Avoiding dark print is important for both novice photographers and experts. Having the knowledge on how dark prints occur will help you create successful and beautiful prints you can be proud of. Once you're armed with this information, you'll be truly happy with the outcome of your hard work!
There are four reasons your book can have the appearance of being dark:
1) If you printed previously with Apple:
During the decade in which Mimeo Photos printed your books and calendars for Apple, Apple would process the images through additional filters to add brightness and even tone. When they exited the market their patented auto-process image enhancement technology was also removed.
This previous experience of enhanced photos, if you had one, could provide an unrealistic expectation about the brightness of the photos and the true tones and brightness in the project that you submit.
Mimeo Photos caters to a wide audience of customers including photo professionals. We believe that it is our job to print true to form of what was submitted. Therefore, we do not apply photo enhancement/manipulation processing after the project is submitted.
How do you get the same effect? Use round trip editing to improve brightness and tone with Apple's Photo Editor, or even more efficiently, edit the photos prior to importing them into your project. This will reduce your project having to update each time you leave Mimeo Photos to edit.
2) Monitor Brightness, Retina Displays and Calibration
Dark prints, overall, are mostly due to perception caused by the brightness and the color profile of all monitors. Especially retina monitors who come with brighter screens out of the box. When the monitor is bright, the dark areas are brighter too, this gives the subjective effect of opening up the shadows.
Monitors also emit an RGB light that has an additive color model. This will give greater dynamic range, but, luminously also impedes our perception of true color representation.
In simple and direct terms, monitors are intentionally making images more pretty so it looks better to us. Comparing a physical print directly with your monitor will result in misinterpreted color differences..
Calibrating your monitor, turning down the brightness and ensuring that you're using a more applicable color profile will improve your true tone and color match to the physical print.
3) Photographic Lighting
Photo lighting plays a big part in perception in printed photos. Backlit, toplit, overcast and even snow/clouds will catch the light and focus of your camera itself if it uses auto-focus.
When not focused properly, the photo itself will be dark. If using an iPhone, you can see how it attempts to focus in more light driven areas if you touch the screen to try to refocus it. Intentionally focusing it back to a face, for example, will improve your lighting.
4) Using dark backgrounds in your photobook, cards or calendars
Dark backgrounds cause our eyes to perceive anything on top of them to be darker, . Avoid darker backgrounds or lighten your photos accordingly to make up for that change in perception.
For more, review on how to Use Round Trip Editing