What would you recommend??


TPF Noob!
Sep 1, 2010
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Quebec, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'm thinking about printing some of my pictures and starting a portfolio (this is entirely personal and has nothing to do with business - I'm not even considering that at this point). I also have a number of pictures I'd like to have printed so I can frame them and put them up in my house...

So what I'm wondering is... which is best? Having them printed somewhere or buying a photo printer and printing them yourself? I was looking at the HP Photosmart B8550 (HP Photosmart B8550 Printer series overview - HP Products and Services Products) it can print up to 13x19 which is a key feature I'm looking for. I want some of my prints to be a tad on the larger side, but I also want them to look like they were printed professionally. I've heard that this printer gives your better prints than what you'd get from your local Walmart or Walgreens… so that can't be too bad right??

If anyone has this printer (or knows about it) or just want to give your opinion on the topic of lab printing vs. at home printing, please feel free. I'm interested to see what people think of this topic.

Thank you!!
Do you have the software to print with? Photoshop?

Do your own printing and use a Canon or Epson printer.

Let a lab make the prints.

An online lab like Mpix uses a chromogenic printing process that exposes high quality photographic paper with your photo and then develops it into a continuous tone photograph.

Mpix, and others, will guarantee their print as long as you let them color correct it before printing. You just upload a JPEG in the specified color space (usually sRGB) and pre-cropped to the proper aspect ratio.

Home printing can be done reliably when the monitor used for editing is profiled, the printer being used is profiled for the specific paper the print will be put on, and the whole shebang is then soft-proofed in your image editing software application. The option is trial and error, which uses a lot of paper and ink and can get quite expensive pretty quick while you still don't have a sweet print.

If you use the forums search feature you will find many, many threads and a range of opinions on this topic.
In my opinion the money you would have to spend to get good quality prints at home is not worth it unless you are going to print a LOT of pictures and even sell some. Any old printer and wal mart photo paper will work but over a short period of time you will see the photos starting to fade and deteriorate. You can get online retailers to print pictures so cheap that are much better quality then a moderately priced home printer will do. You can always buy a printer and some paper and print at home but you will be able to tell a difference in the quality.
Go for a lab....they have the experience and the supplies and the economies of scale that it's impossible for a beginner to have. Also, think Canon or EPSON, not HP when thinking of inkjet printing.

Ask the lab, or visit their web page for information on "how" to prepare the files for their printing machines.

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