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Author Topic: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor  (Read 13744 times)

PhilipWatkins

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Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:04:29 AM »

I'm hoping someone might be able to help with my prints coming out too dark.  I'm not sure whether it might be a problem with my monitor calibration or with the printing process.

I am running Windows Vista and have calibrated my monitor using i1 Match 3.  I acquired the full version from the Australia distributor who sold me the Lite version (which as I understand deals with colour but not luminosity) and they got me to upgrade it to the full version through i1 Diagnostics (which covers the luminosity issues) but this piece of software doesn't appear to provide a definitive message that you are running the full version (though it produces no error messages).   

I've been through the process in Photoshop making the picture look like it want it on my monitor.

I have then followed all the steps in LuLa "From Camera to Print 2008" in setting up Photoshop and printer and in soft proofing it first.

I am printing on Moab Somerset Rag, using the ICC profile from Moab (for my workload, profiling the printer seems too much) on an Epson 3800, but the bottom line is that prints coming are much darker than those on the screen.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on how I might go about isolating the problem.
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francois

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 07:39:43 AM »

Philip,
Quick question... Have you read Andrew Rodney's article Why are my prints too dark?
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Francois

Simon Garrett

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 07:40:42 AM »

How bright is your monitor?  If it's calibrated to more than about 100-120cm/m2 that may be the reason. 

See:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/colour_management/prints_too_dark.html
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml
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PhilipWatkins

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 07:55:13 AM »

Philip,
Quick question... Have you read Andrew Rodney's article Why are my prints too dark?

No I haven't - thanks I'll read it.
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PhilipWatkins

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 07:55:44 AM »

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digitaldog

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 10:34:04 AM »

No I haven't - thanks I'll read it.

That's your first job! Then adjust the calibration and come back with more questions if necessary.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/

PhilipWatkins

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 08:05:42 AM »

OK - I've had a chance to review the articles, and I've played about with the i1 on my monitor (I think I was adding to my woes by using the "easy" calibration rather than the advanced").  But I'm still not sure I am doing it right.  I printed one of the test prints http://www.digitaldog.net/files/Printer_Test_file.jpg.zip from the Andrew Rodney article (which I'm guessing is you).  Now the interesting thing here is that bottom right image with the hand and four balls has a background that is almost black on the print (to my eye - I am almost totally colour blind which isn't helping matters).  I've recalibrated the monitor with i3 Match 3 at 120cd/m2 and achieve 104 - the background behind the hand in Photoshop is still very bright.  I then set my monitor brightness down to 0 out of 100.  I went through the calibration process again with a target of only 80cd/m2.  I measure the ambient light 4400K.  The actual achieved is only 19.2cd/m2.  Pretty dark ?  Well I switch back to Photoshop and the background on same picture is still much brighter on the screen than on the print !

Any ideas where I should look next ?
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Czornyj

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 08:10:10 AM »

Turn the lights on?

opgr

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 08:34:29 AM »

Well I switch back to Photoshop and the background on same picture is still much brighter on the screen than on the print !

Any ideas where I should look next ?

Was Photoshop active all that time? Or did you actually restart the application? Does the monitor profile preferences show your new profile as the current profile?
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Oscar Rysdyk
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digitaldog

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 10:04:09 AM »

You can (should be able) to raise the print viewing conditions!
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 04:40:08 PM »

Quote
Now the interesting thing here is that bottom right image with the hand and four balls has a background that is almost black on the print...

I'm looking at the same target on my i1Match calibrated 21" Dell and I can tell you even my Epson NX330 "All In One" printer without any special ICC profile (Let Printer Manage Color) on glossy paper will not make that 33RGB background black viewed under any light conditions.

Make a square shaped selection on the target in the area in question in Photoshop and fill it with absolute 0,0,0RGB black and see if it is distinguishable on the print from the rest of the background. If it's not, then that Moab ICC profile isn't doing a very good job in the shadow regions or you could have a setting wrong or off.

You shouldn't have to be working in the dark calibrating your display to 80 cd/m2. Check out the "Room Lighting" thread and see my setup.
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PhilipWatkins

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 02:41:26 AM »

Thanks for all the replies.  

Went through all the configurations again and found that I had restarted Photoshop (never overlook the obvious) - reapplying the Moab profile brings the background back to looking more sensible (a much more distinct gradation of tone).  It is still dark but I think I need to sort out the lighting conditions in this room as the next step, pretty clearly it is way too dark.
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RHPS

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 05:24:26 AM »

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PIsaacs

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 10:46:57 AM »

Question relating to this thread:

I have a Dell U2410 monitor where the brightness can only be reduced to about 120c, as measured with a new Colormunki. My prints are too dark. I can get the display darker by using the brightness slider to "-40" on my Radeon 6670 series video card. Is this ok or will it otherwise mess up my profiling/print accuracy?
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Stefan Wood

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 03:05:33 PM »

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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2012, 05:29:20 PM »

Check this out -- a real head slapper, once I saw it.

http://kelbytv.com/lightroomkillertips/2012/04/19/soft-proofing-and-print-brightness-in-lightroom-4/
Maybe we should take up a collection and buy poor Matt a copy of Michael and Jeff's 'From Camera to Print and Screen.'  But then Matt would have to begin to calibrate his monitor!
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digitaldog

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2012, 05:42:49 PM »

I'd like Matt to explain the physics where having a display that is 'too bright' makes his prints 'too dark'.

I guess I don't have that USB cable that he uses that runs from display to printer <g>.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/

francois

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 05:48:10 AM »

…I guess I don't have that USB cable that he uses that runs from display to printer <g>.

You need a Thunderbolt cable!

 ;)
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Francois

Czornyj

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 06:28:26 AM »

I guess I don't have that USB cable that he uses that runs from display to printer <g>.

I guess he doesn't really use the printer.
Who needs a freakin' print after all? The real life is out there - in the internet.

Simon Garrett

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Re: Prints coming out much darker than on the monitor
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 06:46:32 AM »

The real life is out there - in the internet.
::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
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