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Thread: Photographic paper - ink jet

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Photographic paper - ink jet

    I am putting together a coffee table book made up of A5 prints of my favorite shots. It is just for my personal use. I have just changed paper and the prints are coming out really dark. I was using a no name brand before, I do not know my brands of paper. The new paper is Stanton "perfect prints". The printer is defaulted to best prints. Any suggestions, or do I just throw the paper out and go for Epson paper as the printer is Epson.
    I have been taking photos for 50 years. I am now trying to get into Photography


  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmm.

    Printing is a bit more complicated than just hitting the print button.

    Providing you are using a calibrated monitor you should get consistent prints if you are using a printer program (such as printing from within photoshop) that can use the appropriate icc codes for not only the brand but also the class of paper, .ie., if you are using epson paper then icc codes for epson premium gloss is a different code than epson gloss paper, and semi gloss and other grades are seperate again.

    And the codes are for specific printers so they are different for epson 1400 series and 1900 series printers and so on.

    This wiki article may help (or confuse)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICC_profile
    Last edited by Boo53; 19-11-2015 at 10:16pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    TG. Be prepared for some pretty long answers. For preparation, re-read the 1st two lines of Boo53's reply

    After that, tell us a heap of things, starting with...
    -printer make and model
    -program used to print with
    ...

    (This is partly why I do not bovver printing anymore, though I'm not advocating it as a solution.)
    CC, Image editing OK.

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I do a lot of printing for my market stalls and use many different papers (usually the cheapest on ebay at the time) I find that sometimes a small tweak on the photo (Light, Shadow, Dark, Brightness, Contrast and Levels) fixes the problem without altering the original much at all. At first it took a bit of playing with test prints but now I can usually get it right first go without the trial and error.
    Cheers
    Keith.

    My last market stall.
    IMG_0943aSz.jpg
    Last edited by Speedway; 20-11-2015 at 1:55pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    ...but some reliable calibration of your printer to screen output is the basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    ...but some reliable calibration of your printer to screen output is the basis.
    Exactly - calibration is key. Go buy yourself a good color-callibrationtool and never look back.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

  7. #7
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Also remember that you are looking at two differing mediums. One is reflected light (print) and the other is transmitted light (screen). You will never get exactly the same look from both, but as long as shading and colour rendition are as accurate as you can make them, then you are on the right track.

    As said above, you need a calibrated monitor at the least. You can also get printer profiles for most brand name papers off their websites. They are called ICC profiles.

    So say your printer is a Canon and you are using Canson Infinity Paper, you can go here : http://www.canson-infinity.com/en/icc-profiles and download and install a profile for your printer that is specific for the Canson Infinity Paper. There is a whole world of learning when it comes to printing, which is why there are so many high end lab printers still around.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegrump View Post
    ..... I have just changed paper and the prints are coming out really dark. .....
    It's very unlikely that just changing the paper will make the prints overly more dark.
    Something else has changed too? .. ink? some printer setting?

    While you will see some variance between one paper brand or type, it will usually be subtle.
    Obviously a really crappy paper may produce weird results, but in general most papers will be similar enough so that you won't notice something like a really dark difference.

    As already said, check calibration of the monitor as a start point.
    Then check in depth in the software you are using to print with too.

    In the above description of the sudden really dark change, did you use the same printing software?

    That is, in the image that you previously printed that came out bright enough, did you then use the same software to print the image that came out really dark?
    The software you choose will probably make more difference than the paper you choose.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Just "pinched" this from the Canson site (another paper manufacturer).

    Might make things a little clearer

    What is an ICC profile?

    An ICC profile will enable you to maximise the print quality and reproduce accurately the
    original colours, by calibrating the printer settings prior to printing.

    Because each paper has a slightly different shade, surface structure and reacts differently,
    it is important that use the ICC profile that is specifically designed for this paper.

    Settings before printing

    Please remember that other factors need to be configured to optimise the print results:

    Check the specifications of your graphic card
    Check that your monitor is well calibrated and profiled
    Check that you printer does not have any ink problems (blocked ink lack of ink,
    etc..) and that you are using printer manufacturer’s inks

    Look at your Adobe PhotoShop settings – you need to work in a RGB colour
    space

    Optimum room temperature: 20-25°C (68-77°F)

    Optimum room humidity: 40-60% relative humidity

    Optimum viewing light: 5000K

    Because of personal preferences, printing conditions and the type of image you are
    printing, the printer settings may need to be adapted. We recommend you experiment with
    different settings to reach the preferred look for your prints.


    Don't want to frighten you, but it is easy to get discouraged when this could solve things relatively easily

  10. #10
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    .....

    Look at your Adobe PhotoShop settings – you need to work in a RGB colour
    space

    ....
    assuming that the OP uses Ps?
    (why does everyone assume that the user even has Ps installed? )

    I'm fairly sure TG doesn't ... but may have since the topic of software was last raised with him tho.

    My recommendation to TG here is to get a largish(A4 or 12x10 print made up at a local quick print place(Harvey Norman or Officeworks or whatever is close by).
    At about $3 or 4, this print will serve as a half decent 'almost' calibration point for your screen.
    Obviously it's nowhere near as good as a proper calibration device, but those devices run into the hundred dollars mark to purchase!

    For $3-4, a print will suffice for now.

    The issue(s) with using the print is/are:
    * you may need to get an image printed a few times to get your monitor calibrated close to what the print looks like.
    This obviously has costs associated with it.
    * it's not a perfect calibration when using a single print to assess screen brightness/colour/tone accuracy. You're doing it by eye so there will be some variations.

    The point of having an externally created image rendering is obvious here. You get to see what any image you've created will look like at a standard baseline rendering.
    If your print looks very dark(compared to what you see on your screen), then you're screen is almost certainly too bright. And it works the other way around too .. too bright print means your screen is too dark.
    What is hard to assess accurately tho is colour accuracy. This is because of the lights in your room where your computer and print are being viewed.
    Unless you're using incandescent lighting(unlikely nowadays), you're lights are probably CFL(bad!!) or LED(still bad, but less so).
    CFL and LED are notorious for not having a good colour balance, so will almost certainly(99.99% sure) .. taint what you see in the print compared to what you see on the screen.

    eg. most CFLs will tend to emit more of a greenish tint, and when a print is viewed, it will then reflect this green tint back at you more. You're eyes compensate for this green tint to a large degree.
    So, if you calibrate your screens colour to this print, under these light conditions, but then you change the light under which you view the screen, or print, the light balance may change(it may be more red this time .. So the colour balance will be out again(in the new lighting conditions).

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Regular
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    All I wanted to do was print some half decent prints, from my own use, not professional. As far as the monitor calibration goes, I check it with AP when I joined and it was good ( or is AP no good ). Just to let you know I use a Epson XP410 and print straight from Windows Photo Viewer, best Photo setting. Nothing high tech, just the basics. Normally the prints are ( in my view ) really good. One recent print I copied out half a dozen times was a photo of all my wife's family at the FIL's 100 Birthday. I and ( I hope nobody else ) could find fault with it. I am just going to assume that this batch of paper was off. THANKS ALL for your time, unfortunately, I do not have time or the brain power to fathom all this info.

    DSC_1664abredc.jpg

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I see where you are coming from, we do tend to get too technical at times. With your printer software there should be a basic editor (Epson Easy Photo Print) that you can lighten the image with before printing, this would be the simplest method for you.
    Cheers
    Keith.
    PS Nice family shot.
    Last edited by Speedway; 24-11-2015 at 12:23pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    TG. Light the back burner of the gas stove and place any info on it that you want to look at later

    Although I don't use Epson Easy PP (because I use Photoshop for EVERYthing), I agree with Speedway.
    I have seen that program (that came with my printers) and thought it did the basics OK when I tried once ages ago.
    Use it for the present until (any) such time as you want to do more involved stuff printing.

    Also, I agree with Speedway's CC: "nice pic", with ONE exception: you don't look half as grumpy as your username
    suggests (assuming that's you on the RHS)

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    [QUOTE=

    Also, you don't look half as grumpy as your username
    suggests (assuming that's you on the RHS)[/QUOTE]

    No it is not me, that is my wife's family. I am behind the camera, so you can not see me.

  15. #15
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    OK. Ta. Thought it might have been a selfie.

  16. #16
    Ausphotography Regular aussirose's Avatar
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    You said that you are putting together a coffee table book Grump? Have you thought about using snapfish or something like that? I have done a few books from various sites of our travels and daughter's wedding. Snapfish is the easiest. It'll even create the book for you and then you can edit a bit for your own preference. Books arn't too expensive and you can arrange to pick up from KMart to keep the cost down. I find that if I leave my books around then visitors will open and look of their own accord. Always makes for a good discussion and you know that you are not boring your guests with endless photography stories as we tend to do.
    Cheers, Ann

    60D, Canon 18-200mm, Canon Fisheye, Canon Macro, Canon 50mm prime, Tripod. Photoshop Elements, Picasa.

    www.virtualtourist.com/aussirose www.flickr.com/aussirose


  17. #17
    Ausphotography Regular
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    aussirrose.....It is not that important that it be done correctly. It is just a book for my own reference ( and I hope people pick it up and look though it )

  18. #18
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegrump View Post
    aussirrose.....It is not that important that it be done correctly. It is just a book for my own reference ( and I hope people pick it up and look though it )
    You might find that the getting it printed by snapfish or any of the myriad of coffee table book printers is actually cheaper than doing it yourself. When you take into account, time, printer ink etc.

    The other thing I will ask in regard to doing it yourself, do you use genuine inks or generic ones in your printer? Certainly I have seen good and bad from generic inks, and if quality is important, using the genuine inks often gives a better result and can be more consistent between ink cartridges.

  19. #19
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    ^Second this, TG. I use genuine Epson inks (and scrutinize the packaging to try to see if they're rip-offs), and various
    compatriots pooh-pooh that saying how generic inks are just as good and cheaper and... But their prints fade much faster
    than mine (like a year or two vs 10 or more). But DO check if it is cheaper to get it done.

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