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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #1
mids1999
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Default Why do my images print dark?

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

Last edited by mids1999 : 25th of October 2008 (Sat) at 16:21.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #2
PeteJaffa
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

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.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

You might need for them to turn off Image Intelligence since you do your own corrections.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #4
mids1999
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Quote:
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.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

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.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

If you don't request for images to be printed without auto corrections/enhancements 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/enhancements. To proof colors you need to get Walmart's ICC printer profile.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #7
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

You're working in Adobe RGB. I think you need to convert to sRGB before sending to Walmart.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #8
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

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.
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Old 25th of October 2008 (Sat)   #9
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcogger View Post
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.
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #10
mids1999
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Where can I get an icc profile for Walmart?
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mids1999 View Post
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.
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #12
mids1999
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

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

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.

Last edited by mids1999 : 26th of October 2008 (Sun) at 08:31.
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Thats a hint to find another printer, someone who does know what a profile is.
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

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!
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Old 26th of October 2008 (Sun)   #15
René Damkot
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Default Re: Why do my images print dark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mids1999 View Post
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.
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