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Color Management Issues

Morris in MT

Townsend, US
832 posts

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Morris in MT Silver Member Winner in the Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Nikonian since 03rd Oct 2007
Tue 24-Jul-12 11:40 PM

I am struggling with getting consistant results with my prints. My monitor says "Awesome!", but my prints say "Blah".

In the past I have had my smaller prints (8x10's and 5x7"s)done at Costco, but any photo that has a lot of dark areas always come back much darker than what my monitor shows, especially on the 5x7's. So I started using AdoramaPix for my 8x10's and larger,and just recently I started seeing the same problem with the darker shadows, as well as some of my more colorful shots of wood ducks coming back very dull and muted.

So, I decided it was time to get into color management. I recently purchased the Spyder4Pro and calibrated my monitor, which is an ASUS VH236H. After calibrating the monitor a few times due to changing light conditions in the room I am in, I found that good median light situation that rendered the best results. The difference after calibration was not that dramatic, actually.

I am not convinced that just calibrating the monitor is the only issue here, though. I know that both Costco and AdoramaPix will provide their printer profiles; should I get these and use the profile of the printer I am going to use, while editing my photos?

My camera is a D7000 and I am using Adobe RGB for the coolor space. I usually shoot RAW + JPG.
I am using Lightroom 3.6 64 Bit for initial work, making whatever adjustments are necessary to the RAW file, except for sharpening. I then send it to Photoshop CS4 for any adjustment that require masks or layers, and do my sharpening there as well. I then save a master file as a TIFF, then crop the photo to different sizes, if it is something that I am going to try to market.

One thing I wonder about is, when do some edits on a photo in Lightroom 3.6 then click on "Edit in Photoshop CS4", I get a message box that says "This version of Lightroom may require the Photoshop Camera Raw plugin version 6.6 for full compatibility." Then it tells you to update it through Photoshop update tool, then gives you two options; Render Using Lightroom, or Open Anyway. I can't swear to it, but I believe that I normally choose to render using Lightroom. I checked, and aparantly Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in version 6.6 is not compatible with versions of Photoshop earlier than CS5. Could this be causing any of my color management issues?

I should try sending a few photos to the printer that have only been worked in Lightroom, and some that have only been worked in CS4 to see if there is a disconnect between the software color management.

Thank you for any help with this frustrating problem!

Kelly

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