Printing issue

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David Hare-Scott, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. I recently had some prints made at a local shop that has a printing station
    where you load and select your images into the system and they print them.
    They have produced good stuff before for me. On this occasion I had a
    handful of 8x12s and a panorama printed. In each case I had done some
    processing to adjust brightness etc to my taste. The 8X12s all came out
    very well and matched (to my eyes) what I had edited on the screen very
    well. The panorama came out very dark in comparison with the screen and not
    what I was intending at all.

    I cannot think of any reason why this discrepancy should happen, it is the
    same printer using the same ink, just different shaped paper. As far as I
    can tell the paper is the same as the 8x12 paper. As far as I can tell the
    operator does not intervene in any way other than to send your job to the
    printer.

    Can anybody shed any light on why this happened?

    David
    David Hare-Scott, Jul 9, 2013
    #1
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  2. David Hare-Scott

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 09/07/2013 01:08, David Hare-Scott wrote:
    > I recently had some prints made at a local shop that has a printing
    > station where you load and select your images into the system and they
    > print them. They have produced good stuff before for me. On this
    > occasion I had a handful of 8x12s and a panorama printed. In each case
    > I had done some processing to adjust brightness etc to my taste. The
    > 8X12s all came out very well and matched (to my eyes) what I had edited
    > on the screen very well. The panorama came out very dark in comparison
    > with the screen and not what I was intending at all.
    >
    > I cannot think of any reason why this discrepancy should happen, it is
    > the same printer using the same ink, just different shaped paper. As
    > far as I can tell the paper is the same as the 8x12 paper. As far as I
    > can tell the operator does not intervene in any way other than to send
    > your job to the printer.
    >
    > Can anybody shed any light on why this happened?


    Only the shop where the kit is installed stands any real chance of
    explaining it. Did you ask them about it when you picked up the prints?

    I am assuming here that the images and prints are as you describe.

    User error is still the most likely cause of problems like this, but the
    machines can sometime play up along lesser trod pathways...

    I discovered once that the Fuji crystal printers with particular early
    firmware printed monochrome JPEGs (no chroma information at all) using a
    false colour psychedelic default colour palette. The shop was very good
    about reprinting the job after I showed them the prints and the original
    monochrome source material which displayed OK on the screens but went
    completely haywire when printed through their full system.

    We actually redid one under controlled conditions to prove that it was
    the machine at fault. Fuji fixed the firmware in the next release.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jul 9, 2013
    #2
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  3. David Hare-Scott <> wrote:

    > The 8X12s all came out
    > very well and matched (to my eyes) what I had edited on the screen very
    > well. The panorama came out very dark in comparison with the screen and not
    > what I was intending at all.


    > I cannot think of any reason why this discrepancy should happen, it is the
    > same printer using the same ink, just different shaped paper.


    But it's a different file, with different data. You don't
    even tell us the file format and what profile is embedded.
    Never mind a possible automatic 'corrections' done by the
    printing software.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jul 10, 2013
    #3
  4. David Hare-Scott

    me Guest

    On Tue, 9 Jul 2013 10:08:17 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"
    <> wrote:

    >I recently had some prints made at a local shop that has a printing station
    >where you load and select your images into the system and they print them.
    >They have produced good stuff before for me. On this occasion I had a
    >handful of 8x12s and a panorama printed. In each case I had done some
    >processing to adjust brightness etc to my taste. The 8X12s all came out
    >very well and matched (to my eyes) what I had edited on the screen very
    >well. The panorama came out very dark in comparison with the screen and not
    >what I was intending at all.
    >
    >I cannot think of any reason why this discrepancy should happen, it is the
    >same printer using the same ink, just different shaped paper. As far as I
    >can tell the paper is the same as the 8x12 paper. As far as I can tell the
    >operator does not intervene in any way other than to send your job to the
    >printer.
    >
    >Can anybody shed any light on why this happened?


    Other info needed? Are you using a color managed workflow and did you
    soft proof the adjusted images using the profile of the printer used
    by your shop? If not, how have you calibrated what you see on your
    monitor to what you get from the printer? What software are you using
    and did you assign a profile to the pano? What color space do you work
    in? If there is no profile in the pano what does the printer assume?

    etc, etc, etc.
    me, Jul 10, 2013
    #4
  5. me wrote:
    > On Tue, 9 Jul 2013 10:08:17 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> I recently had some prints made at a local shop that has a printing
    >> station where you load and select your images into the system and
    >> they print them. They have produced good stuff before for me. On
    >> this occasion I had a handful of 8x12s and a panorama printed. In
    >> each case I had done some processing to adjust brightness etc to my
    >> taste. The 8X12s all came out very well and matched (to my eyes)
    >> what I had edited on the screen very well. The panorama came out
    >> very dark in comparison with the screen and not what I was intending
    >> at all.
    >>
    >> I cannot think of any reason why this discrepancy should happen, it
    >> is the same printer using the same ink, just different shaped paper.
    >> As far as I can tell the paper is the same as the 8x12 paper. As
    >> far as I can tell the operator does not intervene in any way other
    >> than to send your job to the printer.
    >>
    >> Can anybody shed any light on why this happened?

    >
    > Other info needed? Are you using a color managed workflow and did you
    > soft proof the adjusted images using the profile of the printer used
    > by your shop?


    no, no

    If not, how have you calibrated what you see on your
    > monitor to what you get from the printer?


    no

    What software are you using
    > and did you assign a profile to the pano?


    Various software, all the images looked fine on screen regardless of the
    editor/viewer I used, no

    What color space do you work
    > in? If there is no profile in the pano what does the printer assume?
    >


    no idea

    > etc, etc, etc.


    probably no to them also.

    I have a vague idea what all this means. I take it to be the processes by
    which professionals control the outcome of printing. I am not one. I bet
    the bloke at the shop wouldn't have the slightest idea either, they mainly
    sell whitegoods, TVs and computer accessories. If I asked him what pano
    does his printer assume he would smile and ask me who is pano. The nearest
    place where they might have a clue is probably 120km away. These people are
    local, not too expensive and at least willing to try and help, I am stuck
    with them.

    If you are saying this is the only way to be certain of the result then I
    will have to accept a degree of randomness. I was hoping that somebody
    would say 'when the operator changed the paper he forgot to fondle the
    framistan or he bumped the frobdignag with his elbow'. Apparently not.
    Sigh.

    David
    David Hare-Scott, Jul 11, 2013
    #5
  6. Savageduck wrote:
    > On 2013-07-10 16:42:07 -0700, "David Hare-Scott" <>
    > said:
    >> I have a vague idea what all this means. I take it to be the
    >> processes by which professionals control the outcome of printing. I
    >> am not one. I bet the bloke at the shop wouldn't have the slightest
    >> idea either, they mainly sell whitegoods, TVs and computer
    >> accessories. If I asked him what pano does his printer assume he
    >> would smile and ask me who is pano. The nearest place where they
    >> might have a clue is probably 120km away. These people are local,
    >> not too expensive and at least willing to try and help, I am stuck
    >> with them. If you are saying this is the only way to be certain of the
    >> result
    >> then I will have to accept a degree of randomness. I was hoping that
    >> somebody would say 'when the operator changed the paper he forgot to
    >> fondle the framistan or he bumped the frobdignag with his elbow'.
    >> Apparently not. Sigh.
    >>
    >> David

    >
    > Some establishments offering print services can provide two different
    > levels of service when it comes to color correction, and that is
    > dependent on their level of expertise. Some labs have trained staff to
    > deal with color correction, including adjustments for
    > Lightness/darkness, RGB, saturation, and contrast. They will view and
    > color correct each image individually, and charge accordingly.
    >
    > These same labs will also take image files where the customer prefers
    > to make their own color corrections (they will usually provide
    > evaluation prints at no charge). However, to get prints which meet
    > your satisfaction they usually ask that you have a properly
    > calibrated and profiled monitor so you can get consistent and
    > repeatable results.
    > At a minimum, you will also be required to ensure that you have
    > embedded an ICC profile in the file you send them to print from. This
    > will usually be either sRGB or Adobe RGB(1998) and will reflect the
    > colorspace you are working in with your photo eding software.
    >
    > Usually when saving edited jpeg image files in applications such as
    > CS6 or Photoshop Elements there will be a check box in the "save as"
    > dialog box "Embed Color Profile", make sure this box is checked.
    >
    > Many of the type of establishment you are probably using have no idea
    > of this requirement.
    >
    > I suspect the issues you had with your panorama (the mysterious "pano"
    > mentioned above) had to do with the panorama image you saved not
    > having an embedded ICC profile, probably sRGB, while not as wide a
    > color gamut as Adobe RGB(1998), this seems to be what kiosk type labs
    > will need. Your non-pano images probably had an embedded profile.
    >
    > If you haven't got a tool for calibrating your monitor, follow the
    > instructions provided with your monitor or computer. Make sure you
    > make this manual calibration in the same room light conditions you
    > normally work in. (you will get different calibration in a day lit
    > room to one with artificial lighting).
    >
    > Then I suggest that you take that panorama (pano) image file back into
    > your editing application, adjust the the image to your taste, after
    > making sure your software is set to work in one of the two colorspaces
    > I mentioned. Then save the file making sure the profile is embedded.


    Thanks to Duck and to Me, well that would be You not me but... oh nevermind,
    thanks both.

    I don't think I will be going down the calibrate and match the details
    route. My requirements don't warrant it and as mentioned the local bureau
    probably won't cope either. There are only so many things you can study and
    only so many gadgets you can buy in one lifetime and priorities have to be
    set. The great majority of their product suits my eye so I will just adjust
    and re-print any that miss the target by too much. If the re-prints wander
    off in some other random direction of mismatch and it becomes clear it isn't
    just my eyes/monitor/lighting/processing at fault I will ask for some
    freebee replacements, which I expect they will satisfy if it is evident I am
    a regular customer not just having a loan of them. When you live in a
    remote location you need to make relationships with the locals.

    David
    David Hare-Scott, Jul 11, 2013
    #6
  7. Savageduck wrote:
    >>
    >> Thanks to Duck and to Me, well that would be You not me but... oh
    >> nevermind, thanks both.
    >>
    >> I don't think I will be going down the calibrate and match the
    >> details route. My requirements don't warrant it and as mentioned
    >> the local bureau probably won't cope either. There are only so many
    >> things you can study and only so many gadgets you can buy in one
    >> lifetime and priorities have to be set. The great majority of their
    >> product suits my eye so I will just adjust and re-print any that
    >> miss the target by too much. If the re-prints wander off in some
    >> other random direction of mismatch and it becomes clear it isn't
    >> just my eyes/monitor/lighting/processing at fault I will ask for
    >> some freebee replacements, which I expect they will satisfy if it is
    >> evident I am a regular customer not just having a loan of them. When you
    >> live in a remote location you need to make relationships
    >> with the locals. David

    >
    > You should at minimum ask them what colorspace profile they use. They
    > might know what you are talking about, they might not, but whatever
    > they are using to print with is going to need that embedded ICC
    > profile to have a chance to produce results consistent to the
    > adjustments you have made. If they plead ignorance, just use sRGB and
    > go for it.
    > Good luck.


    I had a chat with the operator. He doesn't know colour space from outer
    space but he will look into it.

    We printed another version of the problem image which I had lightened
    several shades compared to the first. It turned out the same as the first
    which was too dark, something had reversed my compensation. He agreed it
    was too dark and asked me if I did any editing to the images and I explained
    they had all been processed to some extent.

    Then the light dawned. The print station software has an option for
    automatically adjusting prints. As they mainly do postcard size from P&S or
    phones that have had no processing they leave this option on by default. He
    turned it off and re-printed the pic: problem solved. Apparently the size
    of the print was not relevant, as one might expect, but it was overall
    lighter than the others that had been OK. The automagic software had
    decided everything had to be standard brightness and darkened it leaving the
    others alone.

    David
    David Hare-Scott, Jul 11, 2013
    #7
  8. David Hare-Scott

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 11/07/2013 03:04, David Hare-Scott wrote:
    > Savageduck wrote:
    >> On 2013-07-10 16:42:07 -0700, "David Hare-Scott" <>
    >> said:
    >>> I have a vague idea what all this means. I take it to be the
    >>> processes by which professionals control the outcome of printing. I
    >>> am not one. I bet the bloke at the shop wouldn't have the slightest
    >>> idea either, they mainly sell whitegoods, TVs and computer
    >>> accessories. If I asked him what pano does his printer assume he
    >>> would smile and ask me who is pano. The nearest place where they
    >>> might have a clue is probably 120km away. These people are local,
    >>> not too expensive and at least willing to try and help, I am stuck
    >>> with them. If you are saying this is the only way to be certain of
    >>> the result
    >>> then I will have to accept a degree of randomness. I was hoping that
    >>> somebody would say 'when the operator changed the paper he forgot to
    >>> fondle the framistan or he bumped the frobdignag with his elbow'.
    >>> Apparently not. Sigh.
    >>>
    >>> David

    >>
    >> Some establishments offering print services can provide two different
    >> levels of service when it comes to color correction, and that is
    >> dependent on their level of expertise. Some labs have trained staff to
    >> deal with color correction, including adjustments for
    >> Lightness/darkness, RGB, saturation, and contrast. They will view and
    >> color correct each image individually, and charge accordingly.
    >>
    >> These same labs will also take image files where the customer prefers
    >> to make their own color corrections (they will usually provide
    >> evaluation prints at no charge). However, to get prints which meet
    >> your satisfaction they usually ask that you have a properly
    >> calibrated and profiled monitor so you can get consistent and
    >> repeatable results.
    >> At a minimum, you will also be required to ensure that you have
    >> embedded an ICC profile in the file you send them to print from. This
    >> will usually be either sRGB or Adobe RGB(1998) and will reflect the
    >> colorspace you are working in with your photo eding software.
    >>
    >> Usually when saving edited jpeg image files in applications such as
    >> CS6 or Photoshop Elements there will be a check box in the "save as"
    >> dialog box "Embed Color Profile", make sure this box is checked.
    >>
    >> Many of the type of establishment you are probably using have no idea
    >> of this requirement.
    >>
    >> I suspect the issues you had with your panorama (the mysterious "pano"
    >> mentioned above) had to do with the panorama image you saved not
    >> having an embedded ICC profile, probably sRGB, while not as wide a
    >> color gamut as Adobe RGB(1998), this seems to be what kiosk type labs
    >> will need. Your non-pano images probably had an embedded profile.
    >>
    >> If you haven't got a tool for calibrating your monitor, follow the
    >> instructions provided with your monitor or computer. Make sure you
    >> make this manual calibration in the same room light conditions you
    >> normally work in. (you will get different calibration in a day lit
    >> room to one with artificial lighting).
    >>
    >> Then I suggest that you take that panorama (pano) image file back into
    >> your editing application, adjust the the image to your taste, after
    >> making sure your software is set to work in one of the two colorspaces
    >> I mentioned. Then save the file making sure the profile is embedded.

    >
    > Thanks to Duck and to Me, well that would be You not me but... oh
    > nevermind, thanks both.
    >
    > I don't think I will be going down the calibrate and match the details
    > route. My requirements don't warrant it and as mentioned the local
    > bureau probably won't cope either. There are only so many things you
    > can study and only so many gadgets you can buy in one lifetime and
    > priorities have to be set. The great majority of their product suits my
    > eye so I will just adjust and re-print any that miss the target by too
    > much. If the re-prints wander off in some other random direction of
    > mismatch and it becomes clear it isn't just my
    > eyes/monitor/lighting/processing at fault I will ask for some freebee
    > replacements, which I expect they will satisfy if it is evident I am a
    > regular customer not just having a loan of them. When you live in a
    > remote location you need to make relationships with the locals.


    Basically what you need to do is take one of the offending images and
    play with it in an image editor that will let you see the metadata to
    figure out what is missing (or present) that is foxing the machine.

    Compare it against a reference normal image that actually worked OK.

    The most likely cause is mismatched colourspace and try all four
    combinations after you have the image looking right on the screen.

    I am a bit puzzled that you didn't notice a problem when you reviewed
    the images on screen at the printers before submitting for printing.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jul 19, 2013
    #8
  9. Martin Brown wrote:
    >>
    >> I don't think I will be going down the calibrate and match the
    >> details route. My requirements don't warrant it and as mentioned
    >> the local bureau probably won't cope either. There are only so many
    >> things you can study and only so many gadgets you can buy in one
    >> lifetime and priorities have to be set. The great majority of their
    >> product suits my eye so I will just adjust and re-print any that
    >> miss the target by too much. If the re-prints wander off in some
    >> other random direction of mismatch and it becomes clear it isn't
    >> just my eyes/monitor/lighting/processing at fault I will ask for
    >> some freebee replacements, which I expect they will satisfy if it is
    >> evident I am a regular customer not just having a loan of them. When you
    >> live in a remote location you need to make relationships
    >> with the locals.

    >
    > Basically what you need to do is take one of the offending images and
    > play with it in an image editor that will let you see the metadata to
    > figure out what is missing (or present) that is foxing the machine.
    >
    > Compare it against a reference normal image that actually worked OK.
    >
    > The most likely cause is mismatched colourspace and try all four
    > combinations after you have the image looking right on the screen.
    >
    > I am a bit puzzled that you didn't notice a problem when you reviewed
    > the images on screen at the printers before submitting for printing.


    On the screen at home and at the print station they look fine. The problem
    turned out to be the operator had left on an option to allow built-in
    software to "improve" the images according to some unknown criteria, it
    seems to adjust brightness and saturation of every image in some way, in
    between selection on the screen and printing. In many cases it makes little
    or no difference. The test image that made this formula visibly foolish was
    of a beach on a cloudy day, on screen it is realistically fairly bright and
    unsaturated, it printed too dark and too coloured. As soon as this option
    was disabled all was well.

    D
    David Hare-Scott, Jul 19, 2013
    #9
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