Printing from Linux

I plan on, finally, printing some of my favorite photos from the last few years. I got a lot of recommendations to use Bay Photo and their ROES software. It runs fine on Ubuntu since it’s Java. I printed a couple and found the prints are noticeably darker. My laptop was profiled a few months ago which was my first step toward printing. And I thought the ROES software was intended for a WYSIWYG experience, somehow sending along some profile that would make printing magic.

If you’re using Linux and printing what are you using? Anyone else using Bay Photo or other lab that uses ROES software? I use darktable which offers soft proofing and gamut checking but I’ve got admit I don’t really know what those are so maybe learning to use those might help? Any and all help appreciated.

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When I use mpix, they were making automatic corrections to my photos. I found the option to turn that off and everything was good. If this is a consumer service, I’d also expect them to do some auto correction.

Was all else equal? I’ve noticed that folks usually have their brightness a bit too high on their monitors. If the colors are good, just darker, it may be a case of simply adjusting the brightness to compensate (like - place the print on your screen and adjust to match in your editing environment)?

Bay Photo / MPix are usually fairly highly regarded, but another option might be White House Custom Color.

I see White House offer ROES for ordering. Have you used it or do you just use the website?
I like Bay Photo’s ROES because they offer a bunch of wide sizes (don’t get me started on why they don’t offer prints in the same aspect as our sensors!) that I can’t find on most websites.

I’ve got Bay Photo’s ICC profile for soft proofing and checking the gamut in darktable now but I don’t know what they’re telling me.

Maybe I need to set profile to Bay Photo’s in the export module? Change intent? I think I’m a little out of my depth…

Gamut checking shows you which colors in your photo cannot be replicated in the print. Soft proofing is attempting to show you what your print will look like.

You should set bay photos ICC as your softproofing profile. I think you right click on the soft proofing button in darktable and select the profile.

Ah, I understand now. The soft proof doesn’t look much different than my edit but the print is still noticeably darker.

What’s the fix for out of gamut color? I adjusted exposure, saturation, blacks, etc… everything I could think off but there was still more than I expected out of gamut. It even showed out of gamut when I converted to monochrome!

@patdavid The colors were off a little but I’m not sure if that’s related to the reduced brightness. I haven’t changed anything since I profiled the display and my brightness is below 25% which seems about right.

I guess my concern is the ROES software isn’t getting along with Linux. I don’t know why it wouldn’t but I just don’t know enough about the software,

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I have found setting my monitor brightness in reference to a well printed photo against the image on the screen and attempting to match the two is a good start. Otherwise the prints come out too dark.


Yes, it sucks. :frowning: It’s hard to say as I realize that I’ve normally only ordered from my win machine at work.

There are two issues here, though, right? One is the softproofing and gamut checks against the print shop ICC profiles and the other is the use of the supplied ROES software?

I think I can work with the soft proof and gamut check now that I understand them. Although the gamut check shows a LOT out of gamut and I’m not sure how to fix it. So, yes, the second concern is if I do manage to work with the gamut and soft proof will that pass through the ROES…? So a few darktable questions:

If I’m processing for print do I edit with soft proof turned on?
If I don’t fix the out of gamut colors what does that look like in the print?
When I export do I set “profile” to Bay Photo’s ICC or leave it as “image settings?”
Do I need to set “intent” to something or leave that as “image settings?”

Finally, happy Easter to all who celebrate!

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This questions are not software or OS specific and professional printing services offer at least some guidelines. E.g. Bay Photo lab: File size & Preparation

The services I’ve checked recommend 80-120 cd/m² for monitor brightness. Economy printing services expect your images in JPG (sRGB). They don’t read the embedded profiles. Other profiles than sRGB create unpredictable results. Professional services take care on embedded color profiles and except sRGB or sometimes AdobeRGB.

Out of gamut colors could be desaturated, although I never did that. Comparing a print and playing around in darktable with desaturation gave me similar colors.

Your colors most likely get desaturated. There is a risk of unsightly color blotches.

“sRGB” or if your screen supports it and your service accepts it then “AdobeRGB”. I stay with sRGB as it’s bullet proof.

You could/should turn of automatic correction during the ordering process, if you want to see your image development. Or at least the direction, because I don’t feel that I’ve full control over the results. It’s a bit of trial and error.

I guess with a laptop screen it is even harder to get what you want?

Thank you! That is the info I didn’t even know that I didn’t know. And that link was very helpful as well. I think next time I’ll try their economy version which looks more like the WYSIWYG software. And if the print isn’t accurate the price is about half of the Pro version!

As for my laptop I could profile and calibrate it using a Colormunki from my camera club. Using the ICC profile it produced was easy to use in Ubuntu and darktable.

Thanks again!