Color Shift in Prints


Hey Everyone,

An odd thing seems to be happening with my printing and I’m wondering if anyone else has seen it. I’ve been making some tests with the blender tool and noticed that after about a week or so the prints shift dramatically warmer in color. I’ve attached a picture of a side by side. The one on the right is a fresh print and the one on the left is the same file, same curve, same printer, same paper, same storage conditions, from about 2 weeks ago.

Any thoughts?





What paper? Matte or Glossy? One thing I discovered back when I started with Piezography Pro is that the inks can take MUCH longer to fully dry compared to OEM inks. My practice is to use a hand-held hair dryer on a new print for about 20-30 seconds after it comes off the printer, then let it lay exposed to air for at least 24-hours before doing any density measurements or trying to judge print color or overall brightness. Humidity level in the air also affects print drying time. Has humidity changed in your storage environment over the last few weeks?



The paper is Canson Rag Photographique 310. To my knowledge conditions haven’t changed much in my office where the prints are. The strange thing is the print seemed to remain pretty stable for several days. I was away from my office for a long weekend and when I came back I looked at the prints and thought “wow, I don’t remember them being so warm” so I made a fresh one to compare and discovered the shift.



I haven’t seen a shift like this (such a drastic one) but I have seen it change a bit over a period of 5 or 6 days on CRAG in particular. Something with the titanium white in the paper base I think . . . for example, c-rag has always color-reacted with K7 neutral as well (particularly in the shadows which go blue/cool and settle over a period of about 5 days) . . .

Please keep us informed on the status of the second proof print (5/10). I’m very interested in it’s status.

I’m printing dry-down patches Monday for measurement every 24 hrs.




Interesting. I actually just printed a QTR calibration patch set at 80% (approximately same ink limit as the prints above) that I plan on measuring every day as well. I’m interested to see if any one particular ink is more susceptible to shift than another. I also printed a second that I will keep in a closed box in a different location to see if there is any environmental impact that is happening in my office.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated.




I just realized I had an old 256 step target I printed on 4/17 and measured on 4/18. I measured the same target today. There is definitely a significant shift. I’ve attached the two measurement files for reference. The linearization actually improved, but colors shifted warm.

Meaured-After-24-hrs.txt (7.48 KB)

Measured-After-24-days.txt (7.48 KB)


Hi Everyone -

Wanted to give a little update regarding the color shift I saw in my prints. I’ve been collecting data and, long story short, it appears to be environmental. I took one calibration patch set and put it in a box and brought it offsite. Another identical patch set was printed and left open in my working area. The patch set that was left in my working area shifted much more then the boxed offsite patch set. I’m currently testing to see if it was the lights in my work area (fluorescent office lights) or something in the air. I have the boxed patch set currently in my working area where some air can get to it, but still covered to not allow light. I’ll see how that shifts over time and report back. If anyone wants any data, I’m happy to share. The proof print that was printed later has also visually shifted to match the earlier print.



Are you near a sulfur source? Closed windows, hepa filters etc?

I have seen this type of thing (environmental) with rag papers when I was in south side Chicago.



Wow, this has now got me concerned. I also use the CRP paper but haven’t noticed this kind of hue shift. Thanks for the update. If this paper is especially affected by some environmental thing then I would sure like to know it. I am now tempted to run some of my own controlled tests using CRP and maybe a few other matte papers as well.

I’m curious if your CRP is from an older batch prior to Canson being taken over by FILA, or a more recent batch. Based on some comments I’ve read on another forum, I believe there has also been a fairly recent “recalibration” of CRP by Canson/FILA in response to feedback they were getting regarding noticeable DMAX changes in the paper after they initially took over Canson. So it would be useful to know if your paper is pre-FILA, right after the FILA acquisition, or very recently obtained.

Keep us posted.



I have not noticed shift in my tests either (nor on tests of about 50 or 60 clients in the past year FYI). We are in very non-polluted area though (upstate vermont).





Good point about the paper stock Dave. It quite an old box that I’ve had around for years. Although, if it was the paper itself, I would expect to find a similar shift in the offsite test. I’ll try a new pack just to be sure.

Walker, my office is unfortunately in a terrible building. I’m in the basement so there are no windows, the HVAC is awful, and we have had a recurring hydrogen sulfide issue from problems with the outside septic lines. Oh the joys of Brooklyn… When you were in Chicago, did you find the color shift only with rag papers or others as well?

I’ll keep you updated to see how the offsite test now fairs with being in the office.



When you were in Chicago, did you find the color shift only with rag papers or others as well?

I was near the last coal fired power plant in a major city. I had hepa filters inside but if a client left a roll in their car with their windows cracked they would see yellowing of the paper (and sometimes discoloration of the printed part as well) within a week or so. This was with early Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. Canson Rag was changed about 3-4 years ago due to a similar problem (confirmed to me by Philipe who is the R&D guy for Canson). This caused a lack of dMax but more stability in the paper surface related to how it handles sulfur. That said, sulfur is no good for rag surface papers regardless of their rated archival nature. It changes their PH and ink absorbtion.





Hey All,

Wanted to follow up on this thread after some further testing. Long story short here is what I did: printed two 10 ink step images in calibration mode in QTR on 5 paper stocks. One print was taken offsite to my apartment, one stayed onsite in my studio/office. Each print was measured 1 day after being printed and then 8 days after being printed. The papers tested were Canson Rag Photo (old), Canson Rag Photo (new), Innova Photo Cotton Rag, Epson Hot Press Natural, and Hahnemuhle Bamboo. I was primarily testing for stability of paper and ink over time in varying environments, but also looked at dmax and paper brightness and neutrality data. I should note measurements were based on D50 lighting conditions. The results:

Most Stable: Epson Hot Press Natural - this paper, both on and offsite didn’t shift more than 1 L, A, or B value over the 8 days.

Best Dmax: Innova Photo Cotton Rag - L value of 12.28 recorded, but both Innova and Epson hovered around L of 12.5.

Brightest and Most Neutral: Canson Rag Photo (old) - Paper base values: L: 97.88 A: 0.32 B: 0.43

Not sure if any of this information is useful to anyone else, but it is pushing me towards switching to hot press natural for my go to matte paper. I’m happy to share the full dataset for anyone interested.



I think you hit the world record with 12.28. I’ve gotten down to 12.45 as the darkest so far.


Also, HPNat is one of my favorite all times. I wish I could find the actual paper manufacturer/mill of this.






12.28 could also easily be a measurement fluke. Other measurements were in the 12.3 - 12.45 range - regardless a good performer for sure.

Do you know if the 16mil roll version of hot press natural is the same as the 17mil sheet version?



Do you know if the 16mil roll version of hot press natural is the same as the 17mil sheet version?

To tell you the truth I do not know.