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10-05-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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Rant about printing photos in Supermarkets

I didn't expect much....

Never printed 'Hard' copies of any of my pictures before, usually just bang them up on facebook for friends to see...

Recently had a birthday and took a load of shots of freinds, their kids, my family ect ect.... Bit of pp... Banged them up on FB... Job done.

Tagged friends names so they could see the pics of themselves, kids, dogs etc etc... Suddenly... They all want copies for photo albums and such!

That's cool... I'm flattered they like my shots... I'm also a skint 31 year old student... Cheapest place I could find for prints (I include transport costs) is the local big chain super market (Ocset read backwards) where I order 20 prints...

Just picked them up and am realing!! My shots now have tops/sides of heads cut off, colours have been 'messed' with, generally 'cropped' and look a big bit rubbish!! Not paid much but don't feel I can pass these prints on to my friends... Its just embarrassing!!

I expected more than that...

10-05-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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A lot of the people running the machines have the same training and skill as the people running the tills. You can usually find at least one or two places around where they have competent people. Here they have a walgreens on every corner and you can order your prints to any one of them and they will probably come out pretty $hitty, but a few have special equipment for posters and photo gifts these stores have someone who is dedicated to the photo department and your prints will come out much nicer.
10-05-2010, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Did you crop the photos to the proper size before you had them printed?
10-05-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I didn't expect much....

Never printed 'Hard' copies of any of my pictures before, usually just bang them up on facebook for friends to see...

Recently had a birthday and took a load of shots of freinds, their kids, my family ect ect.... Bit of pp... Banged them up on FB... Job done.

Tagged friends names so they could see the pics of themselves, kids, dogs etc etc... Suddenly... They all want copies for photo albums and such!

That's cool... I'm flattered they like my shots... I'm also a skint 31 year old student... Cheapest place I could find for prints (I include transport costs) is the local big chain super market (Ocset read backwards) where I order 20 prints...

Just picked them up and am realing!! My shots now have tops/sides of heads cut off, colours have been 'messed' with, generally 'cropped' and look a big bit rubbish!! Not paid much but don't feel I can pass these prints on to my friends... Its just embarrassing!!

I expected more than that...
you need to spend just a few secons at the kiosk or monitor or what ever to pick the framing and crop yourself. my supermarket has a setup (supplied by kodak) that you put your card in, and then can di simple crops and edits to make sure they fit perfectly, you can also review each one.

but as others have pointed out, don;t expect a clerk to do anything other than take your money

10-05-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I didn't expect much....

Never printed 'Hard' copies of any of my pictures before, usually just bang them up on facebook for friends to see...

Recently had a birthday and took a load of shots of freinds, their kids, my family ect ect.... Bit of pp... Banged them up on FB... Job done.

Tagged friends names so they could see the pics of themselves, kids, dogs etc etc... Suddenly... They all want copies for photo albums and such!

That's cool... I'm flattered they like my shots... I'm also a skint 31 year old student... Cheapest place I could find for prints (I include transport costs) is the local big chain super market (Ocset read backwards) where I order 20 prints...

Just picked them up and am realing!! My shots now have tops/sides of heads cut off, colours have been 'messed' with, generally 'cropped' and look a big bit rubbish!! Not paid much but don't feel I can pass these prints on to my friends... Its just embarrassing!!

I expected more than that...
This is why A: I use Snapfish. They are always offering bargains and free shipping. With most of these online services, the first order is free plus shipping anyway. And B: I ALWAYS put a Frame around my photos. That way, when they Crop them and miscut them (which they ALL seem to do), I have the photo I intended. No chopped off heads, faces, landmark features off to the sides, etc. The cost of postage in most cases more than covers the gas, time, and hassle of going to a store to pick them up. They are delivered right to my door (and I'm Never in a big enough hurry to need them right now).

10-05-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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As far as the lousy colors go, did you just use the low-resolution files that you posted on Facebook, or did you go back to the original higher resolution files that you originally captured?

Big difference.

An 8" wide photo at 72 dpi for excellent screen display...or whatever centimeters you nuts use over there across the pond...is total drek (Yiddish for SH*T), for actual printing on paper.

Last edited by Ira; 10-05-2010 at 07:50 PM.
10-05-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Did you crop the photos to the proper size before you had them printed?
+1
Being that the heads were cut off, I doubt it.
10-05-2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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To follow up on Ira's comment, generally you want at least 300 DPI (dots per inch) for a colour print. That means for a 4x6 inch print you need a 1200x1800 pixel image, and for an 8x10 inch print you need a 2400x3000 pixel image.

Depending on how the printing is being done you either crop to the correct aspect ratio ahead of time or you select it at the printing kiosk - leaving cropping to chance or to the technician is risky.

10-05-2010, 05:55 PM   #9
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You get what you pay for...

I do all my editing at home, then go to the local Walgreens, pick which shots I want, sitting at the kiosk myself, and I see exactly what will be printed before it's even ordered. Prints come out good, I've never been disappointed.

My Kx book says 1728x1152 for 4x6 prints, 3072x2048 for 8x10, I usually go for those dimensions, and the larger one even for 4x6 when possible. If I can I also go for 3936x2624. Then I can print it any size I want up to 11x14.

Don't go the cheapest route you can find, do a little research and find out who does a good job locally, and make sure you can do it from a kiosk and therefore see exactly what will be printed beforehand. As already noted, most of the employees at grocery stores, department stores etc only know enough to take your money. Most can't even count change, the register does it for them...Don't leave anything to chance...or a dummy who can't even spell photography...
10-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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The days of blaming the lab for bad results pretty much ended when film stopped being the capture medium of choice.
Unless you are dealing with a lab that is grossly out of control, bad results will generally always be the fault of the photographer, especially where bad cropping is concerned.
10-05-2010, 07:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
You get what you pay for...

I do all my editing at home, then go to the local Walgreens, pick which shots I want, sitting at the kiosk myself, and I see exactly what will be printed before it's even ordered. Prints come out good, I've never been disappointed.

My Kx book says 1728x1152 for 4x6 prints, 3072x2048 for 8x10, I usually go for those dimensions, and the larger one even for 4x6 when possible. If I can I also go for 3936x2624. Then I can print it any size I want up to 11x14.

Don't go the cheapest route you can find, do a little research and find out who does a good job locally, and make sure you can do it from a kiosk and therefore see exactly what will be printed beforehand. As already noted, most of the employees at grocery stores, department stores etc only know enough to take your money. Most can't even count change, the register does it for them...Don't leave anything to chance...or a dummy who can't even spell photography...
Hi, Pete!!!

Glad to see you here again!!!
10-05-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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I've found the place where we get our 6x4's printed crops a little bit all around even if it's the right ratio. I printed some 1800x1200 pixel images and they had stuff cropped at the edges so I now purposely make them 1812x1208 and make sure any vital elements of the shot aren't right on the edge. Now they seem to come out as I intend!
10-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #13
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I had some printed out from snapfish online and I won't use them for my art shots again. Their colour calibration must be different to mine and the colours didn't print out the way I expected. I will be trying out a copy/print lab near my place next time I need prints done. One photo was cropped strangely as well and I couldn't figure out why.
10-05-2010, 09:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleAu Quote
I had some printed out from snapfish online and I won't use them for my art shots again. Their colour calibration must be different to mine and the colours didn't print out the way I expected. I will be trying out a copy/print lab near my place next time I need prints done. One photo was cropped strangely as well and I couldn't figure out why.
Keep in mind that what you see on your monitor may not be the same as it will be in print.
10-05-2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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Yep, I know. That's why I'm thinking of checking these guys out, if I like what I see of their work etc, I'll see about getting my monitor calibrated to the same as theirs.
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