View Full Version : Yet another reason why digital scrapping rocks...

07-16-2006, 12:02 PM
Because we don't have to deal with idiotic photo-finishing stores.

My recent experience:

I don't usually use a photo shop to print my photos. My husband has a great Canon printer which easily prints my photos and LO's. However, I'm trying to save a little on the ink, so I decided to try my local retail store's online photo printing service.

I go to Cord Camera (and yes, I am most definitely posting their name) to join and upload my photos. Here's the deal: I had already cropped a few of the photos. I chose the 4x6 size but nowhere did the site mention printing them at 'no crop.'

"No crop" means to print them as is, although because of the aspect ratio of 1:1 1/2, this would mean there would be a bar of white on either side in order for the image to fit on the 4x6. My husband just published an article on this very subject as a result of my experience. (http://www.tricornpublications.com/dslr/prints.htm)

My husband used to work for this company. He knows their machine and said they could easily check the box that says "no crop" and my images could be printed with no problem. But of course it didn't work out that way.

My photographs were printed with the heads sliced in half. Literally. I couldn't believe the idiocy of a store sending a photograph out like that. So, I called the store last night to politely let them know what happened. I was told to place the images on a CD and bring it in to be printed again.

So I took the same images, burned them on a CD and brought them in. This time I spoke with the manager. When I said I had expected the images to be printed at "no crop," and then expressed surprise that no one had called me to ask - she simply said they didn't do that. (Call the customer to make sure they didn't want the image's heads chopped off...gee. How could I have been so demanding?...)

She then tried to go online to find their cropping options. (???) All I did was follow the prompts for an upload. Nowhere is it stated that you would need to crop the image within their program. I told her this but she was determined to find it. She didn't find it.

So she walks me through their kiosk after I inserted my CD. "Oh," she said. "The image is still squarish. You'll need to crop it." (????)

I'm staring at the screen. "You mean crop it in here?" I asked. She then showed me the cropping feature which still ended up cropping off the head. I asked again why I couldn't just have the image printed with the white on either side. She said their equipment couldn't do this. (My husband later said, 'BS. All you need to do is check a box on the Fuji Frontier. She just didn't want to do it.')

So her advice to me was: Go home and create a 4x6 template. Paste in the photograph and crop until it fits the 4x6 dimension.

Can we get more complicated?! For pete's sake!

I told her the whole reason I went online to do this was to save gas, but as it stood, I would need to make a third trip to this store tomorrow and with the price of gas, I wasn't keen on doing this. I couldn't resend the images via online because she couldn't give me credit for it. Only if I come in face-to-face will I get the credit.

So, my lovely digis - aren't you glad you don't have to deal with the aspect ratio with boneheaded photo stores?!?

And now, my husband just returned from buying more ink and says I can print to my heart's content. Dag...I love this guy!

07-16-2006, 12:43 PM
I had always used the Walmart machine but the last time I used it, the colors were so dark and dingy it made me sick.

Now I either print them on my Canon Pixma or send them out to www.scrapbookpictures.com - they do all sorts of square sizes and the colors are always right on. I am paranoid about doing it at home because I've heard stories of color fading and because replacement ink costs as much as the printer!

But even my 8x8's printed at the aforementioned site can be a little "off" in terms of a couple mm being cropped off one side or the other so I'm going to have to resize the .jpg and put some kind of colored border around it that blends in w/the LO just to get around it.

Is your hubby a DLSR expert? If so, cool as I may buy one some time.

Traci Reed
07-16-2006, 01:20 PM
I always upload to Costco and I have to go into photoshop first and change the canvas size to 12x18 otherwise it gets all distorted...the machines aren't smart enough....

07-16-2006, 01:21 PM
I agree that would be VERY irritating.

An eye opening moment for me was to realize that a 4 x 6 photo is not actually printed on 4 x 6 paper and for them to print correctly I had to size them 4 x 6 and then reduce them 97% or heads were partially cut off. :shock:

07-16-2006, 01:37 PM
Maybe that's what happened to my 8x8's - the machine prints it bigger than 8x8 and part of it gets cut off. Dumb machines!

Lynn G
07-16-2006, 01:56 PM
LOL - can you imagine someone looking at your prints and thinking "man. this person is a really hopeless photographer, she cut off everyones' head" Duh! So glad I print at home and don't have this sort of aggravation!

07-16-2006, 05:05 PM

Yes, my husband is the editor of the online magazine, DSLR Mag (http://www.dslr-mag.com). He'd be happy to talk to you about DSLR cameras.

Thanks also for the link for scrapbook pictures. Someone else recommended them to me for printing a 12x12 LO. I've not used them yet, but they do seem to have satisfied customers!

I also print quite a few photos and LO's at home. But this experience certainly opened my eyes to the hidden consequences of cropping an image on my own computer. Now I know! :)

Mary Rose M.

07-16-2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks for printing link...i have it bkmk!

07-16-2006, 06:34 PM
speaking of 12x12, Scrapbookpictures charges like $5 whereas an 8x8 is only $2 - so I basically go w/the latter. It's also good cause you can do an 8x8 on a standard printer...

07-16-2006, 09:21 PM
lol lol lol

LOL - can you imagine someone looking at your prints and thinking "man. this person is a really hopeless photographer, she cut off everyones' head" Duh! So glad I print at home and don't have this sort of aggravation!

07-17-2006, 05:22 AM
For goodness sakes, what trouble! There is a thread on printing and where the best places are. I would definitely get a reccomendation before I go anywhere. This placed sounded like a chop shop, literally!

07-17-2006, 05:26 AM
Yes, not dealing with printers is a definite benefit for me too! Sorry you wasted all that time, money and energy.

07-17-2006, 06:36 AM
iF you are going to print at wm or walgreens in an 8x8 size it is really easy to not get distorted images by making an 8x10 canvas, laying your layout on that and then flattening making it an 8x10 page with white space to cut off. I do that and print mine 50 at a time at wm to get their discount price. you might check with your place and see if they offer a discount on large orders, some wm don't. with that being said, most of the time i use my pro lab since i am a photographer as well. sometimes though, i need them printed more quickly so i use wm or walgreens.

Also if you save your images to a cd and use their machine to upload in the store, you can check the no color correction so that if you edited your photos, page, ect. at home, the color will be the same as what you see on screen!