Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reproductions, Printing, Walmart Photos

Sharp, color correct photos are a must when uploading for large reproductions. My uploads have slowed to a crawl as I waited first to decide on a new camera up to the task, and now for delivery delayed because of Texas storms. My new camera is in Ft. Worth.

We have a full spectrum (pun intended) of quality reprographics and other quality digital professional printers, not to mention top photographers, in Tampa Bay. Business is accustomed to a quality product, as is everyone working in visual arts. Locally sourced printing services cuts turnaround time tremendously when the product moves from computer to physical product.

Perfect Blue Hydrangea
Compromise in photo quality is not an option, and for working artists, quality at the best price is critical. Upfront camera cost can be very low, with a little research to match needs to the subject matter. However, reproduction equipment is cost prohibitive for the artist, unless you're cranking out hand made greeting cards. Our finished product investment is time required to find professional, dependable, printers. This snapshot taken with my damaged little P+S camera is sharp, the blue is color correct, and it will make a stunning enlargement. Stunning isn't perfect, though. You want the best for your art.

I've been on a mission to source local self-serve printing options for quick needs for photo greeting cards, post cards, and advertising greeting cards.  I'm open to all advertised service centers in meeting my needs.

I designed a new business card in Microsoft Image Pro using my own sailboat photo and print layout and took it to Office Depot. Not exactly self-serve, but I walked to the counter, the clerk put my file into the business card sheet format and printed on card stock. It took her three adjustments to get the color up to my standards, which she happily did. Beautiful cards at a very affordable price. No need to order from the professional printers with my social media or other contact info changing monthly. You can create your order online and then pick-up at your local store. Office Depot Prints

Cruising Down Bayshore Boulevard
Yesterday I visited Walmart's photo center and fumbled around with their designs and formats offered in everything from kid's party invitations to large format canvas wrap prints.
I printed this photo which is busier and more detailed than my art photos, though the colors are similar. It was edited earlier in Image Pro  to take out hanging oak branches in the top left. This shot also comes from the bad camera.  My 5x7 glossy print is sharp, color perfect, and amazing. It will enlarge nicely. 

You may order your work online at Walmart and pick-up and pay at the electronics counter. Walmart Photos  The manager suggests not to pay online, but to pay in store. The process is HP's and I was absolutely astounded at the quality of my test photo and of a few Easter greeting cards I printed with my art work and custom text. Limited choices in the text colors and fonts, but they're acceptable.

Next stops will be the chain pharmacies in the neighborhood and I'd like to source affordable conversion of 35mm negative strips to digital--without having to buy more equipment.

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All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

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