Aperture Revisted: Improving Printed Output

Started Dec 31, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Clint Thayer
Clint Thayer Senior Member • Posts: 1,902
Aperture Revisted: Improving Printed Output

Aperture is unique in that it contains a wide gamut space natively. There is no need to set up a "color space" within Aperture since it will encompass any space you throw at it.

But- getting the most from it means a few adjustments might be in order. I have found that since I repurchased Aperture, I am getting terrific printed results from it now. But only after I discovered a few items that enabled me to pre-calibrate my entire workflow from image acquisition to final printing.

If you haven't already done so, here are a few things that may help:

1. Recalibrate your Mac Monitor for 2.2 gamma (Aperture loves 2.2 gamma). Use the Mac monitor calibration feature built in to Mac OS if you don't have a custom program to do so. Choose 65K white point. Your clients are likely going to use 2.2 gamma for on-screen proofs, and you'll find a better match between what you see in Aperture and what you print.

2. Choose Wide Gamut RGB in Aperture's proofing profile. This will most closely simulate the cameras widest color range and is the closest match to viewing Adobe RGB.

3. Aperture always converts the color space to sRGB when exporting to JPEG, TIF or PSD. However, there is a single exception: When choosing a RAW Adobe RGB image for EXTERNAL EDITING (round trip to photoshop), the TIF or PSD image presented in Photoshop maintains the Adobe RGB color space- and that expanded color space is brought right back into Aperture as a version when you save.

So, it is best for printing if you can work within the largest gamut possible and preserve the highest level color space. That's why its best to print directly from Aperture and not from an exported version that has been converted to sRGB. And Aperture is the best reason for shooting AdobeRGB in camera.

4. Set up printer color management and presets:

When possible, use ICC paper profiles and TURN OFF printer color management. Aperture's 32 bit engine works best when fully exploiting true paper profiles- and is weakest when using built-in printer color management which can result in some of the complaints we've been hearing about.

I use the Canon i9900- and here is what I do as an example:

A. Open print dialogue box or print presets.

B. Click "printer settings" and TURN OFF printer color managment AND select the proper paper type. Click done.
C. Select your PAPER SIZE in Aperture dialogue.

D. Always choose Portrait or Landscape-- Don't choose best fit (It's unpredictable)

E. Under ColorSync Profile, select the ICC paper profile that matches the paper you are using. In my case I selected Canon i9900 SP1 (which is pro glossy).
F. Make sure Black Point Compensation is ON.
G. Choose a Gamma of 1.15

H. Choose Fit Entire Image under layout options. This will give you the maximum resolution without cropping the image (if that is what you want to do). Or scale the image to a smaller size. Aperture will adjust up or down the native image according to your paper size. Don't worry about DPI or printing resolution. That is accomplished internally according to your settings.
I. Make sure Border Options slider is all the way to the left.
J. Click SAVE AS from the left panel and choose a name for your new preset.

And, while you are at it, do a few more SAVE AS routines for all the paper sizes that you use. So I have set up (4) of them called "Canon Pro Glossy 13 x 19 landscape", "Canon Pro Glossy 13 x 19 portrait", "Canon Pro Glossy letter size landscape", and "Canon Pro Glossy letter size portrait".

Aperture REMEMBERS EVERYTHING under these set-ups INCLUDING your printer settings set up. All you need to do is select your preset and forget it.

Now, load your paper, choose your preset and PRINT. What I have found is the best color matched viewed images to printed images I have ever worked with. And its easy to do.

 Clint Thayer's gear list:Clint Thayer's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 35mm F1.8
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