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Color photo coming out "gray" when printed

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by herhubby86, Apr 6, 2008.

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  1. herhubby86

    herhubby86 Thread Starter

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    I have a color photo I have been using for years on various projects (small sample attached). Recently, I started having a few items printed professionally, and the results are rather poor. The blue background comes out looking gray, and the food colors are all dark and lifeless. On my end, the image looks great on my monitor and when printed on an inkjet printer.

    Obviously, the problems are due to the conversion between the RGB image and the CMYK printing process.

    I don't have any software that can convert to CMYK, and at least one of the printers wants a JPG source anyway.

    On my last project, I sent a hard copy proof for them to color match, but the final result wasn't much better than the standard color matching.

    So, I'm curious if there's anything I can do on my end that will improve the quality of the final image when printed?
     

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  2. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    My first thought is to get another "professional printer" and dump the one that wants a jpg...

    Any pro lab should be able to make the conversions for you
     
  3. herhubby86

    herhubby86 Thread Starter

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    The printer that uses the JPG image prints to CDR disks. I looked at various other companies that do this, but they were one of the few that would do small quantities in the manner I wanted.

    The other printers "DO" make the conversions for me, the results just aren't satisfactory.

    Since I'm getting nearly the same results from all printers (grey, dark, and dull), it appears to be an issue with my image and not with the printers. So, I'm wondering what I can do to make my image more compatible.
     
  4. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    The fact that they are printed to disk is a non issue...

    Why do you let them make the conversion?

    Give them a .tiff at 240 dpi and tell them to print it as is....

    Why do you not print them yourself?

    I print everything RGB 1998... Photoshop CS3 and an Epson 7800 printer... calibrated and profiled... I print exactly what I see on my monitor... never had a complaint...
     
  5. herhubby86

    herhubby86 Thread Starter

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    I have printed my own materials for years, but I'm finding it harder to keep up with the volume and want better quality than I can produce in house. So I'm starting to outsource some things to other printers.

    As for the CD's, I'm wanting to get away from labels and have waterproof discs (no smudges from wet fingers).

    I can only provide what the printers support. If they want JPG, that's what I send. If they want PDF, that's what I send.

    Granted, I could probably find more flexible printers if I had greater volume, but I'm using online printing services for the convenience, small runs (less than 50 usually), and pricing.

    Regardless, the fact remains I'm getting nearly identical results from the various printers, even though they print to different mediums, and use different sources (JPG or PDF, typically). The real problem appears to be with my image and/or the conversion to CMYK.
     
  6. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    Why the obsession with it being your problem and the conversion to CMYK...

    It is not necessary... you are being silly and mislead...
     
  7. herhubby86

    herhubby86 Thread Starter

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    > Why the obsession with it being your problem
    > and the conversion to CMYK.

    I can only go by what the printers themselves tell me.

    I've used two or three different companies, and they all produce similar results, and mention the same conversion issues when I discuss the color differences.

    > you are being silly and mislead.

    Perhaps. I'm strictly an amateur when it comes to printing, that's why I'm asking the questions here. But I have yet to hear a solution here either.

    I need small quantities (50 or less) of glossy sheets precut to custom sizes.
    I also need small batches (25 or less) of printed CDR's (waterproof, no inkjet or labels).

    I don't use Photoshop or any other professional photo software, just a regular photo scanned from an 8x10 print. Granted, my equipment is not calibrated, but the image looks good on both my monitor and inkjet printer.

    Unless you can recommend companies who could meet these needs with better color matching, or can suggest a way to tweak the image on my end for better results, I'll look for advice elsewhere.
     
  8. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    Sorry if I offended you... good luck
     
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