Digital Photographers: What's Hanging on Your Walls?

Just saw another article about the demise of emulsion photography, and the tiny slice of desktop printing being devoted to images.

So: you’re an eager young thing clicking away, filling chip after chip.

Digital frames start at about $100 for roughly a 5x7 display, and your inkjet is, frankly, crap for photos.

So - are you going to spend your entire lives without a single picture you can point to and say “I took that”?

Tell me again how much better digital is? A top-of-the-line 35mm SLR body ran 1000-1400 in 2000.
An equivalent DSLR body runs 1500-2000. You have no easy way to display your work, and serious printing is outrageously expensive.
The kicker is: those ultra-expensive prints are actually on emulsion - good old RA-4 drugstore color paper and chemistry

Can you really expect to gather the kids around and flip through the 1000’s of images on your “Family Album” chip?
I was sent a link to photobucket for pics of a wedding - I really enjoyed flipping through the 80 images to find 4 or 5 worth viewing…

I print up photos regularly up to 13"x19" on my Epson R1800 printer. Larger prints I send out to get printed. I started in the days of film, and have probably shot about 100,000 frames on film, and over half a million digital, and I personally do not miss the days of film all that much. (Sure, I have some nostalgia for Tri-X and Velvia). But, overall, the quality of digital sensors and how they perform up the ISO range is simply jaw-dropping. Almost every week I make photos that would simply not have been possible for me in the film days. It’s an amazing and wonderful time to be a photographer.

All the digital photographers I know have high quality inkjet prints on their walls - though some jackholes are trying to obscure the fact that they are inkjet prints by calling them “glecee”. But they are printed on large format ink jet printers.

There are plenty of service bureaus that will print amazingly high quality prints for you, but if you’re not crazy picky, CostCo does a great job very cheap. And if you don’t need large, they will produce custom books that look great.

Hell, if you’re concerned about the longevity of inkjet, they can produce genuine photos on photo paper from digital files.

Close. Giclée (“zhee-clay”) is the wonky artsy term for inkjets.

Costco actually does do a surprisingly good job most of the time, although they have completely screwed up prints from me. They were happy to reprint them, though, and they turned out fine the second time. I wouldn’t print my most sensitive stuff through them, but for regular ol’ prints, they do a very good job.

Depending on the inkjet printer or, rather, the inks used, pigment-based inkjets may actually outlast C-prints by a considerable margin, although there seems to be lively debate about that.

Paintings by my wife. Well, you asked.

I did an exhibition of some of my photography and have some of those on my wall. The biggest of the images are 30x20 inches and even with a magnifying glass I’d challenge anyone to find evidence of a pixel. If I did a wedding, I’d expect to be designing and printing a photo album. And devices like the iPad allow for flicking through digital images very easily.

I make hard copy prints and put them on my walls, in my shows, and in other people’s homes and businesses (iow, I sell them).

Some of my pics are 24x30". Most are 11x14 on 16x20 mats. I also have some panoramas, up to 12x30"

I carry a digital portable frame as my portfolio. It looks like a tablet, batt lasts about 4 hrs on a charge, can orient for portrait or landscape.

What on earth made you think digital photographers don’t make hard prints?

To address the question of pricey prints:

Yes, a very high quality print from a custom lab costs more. It did when I shot film, too.

A low cost print from digital still looks pretty good. I can get 4x6s from Walgreens for $.09 a print, 8x10s from Sams Club for about $1.75. They look pretty good.

This is better suited to Cafe Society than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

I have a couple of prints and a couple of photos printed on canvas. I use my ipad to carry around a lot of recent photos as well.

When I shot film I took a couple of vacations where I spent more on film and developing than I did on airfare and hotel costs. I had business trips that cost me hundreds of dollars in film developing. Sure I’ve now spent more on my hardware but the cost per print is way down. Someday I need to have my boxes and boxes of negatives scanned so I can store them with my more recent photos.

Photos aren’t the only things that drove the decision but I have also invested in a RAID storage array where all of my photos reside.