I think I've asked this question before; maybe not. The images look great on the screen; but, when I print the image, it's VERY muddy looking. The image views on the monitor bright and intense. The printer takes the image,and when it prints, it appears someone spilled tea over the entire print. Very upsetting. I realize I'm not using a calibrated pro printer; but, it should be better than this. Any directions to start? I'm using a HP 826 printer, something from QVC; my wife likes how you can write on the pictures with it. Most/all the pictures have this problem; so I'm assuming it is something in a printer/software/calibration problem. My best example; we have all experienced this, an indoor shoot, nighttime, incandescent light, and the flash doesn't fire. Viola- muddy picture. Your turn for ideas.
A little more information would be helpful in trying to solve your problem.
You mention that your printer is not calibrated, but what about your monitor? Is that calibrated? (What monitor are you using?)
Next, what software are you using to print your pictures? Are you printing directly from Photoshop? If so, when you print, is Photoshop controlling the color management or is the printer? If it is Photoshop, make sure that your printer is not also trying to apply color managment. (If you are running under a Windows system, check under the printer settings under the control panel.) Are you using HP inks with the printer or something else?
Are you sure that you have the proper printer profile selected for the type of paper you are using? What paper are you using to print? The combination of inks and paper can be important to insure faithful color reproduction.
Finally, have you had any of your images printed at a lab, and if so do you get the same result? You could do a test at a local Walmart relatively inexpensively. That might help determine if the problem is with the printer or with the computer settings.
There may be more factors here as well, so if you can provide a little more information about your setup, we will be better able to help.
Monitor is an Hp w2207h; I'm using NX2 as my software, The printer is an HP 826, with hp paper, and ink. I know this is a printer/software issue; I have had a load of images done at Zenfolio/CPQ/Walmart. Where do I find, get all these profiles you have mentioned?
Great advice from Karen. My first thought was using the wrong paper and/or the wrong profile. You'd be amazed at what those profiles do. Last month I had the wrong profile loaded (I was experimenting with papers and had failed to select the right profile) and you'd have thought that the shot was taken on the dark side of the moon or something! Your example is mostly about white balance, and that is pretty much what goofed up color management looks like too, although in this case it's not in the file it's on the way to the paper.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
After checking the metadata, I must confess, nothing! The shots all were taken in flash WB, with flash, and I think even over exposed, I have shadows caused by the flash behind the people. The histogram shows as a left heavy ramp. The majority of the right/while side has NO ramp/usage Adjusting the margin in Nx2 did brighten up the image; but, it's still muddy. I am frustrated- thanks for the help.
Fri 30-Apr-10 09:18 AM | edited Fri 30-Apr-10 09:22 AM by KenLPhotos
The printer is much less forgiving than the monitor screen.
A heavy left ramp histogram means very under-exposed and will produce muddy images. The printer is trying hard to give you an image but doesn't have enough 'image' to print well. Try printing an image with a nice middle 'hump' in the histogram and let us know the results.