Do You Print Your Photos?


I was reading this article in hopes to find what services people use to print photos. I use services myself since I don’t have time or money to justify the cost of a decent printer and ink, or even the space to put one. I know many don’t print at all. I appreciated the following in the comments for that article:

Nasim, my family started taking photos about 160 years ago. I grew up with cameras around the house. I was given my first – a second hand box Brownie – when I was a kid. In my mid teens I set up a darkroom in the cellar under the kitchen, with the red light & the smell of chemicals. I was so keen on doing my own developing & printing that for the following half century I ignored Kodacolor (always thought it was a bit garish & like lollies for children anyway) and the other color systems, simply because I couldn’t afford to set up my own color processing lab.

Now, with ‘puters and cellphones, I’m told 99% of “photos” never get printed – they just circulate electronically (or not at all) – there are people out there who don’t have sufficient backup & could lose the lot in a snap, through ‘puter problems. Sorry – I can’t go there – for me, it isn’t “photography” until it IS a print of some sort.

Why? Because those screens don’t have “reflected” light – they have “transmitted” light. And the characteristics are quite different. First, the etymology of “photograph” – the “graph” bit demands a print of some sort (bet that sets the trolls off :slight_smile: ). Second, there’s no comparison in terms of image quality – and what the hell is the point of buying a “better camera” or a “better lens”, if you’re going to view the image on an iPad or a cellphone? – or even a computer screen, since the best computer screens or monitors only get as far as 8MB and who’d buy a cam these days, with such a lousy pixel rating? And thirdly, there’s no point in post processing to fine tune your digital images, if you never print them – because every single screen they are ever viewed on will have different brightness, contrast and color gamut – viewed on any two screens, no two copies of your wonderful photo will ever look the same, or (except on your own post processing screen) ever have exactly the same appearance you wanted it to have.

However, for me, the real killer is this – it’s not until you finally print the photo that you can see what you have done, and assess & appraise your own performance as a photographer. At that point, and at that point only, can you complete your learning process.

Personally, I find it more enjoyable to look at a photograph, but it is so much easier to view them on a screen. I was wondering how many here print their photos, or what prompts you to print?

Also, what do you print with? If it is a service, what have you found that is satisfactory? Or, what were you unhappy with?


I still print photos but only about 30% of the ones I take. Normally I use s web based service though rarely I will print at home I always take the trouble to crop the images to the size want and will often doctor the images digitally to get the image I want.

I like larger format images like 8" x 10"because they look better on paper than a small screen. I used to own a darkroom and would develop most of my own prints a lot of which were black and white though generally now GIMP is the tool of choice. I still own film cameras but rarely use them any more.

You are correct there can be little point modifying an image for use on screen but if you calibrate your screen you can get the prints you want.

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