How do I match printed photos to screen using Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Doug McDonald, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. The Subject line actually means this:

    How do I set up Photoshop so that I can preview images
    on my screen so that the screen view actually looks like
    what the cheapie printer company I use (read: the
    local Walgreens) actually prints?

    I would like this so that I could reliably adjust
    photos so that they look right as printed, using my

    Photoshop has this "View Proof Colors" thing. I would think that
    there would be some way to set this up so that it automatically
    does what I want. However, there seems no mechanism to do
    so, except selecting one of their canned profiles ... none of
    which are anywhere close to right.

    This is never explained and what docs they have are terminally
    confusing. Our usual friend Google have not resulted in any
    discussuion I can understand.

    One cannot just adjust the monitor so things look right,
    because there are things in the needed adjustments which are
    not in the RGB domain that is all that a monitor supports.
    In specifics, the printer increases the saturation of yellows,
    moves greens towards yellow, and desaturates reds.

    Can somebody tell me what I need to do, exactly?

    I would ASSUME ... probably wrongly, that what one should do is
    find some tool such that you get a bunch of files typical to
    your work, and print them. You then compare the files on the screen
    to the prints and play with the Photoshop adjustments so that
    the screen looks like the print. You enter the adjustments, numerically,
    into a program that looks at the photo and the numbers and
    decides what the profile should be. It gives you a file that you tell
    Photoshop about. Perhaps the program would
    look at several different photos. Or there would be standard
    files that you print that the program knows about.

    The images I work on are either downloaded from a Canon 30D
    as raw and converted to tif or jpeg using the plug-in convertor in
    Photoshop, or are scanned on a Nikon Coolscan IV scanner from
    negatives. Or are taken from some random file I get somewhere,
    so all I have in this is just what I see on the screen.

    In other words, I just want what I see on the screen to match
    what I see on the prints.

    Finally .... ideally, of course, what I would like to do is
    set up picture so that they look right on the screen and have
    an AUTOMATIC conversion do so that I save two files, one for the screen,
    which makes photos appear in Photoshop just as they would
    if I used them in a web page, and one for the printer.

    I'm terminally confused. Is there are a book "Color Conversion
    Issues for Dummy PhD's"?

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Jan 27, 2007
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  2. First I would suggest taking several images (different ones like sun
    light summer day, flash and a sunset) have them each printed. Next a week
    or two later have the same images printed. I suspect you will find a
    difference between the two prints. If the printer is not consistent, you
    will be shooting a moving target blindfolded.
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 27, 2007
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  3. Doug McDonald

    babaloo Guest

    Using Photoshop to make prints at Walgreens?
    babaloo, Jan 27, 2007
  4. As it turns out, the printer is quite consistent, at least over a period
    of weeks. In any case ... if they WERE inconsistent, then the procedure
    I describe would be even MORE valuable: I could simply print up
    a test print .... which costs $0.19 .... and do my calibration
    as needed. Thus I would be shooting a moving target with the
    exact correct tools to make it work.

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Jan 27, 2007
  5. Doug McDonald

    Keith Guest

    Just get Martin Evening's book on Photoshop for Photographers.

    Essentially you just calibrate your screen with a hardware device such
    as Gretagmacbeth's eye-one. From then on what you see on the screen
    should match your prints if the printer (either your own or a print
    shop) is callibrated with an ICC profile.

    Every image you manipulate in Photoshop can be saved with an embeded
    profile which tells any other device (screen or printer) how the colours
    should appear. You shouldn't 'soft-proof' with a printer profile on your
    own screen as this can only confuse things, especially you!!!

    The hard part is callibrating your own printer. Printers can come
    supplied with a generic ICC profile which you can use to get going, but
    if you are serious you need to get an ICC profile for your own
    partiicular printer and paper combination.

    You could buy your own spectrometer thinghy - but these are very
    expensive and a bit over the top for home use with only one printer -
    it's cheaper to pay someone to do this for you by sending them a test
    print, lots of companies offer this service.
    Keith, Jan 27, 2007
  6. The only possible adjustments on screens are setting the relative
    black levels and gains of the three colors RGB. I have done this
    so that white on the prints is matched by the screen, black is
    matched by black, and gray is matched by gray. This is easy.

    The hard part is getting colors correct.

    I'm asking how to MAKE it match.

    How is this communicated?

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Jan 27, 2007
  7. Doug McDonald

    Keith Guest

    The hardware device does this for you - it reads the screen and adjusts
    you monitor card internaly - it is the industy standard way of doing
    things. You do not adjust anything yourself.
    Once your screen is calibrated you adjust the levels, contrast,
    highlight / shadows, etc to whatever you want so you are happy with the
    image as it is on the screen, printing to another callibrated device is
    then taken care of for you - you don't have to do anything else apart
    from make sure your printer uses ICC profiles.
    The profile for the individual image is stored in the image file
    automatically by Photoshop and readable by other systems.

    Again - read the book, or Google the subject, it's really quite simple
    once you have hardware callibrated your screen. If you try and
    callibrate your screen by eye - then you are guessing and will probably
    never get your prints quite right.
    Keith, Jan 27, 2007
  8. Doug McDonald

    Annika1980 Guest

    About all you can do is to make sure your monitor is correctly
    calibrated so that you are seeing the colors as they actually are.
    After that, it's up to the monkey running the printer to make sure the
    colors print correctly.

    Why not take them a file of a test pattern such as a Macbeth
    Colorchecker and have them print that? The problem is that you need
    to profile the printer they are using. There used to be an outfit
    online that would create printer profiles for printers like that,
    using test prints that people sent in.
    I'd suggest finding out the exact make and model of printer the local
    Walgreens is using and search for some canned profiles for it. Then
    you could use the soft-proofing feature of Photoshop to accomplish
    what you seek.
    Annika1980, Jan 27, 2007
  9. Doug McDonald

    Roy G Guest


    What you are asking about is called Colour Management, (or for those poor
    souls West of the Atlantic who cannot spell - Color Management).

    As you have already heard the very first thing you need to do is get your
    screen showing the correct colours, by having it Calibrated or by doing it

    Once that is done, then you need an ICC Profile for the Walgreens machine.
    Try asking them for one? If they can't supply it, then contact a Profiling
    service like Cathies (Google), get their Printer Test Patch File, and send
    it for printing at 10 x 8 to Wallgreens. Post the resulting Photo off to the
    profiler, and they will send you an ICC Profile.

    Set up Ps's Soft Proof to use that Profile.

    You will then be able to see in advance how Walgreens would print them, and
    make any adjustments you need to get the photos correct. What comes back
    from Wallgereens should be almost identical to what you saw on Screen

    You will then know what alterations you need to make to ensure correct.

    Of course if you were to start using a Quality Lab, they would be able to
    supply a Profile, or apply their own Profile before printing, so that you
    would get what you saw on your corrected Monitor.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Jan 27, 2007
  10. Doug McDonald

    LuvLatins Guest

    This one is good
    LuvLatins, Jan 28, 2007
  11. Doug McDonald

    Annika1980 Guest


    There's a lot of good info there and they may have some profiles for
    the printer/paper combination that your local printer uses.
    Annika1980, Jan 28, 2007
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