Dec 19, 2005

Bill Atkinson updates free profile, profile target downloads

Source: Rob
Written By Rob Galbraith

Nature photographer and fine-art printer Bill Atkinson – better known to early computer geeks as one of the creators of the Macintosh computer – has updated his collection of free profiles for newer Epson wide format printers. Over the past several weeks, Atkinson has been assembling on his web site profiles for use with the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 and three different paper stocks: Epson’s Premium Luster (250), Premium Semimatte (250) and Premium Glossy (250).

Like previous profiles the photographer has released to the photographic community, they’re generated using printer targets of his own design. This time out, however, Atkinson has taken the measurement data from a custom 4096-patch RGB target and generated 48 separate profiles for Premium Luster and Premium Semimatte, and 32 for Premium Glossy. Each profile is comprised of a particular combination of settings for Print Quality (1440 or 2880 dpi), Color Density (0 or +5), bidirectional printing (on/off) and, most significantly, gamut mapping for the perceptual rendering intent (eight different mappings in all).

The different gamut mappings, says Atkinson, provide for a “bouquet” of profile options for users of these printers. That’s because Photoshop’s on-screen proofing mode can preview the effects of each gamut mapping when the profile is selected in Proof Setup along with Perceptual as the rendering intent, thereby enabling the selection of the optimum gamut mapping for the photo at hand. Unlike relative colorimetric, the other commonly-used rendering intent when printing photos, makers of profile generation software have a fair bit of latitude in how their perceptual algorithms map colours during a conversion. This becomes apparent when soft-proofing the eight different options for each printer driver combo Atkinson has generated profiles for: image contrast and colour vividness changes quite dramatically in some cases, and these differences carry through to the print.

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