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Author Topic: Costco Prints WAY too dark in Shadows  (Read 33051 times)
dwdallam
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« Reply #60 on: March 17, 2007, 08:01:52 PM »
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That is what I meant. After calibrating and turning down the brightness, I proces images on screen, which are darker on screen than before. Then the images match teh screen better in brightness, especially in shadows.

My Phillips is a 700:1 contrast ratio.

How do I calibrate for output luminance? I have no idea hoiw to do that. However, if lowering the brightness helped shadows and image brightness overall, then if lowering the luminance output would do the same thing, then that is the solution for sure.
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Anyone tell me how to calibrate "down" the luminance?
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Ray
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« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2007, 08:57:39 PM »
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Anyone tell me how to calibrate "down" the luminance?
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I'm amazed that this whole thread, with all the disagreements between Jonathan and Bill Janes, is based upon a miscalibration of your monitor.

At the same time, I sympathise with you. Calibrating a monitor is not always straight forward. Inexplicable things can happen. A basic is to remove any previous calibration, such as Adobe Gamma. Monitor settings of contrast and brightness before calibration can also influence the outcome.

I'm reluctant to offer any specific advice because individual circumstances can vary considerably. It was through trial, experiment and upgrading of colorimeter that I finally got a satisfactory calibration.

Life's not made to be easy, you know.  
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dwdallam
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« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2007, 02:01:58 AM »
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I'm amazed that this whole thread, with all the disagreements between Jonathan and Bill Janes, is based upon a miscalibration of your monitor.

At the same time, I sympathise with you. Calibrating a monitor is not always straight forward. Inexplicable things can happen. A basic is to remove any previous calibration, such as Adobe Gamma. Monitor settings of contrast and brightness before calibration can also influence the outcome.

I'm reluctant to offer any specific advice because individual circumstances can vary considerably. It was through trial, experiment and upgrading of colorimeter that I finally got a satisfactory calibration.

Life's not made to be easy, you know. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=107228\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Made to be easy? hahaha

It is what it is man. But yeah it is hard in all respects. Nice to know someone else sees that too. With all the "I love life and am the biggest optimist" types walking around on paxil and other medications, it's refreshing to see someone who still understands it's not all optimism and party times.

 Well, I started getting better shadow reproduction after I lowered my brightness doing the calibration. I'm using a Spyder Suite. I'm just not quite sure what the best way is to "fool" the monitor into showing less shadow detail so that prints look like they do onscreen, as those two guys explained above, which results in bumping up the shadow areas.  The colors look right on in prints, except for some reds and other anomalies that we have to live with. Highlights look good to and now the shadows are better, but still not "on screen" looking like the colors are. So I'd like to know what the others were talking about and how to "tone down" the contrast. I think the contrast on my monitor is called brightness. But they were talking about numerical increments or something.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 02:09:17 AM by dwdallam » Logged

bjanes
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« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2007, 02:50:35 PM »
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Made to be easy? hahaha
 So I'd like to know what the others were talking about and how to "tone down" the contrast. I think the contrast on my monitor is called brightness. But they were talking about numerical increments or something.
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Calibration involves adjusting the device's behavior so that it produces a specific output according to the input. Most current LCD monitors can adjust only the intensity of the backlight, so there is no way to set the color temperature or the black point and hence the contrast. Rather than true calibration, this process is describing the characteristics of the device, not adjusting the device to produce a given output. The most common practice is to calibrate for the native color temp of the monitor and set the white point with the monitor's brightness control. Further adjustments can be made in the video lookup table, but with an 8 bit LUT you lose levels pretty fast. The gamma function is applied in the LUT.

Once the behavior of the monitor is known and described by the profile, Photoshop's soft proofing should be able to display how the printed picture would look. You don't really want to set the monitor to match the output of the printer, since you would be wasting the dynamic range of the monitor.

Bill
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dwdallam
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« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2007, 09:03:57 PM »
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Calibration involves adjusting the device's behavior so that it produces a specific output according to the input. Most current LCD monitors can adjust only the intensity of the backlight, so there is no way to set the color temperature or the black point and hence the contrast. Rather than true calibration, this process is describing the characteristics of the device, not adjusting the device to produce a given output. The most common practice is to calibrate for the native color temp of the monitor and set the white point with the monitor's brightness control. Further adjustments can be made in the video lookup table, but with an 8 bit LUT you lose levels pretty fast. The gamma function is applied in the LUT.

Once the behavior of the monitor is known and described by the profile, Photoshop's soft proofing should be able to display how the printed picture would look. You don't really want to set the monitor to match the output of the printer, since you would be wasting the dynamic range of the monitor.

Bill
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Bilol,
My monitor has color temp adjustments and Brightness and Contrast, which I do not think are backlight--since Spyder tells you how to tell if it is backlight or not.  I don't remember actually, but if I do I do not have a backlight adjustment on this monitor. And anyway, your explanation does not explain how others are adjusting their contrast settings above. I'd like how theya re doing that explained.
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bjanes
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« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2007, 09:43:23 PM »
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Bilol,
My monitor has color temp adjustments and Brightness and Contrast, which I do not think are backlight--since Spyder tells you how to tell if it is backlight or not.  I don't remember actually, but if I do I do not have a backlight adjustment on this monitor. And anyway, your explanation does not explain how others are adjusting their contrast settings above. I'd like how theya re doing that explained.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=107380\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would like to know that too. There may be something new, but as explained in Real World Color Management, 2nd edition, page 128,  by Bruce Fraser et al most adjustments that you mention are simply tweaks the videoLUT. Some high end LCD monitors have 10 bit LUTs built into the display and can use these to adjust color temp and gamma while still maintaining the full 256 levels per channel. Bruce does say that LCDs have a fixed contrast ratio.

LED (light emitting diode) monitors use red, blue and green LEDs and these can perform a real adjustment of color temp.

Bill
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dwdallam
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« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2007, 09:55:34 PM »
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I would like to know that too. There may be something new, but as explained in Real World Color Management, 2nd edition, page 128,  by Bruce Fraser et al most adjustments that you mention are simply tweaks the videoLUT. Some high end LCD monitors have 10 bit LUTs built into the display and can use these to adjust color temp and gamma while still maintaining the full 256 levels per channel. Bruce does say that LCDs have a fixed contrast ratio.

LED (light emitting diode) monitors use red, blue and green LEDs and these can perform a real adjustment of color temp.

Bill
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But above, you say this,

"I don't know about your Phillips monitor, but many LCDs are quite bright, ranging up to 200 cd/m^2 and this can cause problems with print matching if you are using standard viewing conditions (D50 illumination at 500 lux). Rather than using a percent of maximum, it would be better to calibrate for output luminance of the monitor, say 120 cd/m^2. I had previously been calibrating to 140 cd/m^2, but some recent threads by experts have suggested that this is too high. What do others on the forum use?"

Bill

So what are you doing here?
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bjanes
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« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2007, 10:04:06 PM »
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But above, you say this,

"I don't know about your Phillips monitor, but many LCDs are quite bright, ranging up to 200 cd/m^2 and this can cause problems with print matching if you are using standard viewing conditions (D50 illumination at 500 lux). Rather than using a percent of maximum, it would be better to calibrate for output luminance of the monitor, say 120 cd/m^2. I had previously been calibrating to 140 cd/m^2, but some recent threads by experts have suggested that this is too high. What do others on the forum use?"

Bill

So what are you doing here?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=107385\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


"So what are you doing here?". I don't understand how this question relates to the matters that we just discussed.

All I am doing there is simply adjusting the backlight of the monitor to achieve the intended luminance. I just reduced my luminance to 120 cd/m^2. That is the only adjustment that I can make on my monitor. When you calibrate a display, you are really working with not just the monitor itself but also the video driver the video card. You may be able to make further adjustments in these areas.  

Bill
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Ray
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« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2007, 11:03:56 PM »
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But above, you say this,

"I don't know about your Phillips monitor, but many LCDs are quite bright, ranging up to 200 cd/m^2 and this can cause problems with print matching if you are using standard viewing conditions (D50 illumination at 500 lux). Rather than using a percent of maximum, it would be better to calibrate for output luminance of the monitor, say 120 cd/m^2. I had previously been calibrating to 140 cd/m^2, but some recent threads by experts have suggested that this is too high. What do others on the forum use?"

Bill

So what are you doing here?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=107385\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Spyder was the first calibration system I used a few years ago. I bought it because, in part, it came with a free 'Real World' Photoshop 6 book. As I recall, the calibration was started with CRT monitor at maximum contrast. Brightness had to be manually adjusted during calibration in order for the calibrated output range to be ideally in the range of something like 65-90 cd/m^2. The maximum brightness of my ViewSonic monitor was, from memory, around 135 cd/m^2.

I had a lot of trouble getting a satisfacory calibration, during which time of course I was verbally abused by dear old Jonathan who seemed to think I was a complete nitwit.

The fact is, I did eventually get a reasonable calibration, through trial and error, but was never quite sure why and the calibration was never perfectly satisfactory.

Some time later, I upgraded to an X-rite DTP-94 with ColorEyes software and then the Eyeone Display 2 with GM software which at the time was the only software which would work with Win XP 64.

My calibration problems are solved   .
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bjanes
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« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2007, 07:08:10 AM »
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The Spyder was the first calibration system I used a few years ago. I bought it because, in part, it came with a free 'Real World' Photoshop 6 book. As I recall, the calibration was started with CRT monitor at maximum contrast. Brightness had to be manually adjusted during calibration in order for the calibrated output range to be ideally in the range of something like 65-90 cd/m^2. The maximum brightness of my ViewSonic monitor was, from memory, around 135 cd/m^2.

I had a lot of trouble getting a satisfacory calibration, during which time of course I was verbally abused by dear old Jonathan who seemed to think I was a complete nitwit.

The fact is, I did eventually get a reasonable calibration, through trial and error, but was never quite sure why and the calibration was never perfectly satisfactory.

Some time later, I upgraded to an X-rite DTP-94 with ColorEyes software and then the Eyeone Display 2 with GM software which at the time was the only software which would work with Win XP 64.

My calibration problems are solved   .
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Ray,

As you say, calibration of a monitor is not a simple operation, and I'm happy for you that you have solved your problems. Here are some recommendations by [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11086&view=findpost&p=67460]Dr Karl Lang[/url] (a recognized expert in this area) that may help those who are having problems.

He points out that current mid to high end LCDs have 3D lookups, which are altered by the front panel settings on the monitor and can be used for adjustment of white point and other parameters.

He recommends using native WB unless you are using multiple monitors, in which case one or more of the monitors may have to have WB adjustments so that they appear the same. He describes a test to determine if your monitor has a 3D lookup.

Additional recommendations are:

1. Do not adjust "contrast", "brightness" or "gamma" on the front panel.

2. Do not use a Matrix/TRC based profile, but rather a full lookup. Whether or not this is available depends on the profiling software.

3. Do adjust the backlight, sometimes incorrectly labeled as brightness

New displays using LED backlight solve some of these problems as discussed in this NEC whitepaper.

Bill
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 07:12:05 AM by bjanes » Logged
dwdallam
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« Reply #70 on: March 23, 2007, 04:19:29 AM »
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Additional recommendations are:

1. Do not adjust "contrast", "brightness" or "gamma" on the front panel.

2. Do not use a Matrix/TRC based profile, but rather a full lookup. Whether or not this is available depends on the profiling software.

3. Do adjust the backlight, sometimes incorrectly labeled as brightness

New displays using LED backlight solve some of these problems as discussed in this NEC whitepaper.

Bill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=107447\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I just read this thread and that is pretty much what I am doing. I only adjusted the "brightness" which is most likely "backlight" and that helped solve much of my shadow problems, although I still take care to ramp them up a little for printing. I think what I will do before I print any more is recalibrate and then use and even lower backlight setting. I'm at 81 now, down fro 100, so I'll try 78 next time.

I may also consider a better calibration hardware/software package. However, the Spider does a good job of color accuracy, it is less than desirable for the black and white points I think? So what is the absolute best package available to get this job done correctly and most automated? The thing is, I would hate to buy a new package and then have it be no better than the Spyder I already own.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2007, 04:20:10 AM by dwdallam » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2007, 07:26:08 PM »
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I may also consider a better calibration hardware/software package. However, the Spider does a good job of color accuracy, it is less than desirable for the black and white points I think? So what is the absolute best package available to get this job done correctly and most automated? The thing is, I would hate to buy a new package and then have it be no better than the Spyder I already own.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108231\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm currently using a Sony 19" Multiscan G400 which has no individual adjustments for the R,G,B channels. It's a monitor which I failed to calibrate properly with the Spyder (which may have been an earlier model than yours), although I did get a reasonable calibration with a ViewSonic monitor that does have adjustable R,G,B channels, after a lot of trial and error.

I'm now using an Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter with GratagMacbeth Eye-One Match 3 software. I set this old Sony monitor to maximum contrast and minimum brightness, do a fully automatic calibration which specifies 2.2 gamma and D65 white point, and seem to get the most accurate calibration I've ever experienced. After calibration, I leave the monitor at its settings of max contrast and min brightness. No need to touch anything.

It's as easy as falling off a log.  
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dwdallam
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« Reply #72 on: April 05, 2007, 01:21:23 AM »
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I'm currently using a Sony 19" Multiscan G400 which has no individual adjustments for the R,G,B channels. It's a monitor which I failed to calibrate properly with the Spyder (which may have been an earlier model than yours), although I did get a reasonable calibration with a ViewSonic monitor that does have adjustable R,G,B channels, after a lot of trial and error.

I'm now using an Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter with GratagMacbeth Eye-One Match 3 software. I set this old Sony monitor to maximum contrast and minimum brightness, do a fully automatic calibration which specifies 2.2 gamma and D65 white point, and seem to get the most accurate calibration I've ever experienced. After calibration, I leave the monitor at its settings of max contrast and min brightness. No need to touch anything.

It's as easy as falling off a log. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=108374\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


So waht do I need to adjust to make my shadows show on screen like I need dto brighten tehm so that the printing process will open the shadows as I see them, or clsoe to it, on screen? I did recalibrate and loewred teh "brightness" on my 23 inch Phllips to 78. Still then shadows are not as good printed as on screen--meaning they are still too dark compared to the screen. It is closer though than it ever has been.

Should I adjust the brightness with the software that came with my video7800GTX (nVidia).

Also, is there other software that would do a better job setting black and white point. The Spyder requieres you to set it manually while looking at a bar of white to black blocks. So, if tehre is software I can use with the spyder saoftware, let me know. Also, I'm getting excellent screen to print color accuracy. So that is not a problem--and the software does that automatically.
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Ray
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« Reply #73 on: April 05, 2007, 02:38:36 AM »
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What was Jonathan's response to your PM? Wasn't he working on this problem for you?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2007, 12:38:02 AM »
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What was Jonathan's response to your PM? Wasn't he working on this problem for you?
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I think he thought it was maybe partially fixed. I haven't received anything from him.

I'm wodering is tehre is an alternate software I should be using besides the Spyder included software. BTW, I'm using  the Spyder II Suite version, which was their newest offering around 6 months ago. I'm not opposed to buying a better calibration system if need be.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2007, 12:40:35 AM by dwdallam » Logged

bjanes
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« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2007, 05:46:39 AM »
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What was Jonathan's response to your PM? Wasn't he working on this problem for you?
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I suspect that we have not heard anything from Jonathan because his proposed fix did not work the way he thought it would. The laws of physics are still in force.

Bill
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Ray
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2007, 08:49:50 AM »
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Also, is there other software that would do a better job setting black and white point. The Spyder requieres you to set it manually while looking at a bar of white to black blocks. So, if tehre is software I can use with the spyder saoftware, let me know. Also, I'm getting excellent screen to print color accuracy. So that is not a problem--and the software does that automatically.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110743\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How many different levels of backlighting settings prior to calibration have you tried? Sounds to me like a bit of experimentation is required. If print shadows are too dark, that implies to me that maybe your monitor brightness (backlighting) was too high prior to calibration.

My Sony CRT is 6 or 7 years old and I calibrate with brightness at a minimum and no further adjustment.

Does ColorEyes work with the Spyder? Before my current GratagMacbeth system I was also getting good results with Coloreyes and the X-rite DTP94.
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bjanes
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« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2007, 09:56:02 PM »
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I just read this thread and that is pretty much what I am doing. I only adjusted the "brightness" which is most likely "backlight" and that helped solve much of my shadow problems, although I still take care to ramp them up a little for printing. I think what I will do before I print any more is recalibrate and then use and even lower backlight setting. I'm at 81 now, down fro 100, so I'll try 78 next time.

I may also consider a better calibration hardware/software package. However, the Spider does a good job of color accuracy, it is less than desirable for the black and white points I think? So what is the absolute best package available to get this job done correctly and most automated? The thing is, I would hate to buy a new package and then have it be no better than the Spyder I already own.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Perhaps a more experienced person in calibration matters will offer some advice, but I think a monitor luminance of 81 cd/m^2 is too low. In his color management book, Bruce Fraser suggested that for print matching, the luminance of the print paper in the viewing booth should be equal to the monitor brightness. ISO 3664 specifies standard print viewing conditions as D50 at 500 lux with a 20% surround reflectance. White paper reflects about 90% of the incident light so the luminance of the paper under these conditions (assuming diffuse Lambertain reflectance) would be 500*0.90/pi or 143 cd/m^2.

Also, what is the luminance of your monitor's blackpoint? This can't be adjusted with most LCDs, but the information can be incorporated into the monitor profile

According to [a href=\"http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0083J8]this[/url] discussion on Photo.net, the surround can have a large effect on the shadow appearance (see figure 5), so you might want to check your viewing conditions.

Finally, your monitor probably has a greater dynamic range than your prints, which have a DMax of about 2 (reflectance 1%) according to the Costco profile. The dynamic range of the print would therefore be no greater than about 90:1. Most current monitors have a higher dynamic range and can display deeper blacks than the paper; in this  situation there is no way the print could match the straight (non-proof) on screen view of a high dynamic range image. The best you could expect is decent tone mapping.

Bill
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Ray
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« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2007, 10:34:08 PM »
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Dwdallam,
Perhaps you should go through the precise steps you are taking prior to sending your processed image to Costco.

It's not clear to me what it is you are doing. I get the impression that either you don't have your own printer, or you do have a printer but don't have custom profiles for it and are therefore using a third party to make your prints.

If this is the case, then I presume you have downloaded the relevant Costco profile for the paper you've requested for your prints and have soft-proofed your image in relation to that Costco profile, and have converted the working space profile (or whatever's embedded in the image) to the Costco profile, prior to sending them your image for printing.

Below is what my 'Proof Setup' dialog box looks like. The 'Device to Simulate', ie. 9600 PrmLustre....., is the profile for the Premium Lustre paper I use. I imagine that this is what your Proof Setup dialog box should look like, except you'll have a Costco profile there instead of 9600 PrmLustre. Is that right?

[attachment=2253:attachment]
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dwdallam
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« Reply #79 on: April 09, 2007, 12:14:27 AM »
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I suspect that we have not heard anything from Jonathan because his proposed fix did not work the way he thought it would. The laws of physics are still in force.

Bill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111288\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

All Jonathan was going to do is process teh file like he thuoght it should look, especially in teh shadows, according to his monitor and calibration compared to the Costco profile I am using--nothing magic. Then I was going to download the file he processed and have it printed. If the shadows were still showing problems, then I know it's Costco. if not, then I have work to do.
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