Singular Images

March 12, 2019

Canon Pro-1 color icc profiles

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 3:46 pm

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Untitled, (Memory Pods), 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

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.

Cheers!

Doug

March 11, 2019

Canon Pro-1 printer in the studio

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 8:47 pm

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Memory Pods, March 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yes, there is a slightly used Canon Pro-1 printer now sitting in the studio. The Epson 4800 is in the storage area pending a posting on Craig’s List, which will also includes a new in-the-box 220ml Photo Black ink cartridge. The Canon Pro-1 is only 13″ wide but utilizes the Canon pigment ink, versus the dye for the currently available Canon Pro-10. My goal is to proof on the Pro-1 printer and then up size to a 24″ Canon printer which uses the same pigment ink. At the moment, I plan to use the 24″ Canon printer in the LACP photo-lab located in Hollywood. That will be another story!

I picked the used Pro-1 printer up in L.A. this weekend and as stated by Ryan, it certainly did require some new ink cartridges; seven of these were needed to get the printer up and running. Between the local Sammy’s Camera in Costa Mesa and Pro-Photo-Connection in Irvine; done. I had already downloaded the Pro-1 printer driver to the iMac, so that essential part was completed.

Once the new inks were installed, the printer appeared to be ready. From past experience with the Epson, and to be a bit conservative, I ran a head cleaning first. done. I had also purchase some Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper as I had a ton of Epson papers that I had collected over the past fifteen years, but no Canon paper. Again, from past experience, I knew that Canon would provide color profiles (icc) for their papers and printer and not really incentified to provide the icc profiles for any Epson papers.

For the printer color management testing I am using the image from my Memory Pods project above. I had used an old sheet of Kodak Soft Gloss just to make sure the the feed and printer were working okay; at the moment the rear paper feeder does not seem to know that the paper is there and I keep getting an error message. Meanwhile the top feed appears to work fine, so I will come back to why the rear paper feed is not working later as I really need to have a good quality printer working as soon as possible. The colors for the Kodak paper were really out of whack and much lower in contrast compared to the image that is on my recently color calibrated monitor.

Regretfully the Canon paper did not appear a whole lot better for the color comparison but the contrast was pretty close. Fortunately I recently purchased the X-Rite i1 studio color management system which works with both a monitor and a printer. So for the rest of the day it appears that I will be creating some color profiles for this printer and some of the papers I intend to use. Let’s see if I can get quickly obtain a really close match.

If it is not one thing, it’s another.

I do have a printing project to get completed for my Medium Photo workshop later this month, so nothing like a dead-line to create some inspiration, but a least at this stage of the game, no stress (yet!).

Cheers!

Doug

February 23, 2019

Color Management – How does this look to you?

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 12:29 am

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Untitled (Trabuco Flats) 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Color Management is one of the current plagues for photography as it effects anyone who is using a monitor to evaluate photographs, whether color images or black & white images. This includes cell phones as well; any type of monitor. Whether a casual social media reader, a photographic collector or a a photographer and most vexing for the later two.

So speaking as a photographer, I try to maintain an internal color management system that attempts to ensure that the photographs I create are faithful the images I print and of course the ones I share on-line, whether social media, web-site or on this site.

What I just learned is that when I recently purchased a new 27″ iMac, I had assumed that the monitor was already calibrated. In retrospect; bad, bad, bad.

When I just published a photobook review on The PhotoBook Journal, one of the comments back from the photographer was to the effect that my images on his screen appeared “blown-out”. hmmmmm. Not so much on mine. BUT I knew that he was a working professional photographer and thus he may have had his color management in a more current state than I did. Also, I recalled my iMac monitor calibration assumption. Not so smart.

I also knew it was time to update my color managment system, thus I quickly acquired an X-Rite i1 Studio system (aka Photo-Munki) to calibrate my monitor, printer and camera. Once the on-line registration was completed the required system software to download was provided on my online X-Rite profile. Done. Then it was a matter to run the software with the sensor (a bit hard to rotated the indicator dial on my device) and finish with a new icc profile for the monitor. Yep! A little different look to the iMac monitor. sigh.

Better late than never.

Interestingly, not all of my prior post photographs appear that different, but the most recent one did; see below the version that I had posted. I am not linking the earlier post as I have already updated that photograph; no sense letting this version of the image continue to haunt me. Probably most noticeable aspect to me between the two image versions are the greens. I also notice that other earlier images have the reds going bonkers (oaky, a bit “blown-out”) in comparision. What about you, what do you see as differences?

The other aspect is that this is a film photograph is from one of my rolls of expired 120 film (I think that this roll expired in 1998), that was processed and scanned by my professional film lab. So a few more potential “color management” events before I was able to evaluate the file in PhotoShop.

I had planned on making some on-line submissions but now I need to recheck all of the image files for color balance, etc; do these images still look as I had intended? If not one thing, it’s another.

Cheers, Doug

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