Am I the only one who thinks iPhoto prints are too dark?

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I've complained about this for ages. Take any photo on a calibrated monitor...Mac standard gamma, look at the photo...order a print through's MUCH too dark. Medium browns become black and such.

Am I the only one???


  • Reply 1 of 3
    What color profile are you assigning to the images? Most people prefer Adobe 98.

    Additionally, are you using the built in calibrator for the Mac OS or do you have 3rd party software and calibration tool?

    Color management is tough. Often you can't really rely on your monitor for percision. You have to go by the numbers for the color values. Another way to handle calibration is to get your print to look the way you want and then calibrate the monitor with the print next to it until what you see on the monitor matches the print.

    edit: You may want to assign the same profile for the image as the monitor. Also you'll want to use the same profile that the print process uses.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    I've felt the same thing from the beginning of iPhoto as well. Here are some things I've done to help the situation:
    • If you use Photoshop as your external editor, make sure that it embeds its working profile into the file. You may need to "Save As..." and check the "Embed Working Profile" box. If you don't do this, you'll notice a measurable difference between the colors in PhotoShop and in iPhoto. iPhoto will honor any imbedded profile automatically, but many digital cameras don't embed them, and PhotoShop won't unless you tell it to. So, you could end up with a situation where Photoshop is editing using AdobeRGB, but iPhoto is displaying using Default--very different results!

    • Calibrate your monitor. I never use Mac gamma anymore; I get much better results using a gamma of somewhere between 2.0 and 2.2, depending on the monitor. This will have an effect on prints you get back from Kodak (what iPhoto uses for purchased prints). I expect that their equipment is calibrated to expect images to have been edited on a monitor with PC gamma. My last book came back perfect, and I used PC gamma to edit the color/brightness/contrast.

    • Try the Enhance button in iPhoto. I have found that it adjusts the brightness and contrast to the best combination for printing--not necessarily for screen viewing (often too bright). The problem is that it often wrecks havoc with the color balance. I generally try Enhance and call it a day if I like the result. If not, I do my editing in Photoshop, but try to match the brightness/contrast provided by Enhance. For printing, always make your images a bit brighter than you think you need.

    Hope this helps!
  • Reply 3 of 3
    I too have had this problem. I think one issue may be the fact that the monitor is back lite so it makes darks brighter by nature.

    I have started just adding one shade up in brightness to photos in Photoshop.
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