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Old 25-03-2008, 21:16   #1 (permalink)
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Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Me and printing just dont get on

I have tried printing at home on various papers with different settings, online printing services and even tesco today for 10 large prints all a waste of time and all in the bin.

Whats your method how do you guys do it because for me all my prints end up coming back darker than they should be or an orange bike instead of a crisp clear yellow one like it is on my screen.

It really is about time i started printing more stuff but every time i try it just ends up with the dog getting kicked outside and the kids being sent to bed early . Do my laptops really need telling what coulour yellow is and how do i do that

Whats the answer do i get a 500 printer and expensive paper and try at home (i can see me ordering a new bigger bin first)or do i just rely on the local supermarket to to spew out my shots any way it sees fit and make do, or do i just give up and look at my pictures online for the rest of my days.

Someone...anyone....guide me please
take me back, right back to the begining and tell me what on earth im doing wrong

Dave :

ps the dogs been let back in now and the kids still love me
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Old 25-03-2008, 21:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Use the Pixalo Printing service

Seriously, if speed isn't your primary issue then any of the professional online printing services will give you better results than a home printer and work out cheaper.
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Old 25-03-2008, 21:30   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Printing is a can of worms. Ideally everything should be calibrated the same - monitor and printer and the colour space should also be the same in the camera and the editing software. The printer driver should be set to manual and thus allow the editing software to control the printer. No point in editing and then letting your printer over-ride your changes.

If you are going to print in a shop or on the net, you will probably have to use sRGB colour space. Printing at home use Adobe RGB 1998.

Your monitor might be set too bright. My cheapo laptop will not allow me to change the contrast so I don't use it for editing, and the screen is on the bright side too, but I'm not bothered as I don't edit on it due to the other reason.

This subject has come up before here so there are probably a few threads on printing that might give you some more info.
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Old 25-03-2008, 22:16   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I'm in the same boat as you Dave, I've given up printing anything

I really must investigate the Pixalo Printing Service as well. It would just be nice to print spontaneously when I see a photo I want to print right there + then though
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Old 25-03-2008, 22:17   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I see you have tried online home and in store printing. If various printing methods have all got it wrong then I'd have to to say it's almost certainly a monitor calibration issue or colour space (what are you shooting in, editing in, and most importantly sending for printing). If you know someone with a calibrated monitor take a look on that. My monitor is calibrated and if you like pm me and you can e-mail me a file or 2 to look at.
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Old 25-03-2008, 22:22   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

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Use the Pixalo Printing service
im planning to as soon as they have sorted out another little problem

Dabs i know its a can of worms its like a whole new learning curve and i just wonder if i can take it all in .

Whats the calibration do how do i do it?
colour space in camera and software?
Printer drivers looked
srgb or adobe rgb where do i change/look

I think it might be the easy one you mentioned my screen is to bright yep i understand that one

Its just baffling me ive gone through 11 prints here all different in certain ways, some backgrounds are greener some are brown, one bike is yellow the other orange, some look flat, some look well to dark.......its just a nightmare. Ive thought maybe it could be my screen being to bright but thought i was thinking nonsense, if i crouch down a little or tilt the screen backwards it seems to show the image on screen a bit like whats its printing out.

Ive even thought about going through images and brightening them x amount and seeing if this is the problem but im thinking thats just not the right way around it and i want to do it properly.

OOOOOOH i thought photography was getting easy until i fell into this printing trap, now im thinking all those stunning images ive created over the years will now need to be adjusted again. Should i just brighten them 5, 10 , 20% and print out 3 images and go with the best one but then id have to do this to them all and this seems like an expensive method........getting confused


can of worms is EXACTLY how id put it

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Old 25-03-2008, 23:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Seems that the jessops stores with the printing facilty is all that keeps the door open.
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Old 25-03-2008, 23:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I've not really had problems with either pixalo, the other online places I tried before that, or in store places. Maybe I've been lucky, but it sounds to me a lot like you need to calibrate your monitor. (or it's just not a good one)
The only thing that happens in stores is that the images get cropped!!!! I've taken so many perfectly composed shots in only to find the most crucial elements cut off, so it's worth resizing to the size your gonna print at and choosing the crop before you go
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Old 25-03-2008, 23:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Dave, 1st thing, calm down

2nd thing ... go to the library + find a decent book on printing

3rd thing ... remember that there's more than one way to skin a cat. I say this, because you might get conflicting advice on here, simply because one of the issues involved in printing is which colour space to use, and this in itself is a bit of a can of worms + there are several different viewpoints circulating ... even the pro's do not all give the same advice. Forewarned is (hopefully) forearmed not to get any more confused than you already are

Why's she giving me advice, you ask? Well, I'm not as confused as you are LOL, I just had a bad experience with the last thing I tried to print and, in all honesty, I think it's the generic inks I'm using Anyway, I have read a bit on printing + know a bit in theory, I just haven't put it into practice much

Calibration: I use Pantone Huey. It's a little doofey that sits next to your screen, and you use it to calibrate the colours of your monitor. It's not the best, mind, but it's a start

Colour space: Take your pick, either sRGB or Adobe RGB (some will tell you to use sRGB, others will say use Adobe RGB) but whichever one you choose STICK WITH IT in-camera + in your editing software. But if you use Adobe RGB, you will have to remember to convert to sRGB when you print.

Printing is a whole chapter on its own, and is quite involved. My advice is get a book on it. TBH I don't think a forum is the best place to learn about it, because there are different opinions concerning certain printing issues, mainly relating to colour space. I would say, after reading a bit about it, if you have specific questions, then raise them here, but to try to start from scratch on the forum, you're going to end up

The main thing to remember is that it's a workflow issue. When you've read a bit on it, choose a workflow + stick to it.
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Old 25-03-2008, 23:53   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I can't help with the camera as it's a Canon but somewhere you will have a setting to change the colour space. On most cameras the default is SRGB. Another option is Adobe RGB. Neither of these matter much if you shoot in Raw as it's the conversion program that will decide. If you remember that all files are just ones and zeroes, all that the colour space does is tell whatever method that outputs them printer, monitor etc what the numbers mean; the more sophisticated the colour space, the more different colours it can support but all of them are enough for viewing on a monitor and printing. The advantage is only if you want to edit files, particularly if you want to extend the colour or dynamic range. Think of it like a car coiled spring and a slinky, unstretched they both look like a metal tube, but stretch them, the slinky can be stretched more whilst still resembling a tube.

Next stage is the editing of the pictures, this depends on what application you use to do this. I only really know about colour management in Adobe products, but I am sure they all work the same way. It will do one of 3 things. Convert the image to a different colour space for editing, work in the existing colour space or ignore all colour space information. Either of the first 2 will work but neither of them are much good if they don't know what colours look like on your screen and how bright it is. There are a number of things you can do to try and correct this which involve trying to correct for contrast and brightness using grey scale ladders but they are very very flawed and can do nothing for colour correction. The only real way is to change the video card to change the way the monitor displays colours. This needs software and ideally hardware like the Spyder or Eye One both reviewed in the equipment section. Now everything will look just as the colour space coding intended.

Now you need to print; if you are sending to an online print house or store then all you need to remember to do is CONVERT to SRGB not assign and send it off.

If you want to print at home you have another stage; the printer also needs to know how much ink of each colour to squirt for each 1 and 0. The colour space is half the information the other half is calibration. The printer will come with a profile but that is usually not really set up for your exact system. So you need to correct it. There are 2 ways to do this. The best way is again with a hardware gizmo that compares a printed test sheet against what it should look like. The other method is similar but uses your eyes to do the same job. These are the software methods and can give good results. the advantage of these is that they usually give you a head start by guessing pretty well what the profile should be based on your set up, the existing profile, your printer and what changes needed to be made to the monitor. Then they print out some test images which you compare with the on monitor display. The other thing is that these should be done on a paper by paper basis since printers don't print white so they need to know how white your paper is and how shiny.

Now you will have perfect prints ... ish Good luck

Last edited by VinnyP; 26-03-2008 at 03:58.
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Old 26-03-2008, 01:30   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Don't give up on the printing.
Home printing is not as cheep as outside processes but it is more satisfying.
Go right back to square one, use the paper and ink recommended for your printer.
Try to calibrate your monitor, even Adobe Gamma is a help.I have been where you are!.
Seeing your pics on your monitor is very nice but the print is what really counts.
imo,there is nothing more satisfying than showing a nice A4 print.
Finally I now use alternative inks and paper, cut's the cost enormasly...Kenny
 
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Old 26-03-2008, 11:25   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I just take a card down to Jessops to get the printing done!! Now I know how hard it can be - it makes we wonder whether I am just not discerning enough. A couple of observations:

if you want a 20cm x 21cm print done say, - you have to make the canvas size the same size as the paper size offered by Jessups otherwise they will stretch or crop the image to fit their paper.

make sure that you turn OFF the option at Jessups to optimize image quality etc otherwise the shop will attempt to average out all your carefully crafted changes in an effort to 'improve' the image. The same is true for Pixalo printing service too. Tim.
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Old 26-03-2008, 20:05   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I calibrate my monitor using a Huey calibrator and the prints on my HP 8150 are fine. i use original HP ink and Kodak Hi Gloss paper.
If time is not an issue I use Photobox. They usually take 3 days to be delivered. I received some A3 prints today (ordered Sunday) are they are very good quality.
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Old 26-03-2008, 20:41   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Don't forget the Pixalo Printing Service. There have been good reports on the service and quality
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Old 26-03-2008, 21:40   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

I send mine in to be printed.. can't be bothered at home.. would go through ink faster than we already do now! lol!
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Old 29-03-2008, 21:37   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Dave i am in the Wirral you could come to my house and see my printing if you pm me. I live in Greasby.

Last edited by Tonyblue; 30-03-2008 at 10:48.
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Old 30-03-2008, 11:22   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

Quote:
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Dave i am in the Wirral you could come to my house and see my printing if you pm me. I live in Greasby.


Put the kettle on Tony i live in Greasby to
ive emailed you
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Old 30-03-2008, 17:19   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Printing at home online or in your local supermarket

My local Asda does a good job, works out cheaper on the long run.
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