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05-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #16
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Hello Folks,

After considerable experimenting, I decided I had gotten some decent results with my initial processing attempts. So, I decided to send a couple of photos to the print shop to see what they would look like. Walmart had the best price, $0.09 per 4"x6" print, plus $0.97 S&H, so I uploaded a few. I immediately noticed that they seemed darker than I expected. Thinking I needed to expand my experiment, I uploaded all of the photos I had processed, and all of the originals prior to processing. This way I will be able to make a side-by-side comparison for less than $4.

I realize that 4"x6" prints are not much of a test, but I hope to learn from them before I commit to larger prints that cost more. When I'm satisfied with them I'll try some 8"x10" at $2.50 each. Does this seem like a reasonable test of my skills?

After that I'll be looking for photo shops, as I would like to eventually display some of my photos on my office wall. When the time comes, who are some of the better print shops?

Thanks, Tom

05-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #17
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Note that in many cases an image that looks just great on your screen will be too dark when printed. Having a properly calibrated monitor will help but even then it is not an exact match because the technologies are so different (monitor/display versus print). LR 4 now has a soft proofing feature that supposedly allows you to display what it would look like using a printer calibration profile.

At any rate, trial and error the way you are doing it is the simplest way to go. I have made a habit, in Lightroom, of saving off both a regular jpeg and a "for print" copy. That way I can send the "for print" version off to the lab if I need prints and the regular version to anyone who needs to view it on screen,
05-21-2012, 06:05 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tatume Quote
I realize that 4"x6" prints are not much of a test, but I hope to learn from them before I commit to larger prints that cost more. When I'm satisfied with them I'll try some 8"x10" at $2.50 each. Does this seem like a reasonable test of my skills?
As a guess, most places that print 4x6 aren't going to spend a lot of time hand proofing each image or batch of images. As you move to larger prints, there is a greater chance of human involvement or tinkering along the way. So you may find that prints from the same shop come out quite different when you resize them. (I don't think 8x10 should be an issue, but larger than that will be just because they cost so much more, so there is incentive for the shop to get it right)
05-21-2012, 10:28 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tatume Quote
Hello Folks,

After considerable experimenting, I decided I had gotten some decent results with my initial processing attempts. So, I decided to send a couple of photos to the print shop to see what they would look like. Walmart had the best price, $0.09 per 4"x6" print, plus $0.97 S&H, so I uploaded a few. I immediately noticed that they seemed darker than I expected. Thinking I needed to expand my experiment, I uploaded all of the photos I had processed, and all of the originals prior to processing. This way I will be able to make a side-by-side comparison for less than $4.

I realize that 4"x6" prints are not much of a test, but I hope to learn from them before I commit to larger prints that cost more. When I'm satisfied with them I'll try some 8"x10" at $2.50 each. Does this seem like a reasonable test of my skills?

After that I'll be looking for photo shops, as I would like to eventually display some of my photos on my office wall. When the time comes, who are some of the better print shops?

Thanks, Tom
Prints are a very tough thing to get right, I have started doing my own printing (on Lightroom 3.6) and Canon Print Utility. Getting the results how you want takes alot of patients practice and a whole bunch of calibration. Sending it to a shop is one method of passing the buck but then you don't get the control over the output. So if they are sloppy operators you can get sloppy results.

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