Ive been involved in the study of color management since March of this year endeavoring to improve my image output through better equipment and understanding of operation. Ive visited several forums and read a lot of posts dealing with the subject. However, I cant seem to produce a profile that exceeds the canned profiles that Epson and Ilford offer with their products (with one exception).
I purchased i1 Photo in late March and begun printing targets and building profiles. The first profile I made for Ilford Classic Pearl indicated that it was bad. The Epson papers that I profiled didnt offer any better results than what was provided with the printer. I profiled Epson HWM, Premium Lustre, and Premium Glossy photo papers.
The i1 proved to be defective and I had to return it over the summer. The lamp was bad and needed to be recalibrated. I had high hopes of getting the unit back and thought that the rectified problem would help me to produce better profiles. Thats not exactly so, however. I did create one better profile for Ilford Classic Pearlby mistake. I followed all the prescribed instructions that appear in Bruce Frasers Real World Color Management, Andrew Rodneys Color Management for Photographers, Dry Creeks specifications, and lots of other advice from forum posts and reads. The mistake I made on the Pearl was in the Photoshop CS2 Print with Preview window. In the Options> Color Handling section of the dialog box, I selected Let Printer Determine Colors instead of No Color Management. That step is contray to all instructions I’ve read. That profile has proven to be the best that Ive created with the i1 to date.
Ive been holding off on purchasing some Ilford Classic Gloss paper because Im not sure I want to fail attempting to create a better profile for another media type. Ive pretty much determined that Im sticking with Classic Pearl for anything I want to look real good printed on my Epson 1280. I would like to have a gloss paper for output requiring fine detail and I have read that Ilford Classic gloss is a good choice.
I really am discouraged that Ive spent a lot of dough on equipment that doesnt seem to be helping me. Ive killed so many trees and used so much ink printing test targets that Ive become a target of environmentalists.
If anyone responds to this post, let me say this: I have tried the 3-4 second pause on the white at the ends of scanning each row of the test target. Ive used the 918 patch target exclusively until someone suggested using the 288 patch target for the heavyweight matte paper and fine art papers. When Ive utilized both of these strategies, I still havent produced a better profile than what came with the original installation disk with the Epson 1280.
The bottom line is that Ive very frustrated that I cant seem to make any gain by following the direction that my studies have pointed me in. The more I look for answers, the more overwhelmed I seem to become when results show no improvement. I guess the reason Im preparing this lengthy dissertation is because Im hoping some expert will spot something in my report that I might be doing wrong. I sure hope so. These days, its even difficult to get a response to some of my posts.