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07-06-2008, 06:59 PM   #16
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PentaxScott: google "Color Management" and "ICC profiles". Unfortunately, that's one of the things we have to deal w/ in the digital world.
In the old days, you could get reasonably consistent performance if you used a kodak developer on kodak paper (or fuji), but this was because Kodak/Fuji calibrated their machines/paper for the various types of film on the market (there weren't that many).

Now, you have to calibrate your monitor (LCD's look worse than CRT's unless you get into the $1500-2K range) to let you edit the image. Then you have to recalibrate the image so it displays properly on a printer. Costco is one of the few local places that gives you color profiles they periodically create for each of their stores.

This "calibration" process is done via ICC profiles. Photoshop has a lot of support for this...check the online help for tutorials on it.

Hope that helps as a quick primer...

07-06-2008, 11:07 PM   #17
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don't export - print

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
Thanks for the advice. Ill look into getting the monitor color calibrated, although initially I was will to go through the slight differences to find a decent printer. My problem is that the shot that I posted here was printed by WalMart about 4 (!?!?!) stops darker than what I see on my screen. Thats not a minor thing...thats huge! I didnt think the difference would be that pronounced.

I have been using lightroom to do most of the color corrections and then using the export feature, exporting them to Jpeg using AdobeRGB colorspace. I downloaded Lightroom 2 Beta but dont see this feature. How to I attach printer profiles to a JPEG for printing? Are there other software programs that do something similar?
If you are going to get into printing large (11x12 and larger) images at home, then you will defintatly need to calibrate your monitor and perhaps your printer too. I got a notice via email about a new device called colormunki ColorMunki a device that will both profile your monitor and create color profiles for your printer. I have not heard good or bad about it and it does cost about 500 USD - our of my range at the moment. Anyway - color calibration of your monitor is a must, learning how to color proof is essential too - if you are a stickler. Check out some of the tips here: Jerry Courvoisier digital photography go to the tutorial links and look at color proofing and color management.

Now as for Lightroom Beta 2.
First, you do not export the image - you print it.
Second, (actually first but what he heck) - go to the Costco site, get the information about which printer models are available at the store you are going to.
Load the printer ICC files into the appropriate folder so Lightroom can see them (it is in the documentation for lightroom so I will not repeat it here.
In Lightroom go to the PRINT module and select your image (I will assume that by getting to the print, all modifications have been done)
Set your image up for printing (size, borders, text etc.)
When you select your printer, select the print job menu item.
Print to a JPEG file.
Color Management is set to the Costco printer profile.

Print the file --- note: no export - print.

Go to the Costco site - upload your image at full resolution - select the size for the image (I have printed 8x10, 8x12, 12x18.
Pick the number of prints.
Now before you get to the commit and pay part - you will notice that there is a dialogue box that says something along the lines "If you are a professional photographer and do not want etc etc etc.
Click the change or edit button.s
The default is to let the printer "autofix" - de-select that box, the JPEG you have has the printer profile embedded in it, so never let "autofix" run.

Finish up your order and the following day go get your pictures.

I thought my K10D was a pretty nice camera, until I got my 12x18 image back using this method..... The K10D is a fantastic camera. That picture is like night and day compared to a monitor - I don't care who makes the monitor. An image at 300 dpi is better than any monitor at 96 dpi or even 120 dpi. The hard copy image is so sharp that it is almost painfull to look at.

Edit: If you decide to ignore the above and just export images to be printed at Costco - even if you choose to use the "Autofix" - export the images as sRGB. The Costco defaults are sRGB, no way do the understand AdobeRGB or ProRGB or any other RGB. Most other places use sRGB too, or at least the ones I have checked out. When you print images at the poster size (20x30) the printers are in Maryland (3,000 miles from me) and they only understand sRGB. I have only one print at that size and it was from my *ist Ds - it is beautiful. (Aroaki/Mt. Cook 1 - PENTAX Photo Gallery)

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

Last edited by PDL; 07-07-2008 at 06:28 AM. Reason: added info about sRGB
07-08-2008, 01:37 AM   #18
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here's a semi-related question: I'm new to photoshop and dng processing, if i send out my photos for printing, say for wedding/portrait photography, can I send them out as dng's or do I have to convert them? also, what about photos that i've done some layer/mask work on, so now they are psd's? do i have to change that in order to make them printable with the changes applied in print? if so, how do i do that?! it would be even better if i didn't have to change the actual pixels of the image to do it, but could still save it as a layered document on my computer.
07-08-2008, 06:32 PM   #19
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so far JPEG only

QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
here's a semi-related question: I'm new to photoshop and dng processing, if i send out my photos for printing, say for wedding/portrait photography, can I send them out as dng's or do I have to convert them? also, what about photos that i've done some layer/mask work on, so now they are psd's? do i have to change that in order to make them printable with the changes applied in print? if so, how do i do that?! it would be even better if i didn't have to change the actual pixels of the image to do it, but could still save it as a layered document on my computer.
Costco only accepts JPEG. I do not know of any other commonly available hosting/printing sites (Shutterfly, Kodak, Smugmug, Pbase --- add in your own) that will accept anything other than JPEG. You have to remember, that most P&S use JPEG as their native format and these sites would not be able to keep their customer base. I have never used my local Drug store or Wallyworld to print any images - Costco is on my way home and the sell gas.

There are some places that take TIFF (Photo-eye and other "pro" sites that deal mostly in prints). In fact some of them require TIFF's - no JPEG's allowed - strange but true. Anyway - using the method that I described in Lightroom - the JPEG is "printed" using the correct printer ICC file as provided by the vendor. In tools such as Lightroom, you do not change the content of the file - it writes another file with the steps that you did for all the "corrections".

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

07-08-2008, 06:56 PM   #20
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Once you get your picture looking the way you want DO NOT let the printer auto correct, enhance or what ever they want to call it, it will not look like what you want. On my epson 1400 I ran a 13x19 print run with out checking and it adjusted it not in a good way, I reprinted and checked the settings and shut off the auto enhance and it was fine. The only printer I HAVE to export to is my fuji pictrography 3000 and it will only do 8x10 at the largest but at 320 DPI you say how could that only be 320 it is an incredable printer and it is 10years old.
07-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #21
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I saw one other recommendation for MPIX.. I TOTALLY support MPIX.com... I have only had one issue with a scratched photo.. They replaced it without question.... Fully professional lab, you can opt for them NOT to do any correction.... Definitely go to MPIX.com!!!! CHEAP for professional developing on professional paper. They process FAST. Check 'em out.
07-09-2008, 07:33 AM   #22
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The problem is not walmart. I don't believe any of the shops mentioned here would be able to print an accurate photo when the file is in adobe rgb. Try converting to srgb instead and I tyhink it will make a world of difference....Bob
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