Color balance your prints so they look great on the wall

Getting that amazing shot, color balance
Secrets to getting that amazing shot

Today I want to address a little about color balance when you are printing an image.

I’m not talking about corrections that we make to our photos to make them look more natural. Or corrections that we do to enhance the colors to make them look more pleasing to the eye. Things such as warming the color of an image.

I am talking about color balance and even the brightness and darkness of the print that we will frame and hang on the wall.

No matter how much balancing we do to our monitors they will always look different to the prints that we get printed.


First a computer monitor lights the image from behind. No matter how much balancing we do

When you print your image and put the print on the wall it is reflected light that is hitting the print. This is not to say that monitor balancing is useless. It is actually REALLY important to do, but no matter how good the balance is there will be differences.

Second is the color of the light that is falling on the print whether it be incandescent, fluorescent or LED. Each will make the print look different again.

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Correct carefully – color balance can be your friend

If you are a photographer printing for a client or even giving the print to a friend there is usually no way of knowing what type of light will be striking the print when it is displayed.

So what’s a person to do before they get their image printed?

This is an area that falls in the kiss principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Instead of making the print really yellow to compensate for a possible blue light source. Or making it bluer to compensate for a yellow light source. I always tell people to go right in the middle, make the print look nice in average lighting and don’t go overboard in any of your adjustments.

Don’t try to compensate for what you think is going to be the final lighting conditions. Likewise do not make it too dark or too light.

If you print an image properly then any slight changes with the color or intensity of light will not effect the print seriously in anyway.

For the brightness or darkness of the final image I tell people to go a little lighter than what looks good on your screen. Rooms tend to be on the darker side and a dark print can be hard to see.

If you have any questions about what to do with a image before printing feel free to ask. Printing advice is always free.

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