We talk a lot about lenses, bodies, tripods but we very rarely discuss the presentation topic. Don't know like You gals'n guys but I really love to see the pictures printed out. This brings another life to the photographs. So not hesitating any second more, do You print Yours pictures?
Yes. I shoot a lot, mostly for a local educational theater company that does about 8-10 shows a year, with some other smaller (micro size) events such as one-acts or dance shows, reader's theaters, or auditions.
We've done 20x30 inch displays for the shows, about 120 prints per year, but this year we are going to do 11x14 inch prints in matted 16x20 frames mixed with framed 16x20 prints in 20x22 matted frames. These framed prints will stay up from show to show (the displays have gone up a week before / and removed after the show).
The prints will rotate in the lobby hall, as the students graduate, too. Some are on Broadway right now or in Hollywood or are successful teachers or working in Las Vegas as technical workers (and some are happily working as ranchers in Montana ;-) ).
I do like prints, too.
One thing I've learned from printing is that (as I recently read in another thread), some prints I found appealing on screen are less so hanging on my wall. Maybe there's more time to critique if you walk by a print every day on the way to the bathroom.
... And no time to use them.
It is one bit of gear I don't use for work, but wouldn't be without.
I fully agree that monitor calibration is a must. Without it, you'll waste a lot of time, ink, and paper.
"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
@Symphotic and Adamz I agree. Monitor calibration is key to good photos. I use the cheap spyder and it seems 'okay'.
I don't 'print' my own photos and prefer to send them out for printing. Here in the US, the cost of printing at several outlets can be much more efficient and the quality quite good for color. Service bureaus aren't outrageous, either.
If I were in business, I might think about investing in a printer, but I'd think long and hard about it. While it might not seem like a lot of money for the up front cost, and it seems awfully handy having a printer to test the quality of that exposure firsthand, those ink costs, along with those paper costs run up quickly.
Costco (a big box store here in the US) prints an 11x14 inch print for $2.99, and other equally valued prints. They have ICC profiles, too.
In the long run, having a printer doesn't pay, although having instant gratification means something.
other. You can use manufacturers profiles for the specific combination of paper and printer or generate your own.
I use Costco paper for letter size and neither they, nor HP nor Epson have profiles so I had to generate my own. Ilford profiles for many popular printers, but HP and Epson only do so for their own paper printer combo's.
Since I like Epson prem luster on my HP Z3100, I again had to gen profiles.
You will not get a color managed, profiled print at your big box or pharmacy. Unfortunatetely the best print shops at least in my area do not want to work with amateurs, as some of us can be a pain the the ***.
For best quality, I print my own work.
Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.
I have enough on my plate calibrating the twin monitors, getting out to take the shots and PP-ing them. Maybe later but I doubt it.
About that time, the county covered bridge association wanted Rob to completely "re-do" a 8 ft X 16 ft billboard that had a hand painted picture of our local covered bridge on it; the picture was getting pretty faded, and the 1/2 plywood it was on was badly needing to be replaced; so, we removed all the plywood, then I took a similar picture of the bridge, and we were going to use 4 sections of 4 X 8 "alumalite" vertical on each side, and print the picture in four sections; this is exactly how big outdoor advertising outfits do it, but getting all the sections matched up is a "tricky business"; after thinking about it for a day or two, my friend Rob decides to call this big printing company in Indianapolis up; we sent them the file from the sd card by email, and they said it would be ready in a few days; when we went to Indy to pick it up, it's all wrapped up, and banded on a big 4 X 8 pallet; while we were there, the guy says he'd "show us around" you want to see inkjet printers, this is THE place to go! The smallest printer in the whole place was 12 ft wide, and about 5 or 6 were 24 ft wide ! (the ink tanks all held 5 gallons of ink.)
Alumalite is a sign industry product that comes in 4 x 8 sheets; it's two pieces of thin aluminum, bonded to a 3/16" core of corrugated vinyl; the stuff is impervious to weather, and is four time easier to put up than plywood, and lasts way longer than the vinyl film with the ink on it; when the ink fades out, you unscrew the panels, take then down and peel the old vinyl off and put new on; The first time I have a chance, I'm going to run up and take a picture of that sign and post it on PAD. Get this; I took the picture with a Fuji S 1000 Finepix 10MP Camera (from Wal Mart) that cost me all of $189, and has a sensor roughly the size of a pencil eraser; If you're wondering what the printing bill and the 8 sheets of alumalite was, it was $1,750; we had to buy a couple gallons of paint for the posts, and a 5 lb box of drywall screws to fasten the panels to the existing frame; overall, we had about 2 days of work involved for the two of us, plus a day to run the 135 round trip to Indianapolis to go get it. The people who ordered it are extremely happy with it.
Being somewhat of a "cheap skate'", I tried to talk Rob out of having it printed, and doing it with his printer; it would look just as good, but he was thinking ahead, worrying that we might waste a bunch of vinyl trying to get the sections matched up. Having plenty of budget, he decided to play it safe. The people who ordered it are extremely happy with it
So far, that's the biggest printing job I've been "involved", and it's by far the biggest I've ever blown anything up; I think if we were going to be doing very many jobs like this, I would suggest to Rob that he needs a D 800.
I was fortunate to see some 30" x 40" prints made on a printer owned by a private individual. They were shot with an 80MP back and Rodenstock lenses... And, they were stunning....
Incidentally, Rodenstock MTF charts show 80, 40, 20, and 10 lp/mm. Most of the ones we see show 30 and 10.
So, prints can be a real "hands-on" way to view photos....
I basically got 50 free prints and an extra $10 to spend on anything.
I'm looking to do an 11x14 print or perhaps a 16x20 print of a picture I took in Hong Kong. Nothing crazy, just a snapshot.
I also need to figure out a way to mount the photo in a picture frame too. No wonder people print infrequently!