My wife scrapbooks our photos, and has recently upgraded from her old computer to a brand new MacBook Pro. She is a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", so has been using iPhoto 6 on MacOS 10.4.11 on her old computer. She now has iPhoto 11 on MacOS 10.6.8.

The problem is when she goes to print a photo, the quality is much worse than it used to be. We are using the same printer (an HP PSC 2175 all-in-one), photo ink, and photo paper as before, and printing the exact same photo, selecting the correct photo paper and "Best Quality" in the print settings, and the comparison is laughable. The overall color is dingy/yellow/darker compared to the old print.

I'm hoping that there is some setting (or multiple settings) that were introduced or the default value changed inbetween iPhoto 6 and iPhoto 11 that is causing this difference. Can anyone tell me what I can change to make it print out good photos again? Or suggest things to try?

In the print dialog box, we have already tried changing the "Color Matching" preference from "Vendor Matching" to "ColorSync (automatic)" and that didn't make a noticeable difference. We looked over the options listed under "Real Life Digital Photography", but nothing seemed to jump out at us as a likely fix, and I am reluctant to keep printing out photo ink to try each setting individually.

-- Update 8/7/2011 --

I have tried printing the same photo on our Epson Stylus NX420. We only have plain paper for that printer, but when I select the plain paper / best quality setting, the photo is the correct brightness in the lighter areas, but the other colors have a strong blue tint compared to the original and the HP print.

I have also printed the same photo on the HP printer from Preview (by dragging the thumbnail to the desktop and then opening that). That printed out better quality and color matching than the same settings using iPhoto 11 (I tried both plain paper and photo paper, with the appropriate settings), and also had the added benefit of not auto-cropping my 4x6 prints. However, the pictures were more pixelated than ones printed from iPhoto. Always something! :-P Maybe iPhoto is doing some sort of smoothing filter, and that is why the colors are off?

I reconsidered my reinstall iPhoto 6 idea (either uninstalling iPhoto 11 or in addition to it). I have verified that it should work on Snow Leopard, but I know the iPhoto Library is already modified such that iPhoto 6 will not recognize it. Perhaps I could just have her import the pictures she wants to print into the iPhoto 6 library in order to print them, that wouldn't be terrible if it worked.

  • What printer is she using? I know that some earlier print drivers for snow leopard were buggy. I know that epson drivers had a particular problem with the system and the application both doing color correction and producing just the color problems you are complaining of.
    – user9270
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 2:03
  • One thing to check: Are you telling iPhoto and the Print dialog what kind of photo paper you're printing to? It will make a difference if the computer is set to matte but the printer has glossy in it. Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 2:11
  • Yes, that did end up making a big difference. It did not fully solve the problem though. Thank you!
    – Talix
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 22:37
  • Have you tried removing the printer, logging out/logging back in or even restarting, installing the latest drivers, and then re-adding the printer? Perhaps there's a bad setting in the existing printer configuration.
    – da4
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 23:56

3 Answers 3


I'm a big scrapbooker myself when I ordered print I just set PrintSetting to Photo paper and make sure it's in Default Mode when print dialog pop up. Im using HP printer and HP everyday photo paper along with iPhoto '11, iOS 10.6.8.

It's turned out really great!!

Hope this help.


What is the exact make and model of the printer? How many years old is it? Have you contacted the printer manufacturer to see if they provide updated modern drivers for Mac OS X 10.6?

Have you tried printing to other makes and models of printers? This is how you can determine whether the problem is with this printer, and its drivers, alone, or if the problem is related to iPhoto '11.

  • See edits to the original post. Software Update says I have a HP Printer Software update, which I am currently downloading, but since it is over 100MB, I suspect it is scanning/printing software, not printer drivers.
    – Talix
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 22:36

You should be able to set the quality of the photo in the print dialog.

  • I am always using best/photo settings in the print dialog.
    – Talix
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 22:34
  • Under "Quality & Media", do you have the right paper set and the right print quality?
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 15:03
  • After Nathan Greenstein mentioned this (see above), I did start using the correct paper setting, and that definitely helped, but did not fully solve the problem. Print quality, as I mentioned, is set to Best.
    – Talix
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 11:40
  • @Joe Is this yours? discussions.apple.com/thread/3242123?start=0&tstart=0 I found it while looking for answers.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 15:13
  • Do you still have an older version of iPhoto? I have both '11 and an older version. I tried printing from '11 and was extremely disappointed with the printing feature. Just so you know, I like to keep an older version of Apple software handy, because Apple has a tendency to take out features in their software, like the printing feature.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 15:16

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