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Not happy with prints - what am I doing wrong?


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Hi Damien,

I just received an order of 6x4s back from my lab (a pro lab).  I have my screen calibrated to as close a match as I can get.  My target luminance using using colormunki display is 80 (the lowest setting), the calibration print is slightly desaturated (especially the blues) compared to what I see on screen, but I felt it was close enough.  Haven't had trouble before and just ordered an album from another supplier and was happy with the result.  These prints I got back seem quite grey/desaturated and there's a tinge of magenta in them.  They're just a bit "blah".  I'm trying to work out why.  Could it be the lab was having a bad day?  Is there something wrong with my calibration? Where should I go from here? I definitely want to get them right for my clients but don't want to end up with the same results.  I've checked and I'm definitely in sRGB.
I've attached a couple of the images... both looked really good to me onscreen...the one of the girl has printed with a magenta tinge on the wall in the background and I just can't see it in my file.  Can you see it? 
Thanks for any help you can offer! 

Ashford and Family015.jpg

Ashford and Family053.jpg

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1 minute ago, Monique Graham said:

Could it be the lab was having a bad day?

Yes, that seems the most likely cause.  If you have other prints from the same lab that do match your screen, and if you're still safely in sRGB, there's no reason why this batch shouldn't have matched too.

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Hi again Damien, so I went and spoke to the lab yesterday.  These were printed on Matte paper, which I have done in the past without too much of a change.  The manager pulled up the photo of the boy I posted above on his computer to compare to the print, and thought they printed correctly.  He said that looking at my histogram it was already a quite a "flat" image and then the Matte paper made it even more flat looking.  Here is the histogram...I kind of see what he's saying, but contrast-wise it looks quite good on my screen.  He suggested adding more "pop" to the images and try reprinting. Does he have a point do you think?  

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.45.25 AM.png

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