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Category: All About Photography : Digital Photographic Discussions - Imaging Basics : How Digital Camera Equipment Works

Photography Question 
Richard Ujhely

Consistently Quality with Digital Printing

An answerer responded to a question regarding the calibration of the monitor and the printer by pretty much saying read the manual. I am a complete novice with digital photography. I have a Dell monitor, Epson 1280 printer and Adobe Photoshop. I honestly have tried to figure out all three manuals but they seem always say it depends based on software or hardware. A couple magazines have offered articles offering assistance have helped, but I haven't been able to obtain consistent printing quality. Can you provide some specific steps or perhaps just additional insight as to what tools could I use to get better consistent quality of images?

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7/24/2001 5:15:24 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  By quality I presume you mean color matching. There really is no easy path on this. I'm not that familiar with the Epson printers. There should be some method for adjusting the color balancing in printing through the printer drivers to what you create with Adobe Photoshop. It's a matter of calibrating this to your monitor, and trying some experiments to adjust the colors.

I would start first with each of the three primaries (red, green and blue, or their negatives of cyan, magenta and yellow) and adjust them first so that your printer produces what you see on the monitor screen. All other colors are some combination of them. You should look for adjusting how the "halftoning" is accomplished (how colors are produced with 3 color inks; there are different algorithms for the dithering), adjusting intensity, and color matching. Also, read up about file resolution and print resolution for halftone printing.

See also the Epson FAQ on their Web site.

Look for the heading: "Problems Getting Good Print Quality" and the Q&A under it.

-- John

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7/29/2001 4:17:13 AM

doug Nelson   A web site called (no @, no .com) is out of Singapore (try here if first link doesn't work). These people are fervent Epson users. Look for articles by Ian Lyons, a British Epson fan. He has an article for your particular version of Photoshop (5, 5.5, and 6.0) that tells you exactly which settings to use. I had the same problems, but be persistent. Use the Adobe gamma in Photoshop to calibrate your monitor. It will be pretty close. Also, I've had muddy prints when I don't make sure a white area of my image is truly white.

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7/30/2001 9:06:27 AM

Joseph Rezek   I suggest looking at the information and the reviews regarding ColorVision equipment, particularly the RGB Suites which calibrate the monitor and can prepare adequate profiles for the printer-paper combination. All this runs at a price, the suite for starters like you and me is about $365, so it can be quite a consideration, but the program seems to be highly recommended. I understand that at the present time, the monitors it can calibrate are the CRT class; perhaps this info may now be incorrect, so I suggest you check if interested. Enjoy.

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8/2/2001 10:27:53 AM

Lynette Anderson   Hello, I have been taking digital pics for about a year. I'm not sure what you mean by quality but when I have to adjust colors, I go to Photoshop and adjust red, blues, and greens. When I have to adjust brightness and contrast, I do that in curves because it doesn't adjust the whole picture, only the face of hair or what ever you need adjusted. When I want to clear the complexion, I go to Photoshop Business Edition and do all of my complexion work. And when I'm finished and ready to fine tune, I go to Picture It and sharpen. This is how I achieve beautiful pics. If you just have Photoshop, you can adjust the softness of the skin and achieve a clearer complexion. I have an HP 500 printer/scanner, I use Kodak Ultima, Printasia, and Kodak premium photo papers.

Oh another thing you could do is go to the Help and ask your questions about the programs. I also did that. You really have to just play with the program and experiment.

Always save your original as the original (master) and save it as a copy and then play with the copy. That is how I learned and I take very good pics.

When you save as JPEG, save them in the highest compression - I save mine in a 10.

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2/25/2002 11:18:33 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  Lynette has many good suggestions above. I would first look into the JPEG thing - that could very well be the cause of your image quality problems.

I do want to correct one point, though. Curves does not adjust only one area of an image, unless you previously select that particular area with a selection tool. It is, all the same, my preferred way to correct color problems.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Photoshop®, I suggest that you take my online course, Photoshop for Photographers.

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3/26/2002 1:13:42 PM

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