To view entire article click here Printing Secrets of The Pros
One of the printing world’s heavyweights is Jack Duganne. Among his printing clients is artist and Nobel Prize winner Roger Guillemin. Jack who teaches at Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment Technology entitled the session Fine-Art Printmaking Workflow, “printing multiple proofs in an extremely efficient and effective way to arrive at the perfect print.” Basically he showed the way to create multiple digital proofs (soft proofing) that can be combined into one print, like a contact sheet and printed on whatever paper stock you are using and then presented to the client be it a painter, photographer or yourself. Instead of printing a number of prints and making fine adjustments, this technique saves the cost of ink and paper which can be considerable if you are printing canvas size prints on fine art stock like Jack does; and most of all it saves you a great deal of heartache. For no matter how closely two people match their color profiles on two different computers, there are too many variables (room lighting, screen degradation, visual acuity etc..) for there ever to be a perfect match. And as you will see these multiple proofs may provide possibilities for a print that not only meets but exceeds what you thought was possible for your creation. This lesson was one that was years in the making for Jack Duganne, who pioneered the art of marrying fine art printmaking and the world of creative digital imaging. Before founding Duganne Ateliers, he was the master printer, for what was at the time premiere digital printing and scanning house, Nash Editions. Owner Graham Nash , who co-founded the company with Crosby, Stills and Nash tour manager R. Mac Holbert, was a photography collector and fine art photographer who had the resources to develop a company that stretched the limits of what people thought digital imaging could do, Jack coined the term Giclée while working there to communicate to fine artists the new possibilities in reproduction that were now available to them.
The following tutorial taken from Jack’s presentation at Siggraph, which makes use of Photoshop’s “layer comps”. Layer comps allow you to store multiple versions of a digital print or photo into one document. This should allow anyone with any level of color printer to create the best print possible while saving ink. It should also give you a notion of what the professional fine art print flow is all about. The composite we will apply the changes to before it is to be printed was created while I practicing one of Jack’s other tutorials.
Step one: open a Photoshop document with a variety of tonal colors and varying levels of light. Though this will work on any photo of a print or photograph, the effects will be easier to see if you choose something that meets these requirements. The printed version of your document differs from what you see on your monitor. Sometimes it looks vastly different. Printed images are not as bright, have lower contrast and the color saturation is lower on print than it is on screen. Because of this there have been standards created so when people pass digital files back and forth they can speak the same language it’s called color space. Like the pros do, let us pick a working color space. If you do this, your home printer or the print house you take your own masterpiece to, will see something closer to what you have viewed at home and the results will be more predictable. In Photoshop go edit>color settings (shift-command-k on Mac or shift-control-k on PC) and pick Adobe RGB 1998 and U.S. Sheetfed Coated V2.
To go one step further many If you have a printer like the Epson SureColor P800 Inkjet Printer you can merely go to Epsonʼs website or Google your printer and download the printer and paper specific profile (ICC PROFILE). If you have the popular and less expensive, Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer you will find these profiles included on your install disk. However you should note that the profiles are for Canon papers. Hmmm.. I wonder why? Most important of all! If you read no further, there is one step that will improve all your prints in an instant if you are a Photoshop user. Always select ” Photoshop manages colors” when you print not the default ” Printer manages colors“. It is under the color management window in the top right of Photoshopʼs print window.