PRINT Problem - can somebody help me out please

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Johan, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Hi guys,

    Let me explain what sort of print problem I have. I made a photo a while, I adjusted the exposure, color and contrast just a little bit, adjusting the dimensions so I didn't go berserk. It was just optimizing the picture. I went to the store a few days ago to order the print. I have gone back today to get the printed version of it. The result is horrible, the picture is too dark in general and there is no detail at all.

    Do you guys have any tips for me? I just want the picture like I see it on my screen on paper, something went completely wrong that's obvious. I'm really disappointed. Here is the original picture.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
  2. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  3. GeneR

    GeneR Guest

    Johan:

    Here are some basic tips that you may already know. You will get your best results if you provide the lab a file consistent with their setup. Among other things, avoid taking the lab a file in Adobe RGB color space. While it is a good idea to shoot in Adobe RGB, you will need to convert to an sRGB (and TIFF or JPEG) before taking the file to the print lab. If possible, find a lab that has a profile available for their printer. Most Costco stores have a profile available online. I embed the profile when I convert in Nikon Capture. You can find profiles at www.drycreekphoto.com.

    Finally, try to calibrate your monitor if you have not done so. If you have a calibrated monitor and a profile embedded for the printer, then your prints should look like what you saw on your computer screen.

    Good luck,

    Gene
     
  4. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Big thanks Paul and Gener for the fast reply!!!

    You both point out to calibrate the monitor. Very interesting point of course and that was one of the first things that popped up as well. I had the luck that I saw this picture on the monitor of the manager of the store. I could clearly see that the colours, sharpness and detial were identical to the picture I get on my screen. I also posted the photo on another forum (www.fotomatic.nl) a week ago and they all loved it due to the colours, the sad mood and simplicity. So, it seems to me that the screen is ok. But of course the best thing is that I calibrate my monitor just to be sure and confident.

    Ok, now to give you guys more info about settings and colour modes.

    - I have my D70 set on "sharp" when it comes to colours
    - Image Quality - Fine
    - Image size - Large (jpeg)

    I have never changed the Adobe RGB colour space to sRGB. I read the differences between the two of them a few months ago in a NikonPro magazine. So, I think that the original picture is in Adobe RGB-mode, the D70 doesn't have a sRGB-mode --> D2x :D :D

    Do I have to change this colour space in Photoshop ?

    I don't know much about, I don't have any experiences with it thus far. I hope that the info given above it some what of a help for you guys.

    Now, If I haven't answered a question correctly please ask me again then. I want to be correct and I want to solve this problem. It is a great way to learn something about this important issue.

    I showed the printed version to a friend of mine, he had already seen the digital photo when he was checking my webserver out. I loved the image immediately, but he was very disappointed when seeing the printed version when he dropped by. He suggested to print it out himself, he already guaranteed me a good result. He will put the file through Photoshop make the necessary adjustments if needed and finally print it out.
    So, stay tuned for any further developments.

    Thanks a lot for the advice already given

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
  5. Most of us follow this protocol.
    1. Shoot in Adobe RGB
    2. Process in Adobe RGb
    3. As a last step before you save the image convert it to 8 bit SRGB

    If you monitor is calibrated and you instruct your printer to "print as submitted" you should get a print that looks like your monitor. If you don't tell your printer to print as submitted, they will let their automatic controls manipulate your print to give you what the machine thinks is an average print. When I first started in digital I had all kinds of print problems. It wasn't until I realized that the auto processing equipment was messing with settings that I had worked so hard to achieve. I now use a professional printer (White House Custom Color) in St. Paul, MN. I did get good prints from Costco but not of the quality I get with WHCC.
     
  6. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Thanks Greyflash,

    Thanks for given me the three step protocol.

    I will buy a pro or semi pro printer in the future, DIY is always nicer and gives you more satisfaction afterwards.
    But I can use all the tips available, because I'm a newbie when it comes to printing images.

    I will get the printed version of the umbrella shown above today, I'm eagerly looking forward to that.

    Thanks a lot, appreciate it.

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
  7. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    One more thing,

    You really might want to consider installing a custom tone curve in your D70. My son's the primary user of my D70 at the mooment, and I've got the Photogenic's "P&S" curve loaded. His jpgs are coming out of the camera with much more pop that they used to with the "Normal" tone curve.
     
  8. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Hi Steve S,

    How do I have to do that ? Is this some sort of firmware update ?

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    It's done with Nikon Camera Control, a part of Nikon Capture

    Camera Control is a sub-program within Nikon Capture. It's fall off a log easy to do, but you have to have NC installed in your puter to do it. Do you?
     
  10. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Steve S,

    No, I haven't worked with the Nikon software thus far. I use to work with Photoshop. I will see what I can do, I know that there came a few cd's with my D70. I have installed some software but never took the time to sort things out.
    Reading all of this really opens my eyes, I'm surprised what you have to do before getting some decent prints.

    Big thanks

    Regards

    Johan
     
  11. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  12. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Hi Paul,

    Yeah, I like the K.I.S.S principal :D

    OK, I believe and quite understand most of what you guys tell me that's for sure. I'm familiar with most of the terms related to digital photography, but there is a big difference between understanding and knowing them and using them when you have to.
    To be honest I'm not keen on uploading software into my camera, I'm not confident doing that.

    This is what I think of it after reading those tips you guys have given so far, I think that it would be a great start if I start learning using the necessary tweak and colour improvement possibilities in Photoshop and secondly calibrating my monitor just to be sure. I buy the U.K. mag " Digital Photographer" regularly it is a great mag :) 8) The "free" cd that often comes with it is filled with photoshop tips and they show it very clearly, after seeing it once you are ready to go.

    I mailed a Dutch journalist yesterday, just to ask his opinion and to ask him how he masters printing photos. He told me that it is a very common problem and it can be very frustrating from time to time. He works with a pro print lab, before the image goes into print officially, they have done a few testprints and have made the necessary adjustments if needed. Don't have to say that that is the perfect way to do it but like many perfect ways & things not very wallet-friendly :lol: He suggests that the best way is to get a decent printer and make the prints yourself, that will save lots of probs.
    Like I have said before, I will by a decent printer in the future, just don't know when, because I also need a new pc and I'm waiting till the next generation processors and motherboards hit the market because the days of Win Xp are almost over. Windows longhorn is on the verge to be launched. Just want things to be optimized.

    Thanks for the advice so far, If you think I'm wrong somewhere please tell me !!!

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
  13. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Hello there,

    The friend of mine did print the image himself and the result is just perfect. Really, the sharpness is top and the colours are like they have to be, just like you see them on the picture.

    PHeeeeuuuw, he saved me there :D

    I also ordered the new Photoshop version, I also want to say thanks to all of you who took time reading my post and of course replying to it. Because there is still some work left that has to be done.


    Kind regards

    Johan
     
  14. stm69

    stm69

    58
    Aug 10, 2005
    I'm glad that you were able to get a satisfactory result. Your experience mirrors what I went through when I first tried to get digital prints. I tried almost everywhere, wal-mart, walgreens, CVS, target, sam's, costco, wolf camera, etc etc. Not a single place matched what I saw on a calibrated screen; most importantly hardly any of them were experienced in doing anything but mass "click here print here" type deals. Questions about color space, printer profiles, automatic corrects were answered with blank stares; my favorite was "dude all I know is glossy or the not glossy kind" reply at wal-mart.

    I finally found an out of the way Walgreen's with a Fuji Frontier machine that prints pretty close to what I see on screen, and was happy with it. The cost of 8x10's however was prohibitive ($6.99) albeit 4x6's when they ran a special of 19 cents each was great.

    Have you considered experimenting in printing at home? Injket printers have come an extremely long way. Tired of the high cost of 8x10's I decided to see what I could do. After a long, exhaustive search, I settled on the Epson R1800. It is a phenomenal printer for the $$$, and does both glossy and mattes well. 4x6's are cheaper to print on special, but I've saved a ton on 8x10's.

    Sam
     
  15. stm69

    stm69

    58
    Aug 10, 2005
    Oh yeah, I also made the switch from a LCD panel back to a CRT monitor, made for much easier calibrations, and a much more accurate picture.

    Sam
     
  16. Johan

    Johan

    679
    Jun 18, 2005
    Belgium
    Hi stm69,

    First of all thanks for the reply,

    Yeah, it is odd that it seems so hard to get a decent result when it comes to a printed version of your digital images :cry: :? It is frustrating to see that such problem can occur in this day and age, especially when you take in mind that the DSLR's we use nowadays give such colourful and detailed result(s). And then to see it go lost like that is very frustrating, the doubt that comes with it is just awful because there is nothing you can do about it. The problem are the labs and there is nothing you can do about it. At the same time it is once more a prove that you better do it yourself :) The things you do yourself are often better.

    You are completely right that the printers you can buy nowadays are very very good and you don't have to spend a fortune on it in order to get a good printer. That friend of mine who printed the image uses an Epson, they sure are really good, love the quality. But I guess that those other makes/brands are probably equally good.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Wish you the best of luck and loads of fun shooting images.
    ooohh yea, and lots of nice prints too :wink:

    Kind Regards

    Johan
     
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