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Author Topic: Print Image a little darker than on screen  (Read 10824 times)
svaughan
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« on: February 16, 2006, 06:23:17 AM »
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I am using Photoshop CS to edit my prints. I use the Adobe RGB 1998 as my work space, and I have calibrated my monitor using the Eye One Display meter.

When I am done with my contrast adjustments, sharpening and ready to print, my print comes out slightly darker than on my screen.

I am using some of the standard printer profiles printing on premium epson paper, and have even used a custom made on my brother had, as he has the same printer. On the web you can get some nice printer profiles for the Epson.

Any suggestions how to correct this darkness difference?
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 07:40:54 AM »
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I am using Photoshop CS to edit my prints. I use the Adobe RGB 1998 as my work space, and I have calibrated my monitor using the Eye One Display meter.

When I am done with my contrast adjustments, sharpening and ready to print, my print comes out slightly darker than on my screen.

I am using some of the standard printer profiles printing on premium epson paper, and have even used a custom made on my brother had, as he has the same printer. On the web you can get some nice printer profiles for the Epson.

Any suggestions how to correct this darkness difference?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Didi you set your display brightness to ~120cd/m2 when you calibrated your monitor?
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Francois
Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 08:16:49 AM »
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Assuming everything is OK in your workflow, and callibration the next step is to consider the viewing conditions.  You need to make sure you're viewing the print in good light - I use a 50watt solux, but there are viewing stands that can get quite expensive.  

Finally, you will never get the exact same feel from a print vs screen due to the inherent difference between transmitted and reflected light.
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 09:03:50 AM »
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I think another thing that'll throw ya is room brightness vs monitor brightness. Given that your prints are darker than the monitor, your room could be too dark for your monitor's brightness setting.

Since you have the EyeOne, check that the brightness of your working conditions are in the suggested range. If your room illumination is too low and you can't change that, then re-profile using a lower monitor brightness target.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 11:45:28 AM »
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I second Dale's comment.  I always thought my prints were slightly-to-somewhat darker than the monitor, until I happened to carry one into a room lit more brightly and uniformly, and then things matched much better.  Check a print under different lighting conditions and see if it's still "too dark".

Lisa

P.S.  To clarify, my comment is sort of the "flip side" of Dale's.  Either the monitor or the print can look "wrong" when the lighting conditions under which they're viewed are not very well controlled and consistent with your profiles etc.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2006, 03:41:42 PM by nniko » Logged

Leigh
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 06:51:18 PM »
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"Most" Monitor Profile "setups" have the monitor's Contrast set to the highest level, and the Brightness set to a "lower", adjustable level.      Make a print-- then adjust the monitor's Brightness level to match the print--- ie-- if your prints are too dark--lower the brightness of the monitor accordingly.     If you get it right, the next attempt should match the brightness of the monitor.

Leigh
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2006, 07:04:27 PM »
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IME, most ost of the time when the prints come off the printer darker than what shows on a profiled monitor, it is a result of double-profiling with the printer's print driver.  To avoid this, you have to be sure ALL color management is turned off in the print driver -- and this setting does not always hold and often must be turned off for every new printing session.  

Once you have confirmed that, then make sure you are applying the proper paper profile in your printing program and make sure your rendering intent is either perceptual or relative colorimetric (unless you have good reason to use absolute colorimetric).
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2006, 07:50:09 PM »
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At the risk of stating the obvious, all prints will look darker in poor light. If your monitor is calibrated to a D65 standard (daylight), then the print should be viewed in daylight, or simulated daylight. The difficulty of comparing print output to monitor is usually greater in the evening with artificial light. For this reason, all my light bulbs are of the energy saving 'daylight' type. Sometimes, depending on brand, D65 is actually specified on the back of the package. I have one such light directly above my monitor.

However, this issue in general has broader ramifications. We spend a lot of time fussing over monitor calibration, trying to get a perfect match, but often have little control over the final viewing conditions of the print. This is analogous to spending a lot of money on a pair of very accurate loudspeakers, then placing them in a room with indifferent, average or even poor acoustics.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2006, 08:01:31 PM »
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Jack, the point about the printer settings holding properly is a well-known and unresolved issue with Mac O/S, but not with Windows XP (for a change!) - so one would need to know which O/x svaughan is using to know whether this may be the problem - but the more general point about competitive management is correct - and deadly.

We also don't know what kind of monitor is being used - how old it is, CRT or LCD. If it is an older CRT, it could be starting to fade, so the same colour numbers would look "brighter" (actually more feint) on the monitor than they should appear in print. If the monitor calibration package is a good one and it is being used properly, it should not be necessary to intervene after the fact and adjust the brightness. The brightness of the monitor should be adjusted as part of the calibration, e.g. as it works with ColorEyes Display.

I agree with Tim Gray and Ray about the illumination conditions. I use a ceiling track of Solux 50 Watt bulbs to illuminate my work-space for print viewing. Makes a big difference even how the print is positioned or tilted under the light (with matte papers anyhow).

Something that can be elusive unless one has the habit - it is important to make one's final luminsity adjustments with Soft Proof active. Soft proof, if properly set-up, should come very close to replicating on screen the effect of seeing the relevant paper as if viewed by reflected light. If svaughan is adjusting his prints without soft proof, they will appear bright enough, when in fact they are not for the paper being used. He would only know this in advance by activating Soft Proof, whereupon most of the time the image darkens on the monitor, inciting the user to brightem it - and bingo, a brighter print emerges from the printer.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2006, 08:49:33 PM »
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Something that can be elusive unless one has the habit - it is important to make one's final luminsity adjustments with Soft Proof active.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58437\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Absolutely! When I first went to the trouble and expense of calibrating my monitor, I thought for a while the print was supposed to match the appearance on the monitor outside of proof setup conditions. With the 7600 and the Bill Atkinson profiles, this is clearly not the case. Proof setup and 'simulate paper white' dulls the image to a significant degree requiring me to add more 'pop' before printing.

I'd probably be considered very sloppy with my work flow procedures (from a professional perspective), but one of the attractions of RawShooter, for me, is the range of automatic presets. With ACR there's just one. You can have auto-adjustment either on or off. With RawShooter there's a choice of normal, medium, strong and 'sample'. The 'sample' option often seems to be a good starting point for me since it automatically provides that extra saturation and local contrast that I strive to achieve in proof setup before printing.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes   .
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2006, 08:57:08 PM »
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Yup, with digital imaging that cat can be skinned in so many ways you can easily end up with a skinless cat - just kidding.

That much said, I tend to avoid automatic anything in my image processing. I like starting from scratch with the raw data and building-up everything as I go along. I find I understand the image better that way and it helps me to optimize it, but I recognize the possible advantages to getting a head start with a bit of up-front automation - as long as one can undo it without harm if one doesn't like the results.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2006, 09:29:36 PM »
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That much said, I tend to avoid automatic anything in my image processing. I like starting from scratch with the raw data and building-up everything as I go along. I find I understand the image better that way and it helps me to optimize it, but I recognize the possible advantages to getting a head start with a bit of up-front automation - as long as one can undo it without harm if one doesn't like the results.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58444\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a fair comment, but sometimes an automatic adjustment can give you an idea or option for a result that one might never realise without a tremendous amount of experimentation. Often I find that the 'auto color' adjustment in PS makes the image worse, but sometimes it's just right, or at least better.

I should also add that in general, I'm led to believe that adjustments made to the RAW image at the time of conversion are likely to be better, with less degradation etc, than post conversion adjustments.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 10:39:14 PM by Ray » Logged
Steve Miller
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2006, 11:06:39 AM »
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I'm having a similar problem with my setup. I just bought a 23" Apple Cinema Display and an R1800. I'm on a PC (XP Pro SP2), use CS2 to process files, and print from Qimage. I've profiled the ACD with Eye-One and am pretty comfortable that I have setup the monitor and printer/paper profiles correctly in Qimage.

The color accuracy of the prints is about the best I've experienced, so overall, I'm pleased with the calibration/profiling (this has traditionally been an issue for me). The problem is that the prints are darker than the image on screen (just like svaughan's original post). I've read all of the above suggestions and definitely see how the viewing light affects the perception of the print. Since the light near my PC is too dark, the best chance I have to view the print is during the day. Even with daylight, I find the prints too dark.

I haven't tried the soft proofing suggestions (will do so tonight), but am a bit confused. Assuming the soft proof method serves to reduce the brightness on screen, causing me to increase the image's brightness through Curves/Levels/etc., will I then have a file that looks good for printing but will be too bright for screen/web viewing? The soft proof method seems similar to something else I was considering. When I calibrated the monitor, I adjusted the brightness to 120. I figure I can always use a print to tweak the monitor's brightness (after the profile has been made), but that seems counter-intuitive to the profiling process. There seem to be a few ways to correct the problem, I just don't understand why the calibration/profiling process doesn't address it from the beginning. Then again, maybe the generic Epson printer profiles aren't good enough and I need custom ones.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2006, 11:25:55 AM »
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If you are viewing your prints under appropriate light comparison with the soft proof is the surest way to judge the quality of your colour management. Once you adjust the luminosity etc to perform to your taste with soft proof, my experience suggests you will most likely have to tone the image down a bit for web viewing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2006, 08:47:18 PM »
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Even with daylight, I find the prints too dark.

I used to often compare prints with the monitor while viewing the print under a frosted-glass skylight on a sunny day, and it was *still* noticeably darker than under a "good" light (in my case, under the dense bunch of fluorescent tubes in my kitchen).  Direct sunlight would be bright enough, but even things like frosted skylights and indirect sunlight through windows might still be too dark.

Lisa
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GillesGC
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2006, 10:37:30 AM »
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I am using Photoshop CS to edit my prints. I use the Adobe RGB 1998 as my work ......[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Finally, an answer!  I just read all the posts, went into CS2 and discovered "soft proofs."  What a difference!  I wish OEM's like Epson would monitor these sites frequently and address concerns such as these.  I too found all my prints too dark.  Thanks everyone!
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svaughan
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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2006, 06:29:50 AM »
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IME, most ost of the time when the prints come off the printer darker than what shows on a profiled monitor, it is a result of double-profiling with the printer's print driver.  To avoid this, you have to be sure ALL color management is turned off in the print driver -- and this setting does not always hold and often must be turned off for every new printing session. 

Once you have confirmed that, then make sure you are applying the proper paper profile in your printing program and make sure your rendering intent is either perceptual or relative colorimetric (unless you have good reason to use absolute colorimetric).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58434\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the comments Jack. I have made sure that color management is off, so it doesn't use the printer drivers. I also have several profiles for each type of paper I use.  I use colorimetric with BP compensation turned on. When I check my proof, it seems when I deselect BP, the picture shows more like the print. Should I do these without BP selected?
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svaughan
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2006, 06:31:08 AM »
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Jack, the point about the printer settings holding properly is a well-known and unresolved issue with Mac O/S, but not with Windows XP (for a change!) - so one would need to know which O/x svaughan is using to know whether this may be the problem - but the more general point about competitive management is correct - and deadly.

We also don't know what kind of monitor is being used - how old it is, CRT or LCD. If it is an older CRT, it could be starting to fade, so the same colour numbers would look "brighter" (actually more feint) on the monitor than they should appear in print. If the monitor calibration package is a good one and it is being used properly, it should not be necessary to intervene after the fact and adjust the brightness. The brightness of the monitor should be adjusted as part of the calibration, e.g. as it works with ColorEyes Display.

I agree with Tim Gray and Ray about the illumination conditions. I use a ceiling track of Solux 50 Watt bulbs to illuminate my work-space for print viewing. Makes a big difference even how the print is positioned or tilted under the light (with matte papers anyhow).

Something that can be elusive unless one has the habit - it is important to make one's final luminsity adjustments with Soft Proof active. Soft proof, if properly set-up, should come very close to replicating on screen the effect of seeing the relevant paper as if viewed by reflected light. If svaughan is adjusting his prints without soft proof, they will appear bright enough, when in fact they are not for the paper being used. He would only know this in advance by activating Soft Proof, whereupon most of the time the image darkens on the monitor, inciting the user to brightem it - and bingo, a brighter print emerges from the printer.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58437\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am using windows XP Media version on a dell.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2006, 07:53:14 AM »
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svaughan, it is generally recommended to keep BP selected. When turned on, it maps the black of the source profile to the black of the target profile, ensuring that the entire dynamic range of the printer is used (see Fraser/Blatner real World Photoshop CS2 page 209).

If you have BP selected and you are not getting decent matching between the monitor and the print, there is a profiling problem elsewhere that is not caused by the selection of BP.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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svaughan
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2006, 09:19:20 PM »
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Jack, the point about the printer settings holding properly is a well-known and unresolved issue with Mac O/S, but not with Windows XP (for a change!) - so one would need to know which O/x svaughan is using to know whether this may be the problem - but the more general point about competitive management is correct - and deadly.

We also don't know what kind of monitor is being used - how old it is, CRT or LCD. If it is an older CRT, it could be starting to fade, so the same colour numbers would look "brighter" (actually more feint) on the monitor than they should appear in print. If the monitor calibration package is a good one and it is being used properly, it should not be necessary to intervene after the fact and adjust the brightness. The brightness of the monitor should be adjusted as part of the calibration, e.g. as it works with ColorEyes Display.

I agree with Tim Gray and Ray about the illumination conditions. I use a ceiling track of Solux 50 Watt bulbs to illuminate my work-space for print viewing. Makes a big difference even how the print is positioned or tilted under the light (with matte papers anyhow).

Something that can be elusive unless one has the habit - it is important to make one's final luminsity adjustments with Soft Proof active. Soft proof, if properly set-up, should come very close to replicating on screen the effect of seeing the relevant paper as if viewed by reflected light. If svaughan is adjusting his prints without soft proof, they will appear bright enough, when in fact they are not for the paper being used. He would only know this in advance by activating Soft Proof, whereupon most of the time the image darkens on the monitor, inciting the user to brightem it - and bingo, a brighter print emerges from the printer.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Hello Mark, I am using a dell LCD digital flat screen. I have profiled it several times using the Eye One colormeter. I work my pic's in CS using the same lighting conditions.  Proof colors is turned on, but in this case there is a drastic difference between my print and the screen. I totally loose my contrast, and the shadows are real dark not allowing detail to show. Green pine trees are no longer green.
You can see the pic here [a href=\"http://www.myweb.cableone.net/svaughan/photos/Scenes%20052.jpg]http://www.myweb.cableone.net/svaughan/pho...cenes%20052.jpg[/url]
It looks ok on my screen, but the print out sucks.
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