Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't trust your eyes. Don't trust your monitor.

While fixing up a scan of an old photograph for use in a book, I used a graphics program to simply paint some black over various white spots and streaks in the otherwise solid-black background.

Later on, I printed a couple of pages on a color laser printer simply to compare a few different type sizes and fonts.

I was horrified to see that the photo that had looked perfect on my LCD monitor, had dark black blotches against a grayer backround.

It was a scary and valuable lesson, and I'm glad I learned it before the book was printed. Apparently most LCD monitors just don't have the ability to display the full range of colors that can be printed -- or even the colors that can be displayed by an ancient CRT monitor.

I re-did my retouching.


1 comment:

  1. Yup. You don't want to confuse DPI, LPI and PPI. Not to mention the average monitor is displaying at 72 or 96 dpi and at varying numbers of colors. all within different hue/saturation/etc. ranges.

    And then there's the printer specs. I publish through Lightning Source and stick with their specs even if what I see on my Apple Cinema Display looks different. I know that the end product will be slightly darker in saturation, that navy may be almost black and that any touch up I did won't look the same as what I'm looking at once printed from their digital machines.

    My resolution: I keep it simple to meet the base lines of what I know will pass muster else I end up spending extra money on edits.