Advice needed on how to brighten prints

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Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby U/W Photographer » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:49 pm

On the monitors my images look realy bright & vibrant, but when I print any of them on my Epson 3800, the prints don't look quite as bright and vibrant, I have calibrated the monitors, use the correct printer profiles etc.
What I am thinking now is that I need a separate copy of each image optimised for printing, my problem is I am a total novice with photoshop CS3 & don't realy know which is the best way to tweak the images.
Any help & advice would be much appreciated.

I am in the process of setting up a website, you can click here to see the images I am talking about.
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Re: Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby bez » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:28 pm

Nice pictures, and they certainly do look bright and colourful; not easy to reproduce.
You’re probably seeing the usual difference between a reflected-light printed image looking a little dull (no matter how vivid the inks) compared to a transmitted-light screen.
Do you have any out-of-gamut issues? (check in soft proof with gamut warning turned on)
You can raise the overall saturation in Photoshop but this may look unrealistic and lurid, so selective areas of colour increase could be better.
A careful choice of paper can also help a little (glossy, with a bright white base?) but I suspect you’ll never get them looking quite the same as on-screen.

Only other thing I can suggest is to take one or two image files along to an obliging retailer, or a trade show, and try some of the newer 10 colour printers eg Epson 7900 ...
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Re: Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby U/W Photographer » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:23 pm

Thanks For the Info Bez,
The soft proof is showing that the wrasse has some out of gamut issues, but I don't know how to rectify them as I pretty much a novice with photoshop.
The paper I am using is Hahnemuhle FineArt Pearl, which is quite glossy with a bright white base as you recommended.
The 10 colour printers aren't a option.
Cheers Paul
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Re: Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby bez » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:55 pm

U/W Photographer wrote:The soft proof is showing that the wrasse has some out of gamut issues

Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do about this – the main limitation is the inks, and a 10 ink printer would probably only help a little bit. Some of them have a blue, but not the vivid blue of the wrasse. Or is the problem with the orange of the eyes?

If you aren't already, I believe if there are out-of-gamut colours one should use Perceptual, rather than Relative Colorimetric as the rendering intent; this will make the best attempt to map the image to the available gamut.
Last edited by bez on Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby Costas L » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:57 pm

Sounds as though you might need to increase contrast and maybe saturation before printing. You should start by making a copy of your image file and add "_Print" at the end. Things to try (with the image in proof) are

Flatten the image (or click top layer then shift+cntrl+alt+e to create a new layer with the others merged in)
Try applying some Unsharp mask using values of amount=20, radius=40 (can vary these, I find radius 2 times amount a good starting point - with amounts between 15 and 40 being quite useable).

In addition

To add some saturation or reduce saturation to remove out of gamut colours, then create a "selective colour" layer
Select a colour from the drop down menu, then use the bottom slider (called black in CS3) to darken brighten (-ve values) the colour. You can also adjust the mix of other colours in there and selecting the same slider as the colour in the drop down makes it more or less intense (same as a hue/saturation layer). Work through the colours - the bottom slider has little effect then just move on to the next - not all images are rich in all colours. The "selective colour" layer is one of the most versatile options for adjusting colours, worth getting to know it.

A simple approach - sometimes works, sometimes not - is to create a curves layer but do not adjust the curve - just click OK. Set the blending mode to "soft light" then reduce opacity to 20% to 60% depending on how strong an effect you want. You can also adjust the curve to target the effect a little.

Just a few thoughts :D
Costas
"How could I have been so mistaken as to trust the experts" John F Kennedy 1962
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Re: Advice needed on how to brighten prints

Postby U/W Photographer » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:15 pm

Sorry for the delay in responding Guys, I wasn't deliberately being rude, I have been struggling a bit the past week with the flu, will try out your suggestions when I'm feeling a bit better. CHEERS Paul
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