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Old 05-28-2009, 10:19 AM   #1
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How do you print your pictures

I mostly deal with my pictures digitally anymore. But every now and then I get a really great picture (like on our last AS trip) I would love to blow up and frame and hang on the wall. How do you make a nice print (or have one made) out of a digital picture, and what are the size limitations based on the megapixel output of the camera?
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:31 AM   #2
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Stef,
My wife uses an on-line service from Wal-Mart / Sam's Club. She downloads the pictures, selects the sizes and quantities, and they are ready when she stops by to pick them up. They are pretty inexpensive too. I know they and other stores now have the in-store kiosks where you can insert your memory card and do all the cropping and special effects your heart desires. I am not sure on the pixel / size limitations though.

We have had several digital pictures in various sizes printed and we taking them to our friendly neighborhood frame shop and get them matted and framed.

I also use Adobe Photoshop to "doctor" some prints for some artistic modifications.

By the way, that is a nice picture.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:07 AM   #3
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A few photo hints I've found useful over the years:

While there are plenty of places that will print your photos, even to the point of you emailing them the file and getting the print back in the mail, I prefer to print my own. Nobody cares about the quality like I do

I have an 8 megapixel Canon camera I bought a couple of years ago, and a Canon colour printer, one of their "Pixma" series (iP4200 again ~ 2 years old). Neither the camera or the printer were expensive, but I am always amazed at how good the prints can be when I take a good shot, like yours. I challenge the "for money" print places to do better! (they can't)

I mostly use generic "glossy photo paper" bought from Staples, but I've also used their "Photo Supreme" double-sided matte paper for certain prints, and have been VERY pleased with the results from both. There are more expensive papers, but my experience has been that they don't make an appreciable difference.

I use a low-cost image viewer (ACDSee 6.0) to crop or adjust the exposure (if needed), then I use the printing software that came on the CD included with my camera (Canon EZ Print), to print them, and voilà, great results every time, fast and simple.

EZ Print lets me group and arrange the number of shots per page, if I am doing a number of images. My wife likes to keep a three-ring binder to carry with her when she vists, and her preference is 4 shots on a page for most images. Ones she wants to frame, she gets me to do one shot per page, usually.

The key is to use the highest resolution your camera is capable of. All cameras have a means of selecting this, just refer to your owner's manual for yours. I have had several Canons (I like the "Elph" series: very small and easy to use) and starting with the ones that give a file size of 1 meg or more, you can get excellent prints, even going full-size.

For your mountain shot, you might want a larger version. If your camera produces 2 meg files or more, you could get one of the services to print 11"x17" or even poster size with very good results.

Remember if you edit: adjust the software to save with the highest resolution and size it has available, you don't want to reduce detail inadvertantly.

Also, another important item: if you like to get pictures of flora, fauna, or anything where a real close-up will be used. BE SURE to learn how to use the "macro" function on your camera. It's the little button with a flower symbol that almost EVERY digital camera has. This will ensure that the crazy-looking bug on the beautiful flower appears in crystal clarity when you see your shot, be it on-screen or on paper.

One last thing: remember that once you open the ink cartridges for your printer, they are good for only 60 days at the most, so USE THEM! This may seem obvious, but I'm always surprised with friends and family members that printed a few good shots, then avoided printing more because they "didn't want to use up the ink too fast". Yes, the ink IS costly for many printers, but if you bought it, you're better off using it than letting it dry out without giving you the lovely prints it can within it's useful life.

Of course, you can print on regular paper, but you won't bother once you've tried a good image paper, it's just too much better, and uses only a little bit more ink.

The great thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many as you want for free, so always take a bunch of shots when you have a great subject. You've probably already noticed that subtle difference are harder to see in the little view window than they are when you see them onscreen. Oh No! Granny had her eyes closed AGAIN!

Have fun, it's a super hobby, and everyone loves to see your images...
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
I mostly deal with my pictures digitally anymore. But every now and then I get a really great picture (like on our last AS trip) I would love to blow up and frame and hang on the wall. How do you make a nice print (or have one made) out of a digital picture, and what are the size limitations based on the megapixel output of the camera?
I used to print a lot of my own pics, but these days mostly just use them in slide shows.

Even though I have a decent printer, wen I do want prints now - especially the odd special case where I might want a print larger than I can produce, I rely on Walmart and have been very impressed with the quality/price/speed.

They can do a wide variety of things including giving you laminated prints so that no frame is needed.

Brian
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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Print Pictures

www.snapfish.com

www.shutterfly.com

I have used both. Good results.



dale
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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Costco

We use Costco photo. IMO good photos and fast service.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Everyone says get the most megapixals you can. I've got some really stunning 8X10's out of my brothers 1.2 megapixal Olympus camera. I think the lense makes the picture.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the great advice, everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
For your mountain shot, you might want a larger version. If your camera produces 2 meg files or more, you could get one of the services to print 11"x17" or even poster size with very good results.
That version is much reduced for posting to the web. The original is a LOT bigger. I have two cameras, a Canon Powershot A470 which is 7.1 megapixels, and a Canon Powershot S2 IS which I think is 5 megapixels - but it's currently in the shop at Canon for a bad CCD.It's a good camera, but the repair is kind of steep, so I'm not sure how that is going to go yet.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
That version is much reduced for posting to the web. The original is a LOT bigger. I have two cameras, a Canon Powershot A470 which is 7.1 megapixels, and a Canon Powershot S2 IS which I think is 5 megapixels - but it's currently in the shop at Canon for a bad CCD.It's a good camera, but the repair is kind of steep, so I'm not sure how that is going to go yet.
I suspected as much, Stef. You have plenty of firepower with the A470, just check that you're set to highest res. Personally, as a sidenote, I use PhotoBucket.com to house my images I post here. No worrying about size at all.

And, I'm not sure any digital cam is really worth repairing any more. There are so many new and interesting features every day that make the older cams only interesting from a collecter's POV or for emtional ("That's the one I climbed Everest with!") reasons.
  • Optical Image Stabilizer Systems
  • Larger view windows
  • Longer optical (not electronic) zoom ratios
  • Auto Red-eye Correction
  • "Face detection" technology
And so on. You get the idea, you can't keep up with technology these days, items aren't really made to be repaired (unless they are at professional level), so why not just buy new?

Here's a shot taken in March with my li'l SD550. An old mill for which remnants of the race can still be seen.

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
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Nice shot of the mill

I was hoping to get the S2 repaired because it can accept filters and lenses and I wanted to play around with that. But I do get a lot of nice shots with the newer A470, even though it's a 'pocket camera'.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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Aha, well, yes, there's another reason. That's why I hang onto my old Nikkormat FTn with the 105, 50 and 24mm lenses, plus a bunch of filters. Experimentation is a blast!

Just wish there was a digital back for the Nikkormat, such a pain o get film done, once you're used to digital!
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:15 PM   #12
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We full time in our AS. If I'm sending photos of "Hey, look what I'm doing now." I just print on regular paper not expecting friends & family to keep them. Not everyone I know is computer literate so snail mail is the way to go. If it's an especially good shot I'll print it on decent photo paper. FWIW, I use a Kodak Easyshare camera with an HP printer. The few great photos I want to hang on wall or give as a framed gift will be printed professionally at Walgreen's, Wal-mart, or Rite-Aid. This way it's less likely to fade over time.

Ricky
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:23 PM   #13
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For really good quality prints with a good price, try whcc.com.
Also, don't forget to check out photobooks, which are really cool and you can get a "coffee table" hard cover book done for $15 and up depending on size and number of pages at places like blurb.com.
Every photobook I have done for family and friends has led to "oohs" and "aahs" even if the photos were mostly just from our pocket Canon digital camera. Definitely worth a try, IMHO.
Bob
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:13 PM   #14
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It depends on what I am wanting for size.
Most of mine are done in large fine art giclee prints that are individually signed and numbered by me with a Certificate of Authenticity.
They are rendered one at a time on a ColorSpan system that has a 55 inch carriage printer, using archival satin finish paper and archival pigmented inks.
The most common size purchased is in the 16" x 20" range, but some of my prints may be done 30" x 70" and larger.
A friend of mine had a 24" x 30" done by Walgreens, and it looks great matted and framed.
Some professional friends use Mpix.com - Home
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