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Old 01-24-2004, 11:30 PM   #7
mu23's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 73
Default Drugstore darkroom

Taking full memory cards to a Walgreen's etc. can be a good option when away from home. If on vacation and without a laptop or similar device to store the images from a memory card, or with no budget to buy more memory cards, Walgreen's etc may be a way to keep shooting. Nickhp is right on the money, except for printing. He may be in the digital age, but it ain't a high, or even medium-end one when it comes to printers. That, however is another reason to consider having them printed through a retailer or through ofoto etc. I'm on a 6th month printer upgrade cycle, but that's a lot of loot for many people, a lot of learning too, especially if they don't have a compelling need or interest in quality desktop printing. I like the online outfits when I need to send prints to someone, they will save you the trouble of shipping: very convenient and time saving. At this stage of the game, a very good printer, that's economical on ink, and will make lab quality prints lasting for decades, can be had for around $300, give or take. Canon, HP, Epson, are all good choices. The new Canons are great printers, producing sharp, quality prints, and very economical when it comes to ink consumption; they are also faster than fast. Some of the newest HP's feature a grayscale ink cartridge that beats anything in its class (and quite a bit higher), for B&W printing. Epson, though no longer the undisputed leader of the pack, continues to shine, especially on their high dollar models. Many people already own pretty good printers, but have never opened the manual, or bought the right paper. If you are proud of that picture, isn't it worth a 30 cent sheet of 8x10 photo paper? It's hard to beat Wal-Mart or ofoto on print prices, if you get it right every time that is; if that print needs tweaking, it may be more economical in both money and time, to print it several times over yourself. I have seen Sam's paper, it's o.k. - just o.k., no more no less. Of course, one can always edit at home shoot the files back onto a memory card and print from a retailer's kiosk: the best of both worlds. Ironically, as printing enters a golden age, it has become less and less relevant. Where are most of your pictures displayed, in a frame on the wall, or on a website? This new reality of how we actually view most of the photographs we encounter, also tends to make megapixel mania seem a bit absurd. Once again though, we have a wealth of great options to chose from. There aren't any bad choices (except for printing at home on non-photo paper!), just many good ways to arrive at the same destination. Print at home, through a net service, or at the drugstore - it will all look good. Reminds me of the old saying, "Many windows, one moon."
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