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prints of photos get too dark, Why?

Does anyone may tell what to do to print images without darkening it? I mean, i go on the internet, pick a nice photo to make my painting and then i print it and realise it just got too dark compared to the PC SCREEN. Please tell me: How can i correct it?

Comments

  • The answer would be long, complicated, and possibly expensive. If you're new to Mark's method, I strongly recommend painting from life instead of painting from photos you print from the Internet, if at all possible.
  • I agree with David. Set up a light box or still life area. If you want to with photos use your own. You'll already know the image.
  • I would follow David's advice, but if you are wanting to brighten up the print you could adjust the brightness/contrast in a photo editing program such as paint.net. You could crop a copy of your picture and print out test parts until. You are happy with the brightness. The painting may look washed out on your screen as you adjust it. It's not an ideal solution, but it may help. If you would like more details please just ask.
  • The answer would be long, complicated, and possibly expensive. If you're new to Mark's method, I strongly recommend painting from life instead of painting from photos you print from the Internet, if at all possible.

    Ill take a try guys thanks a lot
    [Deleted User]
  • When I paint from any photo I have 3 prints. One with the darks way too dark and that is what I match my highlights to, one that is too bright on the highlights to get the detail in the shadows and one that I think is just right. I know Mark and David would be able to get that all correct in one print but this works easiest for me.
    marieb
  • The answer would be long, complicated, and possibly expensive.

    This has become my mantra of late, so what's a little more $$, right? I recently bought the Epson 3800 and the Photoshop CC. My prints are extremely dark compared to the adjusted photo on the screen. I fiddled with the Color management Options on the print command (Photoshop manages colors vs. Printer manages colors) but still dark. Does anyone have experience with this printer and its interface with Photoshop CC? With the cost of the ink cartridges and photo paper, this trial and error scenario is getting expensive. Thanks for any help.
  • edited August 2014
    @Sue I may have to do with your monitor. But it can be complicated and nerdy to deal with. Right now I'm super busy. But you can browse David's photo threads and maybe solve your problem.

    What paper are you using??
  • @SueG‌ you can have a look at http://www.xrite.com/colormunki-design but I don't know how good that is. I think the definitive answer is probably something along the lines of this: http://www.xrite.com/i1publish-pro-2 (i.e. complicated and expensive).
  • Thanks, Kingston. I'm using the super-duper paper that came with the super-duper printer (Epson Ultra premium photo paper luster). I am really challenged in this area. I did find a thread on another forum about checking the libraries to make sure there aren't two for Epson and, if so, to remove one. At some point, a warning popup appeared about making any changes. Whoa, back off ! , I'm thinking! I ordered the paper that David recommended in one of his workshop threads and will wait until it comes in to see if that makes a difference. Thanks, again.
  • Thanks, rgr. I'll take a look.
  • edited August 2014
    Sue, without getting too long winded, do some online research (on this and other forums and sites) on Photoshop settings & monitor calibration.
    Your printed photo's will never match what you see on your monitor well until you:

    1. Calibrate your monitor. Do a search for Spyder4express to give you a starting point. It's a device that can read your colors, contrast, gamma etc from the monitor and allow you to adjust these setting through their software. There are others, but this is a popular one and not terribly expensive (under $100). Calibrating your monitor is really a must for any serious graphic or art work. An alternative is to pay someone to come calibrate it for you, but it will cost more than the color sensor & software, plus ocne you have it, you can use it again and again.
    2. Make sure you are using the latest printer driver and it's print type/quality and paper settings are correct.
    3. Use the correct settings in Photoshop. Photoshop has settings that allow you to do a "Custom Proof Setup" this will this adjust the colors/gamma etc to match the type of material or device you will be viewing or printing your photo on. In your case it will likely be "U.S. Sheetfed Coated". There a bunch of options so do some web searching on specifics.
    4. Match your paper profile. Most all quality inkjet paper producers provide "ICC Profiles" for Photoshop or other software. They match your paper to Photoshop & printers by compensating for paper saturation levels, paper hues, coatings, etc. When you let Photoshop control the colors remember to turn off any Automatic color settings in printer driver settings.

    As far as reducing the cost of printing. There are some paper manufactuers who make very high quality photo papers and bulk ink that are matched. Prices vary, but some folks use nothing else and they can save you money.
    You may want to consider a CISS or ink refill kit. A CISS (continuous ink supply system). This has larger tanks which sit outside of your printer and feed ink via tubes to the cartridges. These tanks hold much more ink than your cartridges and you just top them off when they get low. A refill kit just has refillable cartridges that you refill yourself. Both use bulk ink which cost a fraction per ml of the cost of manufacturer OEM cartridges. There are Dye & Pigment inks. Different inks for different purposes and archival qualities. Tons of info out there on options for the 3800 and other printers. Inks range from cheap "general purpose ink" that may clog your printhead faster if not used frequently, to very high quality ink that meets or exceeds the OEM ink. Research will answer more, but either way it's a much cheaper option for printing. Both have pro's and cons. I've used both types without issues on Epson wide format Photo printers.

    The 3800 is a great printer with a big aftermarket/knowledge following and you should have no problems finding lots of info online regarding all these issues.

    Good Luck

  • SueG said:

    The answer would be long, complicated, and possibly expensive.

    This has become my mantra of late, so what's a little more $$, right? I recently bought the Epson 3800 and the Photoshop CC. My prints are extremely dark compared to the adjusted photo on the screen. I fiddled with the Color management Options on the print command (Photoshop manages colors vs. Printer manages colors) but still dark. Does anyone have experience with this printer and its interface with Photoshop CC? With the cost of the ink cartridges and photo paper, this trial and error scenario is getting expensive. Thanks for any help.

    You are using the exact software and the exact printer recommended in the Advanced Photography Guide, so be sure to use the exact settings (and exact paper) recommended in the guide as well. The settings provided are correct. The only other variables are the monitor and the monitor color profile.

    On our setup, the prints comes out a little dark, which is why we always make all of our adjustments in the RAW processing to look correct on our monitors, and then we bump the exposure up by X amount. We use files of successful prints as a reference. For example, when printing a portrait photo of a person with olive skin, we adjust the exposure to match — on screen — a ready-to-print file of an olive-skinned person that we already know came out with the right exposure when printed. We don't waste any paper or ink this way.

    You do not need to be printing full sheets as test prints. Just print a little sample, could even be a few inches wide. You don't need the image to be large to see if it's too dark or too bright or whatever. You can order smaller sheets of the same type of paper or, just print in the corner of the sheet, then move the small printed area over in the print dialogue window and print on the same sheet, over and over again, but always in a different spot. Definitely don't waste a whole 13x19 sheet of paper and a full sheet of ink just to check your exposure.

    After you get it right one time you can use the finalized file that came out correctly for future reference. Save it somewhere on your computer where it won't get lost. We definitely wasted some ink and paper in the beginning when experimenting with the paper and that's just the cost of doing things right, but now we very rarely waste a single sheet of paper because we have so many reference files to use for comparison before printing.

    If possible I would recommend making these exposure changes in the RAW processing (Photoshop RAW tool or in Lightroom, either way) rather than using the normal Photoshop tools to make adjustments.

    Going back to the root of the problem, what kind of monitor do you have? Have you tried adjusting the brightness directly on the physical monitor controls? If you can make it look more or less the same brightness/darkness as the prints (ignore color differences), you can use that brightness setting on your monitor just while you're adjusting prints, and then put the setting back to where your monitor looks good for other computer use.
  • Thanks, coherent and David , for the information. I have the HP TouchSmart computer. I will take a look at the calibration and paper setting on PS. Good information regarding the ink refills! David, regarding the RAW processing, I've been importing my photos in Lightroom and copying as DNG before processing. Is that correct?
  • I still don't know what paper you are using.
  • You don't need to copy as a DNG. Lightroom isn't overwriting your originals — it's a non-destructive editing environment. Just do exactly what the guide says.

    If your TouchSmart is a laptop, forget about making the monitor look anywhere close to correct. If it's an "all-in-one" desktop PC, you'll need to Google around for instructions on how to adjust the brightness. This may or may not help.

    In the end, it's convenient for the monitor to more or less represent what you get when you print, but it's not necessary. Like I said, our monitors do not match our prints. Just get one good print and then use it as a basis for adjusting exposure for print after you finalize the rest of your processing. If it's too dark when printed, increase exposure, if it's still too dark, increase a little more, etc. Once you get one good print, use the file you printed that good print from as a reference when adjusting exposure for future images.

    And when your computer dies eventually, get a Mac — the lesser of two evils. :)
  • SueG said:

    I did find a thread on another forum about checking the libraries to make sure there aren't two for Epson and, if so, to remove one. At some point, a warning popup appeared about making any changes. Whoa, back off ! , I'm thinking!

    Ask your questions here… the Internet is full of bad advice on printers, and even when it's good advice, if you don't really understand what you're doing, you might mess something up.

    rgr
  • Yep, my thoughts exactly.
  • Kingston said:

    I still don't know what paper you are using.

    Sorry, Kingston, I missed your comment yesterday. I'm using the Epson Ultra premium photo luster. I was able to calibrate my monitor and it has helped a bit. I will explore the other suggestions made when I get back to my computer. Thanks, everyone.
  • I am such a newbie at this, but I thought my print was too dark until I put it on the photo holder with the proper lighting. Then all was good. Could that possibly it?
  • This is what happened to me when I first printed a photo for a painting. I thought it was a good photo seeing it on a computer, but after printing it became extremely saturated and dark. Later, on my second painting i increased the brightness 15 points high on MS Office photo editor (kinda calculated it) and printed from the same printer and this time it came out really nice. It is better that you figure out what were the loopholes in your earlier print and make the changes in your photograph (make sure your do this on a copy of the original) and use the same printer for printing.
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