do prints really look better (or is it just me)


nathaniel

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#1
recently, I went to a shop to develop prints from a series of photos (of my baby). somehow, the prints looked better than what i saw on my computer screen (from my laptop (LED display), the external monitor, as well as my mobile phone (iPhone 3G))... i mentioned this to a friend of mine, and he also feels that prints look better--that's one of the reasons why he develops prints.

so do prints really look better (or is it just a few people who might think that way)? if so, any possible reason why? the texture of the print, the colours, ...

(by the way, my prints were developed matte, 4R).
 

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Octarine

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#2
Please spend some time reading about monitor calibration and colour managed workflow. That could help to bring your monitor to show what is really there. Secondly: DSLR in standard settings don't pump up settings like Saturation, Sharpness etc ... but the print shop will do. They will apply some kind 'happy sunshine holiday' settings that make most pictures look good, simply by pumping up a few things.
With a colour managed workflow you can achieve the same. Just advice the print shop not to do any adjustments afterwards.
 

catchlights

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#3
IMO, a proper printed photo print is the best way to present a photograph in a very economy way, there are many high end materials you can consider too.

storing images in the computer and never let them see daylight some how deficit the propose of capturing them in the first place.
 

Dream Merchant

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#4
MOST machines do a round of 'AUTO' Contrast (increase contrast very slightly) and Sharpening (at least +1 steps) as a default setting by many operators.

That's why (good) printing at shop looks better than on ANY display, even properly calibrated, though I suspect that with such monitors, the difference would be less obvious. But must also see what kind of light and angle to are viewing the prints because it makes a difference.
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#5
That's why most "real pros" will tell you that pixel-peeping at 100% is not a way to judge the qualities of a camera or lens. A print is.
 

wootsk

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#6
If not wrong, the shop actually run through your photos and did some exposure correction for you as well before printing.
 

nathaniel

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#7
Octarine said:
Please spend some time reading about monitor calibration and colour managed workflow. That could help to bring your monitor to show what is really there. Secondly: DSLR in standard settings don't pump up settings like Saturation, Sharpness etc ... but the print shop will do. They will apply some kind 'happy sunshine holiday' settings that make most pictures look good, simply by pumping up a few things.
With a colour managed workflow you can achieve the same. Just advice the print shop not to do any adjustments afterwards.
Dream Merchant said:
MOST machines do a round of 'AUTO' Contrast (increase contrast very slightly) and Sharpening (at least +1 steps) as a default setting by many operators.

That's why (good) printing at shop looks better than on ANY display, even properly calibrated, though I suspect that with such monitors, the difference would be less obvious. But must also see what kind of light and angle to are viewing the prints because it makes a difference.
sure, will take a look into getting my monitors calibrated. I'm not so sure the saturation / sharpness changed the looks of the print significantly from that on the monitor (and for some of the photos, since I may have already pushed up the saturation, etc, any further adjustments to saturation by the print shop could have made the photo oversaturated. But from the looks of it, their adjustments to the photo, if any, were probably minor). I'm trying to figure out whether the print looks better because of one or more of the following: viewing angle possibilities, diffused lighting (vs the monitor's backlighting), higher dpi (vs monitor), ink/paper used, or the texture of the paper.
 

nathaniel

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#8
catchlights said:
IMO, a proper printed photo print is the best way to present a photograph in a very economy way, there are many high end materials you can consider too.

storing images in the computer and never let them see daylight some how deficit the propose of capturing them in the first place.
thanks... I agree that displaying many of these photos on a monitor (even after trying to optimize saturation, histogram, etc.), somehow doesn't quite do justice to the photo.
 

nathaniel

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#9
Rashkae said:
That's why most "real pros" will tell you that pixel-peeping at 100% is not a way to judge the qualities of a camera or lens. A print is.
Agreed, most of my prints are going to be 4R anyways. Saves me the effort of pixel-peeping.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#10
there is always a certain kind of satisfaction seeing photos in print :lovegrin:
 

Sivakis

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Sep 26, 2008
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#11
And don't forget that the photo-paper makes a difference. Gloss tends to up the contrast-factor, which is why, for certain photos, it's preferred to print them on matt instead of gloss.
 

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