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I'm working with colour images that I have changed to black and white, and have altered the contrast of by playing with the different colour channels. My aim is to achieve the same tonal difference and brightness etc. that I am seeing on the screen when I print the images.

Which aspects of the image tend to be affected when printing? (I will be printing in full CMYK colour). I assume the brightness is one of them as my images always come out considerably darker than they appear on screen.

  • Are you actually converting the images to greyscale? Or CMYK? or are you just making adjustments to an RGB image and printing that directly? – Cai Apr 30 '16 at 13:45
  • The images are originally in colour and I am adding a black and white adjustment layer – user64349 Apr 30 '16 at 14:06
  • Do you have a calibrated monitor and printer? – joojaa Apr 30 '16 at 14:13
  • Printing an RGB image in CMYK with no thought for color conversion is going to be your main problem. You want to be using the correct color profiles using (as joojaa said) a correctly calibrated workflow. – Cai Apr 30 '16 at 14:33
  • No I'm printing it on a printer at my college – user64349 Apr 30 '16 at 14:37
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If you need to manually and visually calibrate your transfer curve you can use a trick gamma calibration trick.

For visual calibration: Print several different tones next to a 50% line pattern then view the patterns at distance and choose the one that best visually matches your swatch. You can repeat this for 25% and 75% then you can make a curve transfer that coverts your visual values to these values.

enter image description here

Image 1: a acreen optimized version with 2 swatches next to each other, preferably you'd print several of these with swatches next to each other.

This is a bit technical so to get a near perfect 50% line pattern you will need to use a vector drawing software. Or better yet craft you printer code manually. By doing it manually you wont get aliasing.

You can also use a magnifying glass and calculate the coverage of each printed swatch and calculate the tone by hand but this is a bit of work.

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