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printing 101

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17 comments

  • SFA
    Just a thought,

    If you were to use a printing service they would likely request the files to print in jpg format.

    Printer come with their own facilities to print jpgs and the jpgs can have the require setting burned into them as part of C1's Processing. In other words you can, as a novice printing photos, skip the direct printing (which may not offer you much over the jpg route anyway until such time as you have become familiar with printing) and create what you need in process recipes for jpg export.

    Bear in mind that for sizes up to A4 there are many quite capable printers that do not cost a lot of money although the inks, if you buy quality manufacturer's inks, will probably cost a lost if you find you enjoy printing the results of your efforts. Likewise paper.

    If you want to print large then the costs will escalate rapidly. Large printer can be quite expensive and the bigger paper sizes and ink sets also head upwards in price.

    The point of the JPG route is that it gives you an option through which you can produce satisfying output immediately without having to understand all of the complexities of the printer driver requirements right from the start. So you can still learn and experiment with direct printing but satisfy your print output desires alongside the learning process with a low cost investment.

    In my opinion.


    Grant
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  • photo by FA
    Hi Grant,

    Thanks for your input. Honestly I don’t have a place to put an extra printer right now except on the coffee table in my living room which my fiancé won’t approve for sure. So why I have put this post is more to get an idea of printing directly and learning the workflow, rather than going and buying a printer. If I ever buy, probably it will be Canon Pro 1000 or Epson P800 level printer so they are big but not the biggest. They will allow me to print various sizes and various qualities so I can experiment freely, I know what will happen with A4 printer, at some point, I’ll start to say “oh this picture would be so good on a A3 or A2 so let’s print on itâ€. Sure sky is the limit, I can go and get a 44inch printer, but First I’ll never a space to put that thing also the budget 😊
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  • SFA
    fatihayoglu wrote:
    Hi Grant,

    Thanks for your input. Honestly I don’t have a place to put an extra printer right now except on the coffee table in my living room which my fiancé won’t approve for sure. So why I have put this post is more to get an idea of printing directly and learning the workflow, rather than going and buying a printer. If I ever buy, probably it will be Canon Pro 1000 or Epson P800 level printer so they are big but not the biggest. They will allow me to print various sizes and various qualities so I can experiment freely, I know what will happen with A4 printer, at some point, I’ll start to say “oh this picture would be so good on a A3 or A2 so let’s print on itâ€. Sure sky is the limit, I can go and get a 44inch printer, but First I’ll never a space to put that thing also the budget 😊


    So do you already have a printer that is suitable for photo printing?

    Yes I know that most printers can produce at least reasonable photo prints that satisfy most consumers requirements but some, even at the lower end of the market, seem to be intended to offer better photo specific results than others.

    I got the impression from your first post that you did not have a printer at all.

    Either way I think that, whilst understanding the theory and the major issues to be aware of is good preparation, there is no substitute for experiencing the joys (and the frustrations) of printing first hand.
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  • photo by FA
    I don’t have a photo printer, I have a office printer all in one kind of type 😊

    As I want to learn this skill, it is my plan to purchase a photo printer at some point, not too soon though. Probably what I’ll do first is to find a print lab, and try different papers at A4 or smaller size to understand the difference of papers etc.

    Then I’d like to learn how to print from C1 and the workflow of it. Then at some point I’ll get my own spectrometer to create custom ICC profiles for the papers I’d like to use...

    But the biggest issue for me is still the workflow as it confuses me greatly, certainly I can just acquire a printer and then keep printing until I find the workflow but that might cost me a full set of ink and lots of paper, not so environmental friendly (not so pocket friendly as well)
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  • SFA
    fatihayoglu wrote:
    I don’t have a photo printer, I have a office printer all in one kind of type 😊

    As I want to learn this skill, it is my plan to purchase a photo printer at some point, not too soon though. Probably what I’ll do first is to find a print lab, and try different papers at A4 or smaller size to understand the difference of papers etc.

    Then I’d like to learn how to print from C1 and the workflow of it. Then at some point I’ll get my own spectrometer to create custom ICC profiles for the papers I’d like to use...

    But the biggest issue for me is still the workflow as it confuses me greatly, certainly I can just acquire a printer and then keep printing until I find the workflow but that might cost me a full set of ink and lots of paper, not so environmental friendly (not so pocket friendly as well)


    Many office printers are perfectly capable of producing reasonable quality images on photo paper. If you are not using OEM inks the colour matching may be a challenge. Apart from that the main consideration is the longevity of the print. Inks designed for image printing on long lasting photo or art paper (often plastic) and regular display exposed to light and whatever is in the atmosphere should last longer than something intended for office use and possible filing in a dark filing cabinet somewhere! The advertised target is often something like 100 years without serious fading.

    Whether that matters to you during a learning and experimentation phase is something only you can decide.
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  • SFA
    By chance today I happened to visit a web site I look at every 2 or 3 months and saw this article that, broadly, offers some advice about general printing points to consider. You will also find some links to previous articles that discuss either printer reviews or specific printing matters.

    The author is a professional photographer who prefers to make his own prints and has given presentations about printing at trade shows and similar events.

    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/why- ... ook-wrong/

    I think you may find the opinion article and many of the links to be a useful guide for your thoughts.

    I have read many of his review and articles before but had not seen this one until today.

    Unfortunately he is not a Capture One user - but then that shows that printing is something of a mix of science and art and independent of any software developer's ability to completely control the output to deliver what people like us think we want!


    Grant
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  • photo by FA
    Grant, the link is great and lots to read. Thanks a lot!

    Still, if somebody could shed a light about the correct workflow at CO for correct color management, that'd be perfect.
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  • Pawel Szczupak
    fatihayoglu wrote:
    Still, if somebody could shed a light about the correct workflow at CO for correct color management, that'd be perfect.

    Without any warranty on correctness 😄

    1) You need to calibrate your monitor (assume sRGB monitor) using any calibrator to show proper sRGB space colors.
    2) develop your photo using Capture One
    3) softproof your photo in Capture One using your printer profile (downloaded or created by you using spectrometer) and correct any issues
    4) print 😄

    Ad 1) I have read that, as the printed photo does not emit any light, you need to calibrate your monitor for dark (80 cd/m2). if it is still to bright = your room is to dark. There should not be a difference when looking on a sheet of paper and the monitor side-by-side (ideally). Secondly you should consider to calibrate for 5000K as this is "the usual light temperature" of the sun. Of course your room light temperature should be also similar to 5000K during photo processing. if you look at your printed photos usually at 6500K, than this is your right calibration temperature.

    This is my own understanding of the process, not necessarily correct 😄

    Best regards,
    pawl_s
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  • NNN636165693242495433
    I've been messing with printing in capture one on and off. My monitor is calibrated and i have the icc profiles from the different paper manufactures. I've realized i would need to invest in the xrite sensor that can calibrate printers to save time and paper. Without that it is too much trial and error.
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  • FirstName LastName
    Some thoughts:

    +1 for Keith Cooper at Northlight

    Printing is a physical thing - you want to find people you can share your work with face to face, not online; also worth getting to know your paper supplier - I use the same supplier as Keith.

    Capture One print module is not the most robust part of the app by far. Consider buying Affinity Photo and using that to lay out prints. Much easier, for example to pick an important part of your image and print four variants on one sheet to compare. You can also superimpose text to show what each test patch shows. Otherwise you get in a muddle. You will quickly recoup the cost by not wasting paper and ink.

    If you go Epson use ABW mode for B&W, but icc go colour. If you're using an office printer there may not be any icc profiles for papers.

    When you do go for your P800 I would suggest don't go mad buying fancy papers and OEM inks at EUR2-3 per A4 sheet. Use reputable compatible inks and reasonable papers total EUR0.50 /sheet and print lots. That's how to learn. It will be a couple of years (minimum) before you're good enough to see the difference between fifteen subtly different types of baryta. Just get a friend or friendly supplier to recommend a slightly warm pearl / lustre paper and once you're winning prizes start trying different papers.

    Printing is much more demanding than screen viewing. It will take you far longer to edit images to perfection.

    When you do start comparing papers talk to intaglio printmakers and other fine artists, not just photographers.

    Talk to your fiancée more! She will be a valuable critical eye.

    d.
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  • Picman
    I have an Epson R2880 which is calibrated together with my screen (iMacPro) by Xrites ColorMunki. Nevertheless, the prints are flat and lifeless compared to what I see on screen. Moreover it is a real mess to try and set things up correctly.

    There is a print command in C1 where you have to choose the printer, then the color profile, then you are supposed to turn off or on the color management in the print dialog (what print dialog, where is it? I nowhere see the words "color management") If you go to print settings (is that where you have to go, then call it correctly by its name) I find a menu Color Matching (is that it, again then call it by its correct name!) where you can choose between "colorsync" and "in printer", is that it? and what means "on" and what means "off"? Having calibrated mac and printer there are apparently two places where you can choose the printer profile made by colormunki, in the C1 menu under "color profile" and in the color matching menu of the mac. Where do you choose it, in one of them, which one or in both?

    Sorry for the rant but hours spending calibrating and figuring this out to give me flat and lifeless prints is frustrating!
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  • FirstName LastName
    Maybe the terminology is generic and printer manufacturers use different terms.

    1) In the printer driver for an Epson, it's Color Matching where you choose either ColorSync if you are using a profile for the paper or Epson Color Controls if you are using Epson paper or want to use Advanced B&W

    2) Are you using proofing? That's the spectacles in Capture One. Have you turned you monitor down? If the results still don't match then you may need to accept that you apply a printing adjustments layer and boost saturation or whatever. Not everybody believes in soft proofing.

    3) When you say "I have an Epson R2880 which is calibrated" do you mean that you have printed out a test print, scanned it in and created a colour profile for the particular paper you are using?

    4) "Moreover it is a real mess to try and set things up correctly." Yes. Printing is just hard! An afternoon spent with the Northlight website will reward you handsomely. Several afternoons over several months. I used to think Print was just Cmd-P. I now think of it as 60% of the total effort in making a photo.

    5) It may help to use Affinity Photo or similar (I think Adobe makes a photo editor) to create test strips like we did in the darkroom and just make prints on a bit of the sheet so at least you don't see your wallet bleeding to death in front of you!
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  • Picman
    Thanks for this extensive reply David!

    David Edge wrote:
    Maybe the terminology is generic and printer manufacturers use different terms.


    2) Are you using proofing? That's the spectacles in Capture One. Have you turned you monitor down? If the results still don't match then you may need to accept that you apply a printing adjustments layer and boost saturation or whatever. Not everybody believes in soft proofing.


    I've tried with proofing but it makes very little difference. And yes that is ultimately what I have been doing boosting things in a random way to try and get the print as close to what I am seeing on screen as possible. Time consuming, paper consuming and not very satisfying, because you are just fooling around without knowing exactly what it is you should be doing.
    David Edge wrote:

    3) When you say "I have an Epson R2880 which is calibrated" do you mean that you have printed out a test print, scanned it in and created a colour profile for the particular paper you are using?



    Yes that is exactly what I meant, I've done the whole thing (both easy and advanced, hardly any difference in the result).


    David Edge wrote:


    4) "Moreover it is a real mess to try and set things up correctly." Yes. Printing is just hard! An afternoon spent with the Northlight website will reward you handsomely. Several afternoons over several months. I used to think Print was just Cmd-P. I now think of it as 60% of the total effort in making a photo.



    OK, I'll certainly have a look at that website!
    David Edge wrote:


    5) It may help to use Affinity Photo or similar (I think Adobe makes a photo editor) to create test strips like we did in the darkroom and just make prints on a bit of the sheet so at least you don't see your wallet bleeding to death in front of you!


    I'll try with Adobe photoshop because I do not have Affinity Photo.

    Thanks again, cheers, Bob.
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  • Pavel Derka
    To get consistent and good quality printed output is a science and art all of its own. One tip is to realize that our monitors can display a far greater range of brightness levels that paper can, and so it is important to compress your tonal range to the 4.5 to 5.5 stops which are the maximum papers can handle, and to realize that the d-max of paper is different and has to be targeted to the paper to be used. A photo for web display probably has 9 or so stops and if you edit to look good on the monitor, the print will be lifeless.

    Since I don't want to print all the time, I'm lucky that here in Raleigh we have two good camera stores which both have the equipment invested in, and experts in printing, to do a very good job.

    At work, I had access to a good wide body epson, which had a dedicate computer running the RIP, and it still took extraordinary efforts to get consistency, especially when someone requested black and white. Of course the other reason I'm glad to not be printing any more (other than the wet darkroom) is that I have cats, and I'd have to dedicate a room to the printer, and then probably still find cat hair in everything! 😄
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  • Thomas Bühlmann
    Hi all.
    Printing your own pictures is a challenging task and to achieve this goal needs a lot of knowledge. I have no experience with C1, which possibilities seems to me restricted. No way, as far as I know, for printing presets to save for the next time. But it should work as well as with Photoshop.

    Important: There is no other way, you have to calibrate the monitor AND the printer. There are so many combinations between printer - ink - photopaper, that you can't leave the job to the printer (software), nor to C1. Forget standard ICCs. Calibrating YOUR monitor and YOUR printer gives you an individual ICC profile to use for all prints. Afterwards don't change anything and recalibrate every month, at least the monitor. C1 or Photoshop software is the point of departure and not printer software.

    Second: Your pictures must have at least 2 MB and a resolution of 300 pixels.

    See also my post calibrating workflow with Spyder 5.

    Best wishes Thomas.
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  • Richard Bock
    I have a somewhat different take on printing. I bought my first printer approximately 6 months ago (Epson P6000). I knew little about printing and I really did a minimal amount of research. But almost from the very beginning my prints have been spectacular. I use an NEC monitor calibrated with their Spectraview system printing on Epson paper (mostly cold press and hot press bright). I sharpen with NIK output sharpener and then print out of Epson's Print Layout app using Epson's ICC profiles. Maybe an experienced printer would look at my output and be able to nitpick some issues but by and large the color fidelity has been very accurate to my eye. Making big prints of my work has been the most fun I've had in a long time and would encourage anyone to just jump in. Don't be intimidated. It's just not that hard.
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  • Jill Kuchar
    I'm new to C1 but have been printing for a long time. I have an iMac with [an old] HP 1020 B&W laser and an Epson SC P800, which is what I use for printing my photography. I have been printing via the Epson Print Layout program which is a little primitive but works. To do this I have to export a TIF. I am glad to be able to print directly from C1 where I create my work.

    However, the first time I selected 'Print' I only received the HP as an option of printers. Pressing 'Printer' wouldn't show my Epson. I printed from the Epson program so I know it was connect properly.

    I disconnected the HP and (after a program and machine restart) I still received only the Epson option. (Now, and I don't know what changed, I only see the Epson.)

    I seem to have everything set up correctly now to print. And it did print!

    However, 'Color Profile' shows 'Managed by Printer' but a) doesn't tell which profile it is using and b) when I select Other Profile, I do not see the Epson profiles. Also 'Rend. Intent' is greyed out to 'Perceptual' so I can't change it to Advanced B&W or Relative Colorimetric.

    Also all the settings in the Print menu have '?' next to them.
    Screen%20Shot%202019-01-09%20at%2013.49.27.png

    Thanks,

    Menachem
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