Digital photography has exploded, exceeding all forecasted figures and many of us have one or more of these great gadgets, but one of the basic values of photography has been lost in the transfer from film to digital cameras.
Research shows that the majority of digital photo’s are not printed or published in any way, instead billions of photos are sitting on computers and memory cards all over the world, hidden away in cyberspace.
This is a sad prospect as passing photographs through friends, family and generations has been a tradition for many years, reminding us of our ancestors and memories of times gone by. Photographs gain importance with age and there is a pleasure in flicking through old photos. It should be remembered that it may not always be possible to view photos held on today’s digital media, as progress may backdate the media type and the compatibility to read them. We should therefore not overlook the importance of making actual prints of our precious digital snaps.
The major reason for our reluctance to print digital photos is the perceived complications in printing a quality digital print, but with digital photo kiosks, affordable photo printers and easy to use software, it is really not that hard. It is entirely possible for the novice computer user to produce great quality prints from their digital camera using the home photo printer.
Generally speaking, getting a picture from your digital camera to your printer normally involves these simple steps;
- Copy images from camera to a folder on your computer.
- Load up your printing software and choose the images you would like to print.
- Select the size and type of paper you are using (always use photo paper).
- Print your photos.
A great new function on many of the latest cameras and printers cuts the process right down. The PictBridge print system is probably the easiest way of getting your images from your camera on to photo paper. This system does rely on having both a PictBridge compliant printer and a PictBridge compliant camera, but most new photo printers and cameras on the market will have PictBridge as standard – but it’s worth checking out if you are about to buy a printer or camera.
The PictBridge system allows you to print directly from your camera to the printer without the use of a computer. You can select photos, print size and quantities, all from the screen of the camera and process the print with a button!
The great thing about printing your own pictures is that you have total control, choice and discretion. You can print as many copies as you like, choose various sizes and finishes and using photo editing software, you can tweak your pictures as a dark room technician would, or even get creative! In fact half the fun of digital photography is what you can do with the printing of the photo.