How to save money on photo printing – Feature (The Earth Times)
How to save money on photo printing - Feature
The Earth Times - September 2008
If you are printing photos, you can waste a lot of money in paper and ink just by trying to get an exact match between what comes out of your printer and what you see on your screen. That's because colour reproduction varies from one device to another: A certain shade of red, for example, will be different to your monitor than it is to your printer. To synchronise both devices - and save money in ink and paper over the long run - you should use colour profiles.
Colour profiles are files that adjust your monitor and your printer to ensure that they see exactly the same colours. There are two ways to get colour profiles: Sometimes they are delivered with your colour printer, but you can also purchase profiling equipment that will allow you to create profiles on your own.
Colour profiles are created for a specific printer-paper-ink combination, since all three variables influence how colour is reproduced. The profiles you receive from a printer manufacturer will always be designed for paper and ink that the manufacturer itself sells. If you want to branch out and use paper and ink from other manufacturers, it's best to create your own printer profiles using equipment such as XRite's Eye-One or Datacolor's Spyder3Studio.
Colour profiles are needed for the monitor and the printer itself, but both are used by the program from which you are printing your photographs. You should find instructions for installing and using the profiles in your printer's documentation and in the instructions for your printing application.
Profiling equipment is one of those investments that will save you money over time, since you won't be wasting so much expensive ink and paper as you try to get colour out of your printer that matches what you see on screen.