I just took a deep dive in trying to better understand color management for printing. Apparantly, real experts who make lots of prints have many different profiles for their monitor, changing K value (white point) depending on the paper and printer they are using. I don’t do enough printing and am not bored enough to actually want to do that. My monitor profile has been set to D65, but even with soft proofing I have to usually make many prints before I get the color right . The “my prints are too dark” is not the issue (fixed that by lowering the brightness of my monitor to 80 cd/m2). Quite a few people recommend two monitor profiles: one at D65 for web use, and one at D55 for printing. Do any of you have experience printing at D55 rather than D65 (or anything lower than 6500K)? Do you find that the soft proofed prints better approximate the colors on the monitor when the monitor profile is set to something warmer than D65, such as D 55?
There’s a real tendency to overthink the process of printing. I’m super critical about print quality and produce my own prints. That being said, I use the canned Hahnemühle profiles for my Epson P7000 and my iMac screen doesn’t have any special calibration—I just make sure the brightness is a bit less than halfway while editing. I don’t even do soft proofing, there’s really no surprise at all when I do a test print before loading a roll of paper for a larger print. Keep it simple, and take the time to really get to know a paper and how it prints. I use the same paper for all my photos because it works so incredibly well. My favorite is Photo Rag Baryta by Hahnemühle.
I worked at a camera store for 16 years and frequently helped people with printing. The common thread with the printing problems was people overcomplicating the process and introducing far too many variables.
Thanks for your reply. I totally agree with your comments. That being said, everybody has different learning styles and different things that make them happy. I actually enjoy the technical aspect of photography and enjoy learning about it…