Photoprint, Gutenprint’s best friend

September 21, 2008

I previously talked about Gutenprint, a high quality photo-oriented driver for the Epson inkjet printers. Today I want to introduce to you Photoprint (web), a GUI utility to make the most of Gutenprint. As a preliminary note, please be aware that since I don’t own an Epson printer (and Photoprint doesnt work with HPIJS, afaik), this entry will be more like a presentation than a full blown test.

It is good to be back to updating this blog, though 🙂

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Printing (5): when conversion gets tricky

December 19, 2007

Every now and again, you will come across an image that doesn’t easily converts from *RGB profile to your printer profile. It will degrade a lot no matter which conversion policy you use, it hurts your eyes on screen (when converted) and even more so when printed. And of course it is your favorite image or the one that you promised a printout to a friend.

So now how to fit a larger gamut into a smaller (print) one? That is normally the job of the Color Management Engine to ensure the best possible conversion from one gamut to another according to the conversion policy (perceptual or relative). But when the result of that operation is really poor, it may be worth to have a look at what is going on and see if there is a corrective action to take on the file before converting. Read the rest of this entry »

Printing (4): printing with Cinepaint & Gutenprint

December 13, 2007

Now the hard work is behind us: we have made the case for (or against) having a home printer and gone through its main specification; we have checked which driver to use under Linux and how to color manage it. Now we are left with the easiest part: the printing itself 🙂

Because printing is an honor we keep for the best of best pictures, and because ink and paper are not (and – despite what marketing pretends – won’t be anytime soon) cheap, printing rhymes with “best possible quality”. So the basis for a print is a high quality processed 16bits/channel TIFF picture. As stated, we will use Cinepaint & its Gutenprint driver / dialog for printing (well, my Gutenprint dialog actually controls HPIJS, but that’s another story, no really relevant at that point anymore).

Because we already did the post-processing on the file and we used for that a color managed system, there isn’t a lot left to be done on the file itself. Basically two steps: sharpening and converting to the ICC printer profile.
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Printing (3): Printer Color Management

December 6, 2007

One of the most important step in photo printing is ensuring that what you see on the screen is what you will get on your prints. Given the cost of paper and ink, better make sure of that…

Now we already talked about the whole idea of a CMS (Color Management System) which should include all the steps of the photographic chain: scanner / camera, post-processing software, screen and printer. We know how to create a monitor ICC profile (even with a Spyder on Linux) and use this profile to make sure our color corrections are as “objective” as possible.

If screen calibration is important, printer calibration is crucial: it probably is the single step that gave me the most important boost in ease of use and satisfaction in post-processing. Read the rest of this entry »

Printing (2): Linux drivers

December 3, 2007

We have started talking about photo printing as a good way to “honor” our best images. After an intro about photography printing in general, let’s tour the situation of Linux photoprinter drivers.

Because I owe an HP 7660, I’ll blog about my experience with this printer mainly, while trying to give hints about the “other two”, Epson and Canon. I realized I am always better off talking about what I know 😛 Read the rest of this entry »

Printing (1): introduction

November 27, 2007

Printing is another important topic that has been on my todo list from the day one of this blog. However, since printing is something we do right at the end of the (post-)processing chain, the subject has been delayed until now.

Let’s dive into it today, with one of these several never-ending series of entries which have become this blog’s trademark. Today, we will cover an introduction to printing, with questions like: home printer or not, printing technologies (dye or pigment based) and papers. Read the rest of this entry »