I am pretty weak in this area, but check you settings so PS handles the color settings rather than the printer.
There are many posts on color problems, here is one which should give you some other thoughts.
Yes, it is a LCD, I am running a HPw2408 as my main screen and a Hyundai L90D+ for my work screen, and I have tried all sorts of software screen calibration, because I thought the screen brightness may be an issue, but even the photos I have taken my self, (so I know the exposure is spot on) still come out dark and some times murky no matter how I manage the colour.
I am 90% positive that I need to buy the Spyder Studio to calibrate my screen so I can then rule out that part.
What bugs me is the advancements of technology, and software such as Adobe, which I think is great, but the printing of photos with correct colour seems to have got harder.
This has been going on for 2 months now, I have read every thing I can get my hands on about screen calibration, colour management and printing, I have even brought Photoshop CS4 for Dummies, all in an effort to try to understand these colour settings etc, (I know a lot now but none of it works so its usless info to have :-))
I am positive that I when I find the solution, it will be one of theo AHHH so thats it! moments.
The first thing you need to do is reduce the number of unknowns.
There is a de facto point of reference in the industry, and that's to calibrate your monitor to gamma 2.2, a white point temperature of 6500K, and a white point luminance of 90 - 120 cd/m2. The latter depending somewhat on the ambient light. With these settings you know you'll be speaking the same language as other professionals, and what you see on your monitor is what the file "really" looks like.
From there you can start working on your printer. I don't do much desktop printing to meet critical standards these days, most of it is for external use, so I'll leave that part to others.
Hi D Fosse, excuse me for aksing, do I need to do this with the aid of a calibrator? I have since looked at my system, and have noticed that under Control Panel, Appearance and Pesonalisation, I have a program NVIDIA Control Panel, as well as the normal Windows Links to Display settings.
So I looked at the NVIDIA control panel and say it has the basic Brightness, Digital Vibrance, Contrast, Image Sharpning and Gamma, all with % not exact details.
But when I go to Control panel, adjust screen resolution, advanced, Colour management, I can select the profiles I want to use, (currently sRGB IEC61966-2.1 - sRGB Color Space Profile.icm but there is no where I can set the setting you have suggested.
Do you use a calibrator or just doing it manualy?
Oh, the reason we need to print the photos ourselves, is at the moment we live in Ghana, and there is no lab to use, so we are kinda stuck with sorting this out.
If I was you, just to get started in the minefield of colour management, I would use the nVidia panel to lower the brightness to about 50%, and just do a test print of one that you have already printed. This will prove whether or not the screen brightness is involved in the darker print problem.
Secondly, you should visit the website of the paper manufacturer that you are using to get a profile for the printer/paper combination. This profile should be installed in windows, and selected as the default printer profile.
This will get you started in the management of colour but you should calibrate your monitor using a hardware/software tool. The two most widely used are, I think, EyeOne and Spyder.
I hope that helps,
Thanks, I have checked my settings and they were at the 50% mark, so I have ruled out the screen brightness, I am also convinced to buy the Spyder Studio, Screen calibrator.
You hit the nail on the head, this is a mine field alright, I have a 22 YO son who has completed a degree in Aero Space Engineering, and I am begining to think that would be easier than this.
But bit by bit I am eating away at the Colour Managment Elephant, slowly getting closer to knowing what I am doing (or maybe I am going mad). Thanks for the tips.
Try the print anyway is my suggestion because the nVidia control panel defaults to 50% brightness; +50% gamma; 0 sharpening; 0 vibrance.
I use the iOne calibrator which does not set the brightness but does a good job on the colours. I had to lower my LCD brightness to 30% on the nVidia panel to get a good print match.
I must admit that I don't know if the Spyder calibration includes brightness.
First and foremost you need to hardware calibrate your monitor, Spyder will do fine. Your colour space needs to be set to Adobe RGB 1998 at camera level if you intend to print with an inkjet (sRGB is best for Web and veiwing on a monitor). When you import your images into Bridge or CS4 your working space must be set to the same ie:-Adobe RGB 1998. Set your print so that Photoshop manages colour, then in the box that asks for Printer Profile you put the Epson Paper profile, not sRGB.So if you are using an Epson glossy paper then thats the profile to use. Dont forget to turn off the colour management for the print driver in the Epson printer properties before you print. If you are shooting RAW then it does'nt matter what colour space you set the camera to as this can be set in ACR or any RAW converter. If after calibraiting your monitor your prints are way to dark then try a white luminance of 50 or 60. Remember that prints are reflective and monitors transmit light so your viewing of prints need to be under good daylight type lighting.
Ok! We all know that you should calibrate the monitor but this controls the colours seen on the screen but this calibration does often not set the monitor brightness. What is white luminance? Screen brightness? The most common cause of dark prints is the monitor being too bright and/or the ambient viewing light being too bright. Get this right first and then calibrate the screen for colour.
I think your printer workflow may be wrong, too. (But also calibrate your monitro!)
Try setting color handling to: photoshop manages color, printer profile as the paper profile relevant for your printer (should be available from epson eg on my printer "epson 7600 enhanced matte mk". I usually use the perceptual rendering intent, but it wont make much difference.
In you printer driver choose the correct paper and the option that corresponods to "no colour adjustment". On both epson printers I have this workflow produces a print preview with distorted colors, but it prints fine. Epson has some materials about workflow available.
I spent days getting the workflow right when I first got an epson, I dont use this workflow anymore as I've made my own paper profiles, but it should be a good starting point.
I too have had problems with prints being much darker than what I see on screen.
Below is my solution which works fairly well for color prints--not as well for grayscale.
I used the huey Pro monitor calibrator purchased only a couple of months back to make my prints look right and be consistent.
1. Use the huey to calibrate the monitor
2. From Photoshop (CS4), I select the ICC profile for my Epson 2200 printer and the paper being used. I then set up soft proofing in Photoshop (in the View menu) which allows me to see on screen how the image will be printed. Usually it is a bit darker than I like.
3. so I adjust the brightness such that in the soft proof view, the image appears as I wish.
4. There is more yet to do in that you have to set various settings for the print process like letting Photoshop manage colors, setting no color adjustment for the printer. And a few more minor settings regarding the printer
By the way, there is something wrong with the print driver for the 2200 in XP so that when you come to the last screen before printing, the print preview has a very red tint. You simply ignore that since the print has none of that. This is in XP. Possibly Windows Vista has a driver that doesn’t do that.
This has given me good quality consistent prints the first time they are printed—at least on the few I have done since getting the huey