iPhoto: Image differences between books and prints

This document describes the color process differences that may cause a photo ordered as a print to have slight variations from the same photo in a book.

Because of a difference in the printing process used for printing photos and printing books, you may notice slight variations in color, contrast, and glossiness in a picture ordered as both a print and as a picture in a book.

Prints use a three-color process
Prints ordered through iPhoto are printed using a silver halide process. Prints are developed the same way as a traditional photo, except the imaging is done with a laser rather than projected through a negative. All colors, including black, are created with combinations of cyan, magenta, and yellow colorants.

Because of the difference between white on your screen and the white of the paper, prints may appear slightly darker than on screen. Some photos may have slight color variations, including:

  • Black and white prints have a slight pinkish hue.
  • Some whites may have blue undertones.

Books use a four-color printing process
Books ordered through iPhoto are printed using a four-color process similar to traditional book printing. Colors are created with combinations of cyan, magenta and yellow, with black added to enhance contrast. This process differs from the silver halide process described above, and might cause an image printed in a photo book to look different than the same image as a print. 

You are also likely to see color variations between prints you order through iPhoto and those you print using your own color printer, because colorants and processes will vary among different printer models and vendors. 

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