Book Design and Imaging

Advice on brightening all photos in a book consistently please

I’ve just received my first book, and on the whole am very pleased with it.  A couple of the photos had faint vertical streaks, but otherwise  the quality is fine (I went for the best quality paper).

However, as is mentioned elsewhere on this site, all of the printed images are noticeably darker than on my monitor.  I had spent ages getting them perfect and consistent, so don’t want to start randomly changing different effects (ie brightness or contrast or gamma) on individual photos, but would prefer to apply a single change to all of them to achieve a consistent lightening for all of them.

 So, using PS Elements 9, what would people recommend as the best tweak to give a slight boost to the brightness (hopefully without ‘blowing’ the lightest areas in my shots)?  I’m thinking of using Enhance->Adjust Lighting->Brightness/Contrast and increasing the Brightness from 0 to 33.  Any thoughts?

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Posted by
VisualPurple
Sep 7, 2011 6:36am PDT
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VisualPurple
 

Are you sure you are using sRGB and not Adobe RGB?

 If you’d like, email a picture to ms.ps2blurb at gmail.com and I’ll render my opinion.  I use PS CS3 instead of elements though.  My monitor is calibrated.

 Mike

Posted by
Charybdis
Sep 7, 2011 5:46pm PDT
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Charybdis
 

Hi Mike,

 Thanks for the response.  I’m pretty sure I’m always using sRGB but I will check.  But I can understand why the colour profile would affect the colour fidelity, but not the overall darkness/brightness.  Surely it is just a case of a monitor providing more light than a printed image.

So back to my original question – what tool would people use to uniformly brighten a set of images?

Posted by
VisualPurple
Sep 8, 2011 1:28pm PDT
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VisualPurple
 

The type of RGB mode is important.  sRGB is different than Adobe RGB.  Both use 8 bits (256 levels) to represent the intensity of each color (red, green & blue).  The range displayed by each is different.  It is my understanding that the brightest value for Adobe RGB is brighter than the brightest value for sRGB.  This means that the discrete steps between one color and the next are subtler for sRGB, but the range is less.  How does this translate into dark pictures?

Imagine the two lines below representing the range of a color in the two systems.  The longer one is Adobe RGB, the shorter sRGB.  Each letter (m or n) represents an increase of one count in the number that represents that color.   It is greatly exaggerated in order to make a point.

|mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm|  Adobe RGB

|nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn|                        sRGB

Both lines have 16 letters.  As you move left to right, both systems will display the same color (or close to) based upon how far from the left the letter is, not how many letters you crossed.  So the 10th "m" will display on the screen the same as the 15th "n" if you are displaying them in their native format.  If you are in Adobe RGB, the value of 10 is being saved for this particular color and being printed as such in sRGB when you really wanted 15. 

Posted by
Charybdis
Sep 8, 2011 2:12pm PDT
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Charybdis
 

Ah, I see. That does make sense – sorry for doubting you!

I will check when I get home tonight, and may take up your offer of emailing a sample.

Thanks,

Mark

Posted by
VisualPurple
Sep 9, 2011 5:21am PDT
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VisualPurple
 

OK – have double-checked that all my photos/images are saved with the sRGB profile not AdobeRGB.  I’m really quite happy to accept the fact that they all need to be a little brighter, as described in the following FAQ: http://blurb.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/261/kw/brightness

So, thanks for the info, but I think I shall just go ahead and boost the brightness of all of them and re-upload.

Mark

Posted by
VisualPurple
Sep 9, 2011 11:30am PDT
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VisualPurple
 

Your monitor is likely too bright.  Before you boost the brightness of your images, try reducing the brightness of your monitor so that your on-screen images match the dark printed ones.  This is a way of sort of matching your monitor brightness to the print brightness.  Then brighten the images in photoshop until they look about right – probably a brightness slider tweak or a curves adjustment.  In the future, your on-screen images should more closely match the printed ones in terms of brightness, without having to resort to "over-brightening" to compensate. 

To give you an idea, my monitor is set at 13% brightness – way lower than the factory setting.  If you have a hardware calibration package (spyder, colormunki, etc), you might be able to set the luminance at a certain level.  The default is usually too bright.  Mine is 100cd/m2 and the brightness pretty much perfectly matches the book.  If anything I should probably bump the brightness down a tad more!  Hope this helps.

Posted by
jrosedds
Sep 26, 2011 11:27pm PDT
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jrosedds