Digital Prints???

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by leopardforest, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. leopardforest

    leopardforest TPF Noob!

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    I want to develop some of my digital images and I am not sure where to start. First where is a good place to get them developed? I have seen services online that look alright, but are there any you would recomend? Also would a photoshop/store be better?

    Also does the printing company need the file in .jpg or can it be in RAW?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends where you live...you wouldn't want to order prints from the US, if you lived in Japan, for example.

    I hear plenty of recommendations for Mpix.com

    I don't know of many (or any) labs that will accept RAW files. The whole point of a RAW file is that you get to adjust it (then save it as another format)...so there would be little point in shooting RAW, just to send it directly to the printer/lab. The best quality option would be to save/convert your RAW files to TIFF. Many labs will accept TIFF files...but they can be huge. They will all accept JPEG. Personally, I save a 'print' copy of my images as JPEG.

    I use a local lab for high quality prints, and Costco (or even Walmart) for high quantity.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Basic size printing up to 8 inches by 12 inches is often done at Loblaws or Shoppers Drug Mart (definitely NOT Walmart) by using the kiosks. They allow jump drives, cds, dvds, and camera memory cards as input. The problem with the kiosks is the brightness level of the shot changes with the angle you view it which is deceptive for determining exposure. Format is jpeg or tiff. (Not RAW because there are several raw formats). sRGB is also usually the colour profile for most commercial printers too.

    Set up one photo on your own computer adjusted in Photoshop to be absolutely perfect in exposure, colour, tone variation etc., copy it to a jump drive or a disk and then try out several different developers. The one that gets closest to your original as seen on your computer is the develloper that you want to go with.

    skieur
     
  4. leopardforest

    leopardforest TPF Noob!

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    OK well I do live in the US so ordering print online shouldnt be a problem. But if I wanted to get a high quality print to be framed and sold, my best bet would be to take it to a local lab? But for personal prints going to walmart or any place that develops digital should be fine. So it sounds like most places will produce good prints.

    Thank you!
     
  5. leopardforest

    leopardforest TPF Noob!

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    thanks that is a good idea. because i want to get a large (16x24) print of some of my pictures but i dont want to dump a bunch of money into a print that comes back like looking different than i hope. I will definately try that.
    Thanks!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that a 'good' lab will reprint an image for you, if it doesn't come back looking how you thought it would. This is one reason why I prefer to order locally...but you could also do this with some on-line printers.

    Wal-mart isn't all bad...they have decent equipment...and sometimes, even good people working them. The problem with some of them is that they don't clean & calibrate the machines as often as a better lab might. I've got very good prints from Wal-mart, at great prices...and often, they get done in 20 minute, so I don't have to leave and come back. Costco is pretty good, and is about the same price as Wal-mart.

    If you really want to get accurate, you can download profiles for the printers that different labs use. Then you can use Photoshop to preview the image with that profile. Of course, this would be pointless without a properly calibrated monitor to start with.
     
  7. leopardforest

    leopardforest TPF Noob!

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    Since I am just starting off I probably shouldnt worry about having my monitor calibrated. So I am going to just start trying some different places and see what results i get. Thanks for the info!
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't discount it. I had a heck of a time getting prints how I wanted them...until I bought a monitor calibration device. The difference, the first time I did it, was amazing. Beginner or not, if you want your prints to look good, it's a good investment.
     
  9. leopardforest

    leopardforest TPF Noob!

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    I only have a Apple iBook, is it possible to calibrate a laptop screen? If so, how much for a calibration unit?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, you can calibrate an LCD screen...laptop or flat panel monitor. It's a bit more dicey with a lap top because the display looks different, depending on how you look at it.

    I have the Spyder II, with the Express software package. It was $99 CDN. I've also heard good things about the Pantone Hewy.
     

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