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Prints do not match monitor


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Hi!  This is the first time this has happened to me.  I just got back a print of a collage of photos and they are dark and the colors do not match my calibrated monitor.  The photos on my monitor are beautiful and the ones in the collage are terrible.  

What do I do here?  Contact the lab, of course, but what do I say?  I have been having issues with this lab, such as, missing photos in my orders and other minor things.  They've corrected the problems when I've called.    I've been thinking about switching labs and I guess my mind is made up now.  I have more prints coming of this family and 5 canvases.  I hope they come out nice.  All of the prints and canvases I've ordered in the past were beautiful.  I'm so bummed.  :(

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Sorry to hear about this.

The first thing you must do is dig out some previous prints from the lab, and make sure your screen still matches them.

The second thing is to make sure your collage file was sRGB as usual.  Did you design it yourself, or did you download a template to use?

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I used the template on the ROES program (which I hate, by the way) and uploaded the photos that I specifically sharpened for the collage.  

So I just checked a recent 8x10 print against my monitor and the print is a tad darker. And so are a few others.    So is it my monitor, or the lab?  

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3 minutes ago, SueRoberts said:

I used the template on the ROES program

This is something I don't know anything about.  Is it a template made by your lab?  Or is it some kind of generic template that can be used by anybody for any lab?

I guess it goes without saying that there is always risk when using somebody else's template.

5 minutes ago, SueRoberts said:

So I just checked a recent 8x10 print against my monitor and the print is a tad darker. And so are a few others.    So is it my monitor, or the lab?  

Well, go ahead and recalibrate your screen with lower brightness to match those prints.  For now, continue to ignore the collage, just concentrate on matching those prints.

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My lighting varies throughout the day and I usually edit in the evening and now that it's dark early here I have the overhead light on.  If it's on the weekend then I just have window light.  So I guess I don't have the greatest lighting but my photos have NEVER turned out this bad.  

So now that I have my screen brightness as low as it goes is this going to change my editing on my photos?  

I think it's a bad print on the lab side.  I've always been happy with everything else and I calibrate at least every 6 weeks.  

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I honestly can't tell you how long it's been since I've compared my prints to my screen.  I don't know how long my screen has been too bright.  I usually calibrate in the middle of the day with no lights on.  I may have done it with lights on.  I truly don't remember.  Today I did it with no lights on and the curtains pulled to make sure there was no direct light on my screen.  

If my screen was too bright wouldn't my prints be too bright also?

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So my monitor is on the lowest setting for brightness as it goes.  I really don't know if this is correct or not.  I'm just not sure what to do here anymore.  The target is 120 and I'm at 125 but when I did this earlier it was at 106. 

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Ah, crap.

Well, it means you'll need to work in much brighter room light (while the screen is at its very lowest brightness setting) to achieve a visual match.  Can you increase the brightness of your room lighting?

And it also means you have very feeble basis to complain about this recent collage print.  If you can't honestly claim that your previous prints match your screen, it's going to be a hard argument to mount.  However, you should still contact them, of course, and see what they say.

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I can't really see how I can increase my room lighting.  I mean I can turn the lights on but they are on in the evening.  I could probably change the bulbs but they already bother my eyes.  

All of the prints I have ordered previously were great.  There is definitely something wrong with these on this collage.  I should get the other prints tomorrow and I'll see how those turn out.  I'm just nervous about the canvases and I'm also waiting for the group in the metal print I asked you for advice on last week.  

My canvases I ordered a few weeks ago came back beautiful.  

I'll let you know. 

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