Test Prints

April challenge results are coming soon, I promise! I’ve been taking care of some business related things lately, one of which involves preparing test prints for the lab. When a  photographer is looks for a lab they register and then are offered the opportunity to receive some free “test” prints, to make sure the quality is what they are looking for, and to ensure that their monitor is calibrated correctly. After 3 hours of calibrating my monitor tonight I dove right in to editing 5 photos of varying styles to send off to WHCC and ProDPI, my two front runners for printing labs at the moment.

Would you like to see what I’ll be sending off?






Which one is your favorite?

34 thoughts on “Test Prints

    #2 of COURSE!

    But then.. I might be biased? Maybe? A li’l bit?

    Oh, Jenna. This makes me so happy!

  2. #3 of course Texas bluebonnets.
    Your work is always beautiful and thought prevokeing.

  3. I really need to do this! I have no idea if what I’m editing is actually what the pictures look like!

    I wonder if we have people here who do it for free. Something tells me…no.

    And what were you doing for three hours? Is that how long it takes to calibrate a monitor??? Yikes.

    Jenna Reply:

    I just couldn’t get my setting right. I used the Eye-One (http://www.amazon.com/X-Rite-Display-LT-Calibration-Conscious/dp/B000NRODT4), and I needed to make a tweak to my settings when calibrating to get it right, but I couldn’t find anything anywhere tell me what I was doing wrong. Happily, I stumbled on the solution all on my own!

  4. I think photo #3 is my favorite, I hope the color turns out as beautifully in the prints. I ordered 5 tests prints from WHCC (pics of Eli that you took!) and they turned out great (though what do I really know…but they looked great to me!) and they even overnighted them to me! I think I’ll be using them for prints just for personal use even.

    Jenna Reply:

    Hmmm I didn’t know you could use WHCC without a pro account. Interesting.

    Lisa Reply:

    Well, I opened an account a couple months ago. I plan to use them to print albums I’m making for my SIL, and our own down the road as well. My sister has printed books through them and they turned out great!

  5. My fab is still blue bonnet bride… The colors just pop! I think your set up with the red shoe was clever. And I like the composition, with her off to the left.

  6. While I am partial to the last one for obvi reasons, I am in love with the third one! I totally wish I had the foresight to take bridals in bluebonnets! So lovely!

  7. OMG! You have a gift! Your work is so beautiful…I love them all! Although I think one of my top faves is the black and white one on the dance floor…gorgeous! I love photography because it is so honest, and you can really capture a lot of emotion. You inspire me to practice my photog skills and get better!

    Jenna Reply:

    Don’t you just love the way her sleeve is falling off on the left side? I love what it says about how she was feeling at the moment. Complete contentment.

  8. I really like the first one. The blue in the background is gorgeous!

    I have a quick question, my wedding was photographed by my husband’s uncle and he did an okay job (but the camera didn’t, sadly), The digital photos are grainy and splotchy when I print them at Costco or other places like that. I don’t know how to improve their quality (or if that is even possible) and was wondering if you think that printing them at a professional shop would increase their quality or if I would have to digitally edit them first. I am in the dark here and don’t want to spend a ton of money printing professionally if it isn’t going to look any better in the first place…What is your opinion on this matter? And could I send you a photo to show you what I mean?

    Mary Reply:

    They most likely need some digital touch-up first. If it was just that the color seemed off, I might suggest trying a professional printer, but if there are splotches and other excess data actually within the photos that are printing (particularly if this has occurred at more than one budget print shop) you really need someone to go in and edit that stuff out.

    Some of it may not really be editable – the “grain”, or noise, in the case of digital photos, is generally a result of the camera settings coupled with the lighting situation.

    A little digital touch-up certainly couldn’t hurt though! If you don’t know how to do it yourself, you might try posting a craigslist ad. There are a lot of folks out there with digital editing capabilities (myself included.. wink wink, nudge nudge).

    Amanda W Reply:

    Could I possibly send you an example of one of the photographs to see if it is even possible to fix the photographs?

    Mary Reply:


    iviary at gmail dot com

    Jenna Reply:

    It sounds like your pictures were taken with a very high ISO, which would lead them to being grainy, and depending on the lighting and white balance that was used they wouldn’t have very good color. Sending them off to a professional lab probably won’t make them look the way you want.

    A lot of times when their is both grain and bad color, it’s best to just turn everything black and white. It’s kind of a cheap trick, but it usually works.

    If you are willing to pay someone to restore them for you, it sounds like my friend Mary above might be someone to contact about that. I can give you her email address if you would like!

    Amanda W Reply:

    I never thought of turning them black and white. I will definately try that because I do have color photos that were taken with film that turned out okay. Thanks so much!

  9. Though I love the colors and setting and position of the bride reading the book, I can’t help but feel like the last photo is my favorite. You can feel the fresh new beginning.

  10. PS. I would love to find out which printer you found the best quality at the best price, but I’m sure you planned on telling us anyway 🙂

  11. #3 by far, I LOVE that shot! Plus it will test varying ranges of color and that’s what you need the test prints to do, not just make a normal picture pretty, you need to make sure that it is a picture where colors being off is going to show and that’s a good one. I’d also do a true black and white as a test too to make sure their black and whites come out how you envision them online 🙂

  12. I love the one with the Bluebonnets! Perhaps that’s because, growing up in Texas, I looked forward to bluebonnet season every year. You captured such an amazing moment with that photo, and the red shoes really pop!

  13. I pick number 1 and 3. One because of the colors, especially the blue. Their faces are beautiful too, I love her satisfying smile. And number three is just so unique. Very artistic, great idea, and that in a wedding dress.

  14. number 3! the colors are so vivid and lovely! plus the shoes are delicious!

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