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Correcting inaccurate prints

From: Lightroom 5: 05 Printing

Video: Correcting inaccurate prints

One of the most common complaints I here from photographers related to

Correcting inaccurate prints

One of the most common complaints I here from photographers related to printed images, is that the print appears a little bit too dark. The first thing that I'd recommend doing in that situation is double checking the conditions under which you are evaluating that print. In other words, we're comparing a luminous display or a monitor display that is literally glowing with white, to an image that is printed on paper and therefore, depends upon reflected light in order for us to be able to see that print. Many photographers with good reason, work in a relatively dark room, for example so that the color and light in the room does not influence the monitor display.

And that means they're often evaluating a print in a relatively dark room. So the first thing is to make sure that you're evaluating a print under a very bright light source ideally a light source that has a 5,000 degree Kelvin color temperature, so that there is not a color influence based on the lighting in the room for example. But if you still decide that the image looks a little bit too dark, there are some compensations you can apply in the actual print process. I just printed this image, for example, and it appears a little bit too dark. And so, on the right panel in the print module I'll scroll down to the very bottom in the print job section.

And here, I'll turn on the print adjustment checkbox. That will enable the brightness and contrast adjustments, and I can apply a compensation adjustment. So I can increase the brightness or decrease the brightness, and I can also increase contrast. In most cases, the issue we'll run into is that shadow detail does not appear as detailed as we'd like it. And so we would need to increase the brightness value in order to compensate. We don't have a preview here, so my recommendation is to apply a relatively modest adjustment, make another print, and then evaluate and determine whether a further, or perhaps lesser adjustment is necessary.

Fortunately, once you've found the right compensation for a particular printer ink and paper combination you can continue using that same value for future prints in the same print conditions. So with this adjustment applied, I'll go ahead and print another copy of this image and then I'll continue fine tuning these print adjustment settings until I have values that I think well for my particular print conditions.

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Lightroom 5: 05 Printing

18 video lessons · 1441 viewers

Tim Grey
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