Day two of installing my Canon Pro-1 printer and after getting the basics in place as I wrote about yesterday, the next step was creating the color profiles (icc profiles) for my printing papers. I am starting with my basic proofing paper. This involved creating my first paper color profile with the X-Rite i1 studio color management system, something I had not performed before.
As to my basic proofing paper, I am leaning towards the Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss to start with. It appears to provide sufficient contrast and color luminosity without the high glossy reflections. The resulting print is just visually pleasing in my hands. Later this week I will print some 13 x 19″ prints to see how these images and paper look under some Halogen gallery lights.
As to the first icc profile I developed with the i1, let’s just say it was eventful. My biggest complaint is that very large dial on the i1 is not that easy to grasp and rotate to set the appropriate setting without sometime inadvertently hitting the exposure button in the middle of this device. It just takes a little bit of practice, which the i1 in its own way helped to provide. Nevertheless, I printed the two color swatch pages, scanned these with the i1 and finalized the icc profile for the Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper. Overall, an easy process, but does take a little time as X-Rite recommends a 10 minute drying time for each test print before the scanning process.
Once the new icc profile was named and saved; then onward to the final printing test. After opening Photoshop, uploading my test image (Memory Pods) from yesterday’s post, then finding the new icc for the printer profile, I proceeded to print my first image.
Bingo! What a difference a nice icc printer profile makes! The resulting print was a match to what I had on my monitor. And a really big difference to what I printed without a icc profile. So probably no big news, but using a color calibration system and creating color profiles to coordinate what’s on your monitor with what gets printed works really nice. In the past, I would add a curve (adjustment) layer to the image file in PhotoShop to make the necessary printing adjustments and I would need to print three or four versions to finally dial in my print. Regretfully the curve adjustment layer process is not very effective with making any color adjustments and that requires another adjustment layer for color balance, thus making the printing process a lot more complex and tedious.
Now with the icc profile in place the very first print is spot on. I think that this is where the i1 color management process really shines.
Yesterday I also stated that the back paper feed (not the top paper feed) was not working. So I received some feedback off-line from my post and appears that this is an issue with the Canon Pro-1 printer; it is just a bit fussy. The back paper feed needs at least 3 or 4 sheets of paper, make sure the guides are not tightly holding the paper, glossy paper is the most fussy, and to keep the in-feed rollers clean. So I have a little bit more to do to get this paper feed to work. Meanwhile, the top paper feed works fine.
Life is good.
One of my consignment projects is printing the stiff-cover book covers for a small limited edition book. With the icc profiles now in place I completed this print job last night and the resulting prints are now dry and ready for binding. These prints look great. Did I mention that life is good?
Regarding the Memory Pods image above, it’s a slight departure from most of the body of work and a progression in my Memory Pods project. Most of my project focuses on just one subject, perhaps similar to a portrait. I have been looking at some of past images in consideration of making a juxtaposition of two objects and now that might visually investigate a relationship. This is the first one that I think creates the visual narrative I was interested in creating; foreground is well defined while a similar shape and subject is in the background shadows with both just joining together on the bottom edge of the print. I created a black border to better define the print edges. The edge treatment is something I am also experimenting with as to how this might change the narrative of the image.
It is very nice to be back printing again. And I think I like this Pro-1; thus after 15 years using a variety of Epson printers, I have made the conversion to Canon printers. This printer appears to be a keeper.