Printing your photos can be a frustrating process. It can also be expensive, what with one print after another eating up photo paper and ink while you make adjustments to the color. It seems that your printer just can't match those amazing colors you're seeing on your screen without over-adjusting your settings one way or another. What's worse is that the settings for one image often won't work for the next.
Before you replace your printer, though, I'm here to tell you that the problems most likely don't start there. Your printer is just the last piece of equipment to process your images and although there are certainly differences in printers, the output is only going to be as good as the input. In other words, if you're getting inconsistent results from a photo printer, chances are good that the color information coming from your computer isn't matching what your monitor is displaying. The solution is to be sure that both your monitor and printer are set to render the colors in your image files correctly.
You see, the monitor is really the weak link in the chain of output devices. That's not because it's incapable of displaying color information correctly, but because there are so many variables, including room lighting, monitor type, monitor age, video card output, personal preference and more. You've set up your monitor to display everything comfortably for you, but because of those variables I just mentioned, what you're seeing may not match what others are seeing or what your printer is faithfully rendering.
The up side is that the solution is simple. Calibrating your monitor is a 5-minute process with the right equipment, and the right equipment is the Spyder5 from Datacolor. Once it's calibrated, you simply take about 3 minutes once a month to keep it tuned up, using the same system.
Now, to complete the process, you need to create a printer profile for your processing and printing software to use. Like all other output devices, each printer is different. You need to tell your software exactly how your printer renders colors on a particular paper. This means using an ICC profile. Don't worry; Datacolor has that covered, too. SpyderPRINT is an incredibly easy and intelligent hardware/software package that lets you create an ICC profile for any printer and paper combination in a matter of minutes.
Check out the short video below to understand how a printer profile, along with monitor calibration can save you hours of frustration, as well as your hard-earned dollars, by ensuring that your prints match what you see on your screen. Be sure to follow the link at the end of the video to see which Spyder package is best for your purposes. (By the way, you can save a lot of money on those packages right now. You're welcome!)