Photo prints too dark

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Vautrin, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi,

    So I took a beautiful night shot with a deep bright blue sky.

    I had it printed from foto.com and I now have a dark night shot with a very dark blue sky and much dimmer lights.

    Is this normal with discount photo printers? Is there any way I can ensure what I see on the screen is what is going to get printed?

    Recommendations appreciated. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson TPF Noob!

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    calibrate your monitor.


    this requires $$$$, or if you're cheap like me, just adjust your monitor to make the picture on your monitor look like the printed picture, and then re-edit it to look the way you want it, and then get it reprinted.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The first step is making sure that your monitor is calibrated properly....this means getting a calibration device. Once your monitor is calibrated, you can be reasonably sure that what you see on the screen, is representative of your digital image.

    Secondly, yes...sometimes discount photo printers will alter you image. Most likely they have some type of 'auto fix' setting that adjusts the image before it's printed. A good photo lab will have a trained person monitoring the images and making adjustments...but the best way to get what you want, is to work on a calibrated system and tell the lab 'no corrections'.

    To take it a step further, a good lab will let you download their printer profile which you can use to 'Soft Proof' your images in Photoshop. This should give you the best idea of what your prints will look like.

    Also, many labs will just reprint your photos if you ask them to.
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Yep, calibrate your monitor. Are you editing on your laptop? You need to turn your brightness down. You "could" turn it down until it matches your print. Re-edit your photo and do another reprint to see if you are closer, but this is a "work around" "temporary" fix. There are cheaper Calibration software that works pretty good. Check out Spyder products as one of the cheaper offerings.
     
  5. bhphotography

    bhphotography TPF Noob!

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    for accurate prints definately pick up a spyder 3 pro, and then use a quality printer. One other thing you can do is try to get the printer colour profile from your printer, then embed it into the images. If you edit them under the same colour profile as they will be printed your prints will be much more accurate.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Find out about "soft proofing".
     
  7. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    That's the drawback of LCD displays - pictures usually look right on the monitor but prints turn out too dark. I am assuming you use photoshop to tweak the photos? Right out of the camera the prints should be fine.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You won't get prints to match exactly without a controlled environment to view them, however there are several shortcomings.

    Your screen is not calibrated, so how do you know what you're looking at is right.
    Your printer is not calibrated. Ok it probably is, but by calibration you expect the place doing the printing to send you the printing colour profile.
    Finally you're not softproofing. To see how the print would appear you would need to take your calibrated screen and get it to fake the profile of the calibrated printer.

    No that's a drawback of spending thousands of dollars on camera gear but not bothering to spend $150 on a calibration unit for your LCD.
     
  9. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

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    I put it off for years... Yep, that was dumb.... I just did it this past week. HUGE difference!!!!!!
     

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