for all of my gear). Your saturation boost is a good trick, I'll try that!
03-23-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
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If you are not going to use a third party monitor calibration tool such as a Colormunki, the best thing to do is go to System Preferences - Displays - Color and follow the advanced steps to calibrate you display. You then stand a chance of getting prints that look something like the image on the screen. Prints will never look exactly like the screen image because the colours are formed differently. The screen combines red, blue and green pixels to make the coloured image. A print has magenta, yellow, cyan and black dots.

I have an Epson L1800 printer and use Fotospeed papers. Fotospeed have a bespoke ICC profile service. You print off one of their test sheets following their instructions and mail to to them. Next day they e-mail you back the ICC profile for your computer, printer and the type of paper. Even time you print you follow the same routine and the prints are consistently good. I live in the UK and Fotospeed is a UK company. I am not sure if they operate in North America or if there is an equivalent outfit.

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