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Old Jan 15, 2007, 6:39 AM   #1
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I recently sent a bunch of digital photos to Kodak (through our local merchant) for printing. I have noticed that when they print a 4 x 6 photo, some of the picture gets cropped from the long sides of the original 4:3 digital photo to make it fit on the 4 x 6 print. There were a few pictures that I needed the full frame to be printed so I added a stripe of white to one end of the digital picture so that the entire digital picture would be printed. So far so good; the pics came back and were just what I wanted.

I then went back and "enhanced" a few of the pics by Photshopping in a nice blue sky with clouds in place of the gray overcast sky in the original. I didn't really like the white band I had to add in the previous ones, so this time I added a black band instead. Sent them off to Kodak, and when they came back, there was a noticable difference in the unchanged portion of the picture compared to the original prints (with the white band). Specifically, the entire print was much lighter and the color balance was way different. This leads me to suspect that during the printing process, some sort of autoexposure/color balancingwas done before printing. If this is the case, what can one do to prevent this and have prints made directly from the digital data? It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time in Photoshop getting a picture to look how you want it only to have the processor muck with it in unpredictable ways.

Anyone else notice this problem or have solutions for it?
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 9:10 AM   #2
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I think your analysis of what happened is correct. The machines automatically enhance photos.

There are photofinishers that will turn off the enhancements.

There are many photofinishers that will give you 4.5 X 6 prints that don't require cropping.

Don't frame so tightly in the future so you can crop a 3:2 and not lose anything.

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