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Black & White (off color prints)

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  • Black & White (off color prints)

    Is having problems with black & white a color problem? Mine seem to be coming out with a slight greenish cast.

  • #2
    Are you talking about when printed, or the way they appear on your screen?

    Have you tried desaturating or switching to grayscale?


    • #3
      Black & white Posted wrong thread?

      Black & white
      I scanned a picture in color then desat or worked on it and then desat. I called the inkjet man and he said if something was wrong with the ink it would be bluish which someone else said it was (I was seeing green) and when I do my printer test prints they come out ok -the colors and black are just fine. The picture looks fine in the photoshop screen but when I print there is something wrong. The depth of the black is missing. The pics look lighter like they were faded out a bit, especially like black and blue. Surface wash fuzzy, I don't really know how to describe it. I have been attempting levels which I never used to do, do you suppose I've been messing the pics wrong, that they just look better on screen when I change levels vs. I used to use Brightness and Contrast all the time?


      • #4

        Apologies - I think I started a new thread with that black and white title but I just copied and pasted it above so it was in the correct thread I hope.


        • #5
          Well, this is going to take some advice from someone more printer savvy than I am.

          I don't do home printers, mainly for that exact reason. I dislike the way they look no matter what I do to them. I always have my stuff printed at a lab.


          • #6
            What brand of printer? What colorspace are you viewing in? Have you calibrated your monitor? Are you using the correct ICC profile for your printer/paper combination? Have you checked your printer preferences to see if there's something selected that shouldn't be?
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning


            • #7
              Black & white wash

              Apologizes for errors and ineptness - usually try to find what I can before I ask. Can answer one question – HP 920C…CTX monitor. I tried HP site for calibrating info thinking that will give me a clue as to the black & white picture problem and ended up emailing them as I don’t do well when it doesn’t search according to my brain pattern. I have PS7 now and have been on the ‘help’ section trying to understand calibration and ICC and all that good stuff. It’s all new and almost greek to me. I have scanned (UMAX Astra 2200) a different photo – a color photo to see why the pic looks so washed and found that my monitor is showing things up so dark that when I use Brightness/Contrast I am losing the depth. Also, the color is coming out a little deeper blue than the original. So onscreen darker, print bluer/little darker unless lightened than it's washed. Lightened/Contrast = washed. Both of my B/W’s were coming out badly. Never had that problem before. Even set the printer to best copy and the PS print instructions to best. I am really a novice as I don’t recognize the word colorspace yet. The printer has a couple folders – features and advanced. I usually don’t change anything except best, paper info, etc. there doesn’t appear to be any named preferences folder.

              Just did another color copy (because I can see the differences easier) and it appears to be the bright/contrast is the biggest effect – so it’s showing up too dark on the monitor causing me to try to lighten too much. So I need to learn to calibrate?

              I do prints to get some idea how they are printing out (and also to keep some type of portfolio going) and then take to the lab or else for one place I am required to do a print and then they transfer it to photo paper/ink.


              • #8
                Black color callibration

                Unfortunately this was one I needed to figure out myself. It's very difficult to be down this long but - that's life. Anyway, I went to - a site that has free color calibration aids as do Adobe. Maybe not the best and I probably would do better with a program considering my novice-hood. Anyway, I copied the info and printed it off just fine. So that leaves the scanner. Brilliant deduction you know who. Thanks for trying - I hope that site at least helps someone else if they don't already have it. Unless the Monitor is more in tune with html stuff and doesn't convert it to so dark of an image? My brain is really fried on this one.


                • #9
                  Generally, if you walk through the Adobe Gamma wizard, set your colorspace to Adobe1998, use the manufacturer's ICC profile, and specify at the time of printing the quality desired and the paper you're using, you'll get satisfactory results.
                  Learn by teaching
                  Take responsibility for learning


                  • #10
                    Print color cast - green

                    I went (almost) nuts a couple months back trying to understand / solve this SAME problem.

                    Went through all the hoops:
                    * Tried scanning in images using different scanner software settings
                    * Monitor calibration (Adobe gamma)
                    * New print cartridges (B & color)
                    * Reinstall PS
                    * Different paper
                    * Profile combination

                    Nothing seemed to work.

                    Posted question on numerous PS bulletin boards, searched,, sent e-mail to HP support (and actually got a response). Lots of well-intended advice, none of which helped solve the problem.

                    The best I ever came up as to "why" some grayscale prints came out a little greenish is that just about all inkjet printers have at least some difficulty generating all shades of gray... has to do with the (in)ability to mix the right amounts of CMYK ink to generate the corresponding shade.

                    The cast will be more (or less) apparent depending on amount of paper coverage (a large area vs. very small) and/or adjacent (real) colors or shades of gray. (The eyes play tricks on what they really see vs. how the brain interprets the information.) Under the right circumstances if the 'not so accurate shades' happen to be present in your grayscale image, the result will be the annoying color cast.

                    Dunno if this is an HP specific issue (never found any hits indicating HP was the only series with this problem), but I have an older HP832C Deskjet.

                    Had a flash... maybe if I 'subtract' some 'green,' it will solve the problem.

                    Started messing around with the Color Balance adjustment layer. Doing so resulted in a better understanding (for me) of the RGB / CMY color relationship and color correction (in general).

                    The Workaround
                    Before printing a grayscale image, I now create a new Color Balance adjustment layer (top layer)... and set the Magenta/Green slider to about -5 for shadows; about the same amount for midtones.

                    This adjustment sometimes causes the image to (then) look a little dark-violet-ish on the monitor, but at print time the printer adds a little more magenta which has the effect of negating the greenish cast.

                    Scientific it ain't. Works for me -- it does.



                    • #11
                      Black/white color wash

                      Thanks for your consideration. I don't know how this happened. I didn't have this situation until just recently. Never messed with levels before the scans started coming in so dark. Also installed multimedia card reader that we set to Adobe RGB 1998 and I set the Color Settings to same now. I found the Adobe Gamma Wizard and will see what I can do with that. It sure is a puzzlement and the depth of what can be tried is amazing. Seems to be true of all in life, the more you learn the more you find out you don't know. Tip of the iceburg principle.


                      • #12
                        Hi Gail,

                        I wonder if you have checked out Ian Lyons site. He has some great advice on calibrating your system. I used to get an awful cast on my black and whites before following his advice.

                        This is just a link to the may have to surf it a little to find what you need.



                        • #13
                          Fix B/W pic

                          Thanks for the link Sharon, it's a super one (but I couldn't find what you recommended) - not in tutorials nor the other main one it looked like it would've been in. Perhaps I didn't go deep enough.
                          Tried a variation I think of DannyR’s good suggestion: turned the pic to RGB, then made a transparent layer and filled it with pure magenta red. Dragged it over the pic and set the opacity to 10. I think now I will merge those two layers and do it sepia as the pinkish cast does stop the green but it is still not the crisp grayscale I'm used to. And, it’s an old pic so they may just be happier with it. Thanks a bunch, I shall continue in the quest of ‘what is wrong with this computer?’
                          Appreciate everyone's suggestions.


                          • #14

                            Interesting twist.

                            I'm curious. I'll probably learn something by your response to the following: Tell me what you see as the advantages of (or reasons for) using a separate layer, filled w/color, lower opacity and merge vs. using an adjustment layer.

                            Is it because you ultimately have to generate, say, a flattened CMYK image in .TIF or the like?


                            I was surfing the net a little while ago looking for possible solutions is missed or which have been posted since my hunt several months ago.

                            Here's a discussion that looks interesting...

                            The "low on [but not out of] magenta ink" possibility caught my eye. In my case I replaced my color cart, so I don't think that was my problem, but... ?

                            Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-05-2002, 05:33 AM.


                            • #15

                              You may have seen this on Ian's site and it might not be what you are looking for, but I'll post it in case it helps you or someone else. This is a pdf about Photoshop 7 and color management.

                              You might also check yahoo for user groups that concern your printer. I lurk on the Epson user newsgroup and also the Digital Black and White group.

                              Wish I could be more help.