Username Post: On-line Photo Printing        (Topic#1583983)
mtread 
New Kid On the Block
Posts: 15
Joined: 12-31-12

Which site do you find the best for making photo prints? Do you have to specify archival quality or is that the default? Other than speed/flexibility, is there any reason to consider investing in a archival quality photo printer for home - do you find that you need both that option but if you have the time to plan, you use online?

Thanks!


 
photo_chick
Diva
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Joined: 07-14-06
photo_chick
In response to mtread

To print at home or not... that's really the big question. I have a large format printer and make tons of enlargements, so printing at home is more cost effective for me. I also have everything calibrated so what I see on my screen is what I get out of my printer, and that saves a lot of ink and paper than many people who print at home will waste.

When I make large batches of prints though, as I often do for my mother in law, I print at mpix.com

Archival.. ok, I'll let you in on the photo industry's dirty little secret. None of it will last forever and archival really just means it won't turn brown in a decade. Any quality lab prints should last though your lifetime. Unless they're in direct sun... All prints will fade in the sun. With ink jet printers you have to really look at the ink they use to determine if they're "archival", water resistant, etc. And with home printing your paper is a huge factor in how long the prints will last.


 
designguyKORY
Guru
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designguyKORY
In response to photo_chick

I have a pretty good wireless printer at home- and I mainly use it to print photos from my iPhone/instagram/whatever app I'm in love with at the moment, as I lay around on the couch. It works great and the pictures look store-quality.

However, with pictures from my 'good camera' (not a GREAT camera like some pro-photographer by ANY means, lol- so by 'good camera' I mean not my iPhone) I usually have the pics on my computer when I plug the memory card in, so I upload the pics to Walgreens and then just go pick them up there-

Sometimes, I use Walgreens photo service to make collages, or to print a bunch of instagrams onto one sheet and then cut it apart later, for layouts. I love how the square photos look on layouts!

There's also ALWAYS a coupon for Walgreens photos, too, it seems. That's a plus, too. Sometimes even for a free collage- so when that coupon is out, I always arrange 12 or 15 instagram photos on a collage and yay, lots of little free photos!

-kory


 
mtread 
New Kid On the Block
Posts: 15
Joined: 12-31-12
In response to designguyKORY

Thank you for your feedback and advice - much appreciated!


 
Bxr-Linda
Mayor
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Bxr-Linda
In response to mtread

I use Walgreens too.
One thing to keep in mind, is that all Walgreens' locatins do not seem to be equal, as far as photo processing. One local store is AWESOME, another, not so good.



 
Foamy
Foamy 
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Joined: 08-07-08
Foamy
  • Foamy on 01-31-13 06:56 PM
In response to photo_chick

  • photo_chick Said:
To print at home or not... that's really the big question. I have a large format printer and make tons of enlargements, so printing at home is more cost effective for me. I also have everything calibrated so what I see on my screen is what I get out of my printer, and that saves a lot of ink and paper than many people who print at home will waste.

When I make large batches of prints though, as I often do for my mother in law, I print at mpix.com

Archival.. ok, I'll let you in on the photo industry's dirty little secret. None of it will last forever and archival really just means it won't turn brown in a decade. Any quality lab prints should last though your lifetime. Unless they're in direct sun... All prints will fade in the sun. With ink jet printers you have to really look at the ink they use to determine if they're "archival", water resistant, etc. And with home printing your paper is a huge factor in how long the prints will last.




May I ask what software you used for your color calibration?
I hav an iMac, Canon printer & use Photoshop elements... I think i need to calibrate everything, so what I see is what actually prints! Thanks!


 
Veteran
Posts: 537
Joined: 08-27-09
In response to Foamy

I use a spyder to calibrate my monitor, you put the device on the screen and it runs through the various colors to create a color profile for you. The more advanced ones will compensate for ambient light and also work with printers and projectors.

The lab I like is WHCC My printer cost $50 after a $50 discount, I believe they are using machines that cost much much much more. I could print my stuff at home but I'm more confident in their quality than mine.


 
Foamy
Foamy 
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Foamy
  • Foamy on 02-01-13 04:59 AM
In response to GeraldFagan

  • GeraldFagan Said:
I use a spyder to calibrate my monitor, you put the device on the screen and it runs through the various colors to create a color profile for you. The more advanced ones will compensate for ambient light and also work with printers and projectors.

The lab I like is WHCC My printer cost $50 after a $50 discount, I believe they are using machines that cost much much much more. I could print my stuff at home but I'm more confident in their quality than mine.



Thanks so much for info! I am going to have to at least calibrate my monitor! Also appreciate the info on WHCC. I checked out the website & looks great!


 
photo_chick
Diva
Posts: 7385
Joined: 07-14-06
photo_chick
In response to Foamy

  • Foamy Said:

May I ask what software you used for your color calibration?
I hav an iMac, Canon printer & use Photoshop elements... I think i need to calibrate everything, so what I see is what actually prints! Thanks!



I use the X rite system now. I used to use a Pantone Huey (for years). The Spyder is a good system as well.

And WHCC was mentioned. I've used them a good bit in the past. They're a great lab quality wise (90% of the time anyway) but I don't like the hoops they make you jump through. They have the attitude that you should feel privileged to be their client. It doesn't make for really good customer service.


Edited by photo_chick on 02-01-13 06:46 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
Veteran
Posts: 537
Joined: 08-27-09
In response to photo_chick

What hoops do you have to jump through?

I find their ordering process very easy. You just upload your order through roes and your done. Their roes layout is better than most, every time I order from millers it takes me 5 minutes just to find the right tab for the 6x9 books. I swear they move it every week.

The only time I had an ordering problem with them was with a 16x20, it came back to pink which was my fault, and since it was my fault they werent willing to replace the order, which makes sense. It would have been nice of them to realize the color was off and give me a call.

They have called me a bunch of times when there has been problems with orders. One time when ordering an accordion album, I uploaded the proof files by accident which are 1/10th the right resolution. They stopped the order and gave me a call to give me a chance to upload the right files.

I think they have also called when I had text to close to the cut/bleed line.

I use to use pick a pack for all my prints so they would give me a call to let me know its only for sports and group events like that, not for seniors or weddings, but the order went through anyways. I have since upgraded my prints to include color correction and machine embassy texture so this isn't a worry for me anymore.


 
photo_chick
Diva
Posts: 7385
Joined: 07-14-06
photo_chick
In response to GeraldFagan

When you first sign up for WHCC you have to submit files. They have to approve you as a customer. My feelings are that they should be happy to get my business but that process makes it feel like the other way around. Millers is different in thier process.

I used WHCC in the past but I've gone back to using a local shop when I need professional prints done. I like to be able to do a press check right there and know that it's right.


 
Veteran
Posts: 537
Joined: 08-27-09
In response to photo_chick

Those 5 files are for color correction to match your screen up with their color profile. Its not an approval process. Its a service they offer complimentary, not something they have to do. They dont even stamp the prints with "proof" like one of the other labs does. I think that was bay photo. So you can use them for customers.

One of the test prints I submitted was a color swatch with 9 different colors on it.

Online labs are great for those that dont have a quality local lab. The only thing around me is walmart, walgreens and cvs. Even sams closed their photo lab in my nearby store.


 
photo_chick
Diva
Posts: 7385
Joined: 07-14-06
photo_chick
In response to GeraldFagan

Did they change their policies then? Because when I used them, and granted it's been a while, it was to make sure you knew how to handle the files as far as getting them ready for print. Which is an approval process. But it's not just that. When I dealt with customer service it was that whole "you should feel privileged we're printing your images" vibe that really turned me off.


 
Veteran
Posts: 537
Joined: 08-27-09
In response to photo_chick

The first time I joined WHCC was probably back in 2006, and again a couple of years later. All I had to do was send them five 8x10 files in the right color space *rgb*.

Ive only dealt with customer service by email except when they called about a couple of orders. One order had a messed up print because for some reason the file was in cymk *I save in rgb, I do edit colors in cmyk sometimes but then it gets saved as rgb after so that was a weird situation* but they replaced it at their cost and mailed me the single print.

Perhaps its all in perceptions? I know sometimes something can be said one way and interpreted another way, especially by email/text.


 
SJB1120
Expert
Posts: 1272
Joined: 02-06-13
SJB1120
In response to GeraldFagan

I send my photos through CVS photo online. Since I can't print and take home my photos from Germany right now, it's the easiest thing. Then my mom goes and picks them up. I've done over 200 like this in the past month or so and the quality is always superb.


 
lifethroughalens
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Posts: 415
Joined: 08-16-10
lifethroughalens
In response to SJB1120

I use Shutterfly. I think the quality is good and they ship to my home pretty fast. I also order pictures through their website and my mom has picked them up at Target (she lives in SC, I'm in TN). I have made a number of photo books and ordered them and have been please with all of them.


 
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