Suggest a lab for night photos

ArmadilloArmadillo Registered Users Posts: 31 Big grins

It seems like most photo prints are adequate, but night photos with a starry sky seem to be a challenge for prints. Dark areas detail gets lost and fewer stars show in the sky.
I tried Mpix for a special print and was disappointed that it was too dark. Can anyone suggest a lab that produces prints with detailed shadows and starry night skys?
Yes, my monitor is calibrated and I don't allow labs to "color correct" my prints.


  • Gary752Gary752 Registered Users Posts: 934 Major grins

    It sounds like you have your brightness for the monitor cranked up. I recommend matching monitor brightness to match a print. Reason I suggest this is because every image i've ever had printed has always matched what I seen on my monitor.

    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
  • ArmadilloArmadillo Registered Users Posts: 31 Big grins

    My monitor is fine, I get mixed results from labs. Need a lab suggestion...
    I hear people claim that their prints match their monitor, but I dont believe it. A monitor is a luminous medium while a print is a reflective medium. It's not possible for the two to match exactly. Plus there are differences in dynamic range between the two.
    I'm not looking for, or expect, a perfect match. I guess what I want is a lab that can produce prints with a large dynamic range.

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,076 moderator
    edited December 12, 2017

    @Armadillo said:
    My monitor is fine, I get mixed results from labs. Need a lab suggestion...

    I'm not sure where to post to attract attention from others who focus on night photos.

    I have been very happy with Bay Photo for landscape and macro work. I know that night photos are very different but I wonder if it might be worth trying a test with them using one of your photos.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,670 moderator

    I agree with Denise!!

    I have several night star shots by Bay Photo printed on metal/aluminum plate - they crackle!!

    That's a very good thing!

    Pathfinder -

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • OffTopicOffTopic Registered Users Posts: 521 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2018

    I've also been happy with Bay Photo for my night shots. It's best to do it for all prints, but I strongly recommend Print Proofing (in Photoshop or Lightroom, not sure what other editing programs have this ability) especially for night shots before sending to any lab. You can download the printer profile directly from Bay's website. Sometimes the difference is fairly substantial depending on the image, especially when you want to preserve shadow detail, and you'll need to do a bit of adjustment work to optimize the image for printing.

    But if the file requires adjustment for printing, that also means that you end up with two files - one optimized for display on a monitor/device and one optimized for print. And if you are selling the print on SM, that means making sure that you have Proof Delay set and remembering to substitute the file that is optimized for print before it goes to the lab.

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