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Author Topic: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?  (Read 26200 times)

ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2012, 04:03:54 PM »

Then the only thing left to do is to adjust your image until you are happy with the prints.

Why I would have to adjust perfectly exposed photos just because printer is producing too dark results?
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2012, 04:05:32 PM »

It is possible that you are double profiling your photograph. That will usually make a dark print.

How do I check that?
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2012, 04:06:44 PM »

Actually, double color management makes lighter more red/magenta prints. Prints that are dark and green come from no color management...

If my Mode is set to Automatic is that no color management?
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2012, 04:10:28 PM »

Well, in the post above you said: "that is one of very first things I checked so I took series of exposures from 0EV to 1EV and 0EV looked exposed correctly when I checked it on monitor and checked it's histogram. 1EV was looking overexposed both on monitor and histogram wise."

Seems to me you are saying the images look ok on your display but print too dark...

What I have multiple times said is that I compared prints to reality and that print from 0EV shot is much darker than reality.
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2012, 04:11:05 PM »

And I would highly recommend the Camera to Print and Screen videos. You'll save so much heartache printing if you watch these.

Sharon

Thank you, I will definitely watch them.
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Johnny_Boy

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2012, 04:41:33 PM »

I don't think you understand how the camera metering works. Your reality will not match the print photographed by a camera. PERIOD.

You lit the room so bright until you are close to being blinded. Take a picture of the room with the camera, and print it. the room will come out at medium gray color. (much daker than reality)

Try the opposite. You turn off almost all the light in the room until you can barely see anything. Take a picture and print it, and it will come out at medium gray color. (much brighter than reality)

The question you should be asking is, why is my print not matching up my monitor? and not why is my print (or monitor) not matching the reality? It won't. Our camera auto metering is made to auto compensate to render everything "neutral" at 0EV.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 05:10:53 PM by Johnny_Boy »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2012, 05:16:58 PM »

... if the camera's histogram shows correct exposure...

Histograms do not show "correct" exposure.

Farmer

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2012, 05:17:31 PM »

How do you compare the print to the scene?  If you're relying on memory, that's utterly useless :-)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2012, 05:17:54 PM »

Good point, Johnny Boy.

Randy Carone

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2012, 05:36:28 PM »

Zoran,

In order for your prints to come out the way you want them to, you have to adjust them until you like the way the print looks. What am I missing? If a print comes out dark, YOU MUST ADJUST IT AND REPRINT IT UNTIL IT COMES OUT THE WAY YOU WANT. (not yelling - caps for emphasis). The process is called proofing, but you know that and I'm not trying to be glib. If every print came out the way we imagine they will in our minds, there'd be no reason for half the photo forums on the web. :)
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Randy Carone

LenR

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2012, 05:42:08 PM »

Wow.
That's all I have.
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2012, 05:49:41 PM »

I don't think you understand how the camera metering works.

Let's try to stick to the topic. Instead of continuing to make up scenarios that suit the answer ("shot is underexposed") let's take my word that shot is correctly exposed and find out why printer is printing it darker than it should be. Almost everybody is quick to say to me that it must be because I don't know what I am doing, very few try to help.
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2012, 05:54:17 PM »

How do you compare the print to the scene?  If you're relying on memory, that's utterly useless :-)
sigh ... As I said number of times before, 1. by comparing print of the room printer is in again room itself (that's obviously not a memory), and 2. by ending up with prints that look as if shot was done in evening when it was done in broad daylight (yeah, that is from memory but please don't tell me one can mistake Southern California daylight for evening).
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2012, 05:57:23 PM »

In order for your prints to come out the way you want them to, you have to adjust them until you like the way the print looks. What am I missing? If a print comes out dark, YOU MUST ADJUST IT AND REPRINT IT UNTIL IT COMES OUT THE WAY YOU WANT.

What you are missing is that print of middle of Southern California daylight shot should not be coming out of the box looking as if it is evening and needing lots of adjusting.
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2012, 05:58:30 PM »

Wow.
That's all I have.

Anything actually helpful on topic that you have?
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neile

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2012, 05:59:43 PM »

Zoran,

The issue you raise is one that I hear frequently from people doing their own prints. A perfectly exposed image (for whatever definition of "perfectly exposed" you want to use) at capture time is never going to look bright enough when printed. Printed images depend on reflected light to get their brightness. A monitor has blinding light being shoved through the display from behind. The real world has light being emitted directly from the light sources to help illuminate it. Paper doesn't. You *have* to make adjustments to your image before printing to make it look like what you want on paper and to make it match the Real World. That's just how printing works :)

I've got two blog entries that talk about this, one suggesting changing your monitor brightness to help approximate how things will look when printed, and the second on using histograms to get an idea for how far off you'll be. Hopefully you'll find them useful:

http://www.danecreek.com/blog/2010/02/17/monitor-brightness-and-dark-prints.html
http://www.danecreek.com/blog/2010/05/10/monitor-brightness-and-dark-prints-part-2.html

Neil
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neile

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2012, 06:04:51 PM »

I'll add that your comment on the first page of this thread, "Also much darker. Monitor is close enough to matching reality", leads me to believe you are actually seeing expected behaviour when going to print. As mentioned in my previous post, monitors have the benefit of their own light source to display your image, and from the factory monitors almost always set to blinding brightness levels because that looks damn good in stores and results in sales.

That setting makes them pretty darn useless as a tool for previewing how your image will look on paper. Paper is super fun, but sadly can't produce its own light source, and thus is inherently "darker" than what you see in the real world or on screen.

You'll need to make adjustments to your image to make them brighter overall before printing. There's no way around it. And honesetly, one full stop of exposure adjustment prior to printing doesn't seem completely out of line (depending on the paper you're using).

Neil
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2012, 06:06:29 PM »

Good point, Johnny Boy.

It is good point only if one is looking for problem that fits the solution. For this particular problem it is wortrhless.

Considering that almost nobody is willing to think this logically through and quite a few are insisting on random assumptions (I guess I never knew metering across all of my cameras over the years has been consistently severely underexposing) who can point me in direction of "correctly exposed" files I can use for test?
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ZoranC

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2012, 06:17:29 PM »

Zoran,

The issue you raise is one that I hear frequently from people doing their own prints. A perfectly exposed image (for whatever definition of "perfectly exposed" you want to use) at capture time is never going to look bright enough when printed. Printed images depend on reflected light to get their brightness. A monitor has blinding light being shoved through the display from behind. The real world has light being emitted directly from the light sources to help illuminate it. Paper doesn't. You *have* to make adjustments to your image before printing to make it look like what you want on paper and to make it match the Real World. That's just how printing works :)

I've got two blog entries that talk about this, one suggesting changing your monitor brightness to help approximate how things will look when printed, and the second on using histograms to get an idea for how far off you'll be. Hopefully you'll find them useful:

http://www.danecreek.com/blog/2010/02/17/monitor-brightness-and-dark-prints.html
http://www.danecreek.com/blog/2010/05/10/monitor-brightness-and-dark-prints-part-2.html

Neil


Neil thank you for your links but once again I am feeling I am not being heard. In your blog you talk about prints not matching what is displayed on monitor. Let's please stop focusing on monitor for a second and focus on exposure and print.

Do we or don't we agree that if I take a correctly exposed shot of objects against wall, immediately print that shot without any post processing on reasonably white/reflective paper (whatever is the right term, I hope you understand what I am trying to illustrate) and immediately put that print next to those same objects on same wall under same light I should expect that that print look close enough in brightness level to scene instead of being _significantly_ darker?
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neile

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Re: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2012, 06:24:57 PM »

Let's please stop focusing on monitor for a second and focus on exposure and print.

I understand your frustration here, and I believe I commented on this apsect in my second post. Since you indicated earlier in the thread that your monitor is showing a resonable approximation of the Real World, it's reasonable to assume that a difference between your monitor and print is similar to a difference between the real world and your print.

Do we or don't we agree that if I take a correctly exposed shot of objects against wall, immediately print that shot without any post processing on reasonably white/reflective paper (whatever is the right term, I hope you understand what I am trying to illustrate) and immediately put that print next to those same objects on same wall under same light I should expect that that print look close enough in brightness level to scene instead of being _significantly_ darker?

I believe everyone in this thread is saying and agreeing that it will be significantly darker, and significantly could even be as much as one full stop (or more) of exposure adjustment required.

My second blog entry is probably most useful to take a look at and has nothing to do with monitors. Each histogram in that blog entry is from an image that one of my clients insisted was properly exposed and didn't need exposure adjustments prior to printing. In every case they were incorrect, and to make the print be something they were happy with they had to make exposure adjustments (including +1.25 in one situation!) to get a print that matched their expectation.

If I could invite you over to my office for a minute I could show you side-by-side comparisons of this. I have example prints of each of the images mentioned in the blog article printed 2-up on a single sheet of paper, one without the exposure adjustment and one with. It's a shocking difference and really makes the point clear.

You have to adjust your images. That's the joys of printing on paper.

Neil
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