Printing picture advice

  heidelberg 12:30 18 Dec 2005

I would be grateful for any advice on printing pictures taken by digital camera, or alternatively any recommendations of websites to visit for the same sort of help.

Basically when printed the pictures are much darker than they should be. Printer Epson R300, camera Canon EOS 350D.

Thanks in advance.


  jboyd 12:49 18 Dec 2005

You don't say if you are printing direct from the camera but I would start with some image manipulation to brighten the photo. You can sometimes find the screen picture differs from the final print. You should also check you printer manual for any 'fine tuning' or 'colour correction' settings in the printer properties. You also don't say what photo software you are using, but if it is very basic you could try better software, a good free download is The Gimp which seems to get rave reviews (considering its price of course).

  Pamy 12:49 18 Dec 2005

heidelberg, where are you printing the pictures from.?

My Epsom printer prints are darker but if it is something that I am realy paticular about I load it into a paint program and alter it first, ie change the brightness or contrast and print from there.


  heidelberg 12:56 18 Dec 2005

Sorry - I had just posted the initial posting when I realised that I hadn't included much information.

I am printing from the PC and am just beginning to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.

BOYDFISH you are right when you say "the screen picture differs from the final print." That is the basic problem. Pamy thanks for your posting too - I will try what you suggest.

Thanks for help


  Stuartli 13:09 18 Dec 2005

I've just got an Epson R300 and have been pleased to note that, using Picassa2, what you see on the screen is repeated in the prints, including any changes such as lightening a darker image.

In fact the majority of prints I have done have needed no alterations to the picture file(s) and are accurately reproduced.

  jack 14:31 18 Dec 2005

You will need to get to grips with a reasonable photo editor.
The topic covering screen/paper differences is huge. but essentially the kernal is this.

A screen displays its iamge via three components RGB which by dint of electrontrickery gives the impression of 24 million colours - in reality there are not, it is an electroncon.

A printer deposits 3 complimentary colours on to a surface.That is the pigment/dye used absorbs wavelengths and allows back to the eye what is left duly modified by the colour of the paper surface, and ambient viewing light and dare I say the colour of your shirt/blouse { I deliberately left out black and half colours here they are enhancers to the equasion]
Thus to get a result nearing the screen inages is going to involve a lot of learning and a lot of luck in addition to getting the correct materials
Finally do a search in the search panel I suggest 'print quality' as a keyword for starters. the topic is covered almost daily.

  Stuartli 14:37 18 Dec 2005

You are referring to the three primary addictive colours in the case of a monitor and subtractive primary colours in the case of prints.

The former is concerned with emitted light and the latter with reflected light.

A reasonable explanation can be found at:

click here

Also note the reference to the fact that the secondary colours of emitted light are the primary colours of reflected light...:-)

  palinka 15:17 18 Dec 2005

I'm strictly an amateur in this field. I found it was a case of trial and error at first because there are 2 separate isues to this a)editing the pic before printing, for brightness, colour, etc. and b)achieving best setting on the printer. Based on my experience I'd start with a pic that you are happy with (for brightness, colour on monitor, etc)then print it at varying settings - you can adjust amount of each ink in the printer settings. Type of paper makes a diference too. When you get a setting you're happy with, save it and use that setting in the future for all pics. It will probably cost you a bit, short-term, in ink, but long term you'll benefit. You'll know in future that the fault (if any)lies in the original pic and not in the printer if things don't turn out as you expect.

  palinka 15:22 18 Dec 2005

realise that last sentence may be confusing: by "fault" I meant things such as too dark, too light, etc. When you've got the printer settings established for best results, the answer for light/dark/etc will be to edit those features before printing.

  PA28 16:11 18 Dec 2005

There's a simple measure that I have used to "calibrate" my monitor in the past - in the absence of formal calibration software. Now this is coming in from the back end, but I find it works.

Firstly take a photograph straight from your camera, open it in Elements and print it - without doing any editing. It's helpful to print it at A4 size, similar to your screen, rather than a diddy 6"x4". Now - using the same light conditions that you normally work in - hold it adjacent to your screen and adjust the screen until you have roughly the same colour and brightness qualities.

Once you have done this you should be able to play to your heart's content, knowing that what you see on screen is roughly (and I stress roughly!) is what will emerge from your printer when you've finished.

  Sharpamatt 16:21 18 Dec 2005

This was only covered a couclick here of weeks ago

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