currently except for the new epson 2200, all the black inks available are dark gray. so u lose contrast. and the paper is not really white, but light yellow or light grey.
plain paper absorbs the ink into the paper, hence u lose more contrast and it looks well, paperish...
so u get about 70% of the contrast, and 50% brightness.
photo paper or coated have the sticky acrylic surface to prevent the paper from eating the, and to supply a high reflective index so that the white is bright enough. so u get about 85% of the contrast, and 70% of the brightness...
the epson 2200 uses a matt black ink that is non reflective (I suspect scratchable) so it's 80+% contrast and 85% brightness.
u want 95+% brightness use a lightbox and transparencies. LOL
the first pic is quite dark, so a bit hard to tell when printed if it's printer prob... try auto-leveling it first?
maybe tomcat can give some expert opinions...
the 2nd one is definitely no good for prints.. the eye is gray,
try zooming in and see.. so when printed it's a bit pale becos
70%(plain paper) x 70% (eye colour) is about 50% which looks just muddy dun u agree?