Print problem

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by morfeus80, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. morfeus80

    morfeus80 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everybody,

    I sent to print some of my pictures to a web service that looks really professional. I chose the Endura Kodak paper and the format 20x28cm. They also send me the color profile I could apply to my pictures to print with their printers, but I chose not to do it and I specified this in the print options. Today I have received my pictures, but they have quite different color from those I seen in my display :(

    So I try to apply the color profile they gave me, but in the display they still were different from the prints!

    How can I solve this problem? Must I to calibrate the display with any tool like Spider even if I have a laptop and not an external display?
     
  2. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    You must calibrate your display no matter what.
    I don't know how much of your issue is calibration and how much is color profile but I know that will make a big difference in what you see and get.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Of the images you sent, what color space were they in?

    Did it match the color space the printer requires?

    Most labs want images uploaded in the sRGB color space.

    Most labs will guarantee their images, if the customer lets them color correct the images, which apparently you opted out of.

    As keith foster mentioned, using the labs color profiles they sent you to soft proof before uploading for printing, requires you calibrate your monitor first.
     
  4. morfeus80

    morfeus80 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I sent my images in sRGB, but I didn't let them to correct luminosity and colors... I thought it could change the aspect of my photo I had already set with Photoshop. Isn't it?

    And if I calibrate the monitor, what difference will I see if I send the image in sRGB or with their color profile?
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, you must calibrate your monitor...because if it's not accurate, you have no way of knowing what the actual colors & tones look like.

    Typically, you use a printer's profile for 'soft proofing'. You can set this up in Photoshop. It basically takes the profile and tries to show you want the printed image will look like...it might be different from your 'normal' display image, but that gives you the chance to make changes before you send it for printing.
    Of course, it's completely pointless unless you monitor is calibrated.

    Understanding Soft Proofing
    Datacolor - Global Leader in Color Management Solutions
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok a few things here:

    - If they expect the file in a certain colour profile and you give them a different one then the colours will be off.
    - If they provide a profile to "apply" then query them on what "apply" means. Did they send you this for softproofing (likely) or did they expect the print to come back with that profile (unlikely).
    - To compare a print to the screen you need a calibrated screen and a calibrated print (the latter can be assumed given they sent you a profile).
    - To compare a print to the screen you need calibrated viewing conditions. That means the screen must be set to the correct brightness, tone, contrast ratio, colour temperature, the room must be in the correct brightness and colour temperature (rare), the print must be viewed under controlled lighting usually in a lightbox with a known brightness and colour temperature (even rarer), and most importantly the paper needs to be taken into account too (the easiest workaround that works often enough for photo paper is setting the screen to 6500k when viewing a print in a 5500k lightbox, otherwise the soft proofing profile needs to take into account the colour shift of the paper).

    So is your print slightly different to the screen, or are there glaring colour problems? The former is nearly unavoidable for most amateurs, the latter would indicate a colour profile problem.
     
  7. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    You should, in the short term, let the lab adjust color. I don't know what laptop your using but laptop monitors are known to be a poor choice for color accuracy. There are also a lot of variables involved in the process, the most important being probably the person who calibrates the monitor and printer in the lab. All you can do is hope he or she's not hung over the day your prints go through. Yes, there are still humans involved in the process. A simple cheat to calibrating is to work it backwards. Take the print from the lab and make your monitor look like it. With a laptop monitor, the expensive devices and software may not get you much closer. Another thing you should do if you can is find a lab that will let you visit. Some even have an annual open house. You'll learn more in 10 minutes than you ever thought possible.

    On the other hand if you have a lot of money to throw at the problem, a monitor, and calibration device and software will also help to solve the problem. The list of "acceptable" monitors starts, I think, around $600.00. If this is the route you want to take try to find out what your lab uses and if possible get the same. Shootsmarter.com has a couple of interesting articles on monitors in their archives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  8. techy2009

    techy2009 TPF Noob!

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    @morfeus80: I had the same problem last year when I tried to print my holiday pictures. It was so annoying! But I got my money refunded when I complaint to the printing guys. I think you should do the same.

    On a friend's recommendation, now I print at Photo development, digital photo printing and photo album - Extrafilm
    They print high quality pictures at great price!
     

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