Reading Mike Johnston's blog (Online Photographer
) got me to thinking about how I am archiving my photos, and that I have very few prints. I'm convinced that my family and I would love nice sets of archival quality prints to have at the house. I have been married for 5 years and have 3 kids, so there are a lot of photos, 1 year of film and 4 that have been digital. My guess of around 1500 photos needed to print is probably correct, though possibly a little low. I expect to make copies of many for family as Christmas/birthday gifts going forward.
My wife is constantly requesting that I make prints, but all I have is a Canon i960 that I hate messing with. The colors are just never correct. (I have a color-calibrated LCD using the Gretag Macbeth system.)
So I'm thinking of a couple alternatives:
1) Farm it all out to a print shop, probably EZprints through my SmugMug Pro account. I can specify easily that they not do any color correction themselves. Put in a normal photo album.
2) Buy an Epson 2400. Make most of the prints at 4x6 and 5x7, stick them in a standard photo album and get on with life.
3) Buy a 4800 (or possibly the new Canon), and use all 11x14 or larger paper with various sized prints on each page. I would then have it all bound into a pseudo-book. I think this would be more fun and more aesthetically pleasing long-term, but a pretty big time commitment and a lot of money up front.
I'm pretty good with Photoshop CS2 and Camera Raw, and most of the processing is already complete. I really like the idea of making the prints myself, but I'm a little intimidated by the amount of time it will take to go back through 4 years worth of photos.
It feels like the ink cost for that amount of prints makes buying a 2400 a bad decision. It also feels like a waste to farm out that number of prints over the next 2-3 months, as that money could have gone to a new printer.
My wife isn't too jazzed about me getting a printer, because in her mind I haven't used the i960 very much that I already have. I'm trying to figure out the best decision financially, anyone have any opinions? I don't know how to take into account the learning curve required to start gettting prints that I'm happy with. If I decide to go with a printer, do you recommend that I get something like Uwe's printing guide on Outbackphoto.com?