Now that you have a great image, how do you get it on paper? Actually, one of the advents of digital photography is that people are printing less and less images. Instead people are emailing images back and forth. However, there is no substitute like a finely printed and framed photograph.

Should you use a local developer, online shop, or do it yourself? Alot depends unpon your goals, patience and equipment.

If your goal is to mass produce a large number of 4" x 6" photos, I suggest either bringing a CD or your memory card to the local developer or uploading the images to an online site. It is hard to beat the $.19 to $.29 price of these developers. Sure you won't have ultimate control, but in a 4" x 6" print how much are your trying to express.

Where it gets interesting is when you wish to print larger. I rarely print unless I am printing large. My photo albums are typically printed at 14" x 9.5" to show the detail in my photographs. When I print for the wall I go 13" x 19" and matt them in a 18" x 24" frame. Today's photo printers can do all that and for less than $500. I prefer the Canon 9900 for its rich color output. If you have a 9000 or 9100 don't run out and buy the 9900, they are similar enough that its not worth the extra $$$. Similarly, Epson has the Stylus Photo 2200 which is comparable, but I find the colors to be a bit muted.

The key to home printing it to use quality paper and inks. I use only Canon inks and high quality photo paper. When printing, it is very important to match the profile of your printer, via software, to the paper you are using. Otherwise banding will occur and your image will be worthless.

Color Lasers/Die Sublimation Printing
Other home printing methods include color laser printers, although these are really not intended for photo reproduction, merely business graphics. Some prefer a die sublimation printer. These produce very high quality results, but are limited in size and much more costly per print.

Copyright 2004, Jeff Salvage