With the introduction of digital cameras in the early 2000’s many of us, professional and amateur alike fell victim to shutter frenzy -i.e. took loads of photos, many of them questionable at best simply because we could. Toss in the social media rise in popularity and all of a sudden we see photos appearing everywhere.
Some of them of course are never going to be printed but stand more as a visual daily diary for many people who have active lives.
Prior to the arrival of mass market digital photography, and in order to see you images you needed to get them printed and for many the anticipation of seeing what you had was almost as much fun as taking the images in the first place. Now I doubt you would want to do this in digital media, you would rapidly become swamped with prints you dont want.
On my current media hard drive I have in excess of 6500 images. My previous hard-drive failed and took with it some 45,000 images amassed over 10 years, many I have on CD or in online gallery’s but there are some I wish I still had, but alas they are gone for good.
Some I would like to have had a print. However most images I take will never be printed, likely never be seen by anyone else or will be used in some manner online. More and more however I starting to think about prints.
Prints can be expensive, especially when you start going over A4 sized prints. However for prints up to A4 it may be worth printing your own. Heres an example of running off some prints. In the recent Easter Expedition series I used four cameras, one of which was film ( see the Pentax MZ-6 gallery ) . It was always my intention to have the roll of film developed, scanned and printed, Total cost of $29.00 NZD for the lot. This gave me thirtysix 6 x 4 prints, giving me immediate feedback on how the camera performed and whether I had any duds, and there were a couple out of focus.
I wasn’t particularly pleased with the resulting prints either. They were on matt paper and lacked a little punch, some seeming a little dull. Not badly so, they just lacked impact.
Enter the home office printer. Many of us have a printer at home and for the odd photo they can provide reasonable prints. If like us you have a more expensive model the resulting prints can be excellent. In my case I can only talk about one particular printer, and thats the Epson L365 Eco-tank.
A quick disclaimer here:- I have no affiliation with Epson, but I do prefer their printers and Photo Print Paper for printing my photos.
I’ll include a user review video at the end of this article. You will see different model numbers for different countries. I bought our Epson L 365 approx 12 months ago from Warehouse Stationery. It has now been replaced by the newer L 485 model and no doubt its improved. Never the less I print at 600 dpi and the finished print is a good or better than a commercial print of the same size. A Pro Print-House would be needed to get a better result.
Unlike traditional printer cartridges the larger bottles of printer ink last a good deal longer and are considerably less expensive than individual replacement colour cartridges. Each bottle of colour ink for the Eco Tanks is $20.00 NZD.
Below are some photos that I had printed and alongside them is a 5 x 7 on Epson Gloss paper, done using my Epson printer. The photos have had slight PP work as the film scans always look a little washed out. You can see how dull the smaller commercial print looks alongside the home print. I use the Standard Epson colour profile in the printer rather than the vivid profile as images look too over saturated. My Samsung phone was probably not the best camera to use to do this comparison, but I think it still demonstrates the differences.
Detail in the larger prints is better and the colour saturation has been reduced a little prior to printing. Colour in the larger prints is closer to what was visually apparent. Its important to remember that if you are using a film simulation setting in your camera you will need to account for this with your post processing or risk colour shift, which could ruin a good print.
Black and white printing is just as good with these printers, just be aware you will use the black ink faster if you print a lot of black and white photos. The beauty of these printers other than its relatively cheap printing costs is the ability to edit and print an image to ensure I get the processing right, especially if I want a larger print from a commercial print-house. A big shout out here to to my preferred film develop and scan supplier. I get my films processed from Imageland in Hamilton and their colour negative scans are the best I have had to date, providing files equal to the RAW files from my Canon DSLR.
As promised heres the YouTube clip about printing on an Epson printer and a second video from one of my favourite YouTube channels, Ted Forbes ” The Art of Photography”