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10. Print Quality Questions Answered – Part 1

Print Quality.  sRGB vs Adobe RGB.  Calibration. So many issues related to these topics are huge for photographers.  And readers posed excellent questions last week for Drew Hendrix of Red River Paper

Drew is going to explain all the issues over multiple posts.

The first questions are from Rob, who uses a tablet laptop for editing images and is concerned about the changing brightness or darkness of his monitor depending on the angle at which he views it.  Rob sends all his photos out to print, and wants to know which angle is best for viewing a screen.

Drew answers:

This question gets to the heart of why it is difficult to properly calibrate a laptop or tablet PC monitor. Obviously, LCD screens appear to change brightness and contrast when viewed at different angles.  Unfortunately, for a monitor to be color and brightness calibrated, you need to view it at the same angle at all times.  There is no certain proper angle to use when looking at a monitor.  It just needs to be the same angle each time you work on the computer.

The best workaround is to set up some way of viewing the monitor at the same angle each time you sit in front of it. Try and work at the same location if possible and put something (like a book or small box) that stops the screen from going beyond a certain point.  This graphic illustrates what I have in mind:

print quality, screen calibration, laptop monitors

Rob’s next question:  I am looking for a fine arts type paper that will make my “Orton Effect” photos and other sorts of ethereal landscapes look more like a painting that a photo.   That is, not a bright shiny surface, but a softer matte, perhaps with some texture.

Drew says:

Matte photo paper is probably best for that effect.  Matte paper is defined as having a non-reflective smooth surface.  One example is Red River’s 60lb. Polar Matte.  You can also order matte paper that has been texturized.  Examples are 60lb. River Linen and 60lb. Paper Canvas products.

It is always best to experiment with different types of paper to see what works for you.  That is why good paper companies will offer sample kits for that purpose.

Stay tuned for Drew’s help regarding sRBG vs. Adobe RGB, and why so many of us (me included!) are plagued by prints that are too dark.

3 Comments

  1. Deann
    Posted on February 25, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Another solution to the monitor angle issue is to purchase an external monitor that is not a TN panel to use for photo editing. TN panels are inexpensive to manufacture, and are the most common LCD screens for computers. I use an IPS panel (from Dell’s business site) for photo editing and it is amazing to use, and much less frustrating. Non TN panels can get kinda expensive, but this one was under $300 on sale.

  2. Ro
    Posted on March 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for the response, it is very helpful. A good external monitor makes a lot of sense.

  3. Cynthia
    Posted on March 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Thank you!! Love these tips.

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