Saturday Shout: How often do you print your photos?

February 4, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Saturday Shout | 22 Comments |

Saturday ShoutIt just occurred to me this week that I hadn’t printed any of my own photographs for quite a while, a few weeks in fact, and that my Epson 2100 printer is quietly gathering dust in the corner of my office. Recently, more official reports also conclude that printing is on the decline, despite the availability of printing technology that is more life-like and durable than ever before. Back in the pre-digital days, prints either made in the darkroom or at your local lab were the best way to view your work. Now it seems that the LCD monitor has taken over as the viewing device of choice. So, when was the last time that you made a print? Is printing your first choice method of evaluating and sharing your photographs? What kind of printer do you own (if any) and how could it be improved? Shout out now…



Your Comments

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#1 GARY POGODA

Mark, with all the work you put into PhotographyBLOG (for comparison,
Phil's last article was Tuesday and this is already Saturday), no wonder
you have little time left for printing your own photos. :)

6:33 pm - Saturday, February 4, 2006

#2 Josh

I normally get other people (ie photobox, or another) to print my photos, and so far it seems to be once a year, whenever I go on a long/big holiday. The last time I printed any photos myself was when I got a new printer - but since then, it's mainly been used the text, rather than photos.

8:40 pm - Saturday, February 4, 2006

#3 AA

So sad.

You're right - back in the day, everyone pretty much HAD to print their photos from the rolls of film, at the local labs or pharmacy or whatever......

Now that people are zipping files and sending email photos electronically, people are just happy to stare at photos on their computer! Just like I've been saying all this time, Gary!

So now the big finger-pointing sort of question I have to pose is: most of the time, why does any consumer need a digicam that shoots more than 2 Megapixels? They're certainly not going to print enough to justify getting an expensive, fancy camera that would help you print nice 8x10s, consistently, right? All they need is a camera that can print 4x6s IS THEY NEED TO, and one day if they decide to have a nice BIG photo taken and printed, then can always just RENT a camera with more megapixels, or HIRE a Photographer that can do it for you!

So why are you consumers being misled in to thinking that you have to pay more for more pixels when you really don't need it?
Because now, if the camera companies only made 2 Megapixel cameras, they wouldn't be making any money. At this point, they can give away 2 Megapixel chips like a bulk package of rolls films.

And if this trend of non-printing carries on, then what will the printing and ink companies do? They will have to increase prices to meet their already high production costs, just to level their income.
As far as Environmentalists are concerned, they're happy as daisies because less paper is used, and less waste is produced - because, you know, who the hell recycles emptry printer cartridges? I certainy have not seen any company seriously go out of their way in to developing some great recyling benefit programme where they come collect all my plastic containers, or have a specific place to drop them so that I can get something back for that effort! If there are some places to do that - there isn't enough of them!

Upload and stare.......

10:48 pm - Saturday, February 4, 2006

#4 GARY POGODA

Along those same lines, why do people buy 200+ horsepower cars
with top speeds of 120+ mph when most of the time they are sitting
in traffic and cannot even do the 65 mph speed limit?

In view of the above mentioned trend away from photo printing, it's
a good thing today's printers have individual color ink cartridges, so
you can use your photo printer for everyday text printing, as well.

8:51 am - Sunday, February 5, 2006

#5 Itai

Well, when I got my first digital camera I printed the first thousand (literally) of pictures that I took. After all, that was what I always did with my pictures in the film days.

Then time passed and even though I had printed my photos into 4x6, I discovered that I prefered much more to view them on a 22" CRT monitor at 3 megapixel resolution. Now when I bring pictures to view show my family, I bring a single CD which doesn't get dirty because I'm the one who puts into the computer or DVD-player which can show JPEGs. We see the pictures all at once and I can tell everyone a single time what they are seeing. In all, its a much better experience that what it used to be.

But I do still print, not photos for my albums though. I print photos for display, either 8.5"x11" or 13"x19". Now, my 20 best pieces of work are handing on my walls far all to see. Note that's why I need a 8 MP camera. Also because I did not know in advance which one would become my favorites, I shoot all pics at 8 megapixels, just in case. If I know which ones would never leave the display, then 3 megapixels would be enough.

2:49 pm - Sunday, February 5, 2006

#6 AA

"and cannot even do the 65 mph speed limit?"

What town are you living in?

People here drive 80MPH on the freeway, average.
There are race tracks that are open to the public where you can take your car and drag race and/or pull laps around the track as fast as you want.

Of course, if you crash and burn, it's all your own fault. The choice is yours.

3:29 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#7 Jim

Mark,
Thanks, as always, for the great blog! Reading it over here in California always gives me a good perspective on things over there. As for printing, as busy as I am with home remodeling, free-lancing,blogging and stuff, I really don't get much of a chance to print. I even have a Epson 7600 plotter that I've had for 2-years and it has yet to be used! Sad but true. Makes me wonder though, in the days of yore when the photo-entusiasts had a darkroom, how often did they print? Maybe, after all the newness of home-printing has worn off the numbers are the same for both analog and digital?
Jim

http://slightly.dpblogs.com/

3:40 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#8 GARY POGODA

You can do 80 mph on the freeways here too, but only between the
hours of 12 - 3 AM.

5:11 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#9 nick in japan

The national speed limit here is 60KPH, expressways are 80KPH. The fella down the street bought a Ferrari last summer, inverse proportion, the bigger the car the smaller the p....!

5:57 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#10 GARY POGODA

The smaller the petrol mileage?

Not to get off the subject of cars, but I was going to buy the same
printer as Mark's, the Epson Stylus Photo 2100, when it first came
out, but it was not available in the US. Epson's 2200 was available
in the US, but it did not print direct to CD like the 2100, so I waited
until the Epson Stylus Photo R800 came out, which prints CDs but
does not print 13" x 44" like the 2100, only 8.5" x 11". But it rarely
gets used by my wife for printing her photos.

Now that she has the HP Photosmart 475, I expect that to change,
although it has been a week and the box has not yet been opened.
But to be fair, we just got back from vacation.

7:45 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#11 nick in japan

Some of us are very interested in your vacation, Gary! I may speak for a vast number of fans of yours, not only for your genius, but for your impressions along the way. Life is sharing, I personally would love to hear a little about picture taking, interesting things that happened and impressions of a very beautiful part of America. How 'bout it ?

9:13 am - Monday, February 6, 2006

#12 GARY POGODA

Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the casinos.

5:21 pm - Monday, February 6, 2006

#13 Bob Follett

I run 8 x 10 prints off an Epson P2000, maybe 200 to 250 a year. I post four times that many on my web sites, but there's still nothing like giving someone a print. Many people post and share their photos on Flickr, seems to be the trend.

6:35 pm - Friday, February 10, 2006

#14 John Bailey

I don't take many photos, and in answer to the multi megapixel point, I tend to crop and retouch quite a bit on the computer, which I couldn't do very effectivly with a film camera. I tend ot print very rarely, so save it for special prints I want to display. When I want to show someone a photo I'm particularly happy with, I either email them or put them on my PDA. Saves paper and ink, and I don't have lots of prints cluttering up my home. I still get through a fair amount of ink for other tasks though.

9:07 pm - Friday, February 10, 2006

#15 Paul Roberts

Well i used to shoot slides, so i rarely printed anyways.

11:31 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2006

#16 Eric Lewtas

I have an Epson Picturemate which my stepson bought for me and my wife Christmas 2004. I am on my fifth cartridge and tend to produce at least a couple of prints (6x4) every week. I am very pleased with the Epson apart from the fact that if you put a card straight into the printer it will severely crop your image to fit the 6x4 paper size rather than print in the digital image proportion of 4x5. For enlargements or a lot of enprints I use Photobox and find their service excellent. Personally I think that a print is the best way of storing and viewing a digital image.

8:43 pm - Saturday, February 18, 2006

#17 Paul

We buy 200 horsepower cars and 10 mp cameras mostly because we love technology. 90% plus of the buyers will never use 1/4 of the potential of what they have got. But it makes us feel good to have it. Human Nature.
I wish I could stop worrying so much about megapixels myself, even though I have seen the lie in this philosophy. My cheap 3.1mp camera is sharper with less noise than my friends 5mp Casio for nearly twice the price.
Trouble is, every new model that has the features you want has more megapixels, whether you want that or not.
I am pretty convinced that, even allowing for cropping and editing, very few people need more than 5 or 6 megapixels at the most. Look at the images from a professional Nikon D-SLR with 6mp, they are as shrarp as you could ever want and would print wel up to A3. Have you ever printed A3? I haven't, although I'd love to if I could afford the printer to do it. But not often.
I just got an 8mp camera, when i reduce down to monitor size or print at A4 I actually wonder why 8mp?

10:19 am - Thursday, March 9, 2006

#18 Paul

One point I forgot to make.
I would rather have 5mp with a brilliantly sharp lens than 10mp with an average lens. What's the point of that, and yet so many cameras offer that compromise. Marketing!

10:22 am - Thursday, March 9, 2006

#19 Roger

photography
n 1: the act of taking and *printing* photographs 2: the process of producing images of objects on *photosensitive* surfaces 3: the occupation of taking and *printing* photographs or making movies.

So unless you are printing your images it's not photography.

12:12 pm - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#20 GARY POGODA

If you had taken your word search just a little bit further to look up the
definition of "digital photography", you would have found the following:

digital photography
n.
A method of photography in which an image is digitally encoded and
stored for LATER reproduction.

So, it is photography, as long as you are storing your images. :)

11:06 am - Monday, March 13, 2006

#21 Ira Casel

I print my photos all the time (well actually, my photo lab does). I shoot both film and digital, so with digital, I only print the keepers.

I work all day in front of a computer and prefer curling up the sofa with an album, rather than sitting in front of the computer at home. In addition, we enjoy making the albums and reliving the experiences captured in the photos.

4:24 pm - Wednesday, March 22, 2006

#22 Eric Lewtas

I couldn't agree more, Ira! You just cannot beat a print for looking at photos. Like you we enjoy making albums and we are always pulling them off the shelf to look at them. It is a lot easier than setting up a projector or booting up the computer!

7:42 pm - Wednesday, March 22, 2006