Last week – and after getting a pretty good calendar but using iPhoto's print service last year – I found out that my printer's printhead needs some repairs (and it seemed that getting a new printer would probably be the best option, or probably even cheaper). However, I had a few photos I needed to be printed to be handled to my friends. So sure, as a Mac user, and lazy person, I decided to go with an option which would require the least amount of any actions of my side – the iPhoto print service.
Took about 4 days for my prints to arrive (which is fine, except that 3 days of that time photos were in transit, which is a loooong time here in Japan as everything usually arrives in 2 days AT MOST). But oh well, I could wait :)
However, once I opened the envelope, I was shocked! The colors were all off, skies were blown up, details were lost.. These were not the photos I took – the ones I got were automatically-balanced.
And it usually works for most people who shoot their stuff with crappy compacts (face right in the middle, skies blown up to hell, everything is average and boring). However, I was taking a different kind of picture. I was using external flash to make some "dramatic" feeling to my photo – skies underexposed and blue to the point of being dark-blue, and the person on the picture was lit with a cross-light of my external flash unit and the sun, making him pop-out.
Here's the original (click to see in full size):
And check out just what I got from iPhoto's photo service:
(iPhoto photo service: left; original, printed on my dying printer: right)
Now, everybody has different sense of what a good photo should look like, and iPhoto (FujiFilm) print service definitely works for, like, 99% or cases. Just don't ever think of getting your artistic/conceptual/anything-out-of-average photos printed. They'll "fix" the hell out of them and then some – to make them just an average stuff which comes out of any crappy point-and-shoot camera around.
Called Apple's support today and I'll be getting my refund. It is just a couple of bucks and won't change anything, but at least it'll make me happy to stick it to their asses, even though they don't really care ;) (oh.. they'll pay the postage, so cost to myself is zero)
Now I wonder which print services don't "fix" stuff for you…..