Printing: How to deal with too dark prints in dark areas

Dear Pixls,
I have encountered this issue already several times: when I make prints using a more or less cheap printing service (CEWE in Germany) the dark parts of my images come out too dark while the bright parts are okay. What would be your work around? Would you simply apply a generic tone curve to all images to lift the dark parts by half a stop?
Since I am not printing on a regular basis I have not yet developed a good approach for this. Any advice is appreciated.
Kind regards,
PS: I am using a calibrated monitor.


PS: I am using a calibrated monitor.

Good. That is half the route to success.
Next step would be to softproof against Cewe’s print profiles.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Great. How to do this? I know there is a switch in DT to trigger this but I have no idea how the workflow is. Also, I do not think that Cewe provides a print profile.

Well, if Cewe does not publish any print profiles (one per type of printer/ paper combination!), and if you in spite of this still consider using them, you have to make such a soft-proof profile yourself.

In short: send them a file. Wait for the print to return. Make a profile yourself which makes your “original” look like what came out on paper.

Search as well as the Web for more exact procedures.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

I have decided to switch to a more professional printer service. There prints were excellent. I also used their profile. However on my screen I could hardly see any difference for proofed and un-proofed pictures.

Good choice! I would expect that CEWE has some process but I do not expect that they keep they machines calibrated and are results oriented. I print some photos using polish Empik (they probably used CEWE) and well … I prefer my own Canon Selpy for 10x15cm prints.

For the glossy paper I would expect that :slight_smile: If you try to print on a matte fine-art paper you will see the difference!