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Why do my images print dark?

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Thread started 25 Oct 2008 (Saturday) 16:19   
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mids1999
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My pictures keep coming back from being printed darker then they appear in photoshop.

I am using photoshop cs3, spyder3elite, calibrated dell 2408wfp monitor, and printing at my local Walmart.

Is it something in my work flow, calibration settings, a monitor issue, photoshop settings, or Walmart that is causing the difference?

Work flow:
Open image in Adobe Camera Raw and make needed exposure and color changes.
In photoshop I crop the image to the needed size and add a little unsharp mask.
I then I save as the photo as a jpg with the icc box checked.
Then upload to Walmart

Monitor calibration:
Display type LCD
Display Dell 2408WFP(Digital)-1
Gamba 2.2
White point 5800k
Luminance mode measured
Black luminance .30
White luninance 125

Photoshop settings:
Device to simulate sRGB IEC-61966-2.1
Preserve RGB numbers checked

Post #1, Oct 25, 2008 16:19:19


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PeteJaffa
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I don't have a great answer but recently I was using Photobox for some prints, really dark so I blamed myself until I used TruPrint (who I hadn't used in a few years) prints came back perfect.

Something to think about maybe.

Post #2, Oct 25, 2008 16:24:27


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Tixeon
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You might need for them to turn off Image Intelligence since you do your own corrections.

Post #3, Oct 25, 2008 16:56:40


Tim
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mids1999
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turn off Image Intelligence

Didn't know they did that to the photos.
Could be a major contributor to the problem.
I will have the image reprinted with this feature turned off.

Post #4, Oct 25, 2008 17:07:25 as a reply to Tixeon's post 10 minutes earlier.


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Tixeon
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I should have said that I have this done at Sam's Club so I think that WalMart might be able to do so too.

Post #5, Oct 25, 2008 17:36:05


Tim
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Bob_A
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If you don't request for images to be printed without auto corrections/enhancemen​ts they will often come back much differenct than expected.

You may also want to "Proof Colors" in CS3 since some labs give results that are a bit off what you will see on your calibrated monitor even when you have asked for the images to be printed without auto corrections/enhancemen​ts. To proof colors you need to get Walmart's ICC printer profile.

Post #6, Oct 25, 2008 17:51:58


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Bodog
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You're working in Adobe RGB. I think you need to convert to sRGB before sending to Walmart.

Post #7, Oct 25, 2008 18:35:18 as a reply to Bob_A's post 43 minutes earlier.


JimE
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gcogger
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One of the most common reasons for dark prints is that your monitor is brighter than any print will be under normal lighting.

Imagine you are displaying pure white on your monitor. Now think of how a sheet of white paper will look under normal indoor lighting. Which is brighter? For most people, the monitor will be much brighter, and therefore the images on your monitor will be brighter than they will on a print.

You could try to reduce the luminence that you are calibrating to (currently 125 cd/m2). I have my monitor calibrated to 100 cd/m2 and it is still brighter than prints, unless they are viewed in bright daylight.

Post #8, Oct 25, 2008 18:44:26


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Wilt
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gcogger wrote in post #6560412external link
One of the most common reasons for dark prints is that your monitor is brighter than any print will be under normal lighting.

Imagine you are displaying pure white on your monitor. Now think of how a sheet of white paper will look under normal indoor lighting. Which is brighter? For most people, the monitor will be much brighter, and therefore the images on your monitor will be brighter than they will on a print..

Exactly!

Go to dpreview.com and pick any of the dSLR reviews. At the bottom of page 1 of all reviews, they have a grayscale step wedge. Adjust your monitor to be able to distinguish as many of the levels as possible, and you will have the fundamental brightness of your monitor set to where you can look at any of the evaluation photos properly. Now that level will also be the level at which you should be able to get prints back without radical difference in brightness between what you see on the screen and on the print.

Post #9, Oct 25, 2008 18:55:27


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mids1999
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Where can I get an icc profile for Walmart?

Post #10, Oct 26, 2008 01:36:59


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Woolburr
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mids1999 wrote in post #6562184external link
Where can I get an icc profile for Walmart?

You have to contact the actual store that is doing the printing...they don't all have the same model of printer.

Post #11, Oct 26, 2008 02:34:23


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mids1999
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Oh thats too bad that I have to ask them for a profile because talked to the people running the photo dept at my local walmart about a color profile and they had no idea what a color profile is :rolleyes:

I was hoping that maybe if I found out the printer they were using that there was some way to get my display into the ballpark.

Post #12, Oct 26, 2008 08:28:05 as a reply to Woolburr's post 5 hours earlier.


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Lowner
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Thats a hint to find another printer, someone who does know what a profile is.

Post #13, Oct 26, 2008 09:04:15 as a reply to mids1999's post 36 minutes earlier.


Richard

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Jeaucl
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yeah all the pictures I get developed at Wal-Mart are terrible, I won't use their service again, unless I am in a real pickle, stinks because they are the only quick gig in town that I know of, hmmm maybe our pharmacy does them, have to check into that!

Post #14, Oct 26, 2008 09:17:12


Jeremy C.

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René ­ Damkot
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mids1999 wrote in post #6559858external link
Photoshop settings:
Device to simulate sRGB IEC-61966-2.1
Preserve RGB numbers checked

Why (and where) are you setting these?
If softproofing: You're doing it wrong. *don't* set "preserve RGB numbers".

Have a read in the link from my sig.

Also: If prints are consistently too dark, and everything else is right, you might want to turn the brightness of the display down a bit further.... (Might be difficult on an LCD). My CRT is at 100 Cd/m^2.

Post #15, Oct 26, 2008 11:08:44


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