Patti (whipartist) wrote,
Patti
whipartist

Printing is such sweet sorrow

Getting really good color prints is bloody hard work!

On Saturday, I printed a batch of proofs at Costco in San Francisco. Normally I avoid Costco like the plague, but they do a mighty fine job of online prints with a couple-hour turnaround, and at dirt cheap prices. My home printer does a trivially better job, but costs significantly more. The guys at the SF photo center used to know me so well that they would occasionally call me and say things like, "You have autocorrection set on this batch. You don't usually do that... is that what you want?"

The first batch of flower photos sucked. Flower pictures are highly color-sensitive, and I hadn't used the printer's custom color profiles.

I invested a couple of hours in color-correcting the images to match the printer's profile, and picked up the set yesterday. The orchid in the top right made me happy, but the rest weren't quite right. P is much better at this than I am, so last night I handed him the images and asked him what he would change.

This morning, I re-re-edited several of them and sent them off to the SF Costco for printing. Well, I tried... they were temporarily unavailable. A quick call let me know that they'd lost power, and should be back online by late afternoon or tomorrow morning. Late afternoon came and went with no status change, so I called again. "We blew up a transformer. It'll be a week or two before we're back." SHIT! All that work.

In desperation, I sent the order to the San Leandro Costco. The color profiles wouldn't be the same since they're unique for every printer, but I hoped they'd be close enough since they were the same model and the same paper.

Of the six in the photo from yesterday, I'm pretty happy with five of them. The pink calla lily needs a lot of help, but the other five are either ready to go or need very minor adjustment. Happy Patti. Soon I will have my first batch of flower porn for sale. I'm still fumbling a lot with Photoshop, and there's a ton of trial and error and tweaking and playing involved in getting the colors where I want them to be, but at least now it doesn't feel impossible.
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