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Author Topic: New Guy  (Read 8816 times)

Lynn Williams

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New Guy
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:03:25 AM »

First...thanks for letting me be part of this forum.

I am a rank amateur at this and have just started to try to produce acceptable prints from a lifetime of underwater slides. I have a Nikon LS 5000 slide scanner, Mid 2010 Mac Book pro, Apple cinema display and an Epson 9600 printer (running on my network). I am using Photoshop Elements 11.

In my first prints I can already tell that my prints are darker than my monitor. I also read that this is a very common problem with beginners. My question is about calibration and which calibration system would produce acceptable results without spending a great deal of money. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional. I just want to produce good quality enlarged prints to hang on the wall in my home. I certainly realize that the variables (and setting combinations) are endless but some basic advice for a beginner concerning calibration and anything else that comes to mind would be greatly appreciated.

How I ended up with an Epson 9600 is another story....to make a long story short, it works, prints great and has a new head. I actually have two 9600's

Anyway...thanks in advance for any advice you might offer.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 04:52:16 PM by Lynn Williams »
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langier

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 11:13:25 AM »

Though I had years of experience in both film and digital, the best investment I made is to take a hands-on course in Photoshop. Since I live 2.5 hors from San Francisco, i had to make great effort to attend these evening and one-day seminars as they were available.

With the web today and NAPP, it's easier today to get good info on this less bleeding edge tech and its now more a matter of using Google than ever before. If you know anyone locally who prints, make them a friend and pick their brain. Food and wine many times gets you a lot of hands-on help from some!

Get the basics started and then don't shut the door on learning since this will become a moving target.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 12:07:14 PM »

There is a very, very simple solution to the perennial "my prints are darker than monitor" question.  Just rephrase the question into:

"my monitor is lighter than my prints"

and... voilą! The solution will be apparent immediately.

And I am only half-joking.

Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 03:28:29 PM »

Thank you...sometimes when things are just stated differently, the answer becomes more apparent.
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degrub

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 12:09:56 AM »

Are you a "reader" or a "watcher" for learning style ?
Research "soft proofing". I found the training videos on this site to be excellent. Jeff Schewe has several recent books out on the digital negative and printing that are excellent.
Don't forget the tutorial section of this site as well. And searching the forum.

Frank
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Ken Bennett

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 07:59:19 AM »

Yeah, turn down the monitor a lot, to start :)

I can highly recommend the two Jeff Schewe books, The Digital Negative, and The Digital Print.
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Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 07:43:59 PM »

Thanks for all the replies...I ordered the books.

I was wondering if anyone uses an Apple Cinema display and what brightness setting might work best? Maybe it's a trial and error kind of thing?

With my simple workflow, is calibration really something that I should consider?
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Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2013, 11:26:43 AM »

OK...making a little progress. I read the recommended articles..."Soft Proofing and "Why are my prints dark". I see that my last posted question over simplifies the process by a large degree. I have a lot to learn about this.

Here's a more intelligent question....I think. Is the Spyder 4 suite a decent calibration package?

Thanks...
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Jason DiMichele

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 11:31:10 AM »


Here's a more intelligent question....I think. Is the Spyder 4 suite a decent calibration package?

Thanks...

Hi Lynn,

For calibrating your monitor, it's a great package. The ColorMunki display is also very good. ;) I used the Spyder for years before upgrading.

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 12:02:27 PM »

I am using ColorMunki Display on 27" thin iMac and it works well.

Ken Bennett

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 07:49:40 AM »

Youi could turn the brightness down on your Cinema Display to about half or a little less (depends on its age.) For a quick and dirty start. Better to calibrate with a puck, of course, but it'll get you in the ballpark.
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Ed Blagden

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 04:31:54 AM »

Hi Lynn,

For calibrating your monitor, it's a great package. The ColorMunki display is also very good. ;) I used the Spyder for years before upgrading.

Cheers!

+1.  I actually use a very old Spyder2 Pro and it works just fine.  I keep meaning to upgrade to something newer but I can never justify the expenditure.  I have a really cheap no-name 17" Monitor and my prints are a very close match.

The key is to set the luminance on your monitor to an appropriate value, which will most likely be dimmer than the factory defaults.  For most home environments a figure of around 90 cd/m2 is a good starting point but you will have to experiment.
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Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 09:24:04 AM »

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice.

 As advised, I turned down the brightness on my Cinema display by about two thirds and things immediately got better. There are a few used Colormunkis on Ebay and I might invest in one of those to get a little closer color reproduction. Seems a worthwhile investment.

As in my original question, I am doing all this first, because I'm retired with nothing better to do, second because I have always loved photography and enjoyed printing pictures in my small darkroom, third because I have boxes of underwater slides that I have taken all over the world and I want to archive and print some of them, and forth I ended up with an Epson 9600 and am trying to get the best out of it. So I'm trying to get the system (workflow) set up for repeatable and color correct printing. I suppose that's what everyone is trying to do...duh. Anyway, I'm sure you all wanted to know all of that... :)

Here's another reason. A few years ago, we sent a few of our best slides to a reputable print shop here in Nashville. When we got the prints back they were no place close to the slides.....and expensive. To dark..... When I politely complained, I was told that "well, sometimes the prints are not actually what you see".

With all this great help, I'm going to try to do them myself....

Here's another question. I'm using a Nikon LS 5000 slide scanner and Vuescan software. I bought a publication called "The Vuescan Bible" for help with the scanning process. It's excellent....at least at my level. In that book it talks about profiling the scanner. In your learned opinions, is profiling the scanner really necessary? It seems that the IT8 targets are a fairly expensive affair and there is one target for each film type.

I would think the answer is ..."well, if you want the colors as close as possible, then profile the scanner". But...is it really something that I can see? Maybe every little bit helps.

As in all the above, your answers are greatly appreciated and very helpful.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 12:21:16 PM »

... In your learned opinions, is profiling the scanner really necessary?..

Short answer: yes. Long answer: yeeeeesss!  :)

Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 01:14:58 PM »

OK.....not much question about that answer..... :). Back to my research......

Thank you!
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Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 03:25:02 PM »

You guys are so good about answering my dumb questions, I'll ask another. I don't want to wear out my welcome.

In many of the posts that I have read, the Bill Atkinson profiles come highly recommended for my printer and paper of choice. (Epson premium luster). I downloaded the profile from Epson to Library/Colorsync/profile (Mac OS 10.7.5). When I look thru the profile options on PS during the print process...I can't find it or it's named something different. I tried restart on both the computer and PS...still can't find it.

Surely, some else has had this issue.....or am I just a real dummy. It's terrible to be really new at something.

Thank you the help.
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ehackett

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2014, 11:14:52 AM »

Welcome! 

I am less experienced than others who have replied and would say nothing to contradict their advice.  In fact, of the monitor is not accurate your adjustments will not be accurate, either.  That said, have you made the set of basic adjustments to your image before printing?  With many of mine increasing the exposure and contrast sliders in LR does a lot to improve the print.  Others may laugh, but unless there is an aesthetic reason to limit the range to high or low values, increasing the exposure up to the point where it approaches blown highlights--in fact, for some shots a few blown highlights are not a bad thing--produces a pleasing print.  Basically, as others have said, the monitor will always have a much wider range of exposure values than you will be able to print, so you want to position the values in the image where they will have the best effect on the paper.  To some degree this is an empirical matter of trial and error.  I often print cards--Christmas cards, note cards, birthday cards, whatever cards--using 5x7 (final, folder size) card stock from Red River.  I find that is an inexpensive way to try and err, and with a stamp and envelope you can do something with the image.

Best wishes for the new year,

Ed
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Lynn Williams

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 12:46:22 PM »

Thank you for your reply....good advice.

I am bidding on a used Colormunki on Ebay which I think will help quite a bit and also buying the it8 targets for my scanner. Hopefully, I'll have all this stuff on the same page in the near future.
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jannatul18

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Re: New Guy
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2014, 05:07:01 AM »

I am also using ColorMunki Display on 27" and its good.
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