April Workshop: Smartphone Cameras, Calibration and Printing at Costco


Workshops

Presented by Douglas Wade

The workshop conducted on Tuesday, April 26, was three mini workshops in one and attended by 25 LPA Members.  It started with a demo of camera and apps for the iPhone and Droid phones. Then the last third was on calibration of your monitor, and use of profiles when printing to Costco’s digital printers. The goal was to make better prints.

iPhone

The iPhone was demonstrated using the following apps:

  • Autopainter
  • Instagram (can send to Facebook or Twitter quickly)
  • Pano
  • ShutterSnitch
  • 100 Cameras in 1
  • Camera Plus
  • TinyPlanet
  • Adobe Photoshop Express

Other interesting iPhone camera items are located at http://www.iphoneography.com/.

Droid

The Droid demo was shorter because most of the Droid apps are on the iPhone. However, the demo was to demonstrate that great photos taken on a smartphone are not limited just to one company. Thanks to Roger Day for lending me the Droid phone.

Color Management

In the real word, color between the camera, monitor, and printer do not match. As well, each device may or may not represent the colors completely. A printer may not handle some part of the color, spectrum, or clip a color. Mismatch, calibration of your monitor, knowing your color space, and the proper use of profiles can all create repeatable prints with higher quality.

Your camera needs to talk to your computer, which in turn, needs to talk to your printer, therefore, allowing the color information to be passed along. This is called color management.

Color

Color, in a digital context, is a pixel and an additive color when there is Red (255,0,0), Green (0,255,0), Blue (0,0,255). Each color uses eight bits to describe Red, eight bits for Green, eight bits for Blue. With the three colors, or its collectively, 24 bits can represent up to 16,777,216 different shades of colors.

Color space

A RBG color (88/249/17) is meaningless without a color space. The color space is the range of color or gamut a device can “see”. A device may be “device dependant”, such as your camera when it saves jpeg image. Modern devices will allow you to make changes or use a neutral color spaces, such as Adobe RGB or sRGB. These color spaces are neutral in any device. If you camera saves to sRGB and your printer uses sRGB, you most likely will get what you expect.

Monitor Calibration

If you cannot trust the color you see on your monitor, all other color management is a waste of time. Using calibration hardware and software to read and correct your monitors is important. Base lining your monitor to D50 (~5000°K) will allow for consistent images on what you see on the monitor and what a print will look like. Keep in mind, when viewing images on your monitor there are many things that might influence color. Some influences may be the paint color on the walls, the placement of the monitor to a window or a room lamp at night. You may not be able to control all the light sources, therefore, be aware of your environment influences your monitor.

Calibration Hardware

  • Datacolor Spyder 3 Pro Display Calibration Hardware & Software ($155)
  • X-Rite Eye-One Display LT ($149)

LPA has Spyder for available for checkout. Contact LPA Librarian Cheryl Ross (craftycross@verizon.net) to check out.  

Profiles

A profile, in a sense, is a look up table that describes a color space. It defines the most saturated colors which are available, e.g., how deep of a blue or how shadows are filled. Profiles are key to good color management. Costco uses Dry Creek Photo, and they provide profiles for Costco’s printers.

Location of Profiles for Costco printers
http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/Profiles/California_profiles.htm#lanc

Installing a Profile

Mac OS X (all versions)

Administrative privileges and storing profiles in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles allows all users to use them.

Without Admin privileges  /Users/<username>/Library/ColorSync/Profiles — any profiles stored here are available only to the current user.

Windows 7, 2008, Vista, and XP

\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color

The easiest way to install a profile in Windows is to right click on the profile in Windows Explorer and select "install profile". Windows copies the profile to the correct directory automatically.

Using Profiles in Lightroom

Lightroom and Photoshop can help with using profiles. For Photoshop, go to http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/printing/CS2_printing.html. In Lightroom, the Library module stores previews in the Adobe RGB color space. These previews are also used when printing in draft mode.

For rendered files such as TIFF, JPEG, and PSD files, Lightroom uses the image’s embedded color profile to display the image, histogram, and color values. If the image doesn’t have a profile, Lightroom assumes the sRGB profile, and the image may not look as expected on your monitor.

Workflow in Lightroom

You do not need to choose color settings or color profiles until you are ready to output your photos. To output a photo:
Print > Print Job > File Resolution, set to 300 ppi

Print > Print Job > Color Management, choose one of the following from the Profile pop-up menu:

Choose a printer color profile, installed earlier, that will be used to convert the image when the file is saved before uploading it to Costco.

To select printer profiles to appear in the Profile pop-up menu, choose “other” and then select the color profiles in the Choose Profiles dialog box.

Rendering Intent in Lightroom

Rendering Intent is to specify how colors are converted from the image’s color space to the printer’s color space.
Note: The printer’s color space will generally be smaller than the image’s color space, often resulting in colors that can’t be reproduced. The rendering intent you choose attempts to compensate for these out-of-gamut colors.

Perceptual
Perceptual rendering tries to preserve the visual relationship between colors. Colors that are in-gamut may change as out-of-gamut colors are shifted to reproducible colors. Perceptual rendering is a good choice when your image has many out-of gamut colors.

Relative
Relative rendering preserves all in-gamut colors and shifts out-of gamut colors to the closest reproducible color. The Relative option preserves more of the original color and is a good choice when you have few out-of-gamut colors.

Print to File

Print the file to a location on the File System

Lightroom Export

You can use Profiles on Export to print in batches

File > Export…


Costco Lancaster Upload

http://www.costcophotocenter.com/default.aspx

Printers available

  • Noritsu 34-Pro (sizes: wallets (4) , 4x6 to 12x18)
    • Glossy Paper
    • Lustre Paper
  • Epson 7880 (poster, 16x20, 20x30), 8-color Epson UltraChrome K3TM inks
    • Lustre Paper

Print Sizes and Resolution

Photo Size (inches) Min. Megapixel Recommended Megapixel
5 x 7 1 MP 2 MP
8 x 10 3 MP 4 MP
11 x 14 4 MP 5 MP
12 x 18 4 MP 6 MP
20 x 30 6 MP 8 MP
Print Size (inches) Resolution
5 x 7 1500 x 2100
8 x 10 2400 x 3000
11 x 14 3300 x 4200
12 x 18 3600 x 5400
20 x 30 6000 x 9000

 

Costco Printing

There are Five Steps, Login, Upload Photographs, Edit and Organize, Order Prints, and Submit Order

Costco Notes

Call 661-802-4477 or visit and add your name to the “do not auto correct” list.

Selecting “do not auto correct” can be hit and miss. Doing so will place print order on hold; then it is released by the technician.

 

References

To expand on this subject, see http://www.drycreekphoto.com/

 

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