The great color space debacle...
5 months ago
Bare with me here while I try to spit this out.
Much to my chagrin, my friend only prints out of the latest Adobe PS Elements (11?) while letting the printer manage the colors. Recently he has decided to do test prints on all of his papers from his Epson 3000. It has been a nightmare all concerned and in hindsight for unexpected reasons. He was using a test image he downloaded off the web and when I came into the process, I noticed some of the colors were way off and I immediately suspected a software configuration issue. I’m not familiar with Elements but he seemed to be printing using the proper settings. He was printing at the time on a couple of different Epson canvas surfaces and was using a suspect profile for those papers. In these cases I always suggest troubleshooting using Epson Premium Glossy because that profile is always at least very good and it has excellent DMax as well as vibrant colors. If the prints don’t look good it’s a hardware malfunction or software configuration issue. And sure enough the print looked fine.
He searched on the web and found the correct profiles for the canvas but still no good. I twisted his arm and he let Elements manage the colors…and still no good. He printed on other paper surfaces and profiles…and still no good. EXCEPT one on a discontinued Epson canvas which was at least fairly decent and marginally usable. Now, it so happened that the reds were universally turning liver color and sometimes there were some green issues and I thought that it was just what would happen in a color space mismatch. And sure enough, I did determine that the test file was ProRGB. But I put that thought aside because my friend insisted that Elements converted everything into sRGB upon loading and after all, two of the test prints were just fine. So he and another friend printed out a series of OTHER photographic prints what turned out fine (because they lacked any flesh tones or reds of any kind and no significant greens.) I sat around shaking my head. I discovered that Elements could convert to AdobeRGB or sRGB so I doubted it was automatic convert to sRGB and finally convinced him to print a test image converted to AdobeRGB and printed in AdobeRGB in the driver. And of course it was great. I gloated and strutted around for awhile but the question remains…why out of MANY test prints did those other two papers print fine…with identical settings? The color space mismatch solution for everything is straight forward…so why the two anomalies?