Getting the Right Color in your Prints
What happens if you don't have a print-calibrated ... Let's say you print on a paper and you can't find a profile for it. You can make your own profile. That's what this is for. This is a profile for printers. The way that happens is you send a print out. It prints three. Do they look familiar? More color swatches. This whole class is fun with color swatches. These color swatches get printed and then you simply have to go through and read the color swatches. It actually comes with a handy little thing like this so that you can clip this in. This is pretty serious stuff, but you clip that in like this. It holds it. You line it up with the first one, click it in like that, and then while you're attached, you're using the same software that calibrated your monitor, and it just tells you go ahead and slide. So you push a button and slide and it goes (makes beep noise). Then you push it again and (makes beep noise). Then you move it down and (makes beep noise). You just keep going through a...
ll of these things and you're gonna end up with a calibrated print. If you don't have one of these or you don't wanna buy one because they're a little expensive, so you gotta be serious about your printing, you can always ask someone to create one for you. There are plenty of people who can create a print profile for you. So if you're always printing on a specific paper, you can create one. But the beauty of creating a print profile; it will install it. Let me show you some prints. I'm going to open up some photos here, here we go, side by side. There's my photos. There we go. I've got two photos here. One of them has no camera profile so it's whatever Adobe assigned to it, and then it has no printer profile so it's just letting ... It's actually the profile that's assigned to it by Canon. It's essentially color managed on auto. It's like whatever came out, that's what we got. Then the other one is profiled for the camera. We applied the profile to the camera and we applied a profile that was made by profiling the actual paper it's printed on. I want you to see the difference. I'm gonna show it to the camera first so they can see it and then I'll actually pass it around to you. But you can see here that the blue here on number two, so this is print number two, I'll tell you which one is which later, the blue on print number two is actual blue. The blue on print number one is purple. You can also see that the greens on print number one are quite vibrant; kinda bright but dingy. The ones on print number two are actual green. What do you want in a sky? Do you want blue or purple? Blue. What do you want for green? Do you want your moss to be green or dingy green? You want it to be green. The difference between these two prints is simply that print number one with dingy green and purple skies was calibrated based on Adobe's profile for the camera, and then it was profiled based on Canon's profile for this paper. But when I profiled the actual reality ... My camera profile was read based on what my actual sensor is seeing based on a color checker passport with a dual-luminant profile, and then that profile was transferred in, my monitor is calibrated, and then I printed it based on the profile that was made for this particular piece of paper at this particular time on this particular printer. I got blue skies and perfect greens. It's all just a matter of definition. Do you have the definitions from start to finish? Did you calibrate your camera, did you calibrate your monitor, and did you calibrate your printing? You don't have to buy a calibrator to print. You do have to buy a calibrator for your monitor. If you're not doing that, you're failing. Your job is to show accurate color and to adjust it and make it ... We can have fun. We don't have to be scientific about this all the time. Like for instance, I can go into an image like, say, this one. I love this image. It was just kind of an extra grab but I love the image. I can go into the develop module and I can play with this all day long. Right now it's actually using the standard profile that comes with it. Adobe is already showing me I've got all of these. This is a Fuji shot. I've got Astia; that's what that looks like. I've got classic; that's what that would look like. Eterna, Provia, Pro Negative. I can even do black and white profiles. You can see that my black and white profiles change this thing. I don't have to be scientifically accurate. I can actually choose profiles that do all sorts of stuff to the colors and to the shades and all that kind of stuff. But the key is that if I have a scientifically-calibrated monitor, whatever I do is fair game. You have to calibrate your monitor. And then you need to, if you're printing your images either on a printer at home or if you're printing them by sending them away somewhere, you need to make sure that you're installing those printer profiles so that they're available to you so that when you hit print, you make sure that when we go to the print dialog box, which is right here, that at the very bottom right here, you are telling it, I'm printing on this particular paper. Once you do that, if you let Photoshop or Lightroom handle the color management rather than the printer, what you see here will be printed on the print when you print it out. You can see how helpful it is to have everything managed perfectly. Profiles are fantastic for that, but they're not just scientific calibrations. They're also definitions of color, so I can change the underlying definition of color through a profile just for fun. That's great, too. Profiles can be fun and they can be stylistic, or they can be specific to your camera and neutralize the color for that camera very scientifically. It's up to you. Go and get the profiles for the paper that you're printing on. Make profiles for the camera. All it takes is this. Get one of these; they're not very expensive. Carry it around with you. Take pictures of it. Profile your camera. Make sure you have a camera calibration system and profile your monitor, and then use profiles as you're printing and you will have accurate color from start to finish, all the way through the game. Now there's no more guesswork. Now the artistry that you do is truly your vision as opposed to a guess. That's as difficult as it is. I know it's a lot to take in, but it's really not all that much. It's three things; calibrate your camera, calibrate your monitor, calibrate your output. That's it.