Printed photos too dark - any suggestions?

Started Sep 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Russell Fielding Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Guys...


I don't know what the colour mode of my photos is, I'm sorry. Just standard whatever-cameras normally-shoot-in? JPEGs. I've never knowingly changed a colour mode nor would I know how to or why.

Very good idea re trying to see my file how the photo lab sees it . Maybe then I could see if I can apply similar settings to the rest of the photos in some form of bathc processing. I really don't want to be going into every single photo (over 200) & re-editing.

Yes, I see how screen brightness can be an issue. It's such a difficult issue. With all the multitude of netbooks, tablets, laptops, PCs which have a range of screen brightnesses how on earth can we accurately predict how our prints are going to turn out? Without some form of standardisation across all devices & without knowing how each lab develops their photos there is too much 'hope for the best' about photo developing using an outside firm.


My original images form the upper or left hand halves of the photos I attached (merely resized)


Thank you for your suggestions.

I bought a 27inch iMac about 18 months ago in order to enhance my photography & this has the IPS quality you mentioned. However, I'm afraid I have found it hard-going getting to grips with the complicated Apple way of doing things, the clunky mouse etc so I've tended to use my laptop & Windows. Funnily enough my images look much worse on the iMac - too dark/muddy (Note: I've not looked at my brother's photos on it yet.) (Also note: the iMac goes even brighter than my laptop - too bright to look at comfortably.) It's a bit rich that I've paid the extortionate Apple prices yet they can't even give me a machine that's already been calibrated! If I invested in a calibrator would it be able to be used more than one time & on my Mac & Windows laptops?

I'm still getting to grips with LR4 - only used it so far for editing photos (did most of my bro's pics on it) - make sure it tells me if any burnt-out highlights or blacked-out shadows & move sliders accordingly to avoid them. Auto tone is often way off for me, tending towards too bright but can go the other way as well. It's off too much to use really. Gimp's auto levels setting can be off too but probably 75% of the time the image still looks ok afterwards.

I tend almost always to edit the image as a whole (apart from removing pimples, brightening eyes etc) as I STILL can't get my head around layers (or the need for them - why not just select the area you want & alter it? The only problem I have with this is an occasionally visible line between the altered area & the non-altered). I wasn't sure whether I could leave in burnt out highlights as I thought I read they distract the viewer too much. It's a minefield trying to get images that aren't over-exposed, aren't under-exposed & that aren't too flat or too contrasty or too HDR. One of my bro's photos was of a harbour/lighthouse & it was horribly dull then I read today of a HDR technique that only requires one image - the basis (with later refinements) was -60 highlights & white & +60 shadows/black together with +75 contrast. After + clarity & +vibrance, colour tints etc I ended up with a much much clearer image but one that my bro said 'looked like a painting'. Anyway that's an aside. I just tried your tip re the highlights/'lowlights', & although 255 white & 0 black are indicated as red & blue, it is clearer using the Alt option with the screen black.

PICTUS, thank you, a lot of interesting reading there, I'll go through it all when I get chance



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