Help with Calibration?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Stacey, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Stacey

    Stacey TPF Noob!

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    I did some Fall Portraits for some friends of mine (first time I've done something like that) and when I edited them they looked great on my computer and in Flickr and okay in Photobucket (forwhatever reason, PB is wierd on my pixels & distorting them but color is fine). Well, I went and ordered some "proofs" at Walgreens and in some of them the color is SO dark! I'm disappointed! Some of them are absolutely fine! Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this would be? I heard that calibration deals with photoshop? and I don't have photoshop on my computer. I also heard it has something to do with the way the RGB color scheme is set up? How do I fix this? I need to give the proofs to the family tomorrow so if someone can help me out in this pinch, I greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much!

    BTW-my photos are digital so....I don't know if that has any bearing on it or not!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bellavita64

    bellavita64 TPF Noob!

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    Calibrating your monitor is critical. The calibration really has nothing to do with photoshop, although anybody that is seriously doing their own digital post-processing would keep their monitor calibrated. There are plenty of older threads that deal with monitor calibration, so I won't repeat all of the advice here. You need to do it, but you can't really do it with anything you will find online. The human eye is way too inaccurate and biased to do the job. I use Eye One Display 2 by GretagMacbeth. It cost about $200, and then you have to re-calibrate every 30 days or so. The other thing you need to understand is that even when it is calibrated, Walgreen or any other mass-volume printing lab may not be calibrated the same. One of the perks of working with a smaller, higher quality lab is that they will work with you to make sure your monitors are calibrated together (kind of like synchronizing watches in an old James Bond film). These labs will also do color correction for you for a little additional money. If accurate color is really critical, it is worth the extra effort and money.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's right...to properly calibrate, you need a hardware device. I use the ColorVision Spyder II.

    Also, it wouldn't hurt to try a better lab. Or at least go back to Walgreen's and ask them to print them again.
     
  4. PaulBennett

    PaulBennett TPF Noob!

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    Calibrating your monitor is important but this only insures your pictures will look identical from one computer to the next, which important when printing to the internet on web pages...which isn't your problem.

    You ultimately need to calibrate the printer which in Photoshop is called 'soft proofing' and navigated to by View>Proof Setup>Custom. But chances are you don't have a .psf file for this. Spend some time in PS Help on this.

    Walgreen and such printers unfortunately have automated setup and the operator will choose a typical image and adjust it for great results. Then they press GO and every print in the lot will use the same data, rather than the operator adjusting each print individually. That is why your results there have been iffy.

    Wish there was an easy answer but the satisfaction and fun within the hobby comes from research and learning. For me the answer was finding pro print lab who provided a psf file to match their paper and that illusive term 'soft proof'. Good Luck.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    *.psf is a perfunctory format. It is simply a way of saving the details of a proofing environment, which consist of little more than defining an ICC profile. ICC profiles are what do the actual work in defining color spaces for monitors, printers, and scanners. Functionally, *.psf for a proofing environment is no different than *.alv for levels. As such, getting a *.psf file from a lab is not a requirement-- only the ICC profile for the printer, to which photoshop will adjust the color gamut. Also, the proofing environments aren't necessary for your average editing of a photo. They're more designed for commerical proofing. It's not a matter of function, but of workflow. If you receive an ICC profile from a lab, then install the profile and in PS go to --Edit --Convert to Profile, and then edit as usual. If you don't convert the image to the lab's profile yourself, then the lab will do it anyway.
     

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