Printing your Photographs

Technology is great. You have laptops, iPhones and now iPads that can display photographs beautifully. This type of technology is no doubt here to stay (and for good reason). BUT, an image on an LCD screen does not have the same feel as a print in the hand. Photographs, to an extent, are made to be printed. Photos that have been printed, framed and hung on the wall just have a look (and tangibility) about them that cannot be matched by the computer screens or digital frames. No, modern printers can display all the colors on paper that can be seen on screen. The mind’s eye will fill in the missing colors so you will likely not even notice. Typically, I only print a handful of images because of the cost but when I run across a truly good image the first thing I do is make a print. To me it just feels more like art when I hold it in my hand.

There are two options when it comes to printing. 

First, you can purchase a printer and print them yourself.  There is considerable cost here if you want to get printers that are made just for photo printing.  To get the prints to look great takes a considerable amount of effort.  I have done this for years and with the cost of the printer, paper and ink I have determined that it is best to use option number two.  If you like to print them yourself and are happy with the results then have at it...  There is something to be said about getting a print when you want a print. 

Second, use a professional printer/lab.  If you are serious about your work then I certainly suggest that you use a "professional" printer rather than the 1-hour photo labs.  Why?  Because professional printers take a vested interest in ensuring that your prints are the best they can be when they leave their location.  I use Bayphoto for all my printing needs.  They are capable of printing on just about any type of material (luster, gloss, metal, canvas, etc) and to just about any size you want.  Mpix has also gotten great reviews from many professional photographers. 

However you choose to print make sure that the print lives up to your standards as an artist!

Links:
http://www.bayphoto.com/
http://www.mpix.com/