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Monitor to printer set ups

Just starting out and would like to set up my epson stylus photo R285 so that it prints what I see on the monitor hope someone can help I am running windows vista Home Premium Service Pack 2 software is Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Lightroom 4.1 along with FX Home Photokey Pro 5.
At the moment the prints come out darker than what is seen on the monitor , if you can help please bearin mind I can be pretty stupid when going around settings etc.

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mikehit 7 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 1:48PM
Prints coming out darker is a very common comment (google 'why are my prints darker than the screen' and you will see what I mean). This is usually because when it comes off the printer the first thing you do is look at it next to the screen. But remember that the screen is transmitting light, the print relies on reflected light, and because the monitor is usually in a corner away from direct light it will appear dark. You need to take it to a window to genuinely assess it.

One alternative is to turn down the brightness of your screen: most computer screens nowadays are geared to movies and games and for those uses, bright is better. In fact some cheaper screens you can't turn the brightness down low enough for photo processing. Even if you buy a calibrating device, this will not necessarily correct for brightness so that is likely not the solution.
If it still worries you, you can set a profile at the print stage to brighten the image - finding the right one is trial and error but you can get it quite quickly.
Thanks for the advice mikehit only thing I will need to do now is how to work out how to set up a profile !
GarethRobinson 10 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 3:01PM

read from the Simple Approach and do print the Datacolor test image and base changes on that image not one of your own images.

hope this helps somewhat.
User_Removed 7 4.6k 1 Scotland
5 Feb 2013 3:04PM
If it is simply a brightness question, then it is easily addressed. Make a print with a good range of colour tones and shades and then adjust the monitor brightness and contrast controls until what you see on the screen is what you see on the print.

If, as may be more likely, the colours are also different, then you can use a device such as the Color Munki to produce profiles to suit the particular printer, paper and ink that you are using. I am not sure what calibrating device Mike is thinking of when he suggests that it will not necessarily correct for brightness. The Color Munki certainly will. But, as always, you will need to do it for each type of paper you use and also if you change ink brands. Also remember to have your monitor turned on for at least 30 minutes before calibrating. (that also applies even if you are just altering the monitor settings manually).
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
5 Feb 2013 3:05PM
In an ideal world you would assess the print under a light that matches the screen for luminance, although for most of us that are only semi-serious about knocking out prints that's a bit of a faff to set up. So a window is the next best thing, with it being a good quality source of light but not controllable in any way. The whole idea of WYSIWYG is rendered somewhat meaningless once you start shifting the print around under different levels and colours of light, although the adaptability of our eyes mitigates for this.
mikehit 7 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 3:16PM
LF - I have profiled my screen with the Spyder 3 and still get the brightness difference. This model does the screen only and not the print - I was forgetting about the ColorMunki for screen and print and though it is more expensive though I have thought about forking out for it.

Mind you, when I can get prints done at a pro lab for a quid I am wondering how much of a control freak I am...
Railcam 10 633 1 Scotland
5 Feb 2013 3:21PM
If your colours are OK and it is just a case of prints being dark, Lightroom can solve this. In the LR Print Module, Print Job section there is a "Print Adjustment" box. Tick this and it will activate two sliders, brightness & contrast. Use these to adjust the brightness and contrast of the prints.

As the adjustment is applied on output it does not show in the image displayed on your screen. It may be worth watching the Adobe tutorial at:

Good luck.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
5 Feb 2013 3:33PM

Quote:I have profiled my screen with the Spyder 3 and still get the brightness difference

It might be worth examining that a little more closely. Ordinarily, unless the software and monitor supports DDC, the calibration data that loads at start-up will be gamma and white point - which can quite radically change the appearance of your monitor (including perceived brightness). If you select 'native settings' you'll see no change whatsoever. To set a 'target luminance' you'll often need to physically adjust the OSD brightness control, otherwise auto settings may very well bypass the whole process and your display is left 'too bright' (whatever that may arbitrarily mean).
mikehit 7 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 3:53PM
Cheers, Glenn. I'll have a look.
Thanks for the comments guys I will have to look into all comments mentioned and try a few out and hopefully these will help the problem cheers guys
GarethRobinson 10 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 7:58PM
report back what worked for ya so others might learn from it..


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