PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the days of film, we were judicious in our clicking away of those favorite family moments. After all, you only had 12, 24 or 36 shots, and you were going to pay to have every shot developed and printed.
But those days are hanging out with eight tracks, and VHS tapes now, and the digital work has taken over. Now, squeezing off a burst of 20 pictures trying to catch that perfect smile or the moment of accomplishment is routine.
Fifty pictures at a birthday party are routine, and a vacation will fill up a few gigabits before you know it.
But what happens when you want to go old school and PRINT your pictures. Maybe your refrigerator needs some decorating, or your desk, or the mantle.
Printing your pictures is easier and faster than ever before, but not all processing is created equal.
KDKA took six pictures and sent them through the printing process at five different places. The results were eye opening to say the least.
When you get your pictures back, you are getting them from one processor. There is nothing to compare them to, so KDKA did the comparing for you.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Martha Rial looked at our prints and immediately found substantial differences, “things like sharpness, color shifts, some were printed too warm, some were cool, some were soft.”
Rial says the variations in color were surprising with five pictures of the same child having five different skin tones, or the different hues of color around a sunset beach picture.
While it would be ideal to say that one processor did a better job than the others, the results were inconsistent.
Of the six images we processed, Walmart had three best, Snapfish had two, Target one, and Walgreens and Shutterfly-CVS didn’t score. Most all of the processors had some soft prints or failures in cropping.
Rial says you deserve to get the best product, so check your prints carefully, and she says to remember, “every consumer has that right to ask for their prints to be reprinted.”