Monday, October 3, 2011

The Thrill of a New Printer

Printing Fun, 2011

You could say I'm easily pleased. I tell you what, though, when you get hooked on this photography thing, getting a new printer is like Christmas and the Easter Bunny all rolled into one.
For several years I’ve had a good photo printer. But I didn’t use it a lot because it wasn’t capable of making prints larger than 8” x 10”. Anything that needed to be larger, say for a show or for sale, had to be sent out to be printed. There are plenty of good places for sending photos out to be printed in larger format. The problem I had was that the price of printing pictures that didn’t fit into neat traditional size formats was, well, getting to be formidable. You could instruct them to print to the cropped dimensions of the file. But if you weren’t dealing with knowledgeable people you ended up with images that had been stretched or compressed to fit a standard print size. And although the better labs—a funny term, “labs,” since we’re talking about digital images—are very good about getting things turned around quickly, you were still usually talking 3-5 days from start to finish.
I recently needed a couple of larger prints for a show.  Two local photographer friends offered the use of their large format printers. But it occurred to me as I was trying to get some time scheduled with them that I really shouldn’t be freeloading that much. They were very nice and I am very grateful for their offers of assistance. Instead, I used this show as the catalyst to finally step up to a printer with a larger print format capacity.
When you get a new printer capable of larger prints there’s a temptation to print a lot of things just to see them larger. Fortunately, I’ve been able to largely resist that costly temptation. But I was able to submit three photos to a show this week that I learned about at the last minute and wouldn’t have been able to submit if I’d still been sending printing work out. And I have photos floating around at a couple of competitions that will need to be printed if accepted.
The neatest thing about this so far was that in the course of looking for photos to include in one of the competitions, I came across a photo I’d taken a few years ago that I always loved, but had forgotten about. (It’s the one at the left in the photo above.) I did, I’ll admit, print a large format copy of the photo because I was going to frame it for my own office. But then this new show came along and the photo was a good match for the theme. So unless it happens to sell, I’ll have to wait a month to get it back and hang it. 


  1. That sounds sweet! have fucn with it, and good luck with the shows and competitions!

  2. Yeah, i like that image, too!

    I guess if I continue to pursue photography as a serious hobby I'll have to consider a serious printer at some point but I know what you mean about getting carried away with a new printer. The Kodak we picked up on sale a few months back is a dedicated photo printer and is supposedly cheaper to operate than an ink jet or laser. All I know is I burned through 100 sheets of Kodak Glossy photo paper and 4 cartridges at the speed of thought as soon as I brought it home!