Printing Your Images
Digital printing is very cheap these days. A 6" x 4" print costs
only a few cents, an 8" x 10" print might be $5 and an A3 print might be
$20. Also, there are now a wide range of services available that
offer things such as the printing of gift cards or canvas prints.
Printing at a Photo Shop or Chemist
Copy your photo onto a USB memory stick (borrow one from
your kids, or get one from a newsagent or Officeworks) and take it
along to your photo shop. They will typically have a 'photo booth'
that you plug your memory stick into and you then follow the prompts.
If you are uncomfortable using the booth the shop assistants are
usually more than happy to help.
There are a few choices to make in ordering your prints.
- Do not select any option that says 'automatically enhance'. This can
be disastrous on an image with large amounts of blue sky and water.
- Choose glossy or matt paper as you prefer. Gloss will tend to
make the colours brighter.
- When selecting the print size use sizes that match the 3:4 ratio
such as 6" x 8" or 12" x 16". You can select other sizes such as A4
or A3 but you will end up with some cropping as these sizes do not
exactly match the proportions of the original photo. Note, this may
not be a bad thing as the composition of your photo may be such that
cropping might be appropriate. In all cases I suggest you check the
cropping. There will be a button somewhere that allows you to check
this and specify which parts of the image get cropped.
Ordering Prints Over the Web
You don't need a USB memory stick and you don't need to get
out of your chair for this. There are a number of on-line photo
printing services available and the turnaround is usually very quick.
One service I have used is Camerahouse (I have no connection with
them). Here is a link to their introduction to internet photo ordering. I do not
bother with their application that you download, I go straight to their
The process is very much like using a photo booth.
Select the branch closest to you, follow the prompts to enter your
details and then upload your photo for printing. (Remember, if you are
unsure of things you can always bail out before the checkout!) Prints
are usually available for pickup within an hour or so, you can even
get them posted out to you.
Printing on your Colour Printer at Home
Even a cheap printer can produce excellent results but you should
note the following:
- The type of paper you use will make a big difference to the
quality of the print. If you print onto plain paper the colours
will look 'flat' and are likely to 'bleed' into each other. You must
use a specifically designed photo quality paper (get it at
newsagents or Officeworks). It is available in matt or high gloss
depending on the finish you prefer. There may be a choice of paper
weight, the higher the gsm the thicker the paper.
- When printing the photo you will need to alter the printing
settings. Go to the print pop-up screen, there may be a 'properties',
'settings' or 'advanced' button. This will take you to paper and print
settings. Adjust the quality setting to 'photo' or 'best', generally
higher quality or slower printing will give the best result. You will
also need to change the paper type to 'premium glossy photo paper' or
the closest match to your paper type. Most printers have these options
as standard features.
- Note the colours you see on your screen may differ to those you
see when the image is printed. Getting these matched properly
requires calibration of both your monitor and printer. Most likely
you do not have the equipment for this, however the control panel on
your computer may have an application that allows you to do a basic
colour calibration of your monitor.