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Old Apr 6, 2009, 1:34 PM   #1
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This is probably in the wrong forum, but since I shot it with my Canon XSi and Canon Lens, I'll start here.



I took several shots at a family gathering, photoshopped them.

Then took them to be printed at a local store (not a photo print specialist), buta fuji unit where I upload my photos from a flash drive and print.

The unit has an option to do or not do color enhancement. I am 100% sure I chose NO enhancement.

When I got the prints back, theyare alldarker than the photo I have on my computer screen. The colors all seem flat, no pop on the prints.

Is that what happens with a matte finish rather than glossy? I appreciate your help and Mr. Moderator, please feel free to move this to a different forum if you need to.

Faithfully yours,
FP





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Old Apr 6, 2009, 2:52 PM   #2
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What color space were you using? Is your monitor calibrated and editing software color space aware?

As a general rule, most LCDs are set too bright with too much contrast by default. So, it's not unusual to see darker prints that look a bit flat if you were editing with a monitor that's set too bright with too much contrast. ;-)

Laptop displays are usually the worse offenders. I've made the mistake of using my wife's laptop for editing more than once, only realizing how "off" it's settings were later when viewing them at my desktop and seeing darker images than I wanted.

It could be your printer, too. But, you may want to see what the images look like on other monitors before jumping to any conclusions. Or, post a sample or two here and see what members think (of course, they won't be able to tell what the prints looked like in comparison to what you're seeing).

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Old Apr 6, 2009, 7:08 PM   #3
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In Photoshop Elements, I have a simple tool that gives me three options:

No color managemetn

Always Optimize colors for Computer Screens

Always Optimize for printing

Allow me to choose

1. Which of these will help me most?

2. Do I need something more than these tools in order to get my prints closer to the computer screen image?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 6, 2009, 8:08 PM   #4
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Do the images look the same in Elements and in another browser? Is the camera set to sRGB or something else?

If you use a color space other than sRGB, images may not render correctly unless the application you're viewing them with is color space aware. So, setting the camera to something else (for example Adobe RGB) can cause issues unless you're using color space aware applications.

Here's one article that may help to explain it:

My Camera, My Color by Mike Chaney.

But, your most likely issue is simply a monitor that's not well calibrated (for example, set too bright with too much contrast). Here's an article on the subject:

http://www.smugmug.com/help/too-dark

You can get hardware calibration tools to help out (these can create profiles for your monitor). Here's an article with more detail, and includes links to calibration hardware reviews.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/m...alibration.htm

Or, you can find other ways to get somewhat close. Here's one example:

http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp


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Old Apr 8, 2009, 8:04 AM   #5
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JimC;

I think the photos look the same in Windows Viewer as they do in Elements.

My camera is set to shoot in auto functions in sRGB and in all manual options, it is also set to shoot in sRGB.

I'm going to work on the calibration of the screen. But at first blush, it sounds complicated and you'd better know what you're doing or you can really screw things up.

Have a great day.

FP


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Old Apr 8, 2009, 8:16 AM   #6
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If they look the same in color space aware and non-color space aware applications, and the images are sRGB, it's probably just your monitor calibration (set too bright, so that you're sending darker images to the printing service than you think you are). Of course, the printer you're using could be the problem, too. ;-)

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Old Apr 8, 2009, 9:05 AM   #7
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JimC,



What do you think is the simplist VISTA compatible color calibrator out there?
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 9:25 AM   #8
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I only calibrate my monitor (laptop screens actually) using a Huey Pro, it works really well. The printing company I use send a sample print and I just ensure that everything is matching and the standard calibration from the Huey Pro gets it almost straight there.
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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If you want a solution that works by "eyeballing" the monitor, try the one I mentioned in my last post. It's the best one like it I've seen so far. Here's a download link:

http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw_dl.asp

After you download it, right click on it and select "Run as Administrator" to install it in Vista.

I just tried it in Vista and it seems to work OK with it. You can save multiple profiles that it can use, and it can install an icon in your system tray if desired, too. Just use the default profile to go back to the way your settings were to begin with.

Turn down your Monitor's brightness and contrast settings, load the Calibration Wizard and follow the directions on screen, making sure your viewing angle isn't off if you're using an LCD and your room lighting is the same as you'd normally have when working.

If you want more precise calibration, use a hardware calibration tool with software to create monitor profiles. In addition to the Huey Pro that Mark1616 mentioned, you'll find some more choices in this review. Some are a bit dated now, but if you click on the links to the products reviewed, you can browse the web sites for newer products.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/m...tion_tools.htm

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