I've been printing directly from PhotoShop since 2006 with no problems. Early this year a problem developed which is perhaps unique to my computer operating system and the way Adobe handles paper profiles. My explorations and fixes to the problem are described below.
I recently had a large job to print for a client and in the process found that my paper profiles yielded disastrous color. Initially I solved the problem by reverting to my printing methods first used in the year 2000. When I first started printing on inkjet with an Epson 1280, I devised a method that worked well then. This was before I was aware of paper profiles. I doubt they existed back then.
First - I scanned a color checker chart and refined scanning tools to achieve a file that looked like the original on my crudely calibrated CRT monitor.
Next - Once I achieved that I used the printer determines colors printing tool and selected Epson Color controls. I made several prints using the sliders for color, brightness and contrast until I got a print that looked like the file on the screen. Then I wrote down the slider settings used to create that print. I did this for each paper I was using and in effect created my own personal profile ( thus a closed loop system).
So when this problem came to light in 2022, I decided that I had to go back to that method in order to complete the job at hand. Fortunately the first test using the color sliders came out perfect with minor adjustments using the target below.
After doing some research and emailing several paper manufacturers, I learned that the fix was to upload and install the latest printer drivers. I did that and it worked. Then after a while the problem came back. I reinstalled the latest drivers again and the problem went away.
Then it happened again and I noticed that the problem comes back immediately after a new version of Photoshop was installed. I tried using older versions and got the same problem. Lightroom wouldn't work either. On One didn't work either. Also the problem would come back with updates to the Mac operating system. Finally I installed the Canon Professional Print and Layout software along with the Epson Print Layout program and everything worked and continues to work. So the problem is totally the result of conflicts between the Mac OS and Adobe in the way they handle profiles. I suspect it's a case of double profiling.
Finally I found a printing program called Qimage One (not free but reasonably priced) that has made printing to both Canon and Epson printers a breeze. No problems with profiles there either. Now I can print to both Canon and Epson printers with many advanced features I didn't have with either of the other stand alone printers. It's definitely changed my printing workflow for the best. Who knows what can change in the future with the complex world of digital imaging. Thank goodness I can always lock myself in the darkroom and really get back to the simplicity of learning how to change the occasional light bulb.
I recently re-installed the driver for our Epson P7000 which usually fixes the problem until Photoshop upgrades. This time I also updated the firmware on the printer. That appeared to solve other printing problems, but then when Photoshop upgraded, I tested printing from Photoshop and it still worked for the first time in over a year. However, I'm now addicted to Qimage One and Epson Print Layout, so will still not use Photoshop to print color in most cases. I'll let you know if the fix remains permanent.
The other helpful thing is to be aware that your file needs to have a colorspace linked to it.
For the most part Adobe RGB 1998 is the best colorspace to use. Printers and monitors cannot yet see or reproduce ProPhoto RBG or Image P3 colorspaces. In fact if files you are working with are in the two larger color spaces, you can have nothing but trouble making prints that match the monitor. Use the Photoshop tool (convert to profile) to bring all files back to Adobe RGB 1998. Another variable is which Rendering intent you use. Only 2 are commonly used (Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric). Both affect the way out of gamut colors are handled. Out of gamut colors are ones that cannot be reproduced with your printer. There's a lot of debate over which is best. The answer is neither. Some images work better with Perceptual and others with Relative. Experiment!
Also I cannot over stress the importance of calibrating your monitor. If you don't do anything else, darken the monitor. Most are way too bright out of the box.
Of course everyone has a different experience, so this is just to inform folks of my way of handling these problems.
An update to my work flow:
When customers bring me files to print I usually convert to Adobe 1998, however I have learned that printers can print somewhat beyond Adobe 1998. Some monitors can perhaps see a more colors than Adobe 1998 can provide. If the customer brings me a file and we do the pre-edit together in Camera Raw, I'll output to Pro-Photo RGB. If a customer brings me a file that they have post processed, I'll most likely convert before printing, so there are no surprises when the print doesn't match the monitor.
When I shoot digital or work with my digital color files, I will use Pro Photo RGB. I don't mind if the print looks better in print than it does on screen. More to come as Monitors and Printers get better. Today's technology is quite amazing. I can't help but compare to Photoshop 2.0 which I purchased in 1992. What do the next 30 years have to offer??
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A question has come up. Which to use jpg or png? The short answer is both work well for website or email use. For printing however I recommend either tiff or Psd files. Both jpg and png files are compressed files, thought the png file is supposed to be lossless, meaning resaving doesn't result in data loss. Also the png can be a transparent file.
EXIF dat is not saved, so shutter, speed, f/stop and ISO data won't accompany the file.
Feel free to read the data below or search other sites.
Copied from the Digital Trends website:
Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group — the team that developed the format — JPEG has become the standard compressed format in digital photography and online image sharing due to its careful balance of file size and image quality.
The exact ratio differs depending on the program and settings used, but the typical JPEG image has a 10:1 compression ratio. That is, if you start with a 10MB image and export it as a JPEG, you should end up with an image that’s roughly 1MB. A JPEG should have almost zero perceptible difference in quality, although this depends on the content and file type of the original image.
To do this, JPEG relies on discrete cosine transform (DCT). While the math behind it is complicated, this compression algorithm takes a look at the entire image, determines which pixels in the image are similar enough to the ones around it, and merges the pixels together in tiles (groups of pixels that have the same value).
This method is extremely efficient but comes at the cost of throwing away information you can’t get back. JPEG images (with a few exceptions mentioned below) are lossy, which means after the image is saved, the data that was lost can’t be recovered. So, just like making a photocopy of a photocopy, each time you open and save a JPEG, it will look slightly worse than before.
For this reason, JPEG is not suggested as an archival image format, because if you ever need to open it and make edits again, you incur a loss of quality. Nondestructive photo editors, like Adobe Lightroom, can help skirt around this issue provided you never delete your original files, as they only save edits as metadata rather than writing over the original image.
JPEG should also be avoided with text-heavy images or illustrations with sharp lines, as defined lines tend to get blurred due to anti-aliasing. (Anti-aliasing is an intentional blurring designed to eliminate rough edges.) As you can see in the image below, a screenshot taken from our homepage, the text and white background show a lot of artifacts on the JPEG (right) compared to the PNG (left).
That said, there are times when you need to turn formats like PDFs into JPEGs. In those instances, it is best to ensure you export it at the highest quality settings to ensure all of the text is sharp.
JPEG supports both RGB and CMYK color spaces in 24-bit, but its CMYK offerings leave much to be desired. (Modern printers handle RGB files just fine, so this isn’t a huge issue. You should still stick with higher-quality formats for printing, however.) An 8-bit grayscale is also an option but the compression ratios are far less impressive with grayscale compared to color images.
Over the years, many variations of JPEG have come and gone. For example, JPG-LS was designed to fix the issue of lossy compression, but it never gained a foothold and eventually fell to the wayside. JPG2000 also attempted to address the lossless issue, but it, too, failed to gain traction. BPG, a new format based on the H.265 video standard, was determined to take over JPEG, but never really caught on.
The creators of the JPEG recently shared a new format designed not to replace the JPEG but to exist alongside it as an option for faster streaming. In a JPEG XS, the compression is only six times instead of 10, but simpler algorithms mean the file is faster for tasks like streaming. A potential replacement could come in the form of HEIF, which is also based on the h.265 standard. Where others have failed, HEIF could succeed thanks to the support of one of the biggest brands in tech: Apple. It still has a ways to go, but may only be a matter of time before it is as widespread as JPEG is today.
An acronym for Portable Network Graphics, PNG is a lossless file format designed as a more open alternative to Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).
Unlike JPEG, which relies on DCT compression, PNG uses LZW compression — the same as used by GIF and TIFF formats. Boiled down, PNG’s two-stage LZW compression takes strings of bits contained in the image’s data, then matches those longer sequences to accompanying shortcodes held in a dictionary (sometimes referred to as a codebook) that is stored within the image file. The result is a smaller file that maintains high quality.
The biggest advantage of PNG over JPEG is that the compression is lossless, meaning there is no loss in quality each time it is opened and saved again.
PNG also handles detailed, high-contrast images well. It’s for this reason PNG is more often than not the default file format for screenshots, as it can provide an almost perfect pixel-for-pixel representation of the screen, rather than compressing groups of pixels together.
One of the standout features of PNG is its support of transparency. With both color and grayscale images, pixels in PNG files can be transparent. This allows you to create images that neatly overlay with the content of an image or website. As seen in the GIF above, many editing programs — in this case Adobe Photoshop Mix — use a checkered background to indicate the transparency of a graphic. This makes PNG great for logos, particularly those with text, used on a website. If you create a transparent background in Photoshop and save the images a JPG, on the other hand, that transparent background just becomes white because the format doesn’t support transparency.
When it comes to photography, PNG might seem like a solid alternative to proprietary RAW formats for lossless image storage, but the truth is there are plenty of better alternatives, such as Adobe’s Digital Negative (DNG) — which you can even shoot on your smartphone — and TIFF.
PNG also doesn’t natively support EXIF data, which includes information such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO from the camera it was captured with.
PNG was made for the web and it has proven its worth. JPEG might be the format of a majority of the images, but PNG occupies an important niche that JPEG can’t effectively reach, and is basically the only choice when you need to clearly render a logo or text over other elements on a website.
Much like JPEG, PNG has also had a few variations throughout the years. APNG is a still-supported format designed to replicate the animated functionality of GIFs. It’s not nearly as prevalent but is supported by many modern browsers.
Another fun tidbit is that in the early stages of PNG’s development, it was suggested it be called PING, an acronym for “PING Is Not GIF,” a cheeky dig at the creators of the GIF format