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dark prints

KONIN 7 254 England
16 Oct 2011 11:47AM
hi i know this subject has been brought up latley,my photos look great on my laptop and my ipad but soon as i print them they come out dark,i have to drasticlly over lighten them to get them to print out reasonably like the monitor.I am using a hp photosmart c6180 but i am using replacment ink not original as i have been out of work recently and found it cheaper .so my question is can i calibrate my screen to printer other than spending more money ( i dont have ) on a colour manager system,is there any were on the tinternet that i can get it tweaked to help my problem,thank you stu

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mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 12:07PM
Step 1 is to get your monitor calibrated. I know it's an expense, but if you have not done this, it can make a huge difference. Indeed you will wonder how you managed before.

Step 2 is to get your printer profiled. Many paper manufactures offer a free profiling service (such as permajet). Simply by a pack of their paper, print the test image from their website, and post to the manufacturer. They will then analyse the print, and send you a custom profile to correct for any errors.

For a free first step, have a look at the calibration test at the very bottom of the page. Can you clearly see all 16 shades?
KONIN 7 254 England
16 Oct 2011 12:38PM
thank you for your reply,yes i can see all 16 shades
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 4:06PM
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 8:31PM
Prints being darker than on screen is a very common question. In my experience calibration it is not all to do with colour management.

Have you looked at the print in good bright sunlight? If you do your editing in an averagely (artifically) lit room and immediately look at the print then the print will look darker. The reason is that with a print you are looking at a reflected light image, but on screen the illumination is through the image. So first of all, check out the print in good bright natural light before jumping to conclusions.
In summary: it may very well be your monitor is too bright and it also depends on the diffference between the screen and ambient light which means that the scale of the problem ca vary depending on time of year and cloud cover! You will find that very dedicated people do all sorts of things to keep the editing environment constant

Have you googled "prints darker than on scree" (or similar). Here is a good overview.

mlewis 13 1.5k United Kingdom
17 Oct 2011 7:46AM
Prints too dark = monitor too bright for print viewing conditions. Reduce the brightness of your monitor untill it matches the apparent brightness of your prints.
18 Oct 2011 9:08PM
are you printing them yourself or a print lab? I found that Snapfish print the same image darker than other companies I tested, if that helps your predicament. But they are very cheap so you need to decide on price or quality. (They also crop 6x4 images and recommend a wierd paper size. And their paper size in non-standard if you think you're getting 6x4 or 150x100 - it's neither).

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