The Revenge Of sRGB

Brief follow-up to yesterdays cheap printing post. You laugh at my rube-ish use of sRGB output and typical consumer printing workflow by letting the printer just have it's way with my precious lovingly nudged around color.

Well laugh all you want but the image at the top looks great in person. Even an OOC shot of the print much magnified looks pretty good. In fact I would bet those of you without a shit load of experience in judging color gamut would probably find that the consumer sRGB workflow that I use all the time on my cheap proof/working printer would yield results that you find more in line with what the images look like on your screen.

How is this so??? Well sRGB happens to be the lingua de franca of on-screen color for the monitors that most of you happen to use. What you see even uncalibrated is pretty darn close to sRGB on most recent and decent stuff. Heck the Apple devices sure are. I think I explained this a while ago a completely different way. Guess what… so are consumer (and even pro) printers. The little aging iP4200 happens to use the sorta pro ink (ColorLife100 or some such thing) it just happens to be tiny.

Want a real shocker? Well the print at the top happens to be that simple, thoughtless, printer managed, sRGB output on get this… $4 (a very big box) Avery plain paper 4x6 post cards. No shit. Do they have the nuance and texture of Hahnemuhle Torchon? Of course not. Is the color more in line with what is actually visible on my 27" calibrated iMac that is translating my ProPhotoRGB images into it's really close to but slightly skewed sRGB color space??? Absolutely.

Consumer tech and how well it works for unsophisticated applications is pretty damn refined. It usually is. Why not take advantage of it. Do you think I am going to go through the pain of breaking out the color profile gear to profile $4/box matte cards that are likely to be slightly different next time? Would the results be shockingly better? No and no.

Just wanted to give you some context as to my surprise that that last batch of Walmart cheapy photo paper was so very bad with the Canon ink. Almost unexplainable, never happened to me before.


Ps. That image you keep seeing pop up over the last week happens to be one of the test images that I am using to evaluate my Aperture 3 preset packages to come… It has an amazing variety of mixed color temperatures in it. Very useful for validating what happens in the real world no matter what color charts you based your presets on.

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