How to prepare for best colour
Colour management is the process that ensures the colours of your images remain accurate from the camera or scanner, to the screen and on to paper. Our software and print workflow is completely colour managed so you’ll always get great colour reproduction but if you invest a lot of time into editing and post producing your photographs and you want perfect colour, you can try some of the processes listed below.
The colour space is the range of colours (gamut) that can be captured by your camera, mobile or other capture device when taking a photo. The sRGB colour space is most common for consumer cameras, and for displaying images on screen, but it doesn't have the greatest range of colours. Adobe RGB (1998) is preferred by photography professionals and photo book printers like us, as it captures a wider range of colours and will provide more definition and detail when your photos are printed. Our software will automatically convert your images to Adobe RGB (1998) during the Export process but you can set it up on all your capture devices too.
Just like televisions, every computer monitor can be set to a different brightness. The brighter you set your monitor, the brighter you will expect your photo. To ensure that the colour you see on your screen is the same as the colour you’ll get in print, you can calibrate your monitor by adjusting it to an industry standard so that you will see your photos exactly the same way that we do. There are professionals who can do this for you, or you can buy a small calibration device for about $200 so you can do it yourself. We suggest you calibrate every month for the best results. Make sure you enable Monitor Profile settings so the software displays images accurately.
If you're sitting under bright fluorescent globes or sunlight is streaming onto your monitor, your screen will appear dimmer, and vice-versa. Likewise, when you view your finished book. If you view it under a fluoro light, the pages will appear bluer than if you view them under incandescent lights. A good test is to look at the pages in direct sunlight.
If you choose not to calibrate your monitor try these simple steps to improve your display. Look at the sequences of grey patches above. On a monitor with good brightness and contrast you should be able to see the subtle difference in tone between patches A and B. If A and B, and possibly even C all look the same then your monitor is too dark which means your printed book may look lighter than you expect.
Similarly, if you can’t see the difference between N, O and P then your screen is too light and your printed pages may look darker in comparison. It’s a simple test and not very scientific, but it’s a helpful guide.
Momento’s printer uses the Adobe RGB (1998) colour space, so if you’d like to optimise your photos for printing you can embed the Adobe RGB (1998) profile when saving your image files. If you don’t actively set a colour space for your photos, the Momento software will automatically convert them to Adobe RGB (1998) during the export process (without touching your original files). See below for instructions on how to identify and edit the colour space of a photo.
Softproofing is a process that professional photographers use to ensure the colour they're seeing on screen is exactly the colour they will see in their printed photo. The computer monitor must be calibrated and the ICC profiles for the paper that the photo will be printed on must be installed, ready for selection in Photoshop. ICC profiles are specific to the paper and printer, so there are different profiles for 6x4" photographic prints produced by a photo lab, for wall prints printed on a home printer, and for every paper option we have available for our photo book prints. You do not need to use ICC profiles to receive a great print from us but if you would like us to send you our ICC profiles please email email@example.com.