Epson 3880? Aperture? Nik Silver Efex Pro? HHHHEEEELLLLPPPP!!!!
I'm trying to isolate a problem I'm having with my 3880 and Nik Silver Efex in Aperture. I actually suspect the problem is really a combination of Aperture and Silver Efex, and NOT with the printer, but I don't know for sure, so I have no idea where to even post this question! I will explain the variables involved and what I think is the problem, but this is so bizarre I need moral support more than technical support!!!
So, basically, I edit a photo in Nik Silver efex Pro from within Aperture 3. I often add a black border to the prints to simulate the "old school" effect of printing on an enlarger with a negative carrier that has been filed down to reveal the area around the exposed negative (I will explain later why I think it is necessary to tell you this part in such detail).
Then, I select print from Aperture. I'm using Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. I select "Maximize to fit" but not "crop image to fit" so that I see all the black borders I created in Nik Silver Efex. I do print adjustments (brightness, contrast, sharpening) as I understand it is a good idea to sharpen for print. Once I "print" it opens the Epson printer dialog box, where I actually print the image.
What happens is that seemingly randomly, a thin black line appears at the margin of the images, outside of the black border created in Nik. It isn't a smudge line, but rather a thin straight line, as if someone took a ruler in the white area and drew with a thin dark pencil. Sometimes it is horizontal, and sometimes it is vertical. Sometimes one edge, sometimes two.
Now, as I'm sure many of you have experienced, sometimes you only get a handle on the situation after multiple prints, and the solution usually comes right about the time you want to go Incredible Hulk on the printer and crush it like a junkyard automobile masher...but I digress...
The clue came to me when I slightly decreased the margins on one image that printed incorrectly with two vertical lines (one on each white border just outside the black Nik border). When I re-printed doing everything else exactly the same except for a slight reduction in the image size, I noticed the same vertical lines but this time slightly reduced in size in proportion to the amount I reduced the image. THAT tipped me off that the problem must lie somewhere in my image. But why does it appear sometimes and not other times???
SO, my best guess is that it relates to the final "print sharpening" that I was doing. In aperture, the final print sharpening is like jumping out of an airplane with a few backpacks and hoping the one you open contains a parachute that works. You can't really preview the sharpening effect. When I ran another print without any print sharpening, the lines disappeared! I'm afraid to conduct further testing because I'm running out of this beautiful, but expensive, paper. Is it possible that somehow oversharpening an image reveals some kind of barely existent border created in the original Nik silver efex adjustments? The reason I suspect this is because the location of the thin black lines I am seeing always seems to be right about where the white area that appears outside the black border ends when looking at the image on the monitor in Nik Silver efex. In other words, in silver efex, when I add the black border, let's say about 5mm wide, and then see a white edge around that black border, say about 5mm wide on the monitor, THEN when I print that image with sharpening, the thin black lines appear right about where the WHITE border seems to end in silver efex (even though on the paper there is substantially more white space because of the different ratios between the paper and the image. It could also be final contrast adjustments prior to printing for the same reason. Again, I don't want to waste another 4 pages to try and find out.
Has anyone else experienced this problem???:-O
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