When printing shots from Arizona and New Mexico with deep blue skies on my Epson 2200 using Enhanced Matte paper, I often run into a problem that on the surface may look like a gamut issue, but Photoshop tells me it isn't. I've set View>Proof Setup to Custom with the Enhanced Matte paper profile. When I turn on the Gamut Warning, there are some out-of-gamut shadow areas but the skies don't have a warning. When I toggle Proof Colors, I can clearly see that certain areas of the blue sky become noticeably lighter and a little bluish-green with Proof Colors on, indicating that the print will have this problem as well and sure enough, it does; the bluish-green areas look even worse in print. Why is this happening while there is no obvious out-of-gamut problem and what can I do to remedy this short of reducing the saturation? If I reduce saturation enough, the problem goes away, but I don't want to do that.
Saturated blue is difficult for some printers to reproduce well, including the Epson pigments - they're mixing CMY for their colors and Epson in particular doesn't generate good blue especially in the deeper blues like you're describing.
It's good enough for most people, but anyone with a critical eye can see the issue. To get really good tones in this range, a printer with primary colors will help a great deal.
Thanks for your reply. I can understand the 2200 having a problem with certain colors, but why the very noticeable lightening and the introduction of a greenish hue in the blue in certain areas of the sky and not in others? Why isn't the Gamut Warning warning me of this issue when I did set Custom to the proper profile?
And lastly, what is a printer with primary colors?
Now that you have identified that there is a problem, you can compensate using Photoshop and then selecting the sky are so you can use Hue/Saturation to adjust hue and increase saturation in the selected area. Then try it in a print and if it produces the print values closer to what you want, you have solved the proble,
In addition the R800 and R1800 printers will probably do better in this dimension of printing color as they have a different inkset that includes a blue ink so the print value is composed of more pure color ink rather than a mix of inks.
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know that I have "a" problem, but I'm not sure exactly what kind of a problem. Increasing saturation makes the problem worse, not better. I really don't want to decrease the saturation; I would like the printer to print what's on the screen. If the printer cannot print parts of the deep blue sky, then why doesn't the Gamut Warning warn me of that when I turn it on with the correct profile activated? However, the Proof Colors indicates the problem areas in the sky, although the Proof Colors screen doesn't show as stark a change as the real print does.
The problem you have identified is what Jon Canfield described, the inability of the printer to make the color out of a mix of CMYK ink to produce the tone defined by your image file. If compensating in the file is not an effective solution by area selection and hue/saturation adjustment, you are left with upgrading your printer or living with what you have. It is because of shortfall of this nature that Epson, Canon and HP have extended the development of the technology and now their inksets include primary colors like blue and red.
Like I said before, I understand that the 2200 cannot reproduce certain colors. That's not the issue. The issue is that Photoshop doesn't give me a gamut warning for the problem areas in the blue sky, but it does give me gamut warnings for some shadow areas in the image, warnings that can be safely ignored because Photoshop does a great job of handling those when printing, according to my settings of Intent in Color Settings and Print Space. The problem areas that I have that give me a major color and tonality shift and are NOT handled well when printing, are ignored by the gamut warning tool. I want to understand why that is so.
Because the inability of the 2200 to print some colors accurately and fully is NOT a gamut problem. The gamut warning utility in Photoshop was not designed to recognize the kind of problem you are concerned with, it was primarily intended to provide a signal of what RGB values would be out of gamut converted to CMYK and reproduced by the limited gamut of offset printing.
Sorry, but I have to disagree with you. I certainly would call the inability of the 2200 to print certain colors accurately and fully a gamut problem! The Gamut Warning utility is supposed to look at the image file color content and compare that to the profile of the printer, entered in Proof Setup, to see if any colors are out-of-gamut and issue an out-of-gamut warning for those. Whether the printer is a CMYK or an RGB device should not make any difference; Proof Setup allows many different versions of both CMYK and RGB profiles to be entered. So it seems to me that this issue remains unexplained and unresolved.
The gamut of a printer is what it is including whether some combinations of inks do not reproduce some colors with ideal saturation, which may or not be reflected in a canned printer profile. A weak area in reproduction that is narrow may not show up in a profile because the profile is made from a limited number of target samples that may not include a representation of the value that in your image file prints with weak saturation. A typical profiling target considered large may contain just 225 colors out of 1.7 million possibilities. Frans the problem just may be your expectations are greater than and do not match what the capabilities that the utility provides.
You may be right that I expect too much from this utility. Funny thing though is that Proof Colors shows the problem, but the Gamut Warning doesn't warn. Oh well.
Just curious Frans, when using the gamut warning are you actually converting your image to the output color space? This would explain why proof shows the difference but gamut warning doesn't. In other words, if the file is still in Adobe RGB, it most likely is within gamut. But, proofing with paper simulation on would show the problems.
I'm not sure if I totally understand the terminology that you use. So, let me explain what I do. I want to soft-proof my images before I print them and believe that Photoshop can do that AND tell me which areas are oog for my printer. Here are my settings:
- View>Proof Setup: choose my printer setup consisting of:
* Epson 2200 Enhanced Matte paper profile
* unchecked Preserve Color Numbers
* Intent: Relative Colorimetric
* checked Use Black Point Compensation
* Simulate: unchecked Paper White (available) and Ink Black (grayed out)
- View>Proof Colors: toggle to see how colors/tonality will change when printing
- View>Gamut Warning: see what SHOULD BE oog
I would expect that these settings will a) show me how colors/tonality will change when printing the image and b) show me which areas are oog. As I said before, the changes that I see in Proof Colors look to me like oog issues, but are not flagged as such.
Hey Frans, just out of curiosity, are you using the Epson ICC profiles that shipped with the printer driver, or the latest ones from the Epson site? Sorry if it's a dumb question, but both sets show up in my printer profiles options, and it took a while to figure out the difference...
I use the later ones from the Epson website.
I would appreciate it if you could reply to my inputs of December 1 on this subject.