Key skills The right pro­file

If you buy spe­cial­ist photo pa­per you’ll need to tell your printer how to deal with it in a printer pro­file

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

Printer man­u­fac­tur­ers do a crack­ing job of making ac­cu­rate pro­files, which are then built into the printer driver – that’s why you can al­low the printer to do colour man­age­ment when you use the man­u­fac­turer’s pa­per and inks. The prob­lem is that they only make them for their own pa­pers and inks, so for other brands you need to se­lect Pho­to­shop Man­ages Colour when you’re print­ing and then se­lect the cor­rect printer pro­file from those of­fered.

Pro­files spec­ify how to change im­age colours so that the print comes out cor­rectly, based on ink char­ac­ter­is­tics, dis­tri­bu­tion and how the pa­per ab­sorbs or re­sponds to it.

If you don’t buy the printer man­u­fac­turer’s ink or pa­per, visit the web­site of your sup­plier and look for a pro­file for your printer, the pa­per you’re us­ing, and the cor­rect ink. Down­load and in­stall this pro­file on your com­puter, fol­low­ing their in­struc­tions. How­ever, since only one pro­file can be used at a time, it has to in­clude in­for­ma­tion for both ink and pa­per. So if you buy pa­per from one source and ink from an­other, you could find your­self in trou­ble! Also, If you buy the very cheap­est ink and pa­per, it’s pos­si­ble that there won’t be a pro­file for you to down­load and use.

To make a pro­file, a stan­dard im­age is printed. It is then photo-elec­tron­i­cally an­a­lysed and a pro­file gen­er­ated. This pro­file is then used to print an­other stan­dard print and this is an­a­lysed again un­til the copy is per­fect. You have three op­tions for cre­at­ing pro­files:

1 Buy

a de­vice like a ColorMunki Photo (£289/$440, www.xritephoto.com) and cre­ate your own pro­file – this en­sures the very best qual­ity!

2Down­load,

print and mail a stan­dard colour chart to a spe­cial­ist com­pany like www.colour­pro­files.com, who will make a cus­tom pro­file for you for around £15.

3Ex­per­i­ment

with all the pa­per set­ting op­tions in the print driver to see if one will work well enough for your com­bi­na­tion, even though it wasn’t de­signed for it.

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