Color Calibration

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SL, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. SL

    SL Guest

    Hi,

    Could anyone help me understand how to calibrate my PC so that what I print
    is what I see on the screen.

    I have
    Software:
    Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
    Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0
    Windows 2000

    Hardware:
    Illyama Flat Screen Monitor 17'' (DVI)
    Nvidia GEForce 256 Video card
    HP Photosmart 1215 Printer
    Epson 1615 scanner
    Kodak DX4900 Camera

    My problem I have is that nothing prints the way I see it on the screen with
    it printing usually much darker. The same picture on other monitors and PCs
    can look quite different. I have been reading about ICC / ICM profiles and
    notice I can associate an ICC with a picture in Adobe Photoshop Elements.
    Is the general idea to associate the same ICC with all hardware devices?

    My video card supports altering the Gamma profile and the loading of an ICC
    profile but this makes the output very bright and the colors are lighter. I
    notice too in Windows I can select properties of the desktop and select
    settings --> advanced -- > color management and load multiple ICC profiles.
    Should I load here the same profile used for everything else ie sRGB Color
    Space Profile.icm?

    I am reading "The absolute beginners guide to Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0"
    which does touch on the subject but seems a bit light. I think it has
    confused me rather then helped. What I am looking for is a clear, technical
    explaination of the relationship between all my hardware devices and Adobe
    software. Can anybody give me any pointers please?

    Kind Regards
    Steve
     
    SL, Dec 15, 2003
    #1
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  2. SL

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    SL <-m.hotmail.s--pa-m.com> wrote:

    > My problem I have is that nothing prints the way I see it on the screen with
    > it printing usually much darker.


    There's one aspect of this other than profiling: prints will appear
    perceptually darker than images on screen; it's just the nature of the
    different media. I actually usually apply a slight brightening curve
    to pictures before I have them printed, so they end up looking the way
    I want.

    > I have been reading about ICC / ICM profiles and notice I can associate
    > an ICC with a picture in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Is the general idea to
    > associate the same ICC with all hardware devices?


    No. The idea is to create unique ICC profiles for each device, which you
    do by calibrating them. Calibrating a monitor creates an ICC profile for
    that specific monitor. That's an output profile; a printer profile would
    be another output profile. This is different from your working profile,
    which is different from your input profile.

    The idea is that the profile translates raw color numbers into what they
    really mean on the given device, so that you can get the same color on
    different devices that might give different meaning to the same raw RGB
    values.

    > My video card supports altering the Gamma profile and the loading of an
    > ICC profile but this makes the output very bright and the colors are
    > lighter.


    You will need to create a profile to use by calibrating the monitor. Just
    sticking one in there will do more harm than good (as you discovered).
    The monitor can be calibrated with software for the purpose, or (better)
    with a software-hardware combination including a thingy that you stick on
    your monitor that reads the light coming out of it.

    > I notice too in Windows I can select properties of the desktop and select
    > settings --> advanced -- > color management and load multiple ICC profiles.
    > Should I load here the same profile used for everything else ie sRGB Color
    > Space Profile.icm?


    I don't know what that setting does, but no, you can't just stick random
    profiles into different places and have it work. sRGB is a working space
    profile; you don't use that as an output profile for a monitor or printer.

    > I am reading "The absolute beginners guide to Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0"
    > which does touch on the subject but seems a bit light. I think it has
    > confused me rather then helped. What I am looking for is a clear, technical
    > explaination of the relationship between all my hardware devices and Adobe
    > software. Can anybody give me any pointers please?


    There is a book, "Real World Color Management," dedicated to this subject,
    which is quite good. It is unfortunately not a topic that lends itself to
    simple, short explanations that can actually lead to understanding it.

    --
    Jeremy |
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. SL

    SL Guest

    Jeremy,

    Thank you. I am beginning to realise just what a complex area this is!

    Regards

    Steve
    "Jeremy Nixon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > SL <-m.hotmail.s--pa-m.com> wrote:
    >
    > > My problem I have is that nothing prints the way I see it on the screen

    with
    > > it printing usually much darker.

    >
    > There's one aspect of this other than profiling: prints will appear
    > perceptually darker than images on screen; it's just the nature of the
    > different media. I actually usually apply a slight brightening curve
    > to pictures before I have them printed, so they end up looking the way
    > I want.
    >
    > > I have been reading about ICC / ICM profiles and notice I can associate
    > > an ICC with a picture in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Is the general idea

    to
    > > associate the same ICC with all hardware devices?

    >
    > No. The idea is to create unique ICC profiles for each device, which you
    > do by calibrating them. Calibrating a monitor creates an ICC profile for
    > that specific monitor. That's an output profile; a printer profile would
    > be another output profile. This is different from your working profile,
    > which is different from your input profile.
    >
    > The idea is that the profile translates raw color numbers into what they
    > really mean on the given device, so that you can get the same color on
    > different devices that might give different meaning to the same raw RGB
    > values.
    >
    > > My video card supports altering the Gamma profile and the loading of an
    > > ICC profile but this makes the output very bright and the colors are
    > > lighter.

    >
    > You will need to create a profile to use by calibrating the monitor. Just
    > sticking one in there will do more harm than good (as you discovered).
    > The monitor can be calibrated with software for the purpose, or (better)
    > with a software-hardware combination including a thingy that you stick on
    > your monitor that reads the light coming out of it.
    >
    > > I notice too in Windows I can select properties of the desktop and

    select
    > > settings --> advanced -- > color management and load multiple ICC

    profiles.
    > > Should I load here the same profile used for everything else ie sRGB

    Color
    > > Space Profile.icm?

    >
    > I don't know what that setting does, but no, you can't just stick random
    > profiles into different places and have it work. sRGB is a working space
    > profile; you don't use that as an output profile for a monitor or printer.
    >
    > > I am reading "The absolute beginners guide to Adobe Photoshop Elements

    2.0"
    > > which does touch on the subject but seems a bit light. I think it has
    > > confused me rather then helped. What I am looking for is a clear,

    technical
    > > explaination of the relationship between all my hardware devices and

    Adobe
    > > software. Can anybody give me any pointers please?

    >
    > There is a book, "Real World Color Management," dedicated to this subject,
    > which is quite good. It is unfortunately not a topic that lends itself to
    > simple, short explanations that can actually lead to understanding it.
    >
    > --
    > Jeremy |
     
    SL, Dec 16, 2003
    #3
  4. On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 10:03:11 +0000, SL wrote:

    > Jeremy,
    >
    > Thank you. I am beginning to realise just what a complex area this is!


    There's a lot of good information at http://www.aim-dtp.net/.

    From my limited but gradually improving understanding of this, the basic
    problem is that digital sensors record information linearly - so a point
    twice as bright as another point in an image will record twice the
    "value". Human vision however, is logarithmic, and our perception does a
    lot of clever processing. When your camera creates a JPEG, it applies a
    transfer function to map the raw linear values from the sensor to RGB
    values which are adjusted to "look right" on the output device you're
    viewing them on. Commonly, the transfer function applied is chosen to make
    the image look right on a screen with a gamma of about 2.2.

    So, for example, if you set your camera to Adobe RGB, you're not actually
    changing the image capture at all, you're simply altering the transfer
    function applied to the raw data. Adobe RGB is just a different guess,
    better optimised for printing than screen display. The best thing to do of
    course is to accurately measure the output characteristics of your
    screen/printer/whatever, and apply the correct transfer function for each
    device when you send data to it. To do this you need ICC aware software,
    and a colorimeter to measure accurately measure the colour reproduction of
    each of your output devices.

    HTH,

    Mike.
     
    Mike Brodbelt, Dec 16, 2003
    #4
  5. SL

    SL Guest

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed.. I have found some good information
    at http://www.normankoren.com/color_management.html

    Additionally I am discovering that my LCD monitor is not the best for job.
    Color calibration for LCDs seems harder and I understand that the Adobe
    Gamma control panel is not for LCD monitors. I have also heard that it is
    better to run the LCD in analogue rather than digital mode. My video card
    and my monitor support both. Has anyone got any comments on this??

    Kind Regards
    Steve
     
    SL, Dec 16, 2003
    #5
  6. SL

    SL Guest

    Another few questions I have yet to figure out....

    If you open in Windows the display properties, click the settings tab, and
    advanced you can select the color management Tab. The blurb says "These
    settings let you select the default color profile for you monitor. This
    affect the colors that you see on the monitor". Addtionally my video card
    on my desktop PC (Nvidia) and my laptop(ATI) allow me to click a color tab
    and alter the color curve and brightness.On my desktop I can actually take
    the settings from an ICC file as a starting point. All the calibration
    documents seem to talk about using the brightness and contrast buttons on
    the monitor to physically adjust the settings of the monitor rather than use
    the video card and the color management tab. So:

    What exactly does the color management tab do in Windows?

    What exactly does the color manipulation tools of the video card allow me to
    do?

    How can these settings be used to calibrate color and which approach is
    better. Adjusting the output of the video card and / or loading an ICC for
    the monitor, fiddling with the buttons on the front of my LCD or a confusing
    combination of everthing?

    Grrr... this seems to be a massive subject full of questions.

    Many Thanks
    SL
     
    SL, Dec 16, 2003
    #6
  7. SL

    SL Guest

    > There's a lot of good information at http://www.aim-dtp.net/.

    Thanks it looks good and I will have a read.

    > From my limited but gradually improving understanding of this, the basic
    > problem is that digital sensors record information linearly - so a point
    > twice as bright as another point in an image will record twice the
    > "value". Human vision however, is logarithmic, and our perception does a
    > lot of clever processing. When your camera creates a JPEG, it applies a
    > transfer function to map the raw linear values from the sensor to RGB
    > values which are adjusted to "look right" on the output device you're
    > viewing them on. Commonly, the transfer function applied is chosen to make
    > the image look right on a screen with a gamma of about 2.2.


    That explains why some cameras allow you to use the RAW file and apply your
    own colour correction....

    > So, for example, if you set your camera to Adobe RGB, you're not actually
    > changing the image capture at all, you're simply altering the transfer
    > function applied to the raw data. Adobe RGB is just a different guess,
    > better optimised for printing than screen display. The best thing to do of
    > course is to accurately measure the output characteristics of your
    > screen/printer/whatever, and apply the correct transfer function for each
    > device when you send data to it. To do this you need ICC aware software,
    > and a colorimeter to measure accurately measure the colour reproduction of
    > each of your output devices.


    I have never used a light meter before when taking photo's but I guess this
    is where it would be handy?

    > HTH,

    It has helped #:) Cheers SL
     
    SL, Dec 16, 2003
    #7
  8. SL

    Ron Baird Guest

    Greetings SL,

    Sorry to hear about your trouble.

    If you are using Kodak paper, you can try the One Touch feature of
    EasyShare. When you install the software, it includes the One Touch option
    which is a driver that adjusts your printer driver for optimum results when
    using Kodak paper.

    If you want to use another program than EasyShare, you can still use Kodak
    paper and the settings found by following the links found on the Kodak
    Inkjet webpage. Just look to the left and click on the 'Printer Settings.'
    This will help you get great results.

    If you have questions, let me know, I am here for you.

    Ron Baird
    Eastman Kodak Company




    > Hi,
    >
    > Could anyone help me understand how to calibrate my PC so that what I

    print
    > is what I see on the screen.
    >
    > I have
    > Software:
    > Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
    > Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0
    > Windows 2000
    >
    > Hardware:
    > Illyama Flat Screen Monitor 17'' (DVI)
    > Nvidia GEForce 256 Video card
    > HP Photosmart 1215 Printer
    > Epson 1615 scanner
    > Kodak DX4900 Camera
    >
    > My problem I have is that nothing prints the way I see it on the screen

    with
    > it printing usually much darker. The same picture on other monitors and

    PCs
    > can look quite different. I have been reading about ICC / ICM profiles

    and
    > notice I can associate an ICC with a picture in Adobe Photoshop Elements.
    > Is the general idea to associate the same ICC with all hardware devices?
    >
    > My video card supports altering the Gamma profile and the loading of an

    ICC
    > profile but this makes the output very bright and the colors are lighter.

    I
    > notice too in Windows I can select properties of the desktop and select
    > settings --> advanced -- > color management and load multiple ICC

    profiles.
     
    Ron Baird, Dec 18, 2003
    #8
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