The Proof is in the Print

You’re Ready to Print…

Or so you thought.  You’ve calibrated your monitor, you have your paper profiles, and you’ve checked (and double checked) all your printer settings.  So why is the color off on your printed image?  I have no idea… at least not one I can clearly explain.  But!  There is this thing called Soft Proofing in Adobe Photoshop that can help.  Now that I’ve tried it, I like to think of it as an interpreter… when your computer, monitor, printer, and paper just don’t seem to all be speaking the same language.

Outsourcing Obstacles

Even sending your photo out to a professional printing company or your local speedy printer (drugstore/superstore) might not provide optimum results.  Of course, you may be just fine with that.  I’ve done that, in theory, for a while now ~ but I’ve been lucky!   For a long time, I have shied away from printing anything larger than a note card at home on my Canon Pro 100, and saved my large prints for my dad’s Canon Prograf6400.  Amazingly, his printer speaks the same language as his monitor, his paper, his computer, and whatever else you can think to throw in there.  When I print on the Prograf, I just open a photo (which I did on my computer and calibrated monitor at home, and then saved to a flash drive) and wa-la!  A perfect image comes out the other end.   I won’t even attempt to talk about all the technicalities involved, the equipment/software/etc and why they all work so well together ~ because honestly I haven’t a clue; all I know is what I see is what I get, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Getting It Right At Home

So why even print from my own printer?  Well it seems a little overkill to do smaller prints on such a large format printer.  Like I said, I’ve actually been printing note cards on my printer since I got it but never really noticed (or paid too much attention to) any significant color issue.  But when I started printing a wee-bit larger, 8×10 and up, a real color difference started to appear ~not overall or terribly noticeable ~ but in certain areas like in the shadows or with certain tones.  That’s where Adobe Photoshop’s Soft Proofing feature comes in.  First a shout out to a an incredibly talented and knowledgeable photographer and good friend, Henry Rowan, for enlightening me on this topic.  Again, I’ll skip trying to explain the technical side of soft-proofing, but I found a site called Digital Basics and their tutorial does a great job ~ even my non-techy brain understood it.  I was able to tweak my photos using soft proofing and get them just right for my printer.  And now, just like on the Prograf, what I see is what I get!

Get more tech-tips

I like posting techy-tips, especially when I have had a chance to test drive them, so to speak.  Just follow my blog if you’d like to receive more tips that I’ve checked out or that somebody else did.  And if you have something to add or share on the topic, you can always leave comment 🙂

Until next time,

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