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Print module Print is very dark

rclanger

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On a Cannon Pro 100 the 13x19 print is much darker than the image is on screen. I have adjusted the brightness and contrast without changing the print very much. The contrast did have some effect but the result was not desirable.

After wasting 4 prints I need some guidance, please!
 
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Soft proofing in LR will mimic the appearance of the image on the paper. You need to use a color profile that matches your paper and printer characteristics in the soft proofing. It helps to have calibrated your monitor. Most people set the monitor too bright.
The mini is a transmittive media and paper is a reflective media. Both have very different color characteristics. Matte paper absorbs lots of ink while glossy paper leaves the ink on the surface.
Your paper manufacturers usually provide a color profile for your printer paper combination.
print small test squares until you get it right before printing 13x19
 
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I do have my monitor "too bright" because it gets used for a lot more than photographic work.
As well as soft proofing, I've experimented with the brightness and contrast adjustments in the Print module (not in Develop) to get results that generally satisfy me. Of course you may want to tweak those settings, for example by taking account of the incident light if you know where it will hang.
(I appreciate this would be inadequate for "professional" printing, but it does for me!)
 
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After wasting 4 prints I need some guidance, please!
Dark prints are usually the result of a display that is set much too bright. The correct value when calibrating should be about 90-100 cd/m2 (candelas per square meter).
 
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I do have my monitor "too bright" because it gets used for a lot more than photographic work.
As well as soft proofing, I've experimented with the brightness and contrast adjustments in the Print module
This works as long as you print directly from LR. The problem with this workaround is that the value stored in the files are wrong. If you send the files to be printed elsewhere, the printout will be too dark.
 
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The best way to deal with this (common) problem is to calibrate your screen. X-Rite or Spyder are by far the dominant manufacturers for screens, printers, and projectors. Here's the short explanation I tell my students, which I partly learned from Mac Holbert, who helped invent digital printing at Nash Editions (the first printer he worked with is in the Smithsonian).

A few decades ago, when it was clear that the publishing world (online and analogue) was going to be digital, invested parties such as publishers, software manufacturers, printer manufacturers, and so on, got together to develop standards for screen calibration, specifically so that what a person saw on their screen would be the same as another person saw on their calibrated screen. Among other things, roughly speaking, they worried about color, contrast, brightness. The result is that if you calibrate (or profile) your screen, you're 90% of the way there. The last 10% is to calibrate your printer.

Once I calibrated my screen, I went from making 10-15 prints before getting a good one down to 2 or 3. Once I calibrated my printer, I get what I'm looking for in 1 or 2 prints - a huge saving in money and time. I use X-Rite to calibrate my monitor, and it's pretty easy to do - screens can drift over time, so it's great that it's easy. I had a color-management guy profile my printer, which was a bit more costly, but printers tend to be more stable, as long as you use the same printer, ink, and paper for each profile. You can also profile a printer yourself.
 
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Once I calibrated my printer, I get what I'm looking for in 1 or 2 prints - a huge saving in money and time. I use X-Rite to calibrate my monitor, and it's pretty easy to do - screens can drift over time, so it's great that it's easy. I had a color-management guy profile my printer, which was a bit more costly, but printers tend to be more stable, as long as you use the same printer, ink, and paper for each profile. You can also profile a printer yourself.
This may be a silly question but what equipment do you need to profile a printer yourself?
 
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This may be a silly question but what equipment do you need to profile a printer yourself?
Hi,

You can do it yourself by using a spectrophotometer like this one : Datacolor SpyderPRINT . You print a target image, you measure it with the spectrophotometer and the associated software gives you an ICC profile. This has to be repeated for each printer/paper pair.

You can also delegate this operation to an external service. You download a target image to print (with specified parameters) and you send them the resulting print after drying. They will return an ICC profile. This has to be done for each printer/paper pair as well. See for example this well-known and reputed service : ENGLISH (I don't have any relationship with them).

I do use a second hand Spyder 3 Print SR but only when the ICC profile provided by the paper manufacturer gives bad results. Creating your own ICC printer profiles is fun but time consuming. And the device is not especially cheap.
 
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X-Rite also sells devices to calibrate your printer. While you can get OK results using profiles provided by paper companies, there are limitations, depending on how fussy you are about your prints; the first is that, while you can certainly print on Epson paper on a Canon printer (as I have done), you cannot find Epson profiles for Canon printers as they are competitors. The second is purely about how critical printing results are to you - since prints are a combination of technical issues and subjective, artistic sensibilities.

Roughly speaking, I have two audiences for my prints: my portfolio I show to potential clients, and my own, more "fine art" prints I do for myself. To ease my mind and facilitate my workflow (time=money), and get the best possible results, I had a professional profile my printer - this may not be the level you want.

However, it's critical that when you print the file provided by the profiler software or person, you follow their exact directions on how to set up the print - it's not hard! In the end, the print will be seen under varying light sources (daylight, incandescent, LED, fluorescent, and so on), so be prepared to have it look a wee bit different than it does where you have your printer located. Color management can be a deep hole to fall into, but everyone has different requirements, and even being modestly profiled puts you way out in front and saves lots of money and time.
 

happycranker

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I do both calibrate the screen and the create my own printer profiles. But the choice of devices that do both functions is limited as discussed above. So you may want to just invest in the screen calibration first, which will probably give the most benefit for consistent printing.
 

rclanger

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Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. I had not noticed my Spyder was not loading. I fixed that easily.

I did play with soft proofing and will continue to do so. Like one of you, I to have my screen brighter than most. However I do export and share. Those who are interested in my photographs will want to see on paper what they saw on screen.

Again, thanks to all!
 
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