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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Black & White (off color prints)

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  #11  
Old 07-04-2002, 10:43 AM
gbdurfee gbdurfee is offline
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Black/white color wash

Thanks for your consideration. I don't know how this happened. I didn't have this situation until just recently. Never messed with levels before the scans started coming in so dark. Also installed multimedia card reader that we set to Adobe RGB 1998 and I set the Color Settings to same now. I found the Adobe Gamma Wizard and will see what I can do with that. It sure is a puzzlement and the depth of what can be tried is amazing. Seems to be true of all in life, the more you learn the more you find out you don't know. Tip of the iceburg principle.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2002, 11:16 PM
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Sharon Brunson Sharon Brunson is offline
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Hi Gail,

I wonder if you have checked out Ian Lyons site. He has some great advice on calibrating your system. I used to get an awful cast on my black and whites before following his advice.

This is just a link to the site...you may have to surf it a little to find what you need.

http://www.computer-darkroom.co.uk/

Sharon
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2002, 12:32 AM
gbdurfee gbdurfee is offline
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Fix B/W pic

Thanks for the link Sharon, it's a super one (but I couldn't find what you recommended) - not in tutorials nor the other main one it looked like it would've been in. Perhaps I didn't go deep enough.
Tried a variation I think of DannyR’s good suggestion: turned the pic to RGB, then made a transparent layer and filled it with pure magenta red. Dragged it over the pic and set the opacity to 10. I think now I will merge those two layers and do it sepia as the pinkish cast does stop the green but it is still not the crisp grayscale I'm used to. And, it’s an old pic so they may just be happier with it. Thanks a bunch, I shall continue in the quest of ‘what is wrong with this computer?’
Appreciate everyone's suggestions.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2002, 05:55 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Gail...

Interesting twist.

I'm curious. I'll probably learn something by your response to the following: Tell me what you see as the advantages of (or reasons for) using a separate layer, filled w/color, lower opacity and merge vs. using an adjustment layer.

Is it because you ultimately have to generate, say, a flattened CMYK image in .TIF or the like?

-----------------

I was surfing the net a little while ago looking for possible solutions is missed or which have been posted since my hunt several months ago.

Here's a discussion that looks interesting...
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=000gsC

The "low on [but not out of] magenta ink" possibility caught my eye. In my case I replaced my color cart, so I don't think that was my problem, but... ?

~DannyR~

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-05-2002 at 06:33 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2002, 09:15 AM
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Sharon Brunson Sharon Brunson is offline
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Gail,

You may have seen this on Ian's site and it might not be what you are looking for, but I'll post it in case it helps you or someone else. This is a pdf about Photoshop 7 and color management.

http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.lyons.../ps7colour.pdf

You might also check yahoo for user groups that concern your printer. I lurk on the Epson user newsgroup and also the Digital Black and White group.

Wish I could be more help.

Sharon
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2002, 01:27 AM
gbdurfee gbdurfee is offline
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B/W vs. color

Sharon: You already have been a big help. DannyR: The reason I did what I did is because I don’t know how to do what you did. I have PS7 and an HP920C injet printer that I assumed didn’t have anything to do with CMYK– I have never converted anything to CMYK (only used it in the lab to print out to the instructors special printer). I did try converting the B/W to RGB but didn’t know what to do after that. I don’t think or will my printer print out something in CMYK? My biggest issue is that this is happening to begin with. The program nor whatever has never ever done this before. I thought maybe it was just that I had scanned and adjusted and then it was funny, but I redid a scan after I ‘thought’ I did the Adobe callibration correctly as at least they weren’t looking as dark causing me to fade them out with the lightening of bright/contrast…but no. I thought maybe because I originally scanned the B/W in color mode and then desaturated and did other things that that caused the problem…but no. I can’t think of anything else but a better calibration method. I am lost. Unless different batches of ink cause the problem you say about not doing grayscale right. So, I went and got a new cartridge…but no. I believe I shouldn’t have to put the magneta over it. But, if I do then I’ll have to try to learn your method. I know you spelled it out, but what do you convert the B/W to, to be able to do whatever it is you do? My basic concept of ink is fuzzy to say the least. So, how do you make a Color Balance adjustment layer. Not to mention that the way I made the layer was the only was I knew to make a layer. And, how do you co-ordinate a B/W layer with the color adjustment layer? I know there has to be some color in B/W and vice versa – but I don’t know enough to know where to begin in even asking what you did. The file sizes are so dif that I had to make them dif sizes to be able to lay the color over the B/W. The title of a song (I also was a music major) ‘Over my hear’ comes to mind. I will look up the sites you and Sharon offered. Tomorrow is another day. Thanks for your patience.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2002, 02:07 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Gail:

Glad we’re having this electronic discussion! Not to worry about all the RGB / CMYK / Color Balance stuff. It’s all a matter of terminology. And thanks for bearing with me... We'll make some progress a little at a time.

If it's any comfort I’m just as baffled as you as to “Why all of a sudden, with no apparent changes to anything, am I getting this goofy cast and why can't I fix it?”

Like you I’d love to understand why, but until then, this workaround allows me to move on. Someday maybe one of us will stumble on the tidbit that turns on the big lightbulb.

Since I was unable to figure out how to “fix” or “undo” whatever I may have done to cause the problem nor find anybody else who could help me, what I ended up doing was treating the symptoms, without finding a cause (or a cure).

As to "Where does CMYK come in? I'm printing a Grayscale image"...

Your ink-jet printer cartridge(s) contains cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) ink. Even when you’re printing an image that’s in IMAGE > MODE > RGB or IMAGE > MODE > Grayscale, the image information needs to be translated to the proper combination of CMY & K inks by the printer.

The greenish cast = your printer is getting instructions to use a little too much of whatever CMYK combination that generates green...even if the image looks perfectly BW on the monitor. We don't know why, but that's more-or-less what's happening.

So, back to the workaround… Think of this as a way of compensating for "too much green."

I don’t have PS7 installed on my machine, but I’ve used it a couple times and remember at the bottom of the layers palette are some icons. One, when clicked, will insert an adjustment layer of your choice.

Hold your cursor over the icons and in a few seconds the ‘mouseover text’ will appear so you can identify which icon does what. After clicking the adjustment layer icon, select a “Color Balance” adjustment layer. Note: This AL needs to be the TOP layer in the layer stack.

When the color balance adjustment layer dialog box comes up, notice at the bottom the in the TONE BALANCE area the options of highlights, midtones, shadows. Click shadows. (Be sure PRESERVE LUMINOSITY is checked ‘on’.)

In addition you’ll see three sliders: Cyan/Red, Magenta/Green, Yellow/Blue. Slide the Magenta/Green slider to the left (about –5 ought to do it) which in effect tells PS to to “remove” a litte green, which is what you want.

Then click the “midtones” choice at the bottom of the dialog and repeat the above adjustment. Click OK and you’re done.

When you print your image now, you should see a considerable reduction in the green cast. You may have to tweek the Color Balance adjustments a bit, but once you find settings that work for one image, I’ve found the same settings work for all BW images.

Give this a go and see if this helps.

ALSO: If you've never cleaned the contacts in your printer before, here's another possibility you can eliminate. If, by some chance, the contacts are "dirty," it might prevent proper ink application. Slim chance this is the problem, but maybe.

How to do it:
* Get some rubbing alcohol and a couple q-tips
* Remove your print cartridges
* Put "a little" rubbing alcohol on the q-tip and clean the electrical contacts in the slots where the carts go.
* Check the carts themselves; clean the contacts if necessary.
* Wait 5-10 minutes so things can air-dry.
* Reinstall the carts and realign them as usual.

Onward and upward.

Danny
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2002, 05:54 PM
gbdurfee gbdurfee is offline
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B/W & Color

Thanks again so much Danny for sticking with me. I hope the following ‘insight’ does help others in the future check all basics first. I did take some electronics classes and computer maintenance and repair and pretty much have built my own computers. The first thing they teach you is that if something isn’t working to check to make sure it’s plugged in – Troubleshooting 101. Well, I am very glad to have the knowledge I gathered out of this experience – learning to re-callibrate my monitor (which it did need) and to work better with layers. After 3 different black cartridges and wasted photo paper (not to mention days) a co-worker said Printers always somehow turn out nice test sheets. So, I was printing out a print screen of a Word Document and it also came out greenish. I said what is going on. I went and got the brand new black cartridge and never thought to get a color one. Got batches from a guy at a computer show and then ordered more over the phone. Well, they must all be bad. I went today and purchased a new color one and the green is GONE. Am I embarrassed or what.

It wasn’t til that Word Doc that I started thinking something was wrong with the color ink. The ink guy had told me to clean with the alcohol thing, which I had learned in the maintenance class. But anyway, I am feeling pretty unbalanced to not have tried getting a new color cart . I wasn’t applying any of the print shop or whatever info I’m sure I learned somewhere along the way – that it does take color to make black (I knew it needed black to make color) I suppose I could blame it on the stress of the deadline I was working under. Well, I couldn’t figure out what you were doing –because when I tried to make a layer where you said, it didn’t work,. So, I panicked and did what I did.

Now that the worst is over I went back to try your method - the color balance is grayed out for grayscale layer adjustment. I was so rattled before I wasn’t even over the correct layer button – it said ‘create new fill or adjustment layer’ but there is no layer option there, it’s just the other tools (color balance, etc.). The button next to the adjustment layer one is the ‘create new layer’ one (so close yet so far away). Anyhow, the orig. was scanned color so I opened that and then I get the new layer and color balance choice, etc(from the adjustment layer button). Then I turned the grayscale to color and did what you did and it worked fine. Much better than a layer of one specific color. The class I took had us use RGB – is there any reason I should consider changing a mode to CMYK – I have both options? I was under the impression that that was for a specific kind of printer that takes different cartridges. You were probably just using that as an example of what the colors do?

I wish I had more time to learn all these things. Keeping things going mechanically and program-wise is much more than I anticipated. I’m making my own little book, as it’s too easy to forget something you haven’t used very often. Well, I won’t forget THIS lesson, but just in case, I am keeping a record. I am attaching the job b4 & aft – you were very inspirational in my not stopping until this riddle was solved. It’s frustrating to have to admit such a silly error, but it’s one of those basics that one needs to ask 1st from now on – is it plugged in? Onward ever, backward never. . . .a similar saying to yours, a group of people I knew used to say all the time. Anyway, one can hope to always go forward. Abraham Lincoln never gave up, Alexander Bell never gave up, Oliver Twiddlebee – who’s he? You see, you don’t know because he gave up.

I’m dancing as fast as I can.
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2002, 06:38 PM
gbdurfee gbdurfee is offline
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P.S.

My co-worker said we did change the color cart. 1st. We did so much it's all fuzzy. So, that's pretty much the whole story.
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2002, 07:10 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Congrats!

Glad you got around your problem. Through this episode you no doubt have learned a LOT. From a purely logical perspective, who'd a thunk that replacing your "color" cart would fix your BW problem?

The cause, then, appears to have been a magenta ink tank what was getting low, which was 'overpowered' by ink combination that generated the green.

- - - - - - -

My workaround - You uncovered an important qualifier that I neglected to mention.

If you're in Grayscale (no color) mode, a "color balance" adjustment layer won't be available (will be grayed out) because there's no color to balance. This mode is (literally) colorless. Sorry about that.

I normally do all "Grayscale work" in RGB mode... Why?: Because not all of Photoshop's filters and many 3rd party plug-ins don't work in Grayscale mode.

On occasion I'll "apply some color" to a BW image for a little drama, so the image has to be in one of the color modes.

I apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer at the top of the layer stack and set the Saturation slider to -100 (= no color) which achieves the BW effect + allows use of all filters and plugins.

If your image only has one or just a couple layers, applying the desaturate command to each achieves the same effect. Looks BW, but you can use all filters & plugins.

I was just on autopilot when I forgot to mention this important detail. Sorry to have flustered you further -- like you really needed that.Heavy sigh.

So, your problem is solved. Mine still persists, but that's OK. We're both smarter for having plowed through this.

My compliments on your perseverence, Gail.

Onward & upward.

~DannyR~
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