The most common printing problem of WYSINWYG “What you see is NOT what you get” is a non-calibrated monitor. Here is the scenario: You spent hours editing an image; selecting the right colors, making sure the shadows are just right, the black point isn’t clipped and so on. You print the image and it’s not what you see on your screen. You’re confused. When you sent the same image off to a professional lab like Miller’s, Bay Photos or Mpix, the image looks great. But when you print from home or print at Walmart the image looks bad. What’s going on?
Your images look great from the professional labs because they color corrected the image using their calibrated monitor. Walmart or other quick labs are inexpensive because they don’t color correct your image or make changes. They can show you on their screen what they see is exactly what they printed. Their monitor is calibrated correctly to their machine. The problem is the image you gave them isn’t calibrated to your monitor. You made changes to the image based on erroneous information you’re seeing. It’s a simple fix, you need to calibrate your monitor.
There are many ways to calibrate your monitor. The best way is using a Colorimeter. The two that I’ve used for years are X-Rite ColorMunki and Datacolor Spyder4Pro. You can use software to calibrate your monitor, but it’s not recommended. Your eyes can be fooled, a colormeter isn’t fooled as easily. Once you calibrate your monitor, you should periodically re-calibrate it to make sure you’re in-sync.
This short video shows how easy it is to calibrate your monitor.