How to get prints that are like what you see on screen

Started Feb 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 11,149
calibrate your images, too

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

I know that my monitor is not the best, but my editing is done as soft proofing, so thought that would help. Example, I have a picture of a squirrel. Processed it from a copy of the original (a jpeg) - First in LR, then in PSE. I could see that my results were different, but both looked pretty much OK. When I printed, one was too green, the other was too yellow.

What other people said, calibrate your monitor and use print/ink/paper combination that has an ICC profile associated with it.  International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles are a standard way of ensuring that colors translate well between devices. If you don’t use it, you won’t get consistent results.

Typically, your camera images, if you shoot JPEG, will be processed according to the standard sRGB color profile, or the same thing will happen if you use a RAW converter on your computer. This sRGB profile will tell your printer precisely what the colors are in your image, which will, to the best of its ability, translate the colors of the image to the color of ink on the paper. Your monitor also should have an ICC profile associated with it: this is created by the monitor calibrator and it too is used to translate sRGB to colors that the monitor can display.

But you also need to understand that sRGB is a standard too, and you need to process your images so that it matches this standard. Be aware that whenever each of the three RGB numbers are equal, then the color is neutral: white, gray, or black. If there is a point on the image that should be neutral in color, then the RGB numbers all must be equal at that point. This is called white balance, and is an important step often neglected, for it is ‘calibrating your image’. You can make exceptional images even without a calibrated monitor if you take care to adjust white balance.

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