04-30-2011 12:31 PM
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.
04-30-2011 12:39 PM
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.
04-30-2011 01:25 PM
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.
05-01-2011 11:24 AM
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.
05-01-2011 11:28 AM
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.
08-11-2012 05:28 PM
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?