Printed Proof vs Final Product
I’ve printed my proof and noticed some of the outdoor shots appear brighter on my monitor, specifically on the proof they come up with bright backgrounds and the people in the foreground appear dark.
I’ve scanned some of the forumns on how colours appear differently on your monitor then they do when printed but was still wondering if that is what is happening here. I’ve never really printed any of my digital pictures and don’t want to have to go in and edit them. Should I expect the Blurb printed book to appear as the printed proof?
No, and if you don’t want to edit your pictures, and of course to have carefully calibrated your monitor, you shouldn’t expect to be happy with anything printed.
and if you do do the above two things, book prints, test prints you make, and monitor images will still be somewhat different. They are using different technologies. For example to put it simply: your monitor has a (colored) light bulb in it and prints don’t.
I would guess that if you are ideally calibrated, etc, a Blurb book would be darker than your proof printed “at home”. I could be wrong though.
All of this printing stuff can drive you crazy when you know a fair bit about it. If you don’t, it gets worse.
ideally, you’ll need your monitor calibrated well and to use the icc profile to softproof for the printer blurb uses in order to get the best aproximation of what it will look like printed on their printer. Printing on your printer helps you to identify big goofs, but it’s not going to give you any real idea of color etc.. because your printer’s color profile is probalby very different than their printer’s.
That said, I did neither with my first book and the photos turned out great. some that I thought wouldn’t, turned out better than I had hoped and others that I thought were fine, came out a touch dark. But, overall, I was totally happy. If you aren’t looking for absolute perfection, you’ll most likely be just fine.
Okay.. now this.. if you have pictures that have overexposed backgrounds and underexposed faces (like the light was behind the person and you didn’t use a fill flash or enough fill flash to compensate) .. it’s going to look more dramatic on paper than it does on your monitor because paper isn’t backlit. So, it’s best to fix it now.
if you have photoshop, there’s an option called "shadows/highlights" .. you can do a lot with these little sliders to bring out detail in areas that seem too dark and tone down areas that are too bright. The bringing out detail will probalby do more than the other but if you have photshop, try it.
There’s a free program called GIMP. I don’t know if it has the same sort of shadows and highlights adjustment slider, but my guess is that it does or has something similar.
not sure if that’s what you are getting at or not. but you are right.. the printed version of photos will always look darker than they do on the monitor (especially if the brightness on your minitor is set really high like people usually have it). Blurb doen’t run any photo correction software on your pictures.. thye print the file you give them. So, if your photos are really under or over exposed.. that’s how they will print. Better to fix it a bit now rather than be unhappy later. photoshop really gives you some great and easy ways to tweak photos and I highly recommend it.