Hi all, newbie to this forum.
I've only started taking digital photography seriously relatively recently. The problem I have at the minute is that I have some good images that I want to get printed out, the images look great on screen but when printed they are looking really dull and flat.
I'm using a 17" Vaio laptop. Could it just be the printers that I'm using, I'using an online print service.
Any pointers welcome.
#1. "RE: Printing" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 09-Oct-12 10:12 AM
First, have you calibrated your monitor? If you have, how long ago, and have you changed any of the settings? That's problem #1 with bad printing output! Second, if your monitor is calibrated, are you soft proofing with the profile of the printer/paper that they're using? Monitors and files can reproduce more color diversity in most parts of the spectrum than most printers. Furthermore, ink/paper combinations can render in a surprisingly different ways. I no longer send prints out (unless I need a truly humongous one), but the principles apply equally to a local printer. Tools like Lightroom4 offer fairly reliable methods of having the screen render what you'll see on paper if - and only if - you have ink/paper profiles loaded.
A variant of the problem is doing your capture and editing work in a wide-gamut color space such as ProPhoto RGB - and then sending it directly to the printer, which probably operates in the much smaller sRGB space.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#2. "RE: Printing" | In response to Reply # 0mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Tue 09-Oct-12 11:29 AM
To add to what Braian said, calibrate.
But also consider your equipment. Few laptop screens are really good at giving accurate photo representations. One major variable is the angle of the screen, which can have a major impact on what you see. Also, few have the monitor controls necessary to fine tune the screen to proper brightness, much less anything else.
I would suggest you consider a good external monitor for you photo work. Also consider the lighting in the area where you are working. Low, consistent light levels are best.
Also, since you are sending the prints to an on-line service, make sure you are sending them the images in the right format with the correct color space for their printing. A good service will provide you with color profiles to use on your system to match theirs.
Depending on how much you are planning on printing, you may want to just get your own printer so you can better control the process.
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#3. "RE: Printing" | In response to Reply # 0kennoll Nikonian since 07th Feb 2011Tue 09-Oct-12 05:07 PM
What Brian and Mick have said.
I'm getting more into printing as well and am sending images out for print at my local Costco. I've downloaded printer profiles (www.drycreekphoto.com) for the printers there and use them in post-processing. If you go that route, whether it's Costco or another printing Co., be sure to indicate on the order that they not use automatic color management when processing your images.
If you download and use the profiles in PP then you have already done the color management for their printer. If you let the printing Co. do automatic color management then your PP effort will be negated and the prints won't match what you saw on your monitor.
BTW, did anyone mention that your monitor should be calibrated? It's key to the process.
#4. "RE: Printing" | In response to Reply # 0Karl H Registered since 09th Oct 2012Wed 10-Oct-12 10:59 AM
Thanks for the advice all,the monitor has been calibrated as best I can with the settings available. I haven't used a calibration device as such.
I will also contact the printers. Unfortunately I can't afford a new monitor right now (all my money is going into lenses at the moment!).
Thanks and regards
#5. "RE: Printing" | In response to Reply # 4quenton8 Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Wed 10-Oct-12 07:13 PM
Just an added note on monitors ...
If you ARE going to get a standalone monitor for photo editing, you should know that there are 3 major monitor types
TN - most common, generally least expensive
VA - next most common, generally a bit more expensive
IPS - least common, more expensive
TN is what you are likely to get if you to "buy a monitor for my PC".
I have an ASUS IPS monitor -- which was around $500 (cheap compared to most IPS monitors, it came out in the last year or so).
Personally I would go for at least a VA, and if you want to get serious, an IPS.
Rather than my trying to outline the technical differences, look them up online and read some descriptions and discussions.