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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 23 Dec 2017 (Saturday) 09:21
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Prints Out Darker Than On Screen...Help!

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Dec 23, 2017 09:21 |  #1

I have an Epson Artisan 810 and printed my first picture yesterday with my new Red River Premium Matte Paper and while I liked the quality for an at home was a little darker than what was on screen. I used PS CS6 and couldn't figure out how to load the printer profile, which I downloaded from Red River, so I am not sure if that was the problem. I also am using Lightroom CC and will attempt it again today, but any pointers for a printing newb would be great.

Also, is printing recommended using Lightroom or should I be printing via another method?

I'm not planning on selling these, but sometimes I just want 1-5 pictures printed and it's a waste of time and money to have another company do it for me.

Thank you,


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Post edited 7 months ago by lacogada. (2 edits in all)
Dec 23, 2017 09:38 |  #2

Short answer #1 = brighten any photo you plan to print.
Short answer #2 = lower brightness of monitor and re-edit your photos.

Long answer = calibrate monitor, profiles, etc..

To load a printer profile just right click on profile and choose install.
It should now show up in your printer driver.

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Dec 23, 2017 09:53 |  #3

Long answer #2. Soft Proof before printing using the Printer/Paper profile in PS or LR

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Dec 23, 2017 10:20 as a reply to  @ ThreeHounds's post |  #4

Thanks for the help! I think one of the problems was that I didn't load the profile correctly, so I'll try again when I get home.

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Post edited 7 months ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
Dec 23, 2017 12:24 |  #5

How does something like this look on your monitor vs. if you print the same image? It should look good and print good.

http://www.normankoren​.com/Stepchart_large_c​olor2.jpg (external link)

...but it if does not look good on your monitor, this can the the reason why:
Monitors from the factory are adjusted to be too bright...they want it to look good when the store unboxes one for display in a bright store setting!
As a result, when you adjust Brightness in postprocessing you back off the brightness so it is not glaring in your home...which makes the image print darker than you see it.

You need to give me OK to edit your image and repost! Keep POTN alive and well with member support​hp
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Post edited 7 months ago by BigAl007.
Dec 23, 2017 12:26 |  #6

Loading the profile depends on your OS, if it is Win 10 then yes all you need to do is double click on the profile. Alternately you can just copy the file to C:Windows/System32/spo​ol/drivers/color/. Should you need to remove a profile from your system, just remove it from this folder. Removing it can be useful if you want to update a profile for any reason. The lab I use regularly issue new profiles, so being able to remove the old ones is useful, otherwise you do tend to have a job to know which is the correct one you should be using.

Once you have installed the driver in the OS it will be available in Lr. I will usually go to Proof Colours in Lr, and select the profile for the paper. You will probably have to use other to find the printer profile that you need, once you have selected it they usually end up as sticky on the list. I also chose to create proof copy at this time too. The Proof copy will be a normal VC, just with the copy name set to the profile. With the proof copy I will then do the minor edits that will be required for the print, for example setting the crop ratio to match the paper size you are using. You might also want to bring any Out of Gamut colours back into gamut using an appropriate tool.

Once I have the print cropped etc then it's time to move to the Print module. I normally set the printer driver parameters as a first step, with colour management turned off, which varies by brand/model, as the first thing to do. For a third party paper manufacturer I will then set the other driver settings, such as paper type and print quality settings based on the settings recommended by the paper manufacturer. The high end papers such as Red River should have detailed information available for these settings with the colour profile. You also have to set the paper size at this point, since the Print module uses the paper size as set in the driver. If you are going to print to file, and send out to a lab, you will need a print driver that lets you set any required paper size. The print to PDF driver is useful here as it lets you set, and save, any custom paper size you want.

Once I have the driver setup complete then I go ahead and set up my printing settings. I normally only print one image on a sheet, so mostly I just the the Single Image/Contact sheet layout option. Having rotate to fit checked in the Image Settings can be useful, but I not normally have zoom to fit, because I will have cropped to the correct ratio. All that I usually have left is to position the image in the Layout section, using margins, grid, and cell size sliders. I don't usually use any of the other options, so I would then be setting the Print Job options. Since you are printing to a local printer you will chose to print to that, rather than to JPEG. Set the resolution to match the printer, and sharpening to taste. I always select the correct printer profile at this point, although when using a proof copy Lr will override the profile selected here. Just make sure that you don't have printer manages profile.

There is one other tool that is available at this point, Print Adjustment. This has two sliders, one for brightness, the other for contrast. If your images are a consistent amount off, maybe because your screen is too bright or dark for example, you can add a consistent adjustment to brighten or darken the image, or adjust the contrast, so that you don't have to "re-edit" all of your images. My monitor matches my prints pretty well anyway, and because I do the proof copy, I have the option to adjust that to produce a well matching print.

At this point I will normally click the + at the top of the Template Browser section of the left hand toolbar, and save the settings as a new template. That will make it much simpler next time, Lr will even take care of changing the printer driver settings for you if necessary. Lr will also have an option for you to "name the print" it is in the small bar that runs across the top of the image window in the Print module. What this does is create a collection in the Prints collection set, and add the currently selected image/s. Once you have the collection all you need to do is add the new images to the collection.

Well that is how I use the Lr print module, hope it is of some use.



I forgot to add that using paper matching when using proof colours in the Dev module will help in assessing that change between a transmissive monitor display, and the reflective paper display, for both brightness and contrast. In addition the Histogram changes from it's normal percent brightness to absolute 0-255 values, and is based on the chosen profile, and not Lr's version of ProPhotoRGB.

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Post edited 7 months ago by MalVeauX.
Dec 23, 2017 12:42 |  #7


Another simple way is to simply look at your levels/histogram. If there's space on the left & right, then change your level bars so that the histogram is full and that the far right is the brightest point, same with the left side for blacks. If there's space on the left and right, you're missing data and it will look different when printed. I print landscapes and portraits, large prints, without calibration or anything, simply adjusting the levels/histogram range before I output for the final print file. My web JPG looks darker than my print file typically. But, again, I just use the levels/histogram to see where the data is and adjust that for the file I want to print.

Ideally you want to calibrate and everything as others have described.


I recently printed two 16x20's.

Here's the web versions (darker presentation, for viewing on monitors, phones, social media, etc):

IMAGE LINK:​LfA  (external link) DSCF6594 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE LINK:​Pr5  (external link) DSCF6548 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

And I just adjusted the levels/histogram for the print versions to make sure there was no missing data on the left/right sides of the histogram (I keep a lot of latitude in my RAW files, ie, don't clip highlights). No calibration. Prints out as I wanted it. A little brighter than the web versions, but not completely different from how I intended the exposure to look.

Sorry for the cellphone snap, can't see much, but you can see at least compare to an extent at this scale. Printed 16x20 canvases.

please log in to view hosted photos in full size.

Very best,

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Dec 23, 2017 12:45 |  #8

I have a Canon PRO-10... I boost the print brightness on most photos by +10 and on some all the way up to +20.
There are lots of variables of course, some being the colors used, the contrast of the shot and the paper type.

An illuminated screen is much different than a piece of paper.

Make sure you calibrate your monitor and do the on screen soft proofing as mentioned above.

Above all... don't get frustrated. It takes awhile to learn the little tweaks that make prints great. Keep trying!

Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - 18-55 - 23/35/50 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) -​m

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Prints Out Darker Than On Screen...Help!
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