prints too dark

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bruce Meierkord, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. When I look at my digital prints on my laptop, they look just fine. But when
    I have prints made, they come back darker than they should. Any suggestions?
    Bruce Meierkord, Jan 24, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. First I suggest trying a different method of printing. A different
    store using a different type of machine etc. You also may want to talk with
    the people making the prints. I suspect that is where the "problem" is.

    It is also possible you have an exposure problem and your laptop is just
    displaying them brighter. Since it is easier to check out the first idea, I
    suggest you start there. I also believe it is more likely a printing
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 24, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Bruce Meierkord

    LLutton Guest

    When I look at my digital prints on my laptop, they look just fine. But when
    What image editing software are you using? Are you PC, or Mac? Sounds like you
    need to calibrate your monitor. If you have Adobe Gamma in the Control Panel,
    use it to calibrate.
    LLutton, Jan 24, 2004
  4. Bruce Meierkord

    mark_digital Guest

    Use a CRT monitor instead of just relying on your laptop's screen.
    Obviously you are a beginner and beginners should use CRT's.
    mark_digital, Jan 24, 2004
  5. I remember similar experiences. I was used to adjust exposure on my camera
    because pictures seemed a little overexposed on my LCD computer screen. It
    passed a long time since I was ordering a print from my digital images the
    first time. Then I also recognized that the prints are darker than expected.
    I made some tests with different monitors viewing the same image.

    1. Each monitor do have some "value" of background light. It is a little bit
    like viewing a slide. Therefore they seem brighter than a print of the same
    image. Totally different colors I could see when viewing my pictures on a TV
    via DVD player from CD.

    2. The monitor can be adjusted at least in brightness and contrast, probably
    even in color temperature. These parameters change appearance of the

    This is a known issue with (digital) fotography. Therefore the ICC
    (International Color Consortium, ) has defined color
    profiles. The idea is that every camera and every image reproducing unit
    should have one. Having those profiles for all involved units allows
    transferring an image from one color space to another without "loss" or
    "unwanted change" of color and brightness information.

    In some software there are some profiles included (*.icm files if I am
    right) and you maybe can download from your monitor's manufacturer some
    profile data that allows transferring color spaces and correct display on
    your monitor.

    If you usually tend to underexpose your pictures when taking them because
    the look too bright on the screen then you should rather adjust your
    monitor. Otherwise I assume that your camera tend to underexpose. If you
    view your same image on different screens you will see that especially
    brightness (but also color) will look different on each screen.

    Depending even on the "studio" where the prints are made I have changed my
    behaviour to do now less exposure correction when taking shots but adjust my
    monitor settings. I do not order many prints but in some cases they would be
    very important and then they should have a good quality.
    Martin Wildam, Jan 24, 2004
  6. Bruce Meierkord

    Mark Herring Guest

    Use an editor to look at the histograms. If these are right, then you
    have an issue with monitor calibration, brightness setting, etc.

    Regardless of how the hitogram looks, any lab should be able to do
    simple corrections to get the pirnt to look right---they do it with

    The BEST way around all of this is to do at least SOME printing
    yourself---best way to get comfortable with how everything works.
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Jan 24, 2004
  7. Bruce Meierkord

    Mark Herring Guest

    WHAT???!!!! A beginner might not have a PC at all. A major Photoshop
    user may have an issue with CRT vs flat panel, but a beginner just
    wants to look at the ()*&&$&*( pictures.
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Jan 24, 2004
  8. Bruce Meierkord

    mark_digital Guest

    You're not making any sense Mark. Please elaborate further.
    mark_digital, Jan 25, 2004
  9. Bruce Meierkord

    Mark Herring Guest


    You said that all beginners should use CRTs.

    My point is that a beginner might not even have a PC---much less be
    making the distinction between CRT and flat panel.

    I use laptops and CRTs, and the differences are not great enough to
    explain the issue in the seminal post.
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Jan 25, 2004
  10. Thanks for the input. Yes, I am a relative beginner, but right now I don't
    have access to a CRT. So, is there someway I can make sure my prints look
    the same as they do on my laptop? Thanks.
    Bruce Meierkord, Jan 25, 2004
  11. Bruce Meierkord

    Mark Herring Guest

    ((I'm not the one who suggested the CRT))

    One low-tech way to go is to simply learn how something looks on your
    monitor when the print looks right. For years, I have gotten things
    just so on the screen and then lightened it a bit for printing.

    You can engage your print supplier on how they calibrate--but dont be
    surprised if you get blank stares.

    I strongly recommend doing at least some printing yourself--if only to
    get comfortable with the whole process. You can get started with a
    good photo printer at less than $200
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Jan 25, 2004
  12. Bruce Meierkord

    Gretch Guest

    Good luck talking to the people making the prints. Most lab techs working
    in the typical one-hr lab these days are poorly trained and underpaid.

    I ran into this same problem using Walgreens, Wal-Mart and the local
    foodstore lab.

    My solution was to do a test print and then balance the monitor to that
    print. Make all your adjustments and then send them back to that lab. If
    you do this within a few days, you should get agreeable prints.

    The problem rises if someone in the store tinkers with their printers,
    chemistry or paper.

    I have had very little luck convincing stores they would better serve
    customers if they were to provice a color profile for their printers.
    Once in a while you get a tech who shows some interest. Most of the time
    you get a blank stare and indifference.
    Gretch, Jan 26, 2004
  13. Bruce Meierkord

    David Byford Guest

    I had the same problem with you on my laptop and like you didn't have
    access to a CRT.

    When I got my photos printed by Photobox (which is a web based
    printing service here in the UK), they came out two tones darker than
    what I was seeing on my lap top screen.

    I then tried hooking up to my wife's printer (an Epson 580) and the
    prints from that come out exactly as they appear on screen.. My only
    problem is that I can't do edge to edge printing on the Epson. But I
    think it would be worth your while as other posters have suggested and
    getting your own printer.
    David Byford, Jan 26, 2004
  14. Bruce Meierkord

    mark_digital Guest

    Why do you have a CRT attached to your laptop?
    mark_digital, Jan 28, 2004
  15. Bruce Meierkord

    mark_digital Guest

    Check to see if there is a sign posted offering you a refund if not
    delighted. It could explain why the blank stares and indifference.
    mark_digital, Jan 28, 2004
  16. Bruce Meierkord


    Oct 9, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Everyone seems to think the fault is w/ the monitor.

    I disagree completely. I have had many point and shoot cameras in the past and just this year up graded to my fisrt real camera a 30d. I was very up set when I started to print my photos only to find everyone of them way to dark.I did no post processing at all I simply put the in the printer and started to print. My printer is a Canon Pixma ip6600D that I bought a week later.
    I have read many sites that discuss this proplem and they all say the same thing it is the monitor or some post processing thing that is causing the problem. I can tell you that my $300 5 mp point and shoot pic's. on my LCD screen on my lap and the prints from every P&S camera I have look the same. I mean the brightness of the pic's on the screen and the printed one's held right next to the screen look right on the money.By the way I have used both fully auto settings and manual setting on my P&S's. My Toshiba P&S has the same auto and manual settings as does the 30d.
    Now let's talk about the 30d and others similar. You would think that a $1,000 plus camera in fully auto would produce perfect photo's now wouldn't you?
    I do not have the KIT lens no way I Got the 28-105 f/4 the 17-55 and the 135L. It does not matter at all what lens I use all my indoor shoots under the same lighting I used w/ my P&S's with are way dark and after printing. But look perfect on not only on the play back screen but on my lap top as well.
    So you all can claim it is this and it is that but to me I think it is a huge flaw in the camera it self that is the problem..... What do you think? Must I have to do anything special w/ exposure compensation,or worry about hisograms or monitor calibration or anything else if I what to just shoot in full auto?
    I will say that I do enjoy trying to get it right in manual mode. Tv,Av and P.
    But what the #@&%$#@ why can't I just P&S if I want and have the same results as any other P&S out? And for the money I should be able to do just that... But that just can't be and I darn mad @ Canon for that vary reason.
    Anyone else feel the same way? Now lets all play with our post processes just to get a photo to give to our Mom's of her and her grand daughter. Sorry Mom I might have it ready for you the next time you stop by.
    Flyfisher67, Oct 9, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.