My Printing Workflow - I Don't Own a Printer_Doc_Miles_Photography
November 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment
It was only a few years ago that I had the top of the line Epson Printers and a cabinet full of ink cartridges. I also had hundreds of dollars of Epson Paper in all different sizes and substrates. The amount of technical work involved in making a great print was daunting. First you had to have the right profile for the paper and printer. Next, you had to make sure the color profile and correction was accurate. Whew! I wasted so much ink and half printed paper to realize that the language between my printer and the computer was never the same. Maybe I just sucked at printing, but it should not have to be that hard.
Then, along came MPIX.com. "Upload Tonight, We Ship Tomorrow". Any size, any paper, and color correction to boot. I sold my printers and never looked back. They mat, frame and offer all kinds of options and sizes. I don't work for them, they don't pay me and they probably don't know I am singing their praises. They used to be know as Miller Labs. Decades ago, when I was in film, they were the "go to" lab for prints, so they are rock solid.
But, it doesn't stop there. While MPIX is great, they have limited sizes of prints. In comes Aspen Creek Photo. Actually, they are part of West Coast Imaging out of Oakhurst, CA. They do any size you need in relative to MPIX prices.
Here is a great tip: When you see a photo on your monitor it is back lit and in RGB color, but when printed, it is reflective and in CMYK. What that means is that it will be darker in print and the colors will be different. So, here is how I cope with that dilemma: Wallgreens. Yes folks, Wallgreens. For a buck or two, I send the image to Wallgreen's and get a 4x6 to see if the color is correct. I then send it to MPIX for the real print. Note: Walgreens only does 8x10 on the fly. Anything larger is mailed to you. At the end of the day, Walgreens does a pretty good job at printing.
Here is another tip: If you are unsure of the color, send a proof layout sheet to MPIX at say, 16x20 with different versions of the same photo at different color corrections and brightness and then order the one that work best.
Bottom Line: I don't own a printer. I do own a high end scanner, but seldom use it any more. For legal documents, I use Adobe Acrobat with digital signatures. Oh, and then there's TorboScan for iPhone. It scans to PDF and send it in an email. Way too cool.
In conclusion, if you have racked your brain in an office supply store for the cartridge you need or the paper you want, go get in the car, go home and use MPIX.com and sell your printer on eBay.
PS: The Metallic Paper on MPIX Rocks!
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