The most frequently asked question is:
'How do I make my prints match the monitor image?'
This suggests that there is a belief that the monitor image is, somehow, 'correct' and any difference in the print is therefore due to the printer performance. The fact is that, without calibration of both monitor and printer we cannot be sure which is 'right' and, indeed, it is quite probable that both are 'wrong' ! For general purpose printing, most monitors and printers work well 'out of the box' provided that you heed the instructions and use the recommended materials. If , however, one wishes to achieve high quality and consistency of printed output which reflects the image as viewed on the monitor, then careful profiling of the computer system becomes essential. Requirements for accuracy and quality tend to divide into three levels of users:
|Viewing on screen or wanting prints that are similar to high street 1 hour photolabs Software monitor correction and use printer manufacturers recommended materials and correct driver settings.
|Amateur and Enthusiast Photographers and others working in RGB
|Working in RGB colour mode and monochrome creating competition and exhibition images. Hardware (possibly software) monitor profiling and specific profiles for ink/paper material combinations
|Professional Photographers and Laboratory/Service Providers
|Using RGB and CMYK colour modes and providing a commercial service. Hardware profiling of complete system at regular intervals depending on nature of workflow.