In my travels about the Internet and its forums for Photoshop and Elements users, one of the most common complaints I hear is that prints do not match what people see on their monitors. This complaint can range anywhere from prints seeming desaturated, to seeming a little tinted (green, red, blue), to seeming too light or dark, or just being flat out awful as a combination of these problems.
It looks like this on screen...
...but it ends up looking like this in print
There could be nothing more disappointing than these results to a photographer. In every case, the solution is found in how these photographers manage (or mismanage) color.
Managing color sounds scary, but if you know what to do, it becomes fairly simple in practice. You need to consider 4 things:
- You need to calibrate your monitor so you see things correctly on screen and create an ICC profile (all easier than it sounds). I use a ColorVision Spyder.
- You need to set up Photoshop / Elements color management to handle color display and profiling.
- You need to test your process to be sure your workflow performs as you expect, and make corrections if it doesn't.
- You should also consider how your camera is handling color. Such options as choosing white-balance, color space, and even file type can affect your color options.
For almost anyone it is best to get some help with your color setup, because you can literially spend weeks, months and years figuring color management out...meanwhile losing opportunities to shoot and print more images with the kind of predictable results you want. Once you have the idea inder your belt, you can move on knowing what to expect leaving your color worries behind.