Images printing too dark

Hi,

I've just received my first book proof, with great excitement, it arrived at the time of Prince William's wedding.   The cover in colour was amazing and very professional.   Anyway, my pleasure short lived, when I noticed that all the images (from jpg files) in the internal pages, were printed very dark. 

 

I had actually printed out my book on my own printer at home and the images worked well and had greyscale shading etc.  It also looks good on the pc and as an eBook.  Sadly, via the Lulu printed, images came out as a big black or dark shade.  Does anyone know what I should do to lighten up the pictures.  I certainly do not want my book to go to the masses looking like this.  Thanks for sharing any suggestions to improve.  Merci.

Comments

  • Well firstly you can't compare images printed on your own PD printer with those printed by the machnes Lulu's printers use. They are more than just giant laser printers.

    You say that your images are in the JPG format but are they in RGB, sRGB, CMYK, Lab colour, Multichannel, Greyscale, what??

    How did you prepare the images to be included in the book?
    What image editing software did you use?
    What resolution did you use and what compression?

    You have to pay attention to all those factors.

     

  •  

    I found that my images looked OK when printed by Lulus printer in Hastings but the same book printed by Amazon's Createspace printers in Milton Keynes came out much too dark.

    I went through all my images and lightened them by changing contrast and brightness.

    I change colour images to greyscale then lighten them by changing contrast and brightness. I use the free Paint.net prog.

     

     

  • Contrast and brightness are the standard options to correct images.  Well done. Millions of blacks and greys overlayed on high end printers do not usually use 3 or 4 colors. They use 12 colors or more. It is more likely they will overlay thousands of shades of grey and more greys and then blacks until you loose the definition you imagined.  I would suggest look at your images with carefully chosen reduction of shadows. Rebalanced tones and colors.  Don't try everything. Try the one that works. I have also found that the best way to anticipate the worst posible results is to change the angle on your monitor until everything looks more dark and thick. Plasma monitors always misrepresent the final image simply because you don't know the correct printer.  Also simply converting color to greyscale is not the best result. Every image needs to be proofed and balanced by you before you order the proof copy.

  • I also strongly urge you to submit your images as flattened Tiffs.  Jpgs, even uncompressed, do not contain the same information and still continue to compress despite their popularity.

  • In the photo book template - did not see TIFF as an option ... images did come out too dark as JPEG  ... did I miss something?

  • I was disappointed to discover this problem with the latest draft I just received from Lulu.  But the real problem is that I had already lightened the images for a previous draft that printed OK from Lulu.  Does this mean that when I go live with the book, an unknown random subset of  my customers will get dark images?  In other words, have others experienced inconsistent image darkness with their books?

    Thanks!

     

  • This thread is 9 months old, why not start a new one?

  • He has now. Well done both.
  • I'm currently facing the dark problem. The first book I published on Lulu (Survivor: Charles Vyse) has over 100 B/W images and they print OK. BUT it was my first book and it took "forever" to produce a .pdf that was acceptable. I'm now on my second similar book and I've gone through a long learning process to produce a 'correct' .pdf.

     

    Again +100 images. All of them TIFF. All retouched etc in Photoshop and outputted as greyscale with all colour information discarded. Book has been designed in Apple Pages and I've then used Adobe Distiller with Lulu's profile embedded, to render a .pdf.

     

    The .pdf prints out on a home printer OK. But this .pdf sent to an iPad for proof reading (in bed!) shows amazingly crisp type, but very many of the images are over dark. It seems that where I have an image with a lot of shadow detail, that is showing as a good picture when viewed on screen in 'Pages', the image in the .pdf version, loses most of the shadow detail. Highlight detail seems to be unaffected.

     

    I have yet to send this file to Lulu. Is it the case, that Lulu will probably print it out OK?

  • Repost as a New Message, not in a thread years old.

  • Alternatively, Kevin, you could unsubscribe from the old threads, so that they won't automatically email and pester you.

     

    For the black and grayscale issue:

     

    I do not have a lot of experience printing black and white photos, so others here will have better advice, but in what little I have done, I've found a couple of things helpful:

     

    1.) When adjusting settings look for a setting that adjusts only "midtones" or "gamma correction." This will often give a better grayscale photo by only affecting the mid-range, and not the overall contrast or overall brightness.

     

    2.) It's sometimes helpful to look at a photo using "Zone 5" as your goal. Ansel Adams invented a system of judging light for photos using 9 shades of gray, plus black and white. An ideal photo, in theory, has a balance of zones that average to the entire photo being medium gray, or "Zone 5."

     

    You might be able to use the Zone system for measuring the balance and contrasts of your photo:

    Zone System

     

    I'm no expert, but I hope that's helpful.

  • Alternatively, Kevin, you could unsubscribe from the old threads, so that they won't automatically email and pester you.

     

    Why? But that would be impossible because they go back years. Glenn onced tried to delete all threads over a specified time to stop people posting in them, but that resulted in 1000s of people just like me getting e-mail Notified of those 1000s of changes. Then again, Post in a new Thread is also advice, as is > please read the date on a thread before posting < as the contents in it may now be out of date.


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Alternatively, Kevin, you could unsubscribe from the old threads, so that they won't automatically email and pester you.

     

    Why? But that would be impossible because they go back years. Glenn onced tried to delete all threads over a specified time to stop people posting in them, but that resulted in 1000s of people just like me getting e-mail Notified of those 1000s of changes. Then again, Post in a new Thread is also advice, as is > please read the date on a thread before posting < as the contents in it may now be out of date.



    Many forums encourage users to post in an existing thread to prevent there being fifteen threads on a single topic, and so that the poster has the benefit of the solution offered previously.
    It makes perfect sense for posters to add to an existing thread if one exists.

     

    Realistically, no one's going back further than what, three pages? so if you just uncheck "notify me of changes to this thread" for the last three pages, you'd cut 90% of the responses.

     

    Also, if you want to know when a thread changes, why wouldn't you want to know that a new person has asked the same or a similar question?

  • Many forums encourage users to post in an existing thread to prevent there being fifteen threads on a single topic, and so that the poster has the benefit of the solution offered previously.

     

    It depends if the posting is the same subject or topic, if not then people are told the same in other forums, or to just look for the answer that's been posted a dozen times.

    It makes perfect sense for posters to add to an existing thread if one exists.
    Not if the thread is years old, and/or the subject already being marked with a Solution, the new posting already having been answered above it, the years old postings are still relevant, because Lulu changes may have already addressed what the OP was about, etc etc etc. People should at least read threads before they post in them.

     

    Realistically, no one's going back further than what, three pages? so if you just uncheck "notify me of changes to this thread" for the last three pages, you'd cut 90% of the responses.

     

    Nope, some go back far more than that, many many years, and Notify only works when one posts. These old threads do not even show here >>  http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Print-and-eBooks/ct-p/forums_kb  How are they finding the ancient threads?And New Message is as plain is your face above all sections.

     

    Also, if you want to know when a thread changes, why wouldn't you want to know that a new person has asked the same or a similar question?

     

    Because of all the above. One has to note that it's usually only myself who replies to new postings in medieval threads suggestion they post a New Message or even advising some. Some clue there to something maybe?

     

    Anyway, it's just laziness  Smiley Happy

  • Well, your laziness shouldn't be our problem, should it?

  • Mine? Laziness on my part would be ignoring people by not redirecting them.


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Mine? Laziness on my part would be ignoring people by not redirecting them.


    Or not going back and turning off the tick mark next to "Email me when someone replies."

  • Well, as I said, that option is only on the Reply page, and if I untick it right now I would not know about your replies in here, and you know how I hate to miss them.  Smiley Very Happy

     

    Anyway, it is now what I will do ...

     

    Perhaps Lulu should tag large  USE BY dates on the threads?

  • Kevin... That tick mark is for each individual thread.

     

    Unticking it in THIS thread will not affect other threads, and vice versa.

  • Sigh, I do mean this thread, and it does not work even on this one because I did click it to off, I will do so again. There you go. Deselected.

  • In that case, this shouldn't notify you.

     

     

  • Well it did   Smiley LOL

  • In that case, I should keep posting here, just to drive you bonkers. Smiley Tongue

     

    Smiley Very Happy

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