Snap and luminescense in prints
I'll keep this brief but please feel free to contact me direct if you'd like any further advice - email address is in my profile.
The comment that you made with regards to your new monitor being "amazing and very clear and bright" may give you a clue to where I'm going with this.
The most common complaint I here from people is that their printers are printing dull and dark, when in fact the truth is that their screen is way to bright and contrasty compared with anything that can be produces on paper.
Check the luminance level of your screen, it should be between 85-90 cd/m2 for a really close match to an inkjet or press print on good stock. You can also try filling the screen with white and comparing it to a sheet of the paper you're printing on held next to it, this should give you a good idea if the luminance is way out.
It may take a few hours for you to get use to a correctly calibrated and profiled screen but in time you'll appreciate the quality of your images and get better prints.
I'm presuming that you've got good quality profiles for your printer when using your chosen stock, this is also important it allows you to soft-proof what the output is going to look like on your screen in Photoshop. Do a search for "Soft-proofing" and you'll find a wealth of information on the subject.
If you want a really good book that will guide you through the art of making a good print that you're really proud of then I can highly recommend "Fine Art Printing for Photographers" by Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins. This book is a wealth of information and really does teach the art of printmaking - something many people expect to get with a simple click of a button
Hope this helps but as I say if you'd like any more help feel free to contact me.
Replica Imaging Limited
|Nowhere by Nanard 92|
from The Illusion of Depth and Distance
|Green Tomato by lim yau tong|
from Growing Fruit