BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Babak Gohari
 

Printing


I have a general problem with printing my digital photos. Basically, I am in need of what to set for the settings in various programs, how to crop correctly so I can fit my images in different paper sizes without distortion, and how to make the printer print correct colors (I tend to have a lot of pictures tinted green).

I am using an Epson Color Stylus 800, and I have Photoshop 5.0, PhotoDeluxe, and PhotoDraw 2000.


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10/1/1999

 
Gregour A. Beatty   Cropping and "image size" are two different things. Greenish is another matter ...

Once you crop an image to remove areas not needed to make it look its best, you may be able to change its size, but this is no longer cropping. Photoshop is a great choice if you want control ... but here you won't be cropping, or messing with the "canvas size". Use the Image Size dialogue instead, and there you can set a new resolution as well as the dimensions for the image - can even switch on and off keeping the aspect ratio intact, so you could stretch the image (try it, if you have modern tastes some images are great stretched). This will resample the image if necessary, and try to reassemble essentially what you thought you saw, but in the new size. Within reason, you can resize pictures and maybe also resolution, by using formulae or by experiment. That's the best way to redact images intended for different paper sizes.
Photoshop products will have ICC profiles, meant to ensure that the output will have the same colours on the monitor, from the printer, &c &c. It will also try to help you calibrate your own monitor correctly - though it is hard, their method isn't perfected, and research on the web is one place to learn more about how & why. Scanners might also let one do some calibration, at least to set the gamma figure for darkness corrections per monitor used, and some will let you tweak the image a bit before you do the final scan.
But not all equipment will comply, so there is still the chance everything will fall apart on somebody else's machinery. However, if you are using Win95 or Win98, I would have thought your Epson would be included and ought to behave pretty darned well ... I did a CD label project at a much earlier state of upgraded-ness a few years back, and the customer was very demanding; I wondered and worried what was ACTUALLY going to come out of his printer's shop (where they would take our Illustrator files into Quark wares instead, to make the plates), but by golly, the labels looked exactly as we'd expected them to after all.
Photoshop might well help you rebalance the greenish problem. Since the colors ought to have been kept adjusted pretty automatically on the way through the process, I would assume your photos (or scans) are coming out with a tint already built into them. Anyway, you can try the "Curves" dialogue, or the "Color Balance", or related items ... if my theory was right.


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2/2/2000

 
  Greeninsh tinge sounds like a white balance problem from camera picture taking stage. I used to leave the white balance set to automatic on my Nikon 8700. It produced bluish tinge to photos. The error is caused by the camera deciding what white looks like incorrectly for the lighting conditions you are shooting under. Green tinge is mentioned in other articles on the web, I think its daylight white balance being used under fluorecent tube lighting. Try seting your white balance to cloudy for other than bright sunlight. Thats around 6000 Kelvin and produces generally beter results. Shade tells the camera to assume the light is the most blue, photos done in sunlight with a shade setting will turn out yellowy, photos taken with incadescent, the most yellow light will look very blue if taken in daylight.
If the original image is fine on the monitor but prints wrongly on the printer then you could try the latest driver. If you calibrate your monitor in photoshop, then it creats an ICC profile. Your printer may be able to read that ICC profile, thsi tells the printer what this shade of that colour should be, play around on the printer menu for options. You could try printing from Photoshop or another program which may give you these options if your printer driver doesn't
I've also read of a programme called QIMAGE which is printer driver itself which others have said produces superior results to native drivers, not tried that myself.
The Canon D20 gives you lots of control ovedr white balance at the taking stage.
Record in RAW and your RAW editor programme lets you change the white balance later if it didn't work out.
I print to Canon PIXMA 5000, 4 inks only but the prints are equal to superior to photo lab prints on glossy paper.


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5/4/2005 5:35:16 AM

 
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