Photos appear greyish when printed

I've taken photos before using point and shoot cameras and a DSLR Nikon (although in jpg, not raw format) and had them printed. They've all turned out well with rich colors. But now when I'm using a Canon EOS rebel t4i DSLR camera, shooting in raw format and processing the images as described in David's photo guide, they appear grayish when printed. They look fine to me on my Macbook Pro Screen before ordering the prints. What could be the cause?

Comments

  • dencaldencal -
    edited April 2015
    ebs

    David is the man for the answer. You might inquire if the print shop is using any automatic filtering or enhancement. Do you upload or take a thumb drive? Raw or JPEG files?

    An image that looks great on your computer screen should look equally wonderful in print. If you’re finding this is not the case it could be down to the color calibration of your monitor. This can cause overly bright or dark prints, or unrealistic colors compared to your original. Even if you’re not aware of this, properly calibrating your monitor is still a good way of ensuring impressive results.

    Try you own printer and try other shops. Supply a calibration strip if possible.
    Do your files have embedded profiles?

    http://www.photobox.com.au/content/quality-advice/calibrationprint

    Denis
    ebs
  • MeganSMeganS -
    edited April 2015
    I have my own printer, but for the longest time, I couldn't figure it out. It was the combination of monitor calibration, selecting the correct paper, selecting the correct printer profile, and making sure that photoshop was managing colors that helped correct the photo. I no longer compress into a jpg to print. It stays as a psd. Even with all these changes, I have to amp the saturation of the photos just a little bit. Keep in mind that the ground you put on your canvas will have an effect. All of my paintings appear more saturated and warmer because of my ground of burnt umber and white. Also, don't judge a photo under normal lights, get it under your painting lights.
    ebs
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited April 2015
    @ebs Most likely this is a color profile issue as Kingston said. Since you're not printing yourself, but having someone else do it for you, you're not able to use my guide for the printing part of the process, and there's some important settings there as Megan mentioned.

    Open one of your Nikon JPEGs and also one of your Canon Raws in Photoshop. For each one, go to Edit > Convert to Profile (make sure to pick Convert to Profile, not Assign Profile) and note what the Source Space is. I am pretty sure they will be different for the two images. If you're happy with how your JPEGs come back from the printer, just convert you Raw/PSD to the same color profile as the JPEG. Before clicking "OK", I would recommend checking and unchecking the Preview checkbox while looking at your image to see if there are any major shifts in color. If there are, just detail them here and we'll go from there (I don't want to get sidetracked explaining why it might happen or what your options are, as it won't be an issue for most images).

    The real solution is to make your own prints or find a print shop that knows what they're doing. The source profile shouldn't be an issue so long as the printer is given the right instructions, but usually people just click the Print button.

    Sidenote: I would not worry about calibrating your monitor at this point. Macbook Pro monitors are very good by default, relatively speaking. You might want to do something like that once you're making your own prints and really optimizing your workflow, but it's not the issue in the case. If you ever do want to try calibrating… I have actually never hardware-calibrated a monitor myself. Not because I wouldn't like to try it but because it costs money I don't have to do it right. I do, however, take advantage of Mac OS X's manual calibration tools, and while it can be tricky to do correctly, it does make a very big difference, especially on these Dell monitors we have. I don't mean a subtle difference, but a night and day difference. I do not think you would see such a drastic difference with Apple monitors, though… probably just a shift in the gamma and not so much a shift in colors or color temperature. Anyway… this is a whole different topic — point is, I wouldn't worry about your monitor right now.
    ebs
  • @dencal @Kingston I'm uploading the files to a web site, then collect the prints at a local print shop. I upload all files in jpeg format. I always convert the files to sRGB in photoshop after raw processing.
    @MeganS Thanks for the info.

    @David Both the jpeg and psd files have the same color profile, but I tried unchecking the preview box, and the colors got much better. I notice when I click edit > convert to profile, the colors change to more like the colors in the print, and when unchecking the preview box they go back to normal again.
  • ebsebs -
    edited April 2015
    @David_Quinn_Carder And the colors appear less rich and orangey before unchecking the preview box.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited April 2015
    Can you send me some sample files? [email protected]
Sign In or Register to comment.