Today I am continung the colour management saga...
Getting a custom profile done for your printer using a particular paper allows you to get consistent colour results in your work. Unfortunately each profile only relates to one sort of paper and not necessarily even all the papers in the range. The profile I had done is for Hahnemuehle Photo Rag but will apply to some other papers in the Hahnemuehle range which have the same coating.
The major benefit of having a profile is that as long as your monitor is calibrated, it allows you to do so-called "soft proofs". This is a function in Photoshop (View>Proof Setup>Custom) which allows you to select the profile for your printer with the paper and to see on screen, with a high degree of accuracy, how your image will look when printed out. If you have a few different profiles for different papers, you can test which one you prefer. Even if you only have the one paper (like me at this stage) you can see what the print will look like without wasting expensive paper, and even edit it in the soft proof state. You do of course have to have a properly calibrated monitor for this to work (see here).
I should mention at this stage that almost all I've learnt about this has been through a Melbourne company, Image Science. Their website is well-written and thorough but understandable. The owner Jeremy is really knowledgable and helpful, and the support service he provides (to help dummies like me get their profile working properly!) is terrific! I'd also like to say that from what I've seen their prices are excellent!
So...in order to have a profile done, you download this image below:
It is provided with no colour profile and the next task is to print it on your desired paper.
Below is a photo of my print out. Remember, the colours you are viewing won't be exactly the same as me, because of differences between our monitors. Also, the camera I used has a colour profile of its own, and that will have impacted on the image!! Still, you should be able to see there is a significant difference between the colours as downloaded and as printed.
I posted this print-out off to Jeremy in Melbourne on a Friday morning and somehow he managed to email me my custom profile on Monday afternoon! Normally I wouldn't have expected mail from Brisbane to Melbourne to even arrive till Tuesday, so the turn around was brilliant.
Installing the profile is not hard, but I did have a bit more difficulty using it. You just have to be very particular about getting the settings right, but as I mentioned Jeremy very patiently helped me through this, and now I can say I am extremely happy with the results!
This is the soft proof using my new profile, and I am finding this relates extremely well to the printed image. So... at last....on to the fun part - my artist books...