>I'd really appreciate some basic advice on how to get photos to print
>decently at all!  I've shifted to printing from Word, which handles the
>problems and is convenient - still doing all the editing in Gimp.  I have
>what's supposed to be a pretty good printer, the Epson Artisan 800.  Just
>it, and spent more than I wanted because it did seem better than the
>But nothing prints anything like I expect it to.  I have to greatly lighten
>the photos to get it anything like it is on screen, which makes printing an
>expensive process of trial and error.  Irrespective of which kind of paper
>actually using (matte vs. glossy), the colors totally shift depending on
>whether I _tell_ it I'm printing on matte vs. glossy - a total shift from
>to cool colors depending on the setting I use.  Then I'll get something
>printing reasonably on scrap paper and when I do a "good" version on glossy
>will be MUCH darker, lose any detail in the dark areas, etc.  I've already
>out my first set of inks trying to create prints for my first-ever actual
>portfolio, and I've only got around eight that I can use.  
>Is this typical?  I was advised by someone that I had to calibrate either
>monitor or the printer.  I read the info in gimp about that, but I don't
>to have any calibration files (*.icc or *.icm) at all.  I'm considering
>returning the printer and getting a much cheaper one - why have spent so
>if I can't get decent prints anyway?
>Reading about the fine points to which you all seem to be able to refine
>printing, I'm envious.  What am I missing?
>This may be the wrong forum for these questions - if anyone knows of
>I'll be glad to be referred there!
I am far from an expert, and have only used the XP calibrating tool to
attempt to calibrate my monitor (hardly a definitive tool), so my prints never
match my monitor exactly, but they are certainly more than acceptable to view.
 Faces still look like faces, grass like grass, etc.  If your prints are that
bad, there must certainly be some disconnect between your Gimp settings and
the printer's settings.  Perhaps you have both Gimp and the printer set to
make adjustments to the final print (not certain, frankly, if Gimp's printer
interface includes the option to select/deselect software/printer control.  I
don't think my problems were ever as bad as what you describe, but I did go
through something similar trying to get acceptable skin tones in some of my
portraits.  One thing I tried along the way was to download what I consider to
be a minimalist viewer to use strictly for printing.  The application that I
used was Irfanview - it's free, and you can open and print from it without
worrying that it will try to auto-correct your photos.  I don't know if you
are running Linux or Windows, and I believe it to be a Windows only program -
not certain.

. . . but there are probably Linux viewers that will print without
automatically trying to correct or adjust the images.  You might want to try

I am certain that calibration would improve the accuracy of my colors, but,
unless you are doing work where that high degree of accuracy is necessary, I'm
not certain it's all that critical.  Leaves should be green, sky should be
blue, the exact hue of both is best left to you, LOL.

Good luck in sorting out your problems.

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