By Roger (5 Dec 2013)
We blog about techniques to improve your photographs, both with your camera work and in your post-processing, but don't forget the end game: a print. There are so many good reasons to print. Don't leave those great photos on some computer's hard drive. You need to print and display it, so everyone can appreciate it.
Photos make great gifts for family and friends. Everybody likes to get a print to hang on the refrigerator or sit on their desk. They'll appreciate the little extra effort you went through to give them a print. By now, everyone knows you're the photo nut, so show them what that means. Your photos will look better hung on the wall, with a nice frame, than they do on your computer's screen. And a home without at least one photo album is simply incomplete. How else can the kids see that their parents were once young and carefree? ;-)
Displaying your photos can lead to other photographers to shoot with. At work, I keep two big 20x30 prints on my office wall. I also have an area with a couple of 11x14 prints; I change these about once a month or so, to add some variety. Not a week goes by without someone making a comment about the photographs. They brighten my office and provide me many photography conversations with my co-workers. They've given me ideas and new locations.
Many home printers can do a decent job on small prints, and there are still photographers out there who spend big money on quality printers to keep quality control in their hands. Print making can be as much an art as the photography itself. I send my photos out to mpix.com (link) or Bay Photo Lab (link) to be printed. They do a great job, with a wide variety of papers and finishes, and I don't have to find room for a big printer and supplies.
There are lots of different printing surfaces available besides the traditional paper to enhance your photos. I really like the canvas prints from Artistic Photo Canvas (link) for landscapes and portraits. If you have a really vibrant photo, it will wow your viewers when they see it as an aluminum print from Image Wizards (link). I even saw a story about marshmallows with your images printed on them.
So, take some time in the near future to send some of your photographs to a printer. They'll make great gifts, decorations, and conversation pieces. Finish the job you started, and make some prints.
++++++ But, wait! I want to alert you to a recent deal from Adobe for Photoshop and Lightroom. Until 8 December, you can have both for only $9.99 a month. In the past, you had to own a previous version of the software to get this deal, but the deal is now open to everyone for this limited time. You can sign up at the Adobe website (link).