Prints from digital at Wal Mart - muddy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steve, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    My local Wal Mart has the digital lab with the kiosk for "dropping off"
    files for one-hour printing. Although it's a great deal (26 cents each) I
    find that the pictures are somewhat muddy, at least compared to what I
    expected to see. Has anyone worked out a strategy or formula, using
    photoshop or other application, for "preparing" images to compensate for
    this muddiness?

    Wait, I just read the following at this webpage...may have answered my
    question to a point...
    http://bermangraphics.com/press/frontier.htm

    A critical element in getting the most accurate color from any printer is
    the use of a printer Icc profile. Profiles are a translation aid. They allow
    color-savvy software such as Adobe Photoshop to convert the colors in an
    image to a range that a printer can produce. Profiles also allow correction
    of the image data so the final print matches what you see on your monitor.
    These corrections are made to compensate for how a specific printer outputs
    color.

    Any idea how to get hold of this profile?

    Thanks,
    Steve
    using a Sony DSC-P10
     
    Steve, Dec 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. Steve

    Jim Townsend Guest

    You'll probably find it's Wal Mart's fault, not yours.. It doesn't make any
    sense to try compensate for lousy processing.

    I've given up on my local Wal Mart.. Yes, it's a deal, but the photos I was
    getting back were brutal. I've found this with both their film and digital
    processing.

    I'm not saying ALL Wal Marts are bad.. They all use the same equipment, but
    you can't expect it to be in the same state of repair/calibration.. You also
    can't expect the operators to have the same proficiency.

    Before you try make your Wal Mart shots look better, try another processor to
    make sure it isn't you..
     
    Jim Townsend, Dec 12, 2003
    #2
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  3. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I just learned that there is a photo house "out there" that has made a hobby
    of generating icc profiles of every walmart, sams club, etc. Fuji Frontier -
    based lab that they can. The idea is, you get an 8x10 print made of their
    test sheet, mail it to them, and they create and publish an icc profile for
    THAT LAB ONLY. Then you use the icc profile in photoshop to correct for
    that lab. Doing this correction in a batch process may be a small price to
    pay to get good results. I have not yet tried any of this, but I wil report
    when I do it. May be weeks though...

    Here is the database of icc profiles. My Walmart is not there, but others
    nearby are.
    http://drycreekphoto.com/Frontier/FrontierDatabase.htm
    Here is thier kit for testing the lab near you...
    http://drycreekphoto.com/Frontier/Targets/ProfileKit.htm
     
    Steve, Dec 12, 2003
    #3
  4. Steve

    Ed E. Guest

    A critical element in getting the most accurate color from any printer is
    That is true, but each lab would have to have its own profile made which can
    get costly. They're not about to provide that.

    Also, when saving your files, be sure to use the sRGB colorspace and not the
    Adobe one. That tends to throw off the color if they don't know how to
    handle it (which is very likely of a Wal-Mart employee.)
     
    Ed E., Dec 12, 2003
    #4
  5. At the bottom of the bermangraphics.com page you quote is a link to Dry Creek
    Photo that maintains a list of profiles.

    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/

    However, bear in mind that it may be operator error and either request them not
    to adjust the color levels, or vote with your feet and try different outlets.
    The back of your output gives a code that says what adjustments were done.
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 12, 2003
    #5
  6. Steve

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I've had better luck with online processing. I use Walmart or ClubPhoto. The
    online Walmart must be a different process from the store. I like ClubPhoto.
    In either case the downside is the turn around time.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Dec 12, 2003
    #6
  7. i tried my local walmart, kiosk style, and am very impressed by the
    results. They did nothing or everythying right...i had color, b&w,
    colorized b&w, sepia, 300k and 17Mb files...i bet they loved to see my
    request!

    I would suspect your problem was operator error... i went digital to
    some extent because i had bad luck with prints from several places. I
    was totaly at their mercy. At least with digital, i can make
    adjustments before hand and know if it is a bad print who is to blame!

    BTW, my walmart is 24 cents a pic, and i hear sams club is 19.

    chris
     
    Chris P in PA, Dec 12, 2003
    #7
  8. Well it may also be paper dependent. Most of the stores around me use Luster
    finish, while walmart.com uses glossy. I used walmart.com recently to print a
    calendar, and it was the first print I ever got from Walmart that had horrible
    colors.
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 12, 2003
    #8
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