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Archive 2012 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print pr...
  
 
Greg Matty
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p.1 #1 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


I really like this photo but I seem to struggle with getting it to print properly. Simply put the image prints darker than my display. Much of the detail in the building is lost as is the information in the shaded rocky areas on the right hand side of the image. My Dell LCD is profiled as is my Canon Pro 9000 Mark II. Am I simply trying to print to great a dynamic range? Some say to change the output levels in Photoshop to try to get a better black point but others say this is a bad idea. Any input is appreciated.

Original image shot RAW with a D700 and processed in Capture NX 2. Printed in PS CS-3 under Mac OX 10.6.8.

Greg







Aug 28, 2012 at 01:49 AM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #2 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Most people find when prints are too dark that their monitors are set to bright. Lower your monitor re-calibrate and try your print again.


Aug 28, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #3 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


I'll try that but the monitor was profiled a week or two before processing these images. Won't profiling take care of brightness?

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #4 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Greg Matty wrote:
I'll try that but the monitor was profiled a week or two before processing these images. Won't profiling take care of brightness?

Greg


I just profiled both monitors again and the new profiles are nearly indistinguishable from the old ones.

I'll go to the local pro camera shop and see if they can tweak the image on their monitors and save it out. If it looks the same as mine then their is a printer/driver/printer-profile problem as opposed to a monitor problem.

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


I would ask what paper you're printing on and how was that paper profiled? There's nothing inherent in your image that should be any problem. Additionally, when you recalibrated and profiled your screen, what was the luminance level, and what hardware/software did you use?


Aug 28, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #6 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Ilford Galerie Smooth Gloss (Brand new box but the green box with the blonde on the cover)

Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl (Brand new box, new product in black box).

Colormunki for monitor profile and printer profile. I don't remember the luminance level but I believe the colormunki measures that as well. I have also used the Ilford profiles for printing. Between the two, colors are a little different, but the tonal range appears similar.

I just tried printing from NX-2 and got wildly different results using the same profile. I am new to printing with NX2 so maybe I did something wrong as far as when to select a profile and either double selected or some other matter.

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #7 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Just out of curiosity, what happens if you convert a copy to the profile and print it through the Adobe Color Printer Utility, which would bypass an odd data path printing through SL. Also, what application and version are you printing through? Oh, I just went back and re-read. Your problem is CS3 and Snow Leopard. That's a combo that is broken and definitely prints close to a stop dark. You need to go to CS5 or CS 6 and it will all be better.


Aug 28, 2012 at 07:23 AM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #8 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Screen brightness has a lot to do with ambient light and the light your viewing your photos under. If you don't notice any difference the lower it some more. What cd/m are you calibrating at some people need to go as low a 90 cd/m.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml



Aug 28, 2012 at 07:44 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #9 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


While screen brightness is the usual go to culprit, Greg has the magic combination to produce one of the dark print bugs that is a well documented "feature". It might be made worse by a too bright screen, but this is most likely the root of the problem. That the image posted at the start of the thread is not overly dark on other monitors only emphasizes that the issue is elsewhere. The CS3 dark print bug bit me in the ass a year ago while printing a show for another photographer and it took a bit of doing to diagnose.


Aug 28, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #10 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Peter Figen wrote:
While screen brightness is the usual go to culprit, Greg has the magic combination to produce one of the dark print bugs that is a well documented "feature". It might be made worse by a too bright screen, but this is most likely the root of the problem. That the image posted at the start of the thread is not overly dark on other monitors only emphasizes that the issue is elsewhere. The CS3 dark print bug bit me in the ass a year ago while printing a show for another photographer and it took a bit of doing
...Show more

I have decided to upgrade to CS6. Apparently it will run under Snow Leopard and I'll know for sure shortly.

Anyone know if printing and selecting profiles is radically different than in CS-3?

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM
 

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Peter Figen
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p.1 #11 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


CS6 runs under SL with no problems at all. The print dialog box is considerably different, but all the parts are still there.


Aug 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #12 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


I upgraded to CS-6 and the images are still printing darker than with Capture NX-2 but Capture NX-2 looks to be losing highlights. That doesn't surprise me as I have never printed from Capture and don't have a color management workflow established.

I am going to just take the image to a pro-shop and see if they can let me view it on one of their monitors. If it looks real close then my problem lies with printing/profiling. If it is way off then I have multiple issues to contend with. I'll also have them print one out to see what how much better it looks than what I can do with my Canon Pro 9000 MKII.

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions.

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Bernie
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p.1 #13 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


I'm running SL with CS6. I set my iMac lcd luminance to 120 cd/m with a white point of 6500. Any less than that and colors start to get funky.

To still keep from printing too dark, I have an action that bumps the luminance curve of my image up some 10-20. Occasionally, this is followed by boosting the overall saturation by 5%.

I also have an old Dell tube that I have set at 90 cd/m that I use for previewing images to print (as well as hosting my tools, history, layers, etc)



Aug 28, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #14 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Bernie wrote:
I'm running SL with CS6. I set my iMac lcd luminance to 120 cd/m with a white point of 6500. Any less than that and colors start to get funky.

To still keep from printing too dark, I have an action that bumps the luminance curve of my image up some 10-20. Occasionally, this is followed by boosting the overall saturation by 5%.

I also have an old Dell tube that I have set at 90 cd/m that I use for previewing images to print (as well as hosting my tools, history, layers, etc)



I'll see if I can set my Dell LCD's luminescence level but I think formal profiling with the Colormunki should take care of that. Have you profiled your setup or only done what you have mentioned here?

Greg



Aug 28, 2012 at 10:28 PM
nma
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p.1 #15 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Greg Matty wrote:
I really like this photo but I seem to struggle with getting it to print properly. Simply put the image prints darker than my display. Much of the detail in the building is lost as is the information in the shaded rocky areas on the right hand side of the image. My Dell LCD is profiled as is my Canon Pro 9000 Mark II. Am I simply trying to print to great a dynamic range? Some say to change the output levels in Photoshop to try to get a better black point but others say this is a bad
...Show more

This picture has very high contrast. On my calibrated monitor the detail in the deep shadows and bright highlights is nil. The simplest thing is to redo you post processing with lower contrast. This would be a global effect. Then you can use local adjustments in CS-3 to increase contrast and clarity and where needed. I believe that this procedure will normalize the dark appearance of your prints. Try to do all or most of this in the raw converter. I am confident that you can make a technically satisfactory print.



Aug 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #16 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Bottom line: what looks good on a bright monitor will look dark on a print if viewed in pretty much anything but direct sunlight. Conversely, what seems drab on the monitor can look quite ok in print if the lighting is ok. It would be a very rare setup that lets you see both the monitor version and the print in their optimum lighting conditions at the same time.

In a room with about 80W of white 5000K fluoro lighting (way brighter than normal living rooms at night) my prints reflect about 90 Cd/m2 and so I set my monitor to that brightness for previewing my prints. However, many photos start looking a bit dim on the screen and so I use a higher brightness normally. That's because I want bright daylight scenes to look bright.

If the screen brightness is too high and you tone the highlights down to retain details then you might well find that prints are substantially darker than you expected. You need colour management to be sure of getting what you expect (and expecting what you get).

If you can't calibrate and profile your monitor correctly for assessing your prints then you can try reducing the image contrast to something that the print can cope with - perhaps 200:1 or 300:1 (matte prints have lower contrast than glossy prints). You certainly don't need 800:1. It'll look very drab on the screen but works on the print. The trick is in how well you squeeze more than the printable contrast range of the scene into what the print can show. Within reason the viewer's brain will adapt what the eyes see so that it still looks good. Let the dark end of the range seem too bright on-screen rather than let the bright end get too dark. Remember that the maximum brightness of a print is determined by how much light the blank paper will reflect (no ink on it) and as soon as you add ink it starts getting darker. The darkest you can print is determined by the ink and paper. In bright light it might look washed out in the shadows but in low light you won't see those details anyway. That just reinforces that you should understand the viewing conditions when preparing an image for printing.

- Alan



Aug 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
BobCollette
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p.1 #17 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Greg Matty wrote:
I'll see if I can set my Dell LCD's luminescence level but I think formal profiling with the Colormunki should take care of that.



Greg, calibrating/profiling a monitor doesn't automatically calibrate the luminance level because there isn't any "standard" luminance level, unlike gamma and white point (color temperature) that are standardized. You have to determine what the optimum luminance value is for your particular setup and viewing environment.



Aug 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Greg Matty
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p.1 #18 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Thanks for the additional input.

The colormunki measured the ambient light in my room and set something to 88 which sounds like the Cd/m2.

I am going to keep working on this and did upgrade to CS-6. Now that I just spend $200 on that and $100 on paper and ink testing, I won't back down until I figure it out.

Greg



Aug 29, 2012 at 06:47 PM
BobCollette
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p.1 #19 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


Greg, 88 cd/m^2 sounds like a reasonable number for monitor luminance. Generally, somewhere in the range of 90-120 works out well for most people.


Aug 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Kittyk
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p.1 #20 · Is there too much dynamic range in this image to print properly?


if you see it on monitor it is not really high dynamic range


Aug 30, 2012 at 04:05 PM





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