Applying a correct curve on print

I am looking for methods of improving the quality of monochrome prints that I produce on a Canon Pro-10s printer when printing directly from DxO photo lab. Typically the density of the last 5-10% of the blacks require fine redistribution. This can be achieved through a quality ICC profile or other techniques that involve converting the image profile and then assigning a profile.

A simpler method is to use a curve type correction which is applied just before the image is sent to the printer. At the moment I do this by sending the image to Affinity Photo and then applying a curve as described. I wonder if there is any way of creating a curve or other correction that may be saved and applied to each image before printing directly from within DxO.

I suppose my question is how does DxO react if two or more saved presets are applied to an image i.e. does the second cancel the settings made by the first?

best wishes
Stay safe


Why would you not create a proper profile for your printer/ink/paper combination? Then you can adjust the image correctly in PL and simply send it to the printer, knowing it will look right on paper.

To answer your question about presets… yes applying a preset that has different settings for any tool will overwrite the previous settings for the tool. In the case of a tone curve, the latest applied will “win”.

Here is a tone curve that I created from an image of a greyscale…

Capture d’écran 2021-01-13 à 15.48.13

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It would be a bit “clunky”, but … you could first create a Virtual Copy and apply your pre-printing preset to it before then printing from this version.

John M

Thanks for your replies. In answer to Joanna’s question both Canon and Epson printers have black and white printing modes that allow the fine tuning and/or toning of the output. These options are in the printer driver so are unavailable if the image is printed using an ICC profile. Its possible that the mixing of colour by the printer driver to produce neutral tones is more refined than most icc profiles produced either at home or by paper vendors.

Keith Cooper of NorthLight Images discusses various methods of ensuring that the tones are not compressed in the print (see . One method is to scan a test strip and use QTRrgb produce an image space profile that the image may be converted to before the base space, typically Adobe98, is applied. This technique may only be used in applications that allow images to be converted to named icc colour spaces and then have a different profile assigned to them. As far as I can tell DxO is not one of these most likely because it is “only” a raw editor.

A work around is to apply a curve just before printing but it is only of use if the curve can be saved and reused. So far my experiments have my curve preset resetting all my changes but I suspect that I should turn off all the corrections that my preset does not use and ensure that my standard edits do not use that same corrections.


Just checking, Simon - Are you aware that you can create “partial presets”, which apply only specific corrections, while leaving all others untouched? For a particular control (say, the tone-curve), it would replace all current settings for that control, tho … which I think is your concern (?).

John M

Hi Simon,
you may export your image as TIFF, so that you can apply a (new) tone curve (without cancelling previous corrections) e.g. to bring up the shadows for printing. Unfortunately PL doesn’t offer softproof yet.
have fun, Wolfgang

for sharpening you may check here Sharpening with PL4