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  1. #16
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    Here's a few things:

    a) Just because someone provides colour profiles doesn't mean that they will do a good job. I wouldn't trust any mom and dad printers to provide accurate prints even if they do give me profiles.

    b) What do you mean you "converted your pictures to their printer profile?" You did this how? If you are assigning the printer profile to the image you are going about this the wrong way. Printer profiles should only ever be used at the actual printing stage (i.e. from the print dialogue) or through the "soft proofing" system. Just because they provide you with printing profiles doesn't mean they don't expect sRGB files.

    Assigning a printing profile to an image and then giving it to someone who expects sRGB files would likely have very serious implications on the tone. What you do is softproof to the printing profile and give them an sRGB image with no profile assigned.

    c) Also remember that the calibrator only defines a tonal relationship between colours. It will not define your brightness and contrast. If you wish to directly compare your print to the screen you will also need a calibrated lightbox with the correct brightness and colour temperature, very dim room lighting, and the screen calibrated to the correct brightness and contrast ratio, something that very very very few photographers ever do.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    I am just going to keep this updated incase someone else has a similar problem. Even if noone has an answer or advice, this may help someone else in the future.

    UPDATE: I just went to Walmart and bought a new color ink cartridge for my HP photosmart printer. I usually only use this printer for documents so I was empty on the color side. Anyway, without even profiling the printer, I printed the same saturated picture that I printed at Walgreens with a HUGE difference. All of the dark areas were not muddled. The colors were not dead on in terms of brightness ( but pretty close ). Considering that I didn't profile the printer either, that atleast shows me that the problem lies with the crap print services. GEEZ, why couldn't someone have just said "costo and walgreens sucks, don't use them " and saved me some time just kidding. I still would like to figure out WHY they are messing up though. I am going to order some from Adorama and see how they turn out.
    Just for giggles, take a print from Adorama and the same Costo version and ask Costco if they can justify not giving you a refund. Adorama is very reasonably priced, so I doubt they can play the "you get what you pay for" schpiel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    Here's a few things:

    a) Just because someone provides colour profiles doesn't mean that they will do a good job. I wouldn't trust any mom and dad printers to provide accurate prints even if they do give me profiles.

    b) What do you mean you "converted your pictures to their printer profile?" You did this how? If you are assigning the printer profile to the image you are going about this the wrong way. Printer profiles should only ever be used at the actual printing stage (i.e. from the print dialogue) or through the "soft proofing" system. Just because they provide you with printing profiles doesn't mean they don't expect sRGB files.

    Assigning a printing profile to an image and then giving it to someone who expects sRGB files would likely have very serious implications on the tone. What you do is softproof to the printing profile and give them an sRGB image with no profile assigned.

    c) Also remember that the calibrator only defines a tonal relationship between colours. It will not define your brightness and contrast. If you wish to directly compare your print to the screen you will also need a calibrated lightbox with the correct brightness and colour temperature, very dim room lighting, and the screen calibrated to the correct brightness and contrast ratio, something that very very very few photographers ever do.
    Well Costco had a tutorial with their profiles. I soft proofed and then clicked Edit and "convert image to" I then took that photo and saved it. It also said not to include the ICC data because the printer could not read it anyway. So it said to convert it to this method. Maybe their directions were screwed.

    Either way though, my pics look the same on two seperate computers, and looked CLOSE when printed from home. I am going to try to download a program to take screen shots. I will open my picture and then what it looks like uploaded to Walgreens just to show an example an try to upload to here. Might be a day or two before I have time to do that though.

    I am going to send some to adorama and see how close they are. I am also going to try to adjust my monitor to fit the home printed pics.

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    Message from Helen at Adorama Camera

    [quote=burstintoflame81;1737038]
    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    I am going to send some to adorama and see how close they are.
    When someone sets up a new account with AdoramaPix (which is FREE!) they get 25 free prints. Many people use these free 4x6s to order some prints on all the different paper types. We usually recommend that you print something that you have already seen in print, that way you can compare. The only paper type we don't offer in a 4x6 size is the Silk, but if you'd like to email me with your mailing address, I can pass it along and see that you get some samples.

    I'm not sure how similar the AdoramaPix system is to the others that you've used, so here's a step-by-step, 'how to...':
    convert your RAW files to TIFF or JPG files and save them on your CF card, to a jump drive, DVD, or CD.
    Upload the image files to our site from whatever drive they are on, then continue to process the order. This includes setting up the job and choosing paper/finish, selecting borders or no borders and deciding on a cropping option. On the next page, you'll enter the quantity of prints for each image. The next step is to approve or edit the crops, if you chose that option in Set Up.
    Then you can confirm the order and proceed to checkout. You can pay with PayPal or credit card, and you'll be given a receipt.


    Hope this helps! Let me know if there is anything else you need.

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


    helen.oster@adoramacamera.com
    www.adorama.com

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    Well Costco had a tutorial with their profiles. I soft proofed and then clicked Edit and "convert image to" I then took that photo and saved it. It also said not to include the ICC data because the printer could not read it anyway. So it said to convert it to this method. Maybe their directions were screwed.
    Ok you soft proof first using the soft proofing function, and then used the "convert image to" function.

    What did you convert it to? Was it sRGB? If it was anything OTHER than sRGB and you do NOT include the ICC profile then you will end up with problems, as when no ICC profile is embedded in an image it automatically assumes sRGB.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    Well Costco had a tutorial with their profiles. I soft proofed and then clicked Edit and "convert image to" I then took that photo and saved it. It also said not to include the ICC data because the printer could not read it anyway. So it said to convert it to this method. Maybe their directions were screwed.
    Ok you soft proof first using the soft proofing function, and then used the "convert image to" function.

    What did you convert it to? Was it sRGB? If it was anything OTHER than sRGB and you do NOT include the ICC profile then you will end up with problems, as when no ICC profile is embedded in an image it automatically assumes sRGB.
    I converted to the Costco printer profile after my adjustments were made. That is what their tutorial said to do. Then to save it as a TIFF or JPG and upload it.

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    [quote=HelenOster;1737202]
    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    I am going to send some to adorama and see how close they are.
    When someone sets up a new account with AdoramaPix (which is FREE!) they get 25 free prints. Many people use these free 4x6s to order some prints on all the different paper types. We usually recommend that you print something that you have already seen in print, that way you can compare. The only paper type we don't offer in a 4x6 size is the Silk, but if you'd like to email me with your mailing address, I can pass it along and see that you get some samples.

    I'm not sure how similar the AdoramaPix system is to the others that you've used, so here's a step-by-step, 'how to...':
    convert your RAW files to TIFF or JPG files and save them on your CF card, to a jump drive, DVD, or CD.
    Upload the image files to our site from whatever drive they are on, then continue to process the order. This includes setting up the job and choosing paper/finish, selecting borders or no borders and deciding on a cropping option. On the next page, you'll enter the quantity of prints for each image. The next step is to approve or edit the crops, if you chose that option in Set Up.
    Then you can confirm the order and proceed to checkout. You can pay with PayPal or credit card, and you'll be given a receipt.


    Hope this helps! Let me know if there is anything else you need.

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

    helen.oster@adoramacamera.com
    www.adorama.com
    Thanks, I will be sure to pick various different paper types. I didn't even think of doing that so I am glad you mentioned it.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    Well Costco had a tutorial with their profiles. I soft proofed and then clicked Edit and "convert image to" I then took that photo and saved it. It also said not to include the ICC data because the printer could not read it anyway. So it said to convert it to this method. Maybe their directions were screwed.
    Ok you soft proof first using the soft proofing function, and then used the "convert image to" function.

    What did you convert it to? Was it sRGB? If it was anything OTHER than sRGB and you do NOT include the ICC profile then you will end up with problems, as when no ICC profile is embedded in an image it automatically assumes sRGB.
    I converted to the Costco printer profile after my adjustments were made. That is what their tutorial said to do. Then to save it as a TIFF or JPG and upload it.
    Then they're wrong. Garbz has it right.
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    Well, I just printed 5 pictures at home ( I found that if I used the profile "Japan Coated 2001" in CS4 as the soft proof, it made the image on the screen much closer to whats been printing on my home printer ( still off a little though ) . I also found, if change my color workspace and reopen one of the edited pics, it prompts me to convert the workspace or use the ICC data on the file. However, if I choose to ignore all ICC data and just open the file it looks very close to whats printing. ( does this mean anything or explain my problem? )

    Well I also took all 5 pictures and uploaded them to Adorama and ordered prints of each pic on 5 different types of paper to see what comes out best. ( hopefully they don't all come back crappy. ) At this point I am a little discouraged. I feel like I am taking good pictures, but if I can't print them then what good is it? I even had issues when I uploaded to Flickr because the pics lost a lot of their color. ( does this connection mean anything in terms of my overall problem?? )

  10. #25
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    Ok time for a primer.

    There are 3 types of profiles. Input profiles (what is used by CameraRAW and your camera to determine the colours that are picked up by the sensor, working profiles which determine your usable set of colours your program is working with (these are also saved with the file so that a different program understands what those colours were), and output profiles which is what is used to say what a monitor will display if a certain value is sent to it, or what colour a printer produces when a certain value is sent to it.

    Soft proofing is the act of making one profile look like another. So in photoshop when you softproof a printer profile, it will make an estimate of what the colours in that printer profile will look on your monitor profile.


    Now programs are dumb!
    There is no way of knowing what profile an image has if it is not embedded in the image. Any program which opens a file and encounters no image will automatically assume sRGB is the profile. I don't care what costco's website says, an image should never be converted to the printer profile, and even more so should never be converted to anything other than sRGB if that profile will not be embedded.

    The working profile in photoshop should never be assumed or ignored, if it is something has gone wrong in your colour management process. The working profile in photoshop should be set to sRGB, it is the standard profile. If you have a pressing need to use another profile you can convert, and if you open a file that is not sRGB you will get a dialogue box asking you what to do. The only correct options are convert to current profile, or use embedded profile. If selecting ignore gives you correct colours then something has gone wrong with your process.

    So starting from the very beginning. You open your photo you just took on your camera. Fire up the softproofing dialogue and select the printer profile that will be used. This can even be done at home. No idea why you think Japan Coated 2001 gives you correct colour, but what you should be doing is getting profiles from your printer manufacturer website or creating your own using a colour profiler. (Canon provide 6 profiles for various papers and printing settings). Now adjust the colours to suit your tastes.

    If you are printing with an external company and you softproofed via their supplied profile. Great. Click edit->convert to profile, and make sure that the profile is sRGB unless you have checked specifically with the company that they support other or embedded profiles. I have never seen a company recommend anything other than sRGB or AdobeRGB. Save the file and tick embed ICC profile. EVEN if they do not support it. EVEN if you are in sRGB. There is absolutely no reason not to embed your colour profile in your file. Send the file off to the printer and you're done.

    If you're printing at home. It's even harder. When you're finished and your colours are the way you want them fire up the print dialogue. Select Photoshop manages colour and pick the printer profile from the list of your manufacturer supplied or custom created profiles. The manufacturer's website often gives you a list of which profile to use with which paper. Now the critical part is go into the printer settings and completely disable colour management. Don't use Windows ICM or any other conversion system, completely disable it, photoshop is already sending the right colours if you've followed me up to this point. Click print.

    Colour management is impossible to get right if you don't understand it. It's large and convoluted, and if costco's website really says to convert the file to their printer profile and not embed it (madness) then it shows that even big companies have no clue.



    Your uploading to flickr is another colour space problem. Even if you embed the colour space, browsers are not colour managed, and there's no guarantee that flickr won't strip the profile anyway. Start your colour management process in sRGB and work with sRGB all the way through. The benefits of using a large space can only really be seen if you go out and spend ludicrous money on a chemical print, or have a $1000 computer screen, and even then the extra colour is likely to be clobbered in mismanagement and colour conversions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by burstintoflame81 View Post
    I just had prints made at Costco. I downloaded their printer profiles into Photoshop and converted all pics for their printer. My monitor was also calibrated this morning prior to editing these pics. The pictures came out way too dark. Lots of shadows. It was like I opened Curves and really cranked the blacks.

    I then uploaded to Walgreens with no printer profiles and printed the same pictures. Both the Costco and Walgreens set looked exactly the same.

    I know that a lot of people are going to say "don't use crappy Costco or Walgreens" but thats not a helpful solution, so please refrain. I calibrated the monitor and adjusted to the printer, so WHY do my pictures still look like garbage? Shouldn't they atleast look CLOSE to what I was going for?

    EDIT: I should also add that I am using a 23" 1080p LG LCD that is practically brand new up to date model.
    Ever thought of Wal-mart? GASP! Walmart! Are you serious?


    Yes, I'm serious. I take pictures all the time, and bring them to Walmart to print on their FUJI machine. The pictures come out superb everytime! The only time they dont, is when I MESSED up taking the photo.

    I know Walmart is not going to be the popular choice by many here at the forums (most of them consider themselves professional), but seriously, my prints come out awesome. As an added bonus, you can get them within an hour, sometimes shorter. Cost is right too, 15 cents a print if you do more than 100 (4x6's).

    Give them a shot, and see if it makes a difference.

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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
    Ok time for a primer.

    There are 3 types of profiles. Input profiles (what is used by CameraRAW and your camera to determine the colours that are picked up by the sensor, working profiles which determine your usable set of colours your program is working with (these are also saved with the file so that a different program understands what those colours were), and output profiles which is what is used to say what a monitor will display if a certain value is sent to it, or what colour a printer produces when a certain value is sent to it.

    Soft proofing is the act of making one profile look like another. So in photoshop when you softproof a printer profile, it will make an estimate of what the colours in that printer profile will look on your monitor profile.




    The working profile in photoshop should never be assumed or ignored, if it is something has gone wrong in your colour management process. The working profile in photoshop should be set to sRGB, it is the standard profile. If you have a pressing need to use another profile you can convert, and if you open a file that is not sRGB you will get a dialogue box asking you what to do. The only correct options are convert to current profile, or use embedded profile. If selecting ignore gives you correct colours then something has gone wrong with your process.

    So starting from the very beginning. You open your photo you just took on your camera. Fire up the softproofing dialogue and select the printer profile that will be used. This can even be done at home. No idea why you think Japan Coated 2001 gives you correct colour, but what you should be doing is getting profiles from your printer manufacturer website or creating your own using a colour profiler. (Canon provide 6 profiles for various papers and printing settings). Now adjust the colours to suit your tastes.

    If you are printing with an external company and you softproofed via their supplied profile. Great. Click edit->convert to profile, and make sure that the profile is sRGB unless you have checked specifically with the company that they support other or embedded profiles. I have never seen a company recommend anything other than sRGB or AdobeRGB. Save the file and tick embed ICC profile. EVEN if they do not support it. EVEN if you are in sRGB. There is absolutely no reason not to embed your colour profile in your file. Send the file off to the printer and you're done.

    If you're printing at home. It's even harder. When you're finished and your colours are the way you want them fire up the print dialogue. Select Photoshop manages colour and pick the printer profile from the list of your manufacturer supplied or custom created profiles. The manufacturer's website often gives you a list of which profile to use with which paper. Now the critical part is go into the printer settings and completely disable colour management. Don't use Windows ICM or any other conversion system, completely disable it, photoshop is already sending the right colours if you've followed me up to this point. Click print.




    Well, I just went in and found that Windows was managing the color in the printer. I changed it to sRGB and bumped to the HIGHEST quality settings and the print came out great. THANKS!.

    As for the soft proof, I realize now how dumb it was to convert, but I figured maybe they needed that since they said it couldn't read ICC info attached. However, the reason I was using the Japan Coated was my experimentation. I was trying to reverse engineer the print I got and match my screen to that. Sort of as my baseline. I found that if I turned down the brightness a little on the monitor and used that setting for my Proof, it looked close to what I was getting out of the printer. So it was just me trying to find a way to figured out how to adjust to compensate. Now I know my printer wasn't set right and hopefully that means that Walgreens and Costco sucked and my Adorama pics will come back great. I will keep this updated as to how everything goes. Thanks everyone for your help.

  14. #29
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    You're welcome.

    For future reference when someone says they do not support ICC profiles what they really mean is send us sRGB files
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    One thing that I think may be the cause of the problem is this...

    I have had Photoshop set to ProPhotoRGB due to a recommendation in a CS4 book I was reading. So for my pics to come out perfectly, technically I should be manually converting each picture from ProPhoto to sRGB when I save it as a TIFF or JPG and making sure to attach the ICC correct? This could have been my problem all along. I haven't had the time to test this theory but plan on sending a few more pictures to Walgreens tonight to check. I can't remember if I just send the same files I sent to Costco to Walgreens or if I re-edited them first. ( I also have the Adorama pics coming which I believe were edited after I switched my workspace back to sRGB )

    On another note, I printed more pics on my home printer and they all look awesome. Maybe its good that I had this problems, cause now I am all psyched at how good my pics look by comparison.

 

 
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