I don't know much about printing but I love Stack Exchange so thought I'd post this here and see what people have to say about it. If there is a better site to ask about this sort of thing, please let me know.
I have a HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color M251nw printer at home. I've been using it for some time but always been slightly bothered by how dark and murky some images look when I print them. This happens consistently with images that have a lot of blackness/shadow in them. The shadows are too shadowy, I guess you could say.
Here's an example. The first picture is a screenshot of an image that I downloaded from the web (a painting by Waterhouse). Note that although the background of the figure is shadowy, you can make out detail.
I placed this image in an InDesign document and printed the document, then took a picture of the page with my phone, which you can see below:
See how dark and murky everything comes out? You can barely distinguish the woman's hair against the background. Note that when I print images that are overall lighter in color it looks great, no problems there. It's only with the dark, shadowy images that everything seems to get lost in black. Also, it doesn't matter what program I use to print the image: InDesign, Acrobat, Word... the image always comes out the same.
Is this just as good as it gets with my particular printer, or are there some settings I should look for to maybe adjust how these images print?
Please note that I know I can use Photoshop to adjust the images to compensate for this issue, which is what I've had to resort to in the past. But aside from the extra hassle, it can affect the printed image in other, undesirable ways. Plus it feels like a step I shouldn't have to take; either the printer should be adjusted to print properly or maybe I need a better printer.