To print or not print that is ...


rodcy

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 17:39
I'm thinking of retiring my photo printer. It's not that it doesn't do a good job - it's just the sheer effort, the paper, the ink, the time that I use up just getting the prints I want. So, can anyone recommend a printing service either on or off line? Preferably one that can handle tiffs. Or am I just deluded that this is the easier option. And yes I do use profiles and have a monitor calibrator. And I won't be offended if you tell me that it must be because I'm a rubbish printereditor because I wasn't much cop when I had a B/W darkroom!

Thanks

Rod
Great photography is always on the edge of failure. - Garry Winogrand
Must stop myself falling over that edge all the time!

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johnriley

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 17:42
The trouble with printing services is getting exactly what we want. What if the print is too light/too dark/the wrong colour and so on. At least with home printing we can do it again immediately without having to return prints and wait for re-delivery.

All the reasons why you had a darkroom and didn't send your negatives out for printing still apply.
Best regards, John

rodcy

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 18:00
As far as the darkroom went, John, I might have well have sent the negatives out! But seriously, when I lost my darkroom space I sent my negs out and got contact sheets made. Then I sent the selected negs for hand processing by someone who knew what they were doing and who also liked the smell of fixer. Is there a digital service equivalent? I'm not talking getting lots of pictures done - just a few selected ones. Or should I just labour away until I get the right print?

I spend enough time in front of the computer as it is and labouring in Photoshop gets wearisome. And also I find that I'm not getting any better with the program - I seem to have hit buffers there. It's not the best part of photography for me.

Thanks

Rod
Great photography is always on the edge of failure. - Garry Winogrand
Must stop myself falling over that edge all the time!

My Flickr

PeteL

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 18:02
This is the one i use for my posh stuff-www.bpdphotech.com which are used by one of the local pro`s too. but for everyday enlargement prints of nice quality i use bonusprint.com. I have tried Snapfish who produce images that are punchier and more saturated but Bonusprint offer a much greater choice of image size and a crop option. Besides i prefer the softer,more natural look to their prints anyhow!
I considered buying a good quality A3 printer but decided against it pretty much for the same reasons that you describe!

Regards - Pete

gartmore

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 18:18
I recommend One Vision in Coventry, previously know as Colab. I've used them with confidence for 20+ years. I also use Loxley here in Glasgow which is convenient and in both cases I have never been displeased. You can upload files by FTP to both.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

simonkit

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 18:56
I use DSCL for most of my online printing, very good quality & good pricing too, unfortunately though they don't accept .Tiff files.

I'd also recommend Peak Imaging and Loxley

I must admit that I've very rarely had an issues with online prints, I always download their printer profile & "soft proof" before ordering though.

Simon
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grahamwalton

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 19:18
Having your own printer gives you total control over quality, repeatability and time.

Today I messed up an A3 print when mounting it. No problem, within 15 minutes I had reprinted and was mounting another copy.

If you have missed cloning a sensor dust mark, then the printer will print the blemish. With your own setup you can quickly edit and reprint.

I know colleagues who use a service by ProAm for their printing.
Friendly Regards
Graham

rodcy

Link Posted 11/03/2010 - 21:56
I'll certainly look into some of those printing services. But just in case I'll keep my own photo printer at the ready. Perhaps I'm being lazy but in my mind being a phographer doesn't have to mean being a printer as well. Some of the great photographers never printed their own work. I doubt whether Henri C-B saw the inside of a darkroom for years - he was far too aristocratic to get his hands wet!

Many thanks for all the suggestions. My second topic and lots of help again. It's good 'ere.

Best regards
Rod
Great photography is always on the edge of failure. - Garry Winogrand
Must stop myself falling over that edge all the time!

My Flickr

arto

Link Posted 14/03/2010 - 14:37
Inkjet printing is a craft just like darkroom printing. By all means use your desktop printer for everyday prints, but unless your knowledge of post-production extends to colour-managed, multi-sharpening workflows, local contrast enhancement, edge and surface masking, blending modes etc; you own a hardware-calibrated Eizo, NEC or La Cie monitor and a nine-, ten- or twelve-ink printer; and you're working in good light and have a knowledge of the printing characteristics of a range of fine papers, then you most probably won't be getting the quality of prints that a conscientious professional printer can achieve.

But then I would say that ...
www.siskinpress.co.uk

mille19

Link Posted 14/03/2010 - 21:57
simonkit wrote:
I use DSCL for most of my online printing, very good quality & good pricing too, unfortunately though they don't accept .Tiff files.

Simon

I use DSCL and have to agree with Simon, really good quality and service.

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 14/03/2010 - 23:37
arto wrote:
Inkjet printing is a craft just like darkroom printing. By all means use your desktop printer for everyday prints, but unless your knowledge of post-production extends to colour-managed, multi-sharpening workflows, local contrast enhancement, edge and surface masking, blending modes etc; you own a hardware-calibrated Eizo, NEC or La Cie monitor and a nine-, ten- or twelve-ink printer; and you're working in good light and have a knowledge of the printing characteristics of a range of fine papers, then you most probably won't be getting the quality of prints that a conscientious professional printer can achieve.

But then I would say that ...

www.siskinpress.co.uk

I have to say, your discount for Pentaxians is really generous. Next time I want a quality print, i'll be in touch!
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 14/03/2010 - 23:38

rodcy

Link Posted 14/03/2010 - 23:55
arto thanks for your comments. I agree that printing is a a craft and a difficult one at that. As I mentioned earlier many famous photographers had their work printed by others and many of them were wealthy (Cartier-Bresson, Eggleton etc) or connected to rich people (e.g. Mapplethorpe). In some cases I think the printer's work has not been fully recognised in the final production of a piece of fine art.

For me, I just want prints that I can hang on my walls and look at with some satisfaction. I would love gallery quality but can't justify it. I'm after something that would satisfy a good amatuer. However, I agree with the message above your discount for Pentax owners is very appealing.
Great photography is always on the edge of failure. - Garry Winogrand
Must stop myself falling over that edge all the time!

My Flickr
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