Avoid dark images in your printed book

Sometimes images may look darker in print than on screen. What causes this? Here are some common reasons: 

Is your screen set too bright?

  • An image viewed on your computer's monitor will most always look brighter than the same image printed on paper. That's because monitors have light shining through them, unlike the printed page.
  • If your monitor's brightness is set too high, your images will look brighter than they really are. Try turning down your monitor to 60-70% of its maximum brightness for a more realistic view.

Are your original images dark?
Dark original images will look just as dark, or even darker, in print . If your original images look dark here are a few possible reasons why:

  • Backlighting: backlit images often leave the subject's face too dark because of the bright light shining behind them. 
  • Underexposure: your camera settings may have caused the image to be underexposed.
  • The camera's flash may not have fired when it should have.
  • The result? Lost shadow details, decreased contrast, and faces whose features are hard to discern. You'll see this in the originals and the printed book. 

How to avoid dark images in your printed book

  • Shoot your photos with adequate lighting and the proper exposure so your images are bright from the start.
  • We know that taking a perfectly-exposed photo isn't always possible, so you may need to do some post-processing to slightly lighten your images. (And we do mean slightly—too much lightening can make your images look grainy).
  • Lower your monitor brightness. Your images can appear brighter than they really are when viewed on a monitor set to 100% brightness.
    • There's no magic number for this but we suggest keeping your monitor at 70% brightness or less. 
  • Use the automatic image enhancement feature if you're making your book with our BookWright tool. This will slightly lighten and sharpen your images and save you from having to manually lighten all the images.
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