View Full Version : Photoshop is darkening the print-out

01 January 2003, 10:39 PM
I have seen this "problem" on several machines, and I refer to the fact that; photoshop prints out my images way darker than seen on the monitor.

Is this some familiar issue with photoshop?
Is there some settings that I have missed?

I can compensate for the darkening of the photo-print-out, but I'd like to know THE reason for photoshop acting this way.

I hope there are some pro's out there that can enligthen me on this. My knowledge about photohop is smaller than it "should" be, as I have used it for a long time, but without learning the "stuff".

Looking forward for replys!

01 January 2003, 07:32 AM
Broad question, well,...

There's a few places you can go wrong with here, and it's not an uncommon problem. Usually the problem isn't photoshop though, it's your monitor or your printer.

Possible factors:
-Were you printing from different machines but to the same printer? If so, your printer may need to be recalibrated.

-Did you embed color profiles in the image? If so, photoshop on some machines may try and use these, and may not be giving you correct results. I don't know much about embedded profiles, and can't help you there.

-Did the image appear lighter on all the machines, but even lighter on some then on others? If so, it could be your monitors that need to be adjusted.

-Did you install another, older adobe product after you installed photoshop? This could lead to older color profiles on your machine. (then it would be PS's fault, but I doubt this happened since you said you tried multiple machines).

-Are you using one of those crazy wax emulsion printers? Or a color laser? I think they make things a little darker than an inkjet. (I've only used the emulsion printers a few times though, so I can't remember too much)

-Are you working in RGB mode? Printers print in CMYK, so it converts it to print. Usually this isnt a problem, the printers do a good job, but the CMYK gamut is smaller than the RGB gamut, meaning some colors are lost. If anything though, it usually makes an image lighter, and duller not darker.

Other than that,

-USUALLY: The problem could just be that, when you view something on screen you are looking at a luminant surface. When it's printed, the ink is mixed onto the paper, which doesn't really emmit light, so your work may just be losing it's brilliance due to not being on screen. Nothing can really fix that problem, yet, and any program will make things darker to a point by screen-to-print conversion.

I know some service bureaus will lighten the image to 90 to 95% opacity when they print, to compensate for this.

All in all, to battle this, try downloading the newest drivers for you printer and video card, calibrating the print and check the test printout against some sort of constant (pantone book, prints in your manual, etc. etc.). Make sure your monitor is calibrated correctly. There are plenty of mini programs out there that can help you out with this, and they'll walk you step by step through adjusting contrast, and rgb values and junk like that. And pray. Praying helps, especially if your printing on glossy expensive paper, or on a huge drumroll with $$$ paper.

There you go, more than ya could ever possibly have wanted to know. I used to work with a former printshop owner, he would be proud I actually learned something from him. :) :)

01 January 2003, 02:29 PM
First I'd like to thank you for your reply.

I think the rgb/cmyk issue is the most interesting, but I'll have to do some "tests".

I'm not aguing here, but just filling out a reply. The prints got darker on both a laser printer and an ink-jet, and it is hard to believe that the monitor needs calibrating, but I'll look into it (I use a 15" TFT laptop screen).

And of course I'll *have to* go over the manual.


Thanks again for your reply, your post made much sense!

01 January 2003, 02:06 AM
These steps may help you

- Configure your Adobe Gamma Loader
- Configure the brightness and contrast of your monitor
- Set up ICM profiles for your monitor and printer
- Work in RGB format in Photoshop
- Only work with CMYK if you will print directly from your machine
or if you have the apropriate ICM installed in your machine
- Press Ctrl+Y and select working with CMYK in the View --> Proof Setup --> Working CMYK this way you emulate CMYK output in RGB mode.

Take a look at the Photoshop Help files

See Ya!

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