I am having some problems with the contrast on my images. If you look at the image below on the left you can see what I see on my laptop & on the right is what I see of the same image on other monitors. My photos are looking beautiful on my laptop but when I get them printed professionally (using different companies) I get washy looking images with nowhere near the colours/contrasts I'm setting up in PS.
Obviously this is a huge problem when it comes to selling prints of photos or setting up album artwork.
I am looking into getting a calibrator (I heard SpyderPro4 is good?) and I have read through a ton of webpages about setting my colour profiles on my laptop etc but I'm still not getting this...
Is calibrating my laptop going to fix this?
Please please, any advice will be eternally rewarded
Calibrating will help, but as someone who worked on the production side of a decent sized print shop I'm going to tell you right now your monitor is lying to you. Always. You will never get a print to look as bright and colorful as it will look on the screen. Sucks, but it' the truth. It's the one major pitfall IMO to working digitally. Even a properly calibrated screen can still lie to you.
Something that may help, and you may have already thought of this, but what color mode are you working in, and what color mode do the companies your having your files printed through need you to be in?
I'm amazed how often I have to explain the difference between additive and subtractive colors to people. It's almost like nobody learns how light works in school anymore.
Just keep this in mind, when you are looking at a monitor you are looking at actual light beaming into your eye balls. When you look at anything else (unless it's the sun, a star, or a lightbulb) you are looking at whatever wavelengths aren't absorbed by the object you are looking at.
So knowing the basics of how light works can improve your color matching digitally. Rather than adding more color to your file to get richness, try taking away color, use the white of the paper as your friend to get rich saturated colors. Think that you want to bounce as much light as possible and every little bit of ink that you add to the paper is doing the opposite of that.
As far as contrast goes the same is true. When you are looking at a black spot on the monitor you are looking at the absence of light when you look at black on a page you are looking at light being bounced still just not a lot of it.
But what Skinny says is true nothing ever looks as good as light porting directly into your eyeballs without hitting something else first.
Had this dood come in to check a proof at 20 colors. Starts instantly (10 secs in the door) rattling a bunch of nonsense about the colors not being bright enough.. wont let me get a word in. Finally, when he takes a break from being a big shot color proofer, I ask him to take off his sunglasses and check the colors again.