If I understand you correctly my advice is as follows:.
Post processing needs to be done unless you pay the third party to do it for you. If you want to see how it is going to print you need to buy a monitor calibrator (even a cheap one like the Pantone Huey) so that the color is close..
As for you home printer, keep it. It is always nice to be able to print out a couple of pictures on the spot..
That my $0.02.
Benhttp://www.b3nbrooks.com/blog/ - for my pics...
The problem is that the on-line printer may not be capable of controlling their process to produce consistent colours. At least that has been my experience in the UK with both on-line and photo-booth type printers, but I haven't tried a professional lab. I only use them when I want a lot of 4x6's printed fast and cheaply..
One of the reasons for printing at home is that you can get consistent colours if you use a calibrated monitor and printer/paper specific profiles.Chris R..
I am assuming that you mean monitor color profiles, in that case they are built in to the computer (mac and windows) and you can make a custom one with a calibrator tool.Benhttp://www.b3nbrooks.com/blog/ - for my pics...
Hi, I have inserterd some of my answers in your text and the rest is below :.
Since it's cheaper for me to order prints from online sources, i.e.,Mpix, EZprints, I was wondering if calibrating my 24 inch (1900x1200resolution) monitor would be worthwhile..
I'd like to do some postprocessing at home but know that it's useless unless my monitor iscalibrated. What I don't quite understand is what I would have to doto make sure that my adjustments at home will be reflected in myprints when I order from these online sources..
The one thing that is most important, is to ask the store to print your photos without doing any retouching or modification. You can see on the back of the photo, if some modification were applied to it. If you see the four letters "NNNN" that means that no modificaiton was applied. (Some labs don't print this information on the back of the photo, so if you don't see the letters, it doesn't mean that your photo was modified. But if you see something like : NNN+1, it does mean it was modified)..
I don't quiteunderstand the concept of 'profiles' but guess my answer liessomewhere within that subject..
If you have photoshop or any other software that support color management, you can even have more control. You can download the printer profile where you intend to send your photos and you will be able to see exactly (to a certain limit of course) what you photo will look like when printed..
Most printers print near the sRGB color space. So even if you don't have the printer profile, you will have a good idea of what your photo will look when printed, if your monitor is calibrated..
To get more information on that subject you can visit the drycreek photo web site :http://www.drycreekphoto.com/.
You will find many interesting documents on this site, like this one :http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/using_printer_profiles.pdf.
They also have printer profiles for a lot of lab in USA and Canada..
Does ordering from online sources defeat the purpose of postprocessing?.
No, not at all. Ordering online is much cheaper than printing at home and if you find a good lab, the results wiil be great..
Do I need to invest in a quality home printer in orderto keep my post processing adjustments and 'print what I see' on mymonitor?.
I appreciate your help with this! Thanks.Corona_Drinker.
Colour management is a complicated matter, but if you start with these simple steps, I think it will be a good begining..
You'll (Texan here!) have been very helpful! I appreciate you all putting your knowledge out there for the rest of us! Thanks!Corona_Drinker..