Ah printing, such a challenge and sometimes, just sometimes a simple solution will correct the issue.

First off I wish I'd found this site earlier.It is a great, comprehensive, and concise source of information. - Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow.


Now for what I know from my own experience.

Printing Issues:

There are several area in which to investigate:While this is not a comprehensive list, it does provide a basic checklist of affected areas.

Some basic perspective thoughts on light and how it plays into printing.

As taking a photograph is all about how the light plays on the subject, so light is the major factor in printing through several different manners.

When taking a photograph, we're seeing color as a reflection of light bouncing off the subject, however, when viewing that image on a backlight monitor screen color, is instead, being created and emitted toward us by the power of the brightness setting on the monitor.

Then, when viewing a printed image, we're again seeing how the light is reflected off the subject.

This means that the quantity and quality of light is crucial in the printing process.

This is a great article for overall terminology and definitions: Monitor Calibration and Profile

Monitor Calibration Terminology and general values

Brightness: 60-90 (cd/m2) The intensity of light as emitted or reflected by an object/surface. This is usually expressed in candelas per square meter (cd/m2). It is a measurement of the brightness of an object or light source.

Gamma: 2.2 Most computer display systems, images are encoded with a gamma of about 0.45 and decoded with the reciprocal gamma of 2.2. A notable exception, until the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in September 2009, were Macintosh computers, which encoded with a gamma of 0.55 and decoded with a gamma of 1.8

White Point: D65

CIE Standard Illuminant D65

D65 is color temperature 6504/6500K

D65 "6500K/D65 is commonly used for general purpose and images on the web"

D50-D55 "5000K/D50 and 5500K/D55 are commonly used in CMYK reproduction"

Note: The end of this quote from the link above ( "try D60, D55 or even D50 until you find the best match" Meaning through all this entire process, it is still a general get you in the ballpark calibration. It will get close but further tweaking and experimentation is necessary until things are knocked out of said ballpark.

"For those who really want to get things perfect, the reference setup can be used to determine which white point is most appropriate for your eye and your workspace. Profile your monitor to D65 and compare the screen to the reference print viewed under the reference lighting. If the print appears to be slightly warmer than the monitor, try D60, D55 or even D50 until you find the best match of monitor to print for your system and your working environment."

*D55 Is also used to approximate print paper on screen as it's a warmer color temperature.


Monitor: BenQ SW2700PT IPS LED (Gamut: 98% adobe rgb)
Printer: Canon PIXMA PRO-100
Calibration Hardware: Spyder 5 Express
Calibration Software: Palette Master Element

Process Issue

When I first calibrated the monitor I had no clue about the Brightness, gamma or White point settings and let the software configure all that for me. The prints were immediately dark and over saturated along with the magenta color cast.

After much frustration, believing my monitor is calibrated correctly as the software said it was; I started researching the magenta color cast which lead to articles saying things like: "that's just canon's preference for warmer tones" or "the monitors not calibrated", or "the paper's wrong", etc, etc.

Well in fact the 2nd of those statements was right. The monitor was not calibrated correctly even though the software said and verified it was.

It took me much longer to "see" the issue. Once I finally found the Brightness value (80=100) I saw what the software did. It has a nice little dropdown selection box that said calibrate the monitor for "Photography" so sure I picked that. And until I understood what the Brightness values were I didn't see anything wrong in the Brightness setting of 160! Twice that of the recommended 80!

Because the Brightness was set so high, everything got amped up which leads to oversaturation and heavy handed colors.

This was the basic source of my printing issues. That the Brightness was set to 160 instead of 80.