I am a professional photograpoher and a new photoshop user. Equipt. Mac G4 w/ photoshop 5.5 printing to an Epson Stylus 1200, Mac 17" studio display.

Problem: I have unsucsessfully tried calibrating my monitor to my final print and all that I have read only adds to my confusion.... can anyone give step by step instructions easily understood regarding calibration of all my devices?
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kencamConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The first thing to do is to calibrate/profile your monitor.

Calibration/profiling should be done under your normal lighting conditions.
Those should be: no exterior light (use black out shades if necessary),
interior light should be as close to daylight as possible (Fluorescent Grow
light or daylight bulbs - My TrueValue Hardware store has them)

This can be done from Photoshop 5.5.

1. Help menu, choose Color Management. This will open the Adobe Color
Management Wizard. Click the "Open Adobe Gamma" button.

2. In the "Description field", load the .icm profile that describes your
monitor. If there is no profile for your monitor (probably not) then load
"Adobe Monitor Settings.icm or something else very generic. This will
serve as a neutral starting point.

3. Adjust your monitors "contrast control" to 100% then adjust the
"brightness control" until you can just see a difference between the black
squares and the not so black squares in the top line.

4. Leave the "Phosphor" setting alone unless your monitor documentation
tells you what the setting are.

5. Click OFF "View Single Gamma only". Adjust the RGB sliders as you
squint at the image. If you wear glasses - it helps to take them off for
this. Adjust the sliders until the small interior square appears to merge
into the larger square.

6. White Point - click on the "measure button".
Click on the most neutral looking gray patch. If you pick a patch on the
left or right, that becomes the center patch for the next set of three.
Keep picking patches until the center patch looks the most neutral i.e. no
tint of blue, green or red. When the center patch is best, click on that
patch and move on to the next step.

7. Okay the Adobe Gamma dialog box

8. Re-name the profile. I call mine "kencam.icm". Save as type:
ICC profile.

9. Click on the "next" button in the Adobe Color Management Wizard.

10. From what you wrote, your best choice is the First option: Use Default
Photoshop 5 setting.

You are using low cost/quality printers and scanners. You have just
picked the settings for your situation.

Click on the "Finish" button and then read the information in the dialog box.

Your monitor is now calibrated and profiled. That process should be
repeated monthly or whenever your lighting environment changes.

Now to try to get the monitor to simulate the printer.
1. Check the Color Management settings by clicking on the "File"
menu/Color Settings/RGB Setup.

That setup should indicate your RGB space is sRGB. Do not change the
Gamma, White Point or Primaries settings.

It will also list the "Monitor" profile in use "Adobe Monitor Profile
(creation date)

There should be a check in the "Display Using Monitor Compensation". This
is the little gem that will tweak your monitor to look like your Epson

2. Check the "CMYK setup" (File/Color Management/CMYK Setup)

In the "Profile" area see if there is an Epson profile. If so choose that
one. If not choose the first profile.
"Engine" built in
"Intent" Perceptual (Images)
Check "Black Point Compensation"

3. In the "Profile Setup" Embed profiles should be checked on
"Ask when opening" are the safest settings for the rest

4. Open Flowers.psd from the Samples folder supplied with PS5.5.
There should be no profile mismatch and it should just open.

5. Print a this file to your Epson without making any adjustments i.e. as
a RGB file. Use you normal printing settings. Printer Color Management
should be checked on.

6. When the print is done, put Photoshop in the CMYK preview (Ctrl Y)
Compare the monitor image to the printer image. Are they close?
If not - select the next printer profile in CMYK Setup and compare that.
You don't have to close out. You should see some shift in the monitor
image after you make the CMYK setup change. Keep selecting different
profiles until you find a profile that best represents what you are getting
from your printer.

That's as close as we can go without spending any money. You should see a
improvement between monitor and printer output though it will not be exact.
The monitor is an additive color source using RGB light and the printer is
a subtractive device using CMYK pigments. The print will never match the
monitor for vividness of color though you should now be closer.

some more specific details plz, this would really help anybody who would read your question and try to reply.
The specifics are all there. However its still a difficult question as it delves into the mystical voodoo of color calibration for print. There are entire books written about how to get it all to look right (and they arent small books either). You definitely want to use colorsync but as far as the gradient scales, calibration bars, and such you may have to make a run down to your local bookstore and grab a color calibration for print book. It should (if its any good) provide you with a 50% grey card, a 0%-100% black gradient card, and a standard color card that you will need to calibrate your scanner and compare to your printer output.
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If you mean making the size appearing on your screen match that of the print size, then go Image/Image Size, and check what is says below image size, labelled "Print Size".  Make sure it matches the Image size.  Or, you could go Percent and do 100%, thus making the screen size the same as the print size.
If apagano is using a Mac then his options for color management are vastly greater than Adobe's Color Management. ColorSync is a systemwide management system thats built right into the OS at a system level.

Second, using sRGB as a profile when the output will be a printer (especially on a mac) is bad mojo. sRGB was a profile created by Adobe to attempt to get all monitors to look the same. Unfortunately they used a grossly small color gamut which resulted in a darker screen more conisistant with a PC than a Mac. Since printer output is reduced in color gamut yet again your final output will be bland to say the least. If you really want to calibrate your system accurately you will create a custom monitor profile specifically for your system via the Monitors & Sound control panel. Then you get the full range of colors that your monitor can display.

You have interesting opinions regarding color gamuts for sRGB that are not supported by monitor manufacturers, Adobe, Microsoft, or printer manufacturers such as Epson, Hewlett Packard, and Canon.  

Perhaps you should contact those companies and straighten them out so the entire world would benefit from your vastly better knowledge in these areas than they apparently can find within their own staffs.  

It must be a miracle, considering all the bad things you tell us about my methods, but it works great for me and also for lots of others I help with monitor calibration.  

We all wish we had your background, knowledge and experience to draw on so we could criticize, condemn and complain about help that other folks offer.

Ken, ive been doing this for too many years to to accept as gospel what every company tells me. Just because Adobe says "use sRGB" doesnt mean its a good idea. sRGB is a quick and dirty profile thats best kept to web based uses. That does not mean its good for a Mac user or print based uses.

I gave you the step by step process you were looking for.

You may use a different color space if you are of the same belief as weed, that sRGB is an inferior color space.

However, the step by step instructions seem to be the answer you were seeking.  If it is not, would you be so kind as to explain where it falls short?

apaganoAuthor Commented:
Dear Kencam,

Perhaps my acceptance of your answer did not register ... I accepted your answer regarding calibration and rated it as excellent! It was a great help and I thank you. I will once again hit the acceptance button .

Thank You Apagano
Got it, thanks.  
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