Picture comes out way to dark or to light with no effect
I recently took this photo of a Pillbox on Filey beach. I played around with tone mapping to get the above result which Im quite pleased with . However when taking it to get printed it comes out with the bunker being extremly dark.
I have played around with lighting and contrast settings and colour profiles. My most succesful "attempt" was applying the adobe rgb profile and boosting the brightness by 50% , however this makes a rather uninteresting photo, all the boldness seems to go.
Can anyone give us a any pointers on how i can make this more print friendly without loosing the "boldness"
You could try a relatively severe curves adjustment. Sadly nothing ever prints like it looks on screen because when you look at printed images you're seeing reflected light in different primary colours to the transmitted LCD/CRT light.
I find I have to add between 0.5 and 1 stop of exposure comp in CS3 and then add a strong(ish) curves adjustment to keep the contrast. Don't go too far though otherwise you'll start clipping the print
On screen, don't forget an image is backlit, so will seem brighter than it really is. In print form the image will rely on the light falling on it. Try upping the contrast and perhaps raise the exposure by half a stop or so. On my screen it could certainly do with a bit more contrast. Hope it helps.
EDIT: I stopped using aRGB a year or so ago in favour of an entire sRGB workflow. What I lack in colour gamut for editing is absolutely non existent to the eye, and I get stunning results from pro-lab prints. Whatever space you use for your photography and editing, it must be consistent, and images for the web will need to be formatted with the sRGB space for best viewing on a website. Unless you are experienced in colour management I would suggest you choose sRGB too. You will be very pleased with the results I'm sure.
Example of what I mean here: [url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/amazonsandimages/2846003850/[/url]
You could also try editing the image in layers - and in one layer creating a mask of the pill box that you can adjust saturations etc.(while retaining the background to your prefered choice)
Hope this helps
There are a lot of different options for preparing an image for printing. As you have found, the difference between a backlit screen and paper is often most noticeable in the dark tones, so an image with prominent dark tones like yours can look very different when printed.
A very simple tip for adjusting for print output which has worked well for me is to use a hue/saturation adjustment layer and increase both contrast and lightness by around 5-9%. This makes the pictures look a little too pale on screen but results in prints that match how the image originally looked on screen (before that layer). You need to increase saturation as well as lightness so the lightened picture doesn't look washed out.
If you are printing at home it is easy to start at, say 7% and then vary the percentage if that doesn't quite work, but obviously if you are sending the pictures out then you will have to take pot luck so aiming for around 7% would be a good compromise.
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