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Printed image much darker than on screen

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:26 PM
RCraig RCraig is offline
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Printed image much darker than on screen

Perhaps I can ask another question, will start a new thread as it is a different question although related to the questions I was asking yesterday.

I have an image that I have been working on, and learning a LOT as I have been working. I am working in Photoshop. The image looks pretty good when I view it on my screen (MAC Retina Display), either as a .psd or a jpeg.

Image looks terrible when I print it out. Very dark especially the shadows. I had put a very very light cooling photo filter on it (only 1%), but the blue seems too strong to me on the print out. The printout looks lousy if I allow Photoshop to do color management or if I allow the Printer to do color management. Just much darker than what I see onscreen.

I watched a video about this, so I calibrated my monitor. There is an advanced calibrating, perhaps that would help. However, I cannot figure out what it is asking me to do.

So, my question is, is there anything I can do to make a better print out. Thanks for any suggestions that anyone might have.

Ruth
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:00 PM
Scatterbrained Scatterbrained is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

What did you use to calibrate your monitor? You can't calibrate it by eye, it won't be accurate, and some cheap calibration devices are just that, cheap.
Also, if your prints are too dark, it's likely because your screen is too bright.
Most consumer monitors by default tend to be a bit cool and bright.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:21 PM
RCraig RCraig is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

Thanks for responding to my question.
I am on a Mac Book Pro Retina Display. The video I watched explained that you go to System Preferences, Displays, Color, then It says

Display profile:
and I choose Color LCD Calibrated (the default), and then hit the button that says "Calibrate'

I tried reading about ColorSync, profiles, etc. These have me quite confused. THanks again, Ruth
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:15 PM
Scatterbrained Scatterbrained is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

You're going to need an actual calibration tool (colorimeter). Something like the Colormunki, i1DisplayPro, or Spyder.....
http://www.amazon.com/Xrite-CMUNDIS-...te+calibration

http://www.amazon.com/Xrite-EODIS3-i...te+calibration

http://www.amazon.com/Datacolor-Spyd...te+calibration

The software will walk you through the appropriate steps to calibrate your monitor.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:08 AM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scatterbrained View Post
You're going to need an actual calibration tool (colorimeter). Something like the Colormunki, i1DisplayPro, or Spyder.....
http://www.amazon.com/Xrite-CMUNDIS-...te+calibration

http://www.amazon.com/Xrite-EODIS3-i...te+calibration

http://www.amazon.com/Datacolor-Spyd...te+calibration

The software will walk you through the appropriate steps to calibrate your monitor.
+1. This is a very common complaint and I would suggest most if not all users go through this when first starting printing. Read this article for some excellent advice
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...too_dark.shtml
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:43 AM
RCraig RCraig is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

Thank you both for your suggestions, I will get to work on this! Ruth
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:49 PM
RCraig RCraig is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

Ok, I read the article you kindly suggested. I am realizing that I didn't properly explain my issue. The image I am working on will be sent to someone else, who is putting together about 10-15 images from different people + text. I have already seen the document being put together, I just have to send my image so that the person can include it as well.
I don't want to send an image that looks terrible. If I look at the image on my screen, it looks fine. However, when I print the image out on my printer, it looks terrible, too dark in exactly the wrong places. Therefore, I fear that when I send this image, it may look terrible when it is inserted in the final document.

So I am not a professional and I don't really want to pay a lot of money for calibration for this one image. For comparison, I printed out some other images on my printer. While they may print out a bit darker than they look on the screen, the print-outs look fine.

If anyone has any further suggestions for me, they would be very welcome. For some reason, this particular image looks fine on the screen, I am just worried as to what it will look like when I email it to others. Thanks again, Ruth
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 AM
Matilda Matilda is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

This has happened to me as well, my monitor is calibrated, however, as I out source my images for printing I don't need a high end printer and only use my printer occasionally for proofing or to get a feel for the image when printed, I have the Epson photo R800. It can be so out sometimes!!

I don't know why this happens, just before I file transfer my images I will do a rough check of the rgb values and send it of, they always come back just as I viewed them on screen, the lab I use is a pro lab and makes no changes to the images.

I know there is quite an education about the calibration of monitors and printers. As well as the different different papers.

Can I suggest you out source the image to a couple of different labs and ask them to make no changes at all and if they come back similar to what you are printing then you know that it is your monitor. When you out source make sure you have the same colour profile as the lab e.g. Adobe RGB (1998)

Just a thought have you ever put in cheap inks in your printer?
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2013, 07:23 AM
RCraig RCraig is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

Good idea, I will try printing on different printers to see whether it is just my printer. Thanks, Ruth
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:01 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Printed image much darker than on screen

People have asked this for years. The thing is, if either the lighting or display changes, you've lost that match. Think of a white wall illuminated with a red flashlight. It no longer really looks white. The ideal would be to have lighting of a similar temperature to the display conditions, as it would make matching them easier. As it is, make sure your viewing environment is at least consistent. Turn your display backlight down until you can achieve a match. Calibrate/profile at that level. The thing is, the calibration assistant thing is really terrible. It often does more harm than good. I'd start with the stock profile, which is kind of similar to an sRGB gamma with the higher red gamma. Anyway start there, lower brightness until you can get an appropriate match. If colors are too far apart, buy an i1 display pro or spyder4 or borrow one. Some of the older colorimeters cause weird results with LED backlighting.
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