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06-06-2015, 12:31 AM   #1
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Where do you have prints made?

Two of my photos were selected for Alaska's largest statewide juried show (Rarified Light Rarefied Light | Alaska Photographic Center ) and they'll be on exhibition in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai over the next year. Submissions were done digitally, so now I have to find somewhere to have them printed. As far as I know there isn't a really good place in Fairbanks to have prints made, so I'm going to be sending this out.

Who have you guys used that you would recommend if you were to send or have sent your files to for printing for an exhibition?

06-06-2015, 01:44 AM   #2
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I personally have used mpix and have been pleased with the results. They will print nonstandard sizes, and have a decent array of options in terms of papers and coatings, but they are most certainly not cheap. Had 3x 8.5x11 images printed, two were on fuji pearl metallic paper with uv coating, third was just uv coated and printed on standard paper.... after shipping (expensive) I believe I ended up paying about $23.
06-06-2015, 06:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
I personally have used mpix and have been pleased with the results. They will print nonstandard sizes, and have a decent array of options in terms of papers and coatings, but they are most certainly not cheap. Had 3x 8.5x11 images printed, two were on fuji pearl metallic paper with uv coating, third was just uv coated and printed on standard paper.... after shipping (expensive) I believe I ended up paying about $23.
That sounds cheap to me for professional prints. Mpix is good. So is Adorama. Our favorite that we use is White House Custom Color -- great service.
06-06-2015, 07:17 AM   #4
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Mpix or Mpix pro. I've used both. For what you are describing I think I would contact the lab and discuss the purpose of the print they can help with paper selection and so on. Might be a little more expensive but in this case I doubt the cost of the print is material.

06-06-2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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Nations photo lab
06-06-2015, 08:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
Who have you guys used that you would recommend if you were to send or have sent your files to for printing for an exhibition?
I would recommend working with a local commercial printer or service bureau if possible. A well-done print often requires multiple iterations as well as tuning the tiff to the shops requirements. Ask one of your local pro portrait photogs where they get their prints made. Alaska Camera?


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Last edited by stevebrot; 06-06-2015 at 08:31 AM.
06-06-2015, 08:36 AM   #7
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If we try a new lab, we make a "collage" of our prints that each have different dominant colors in them into one image and have them print that as a test. Then we tweak our profile and do it again, so it might cost $10-$20 to get it settled. Some places will give you a free print to try their service. None of the labs are ever quite as good as what you can do yourself (if you're good at it) -- we print all our smaller prints (our printer can handle up to 13x19) ourselves, and they are superior to anything we get from the lab (mainly because we have better paper choices), but for big prints you pretty much have to use a lab if you are a small-time operation...
06-06-2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
None of the labs are ever quite as good as what you can do yourself (if you're good at it) -- we print all our smaller prints (our printer can handle up to 13x19) ourselves, and they are superior to anything we get from the lab (mainly because we have better paper choices), but for big prints you pretty much have to use a lab if you are a small-time operation...
I wish I had said this. A month ago I purchased a 13x19 printer and after seeing what is needed to get a truly acceptable print, I decided that mail-order prints are not such a good idea for critical work.


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06-06-2015, 10:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I wish I had said this. A month ago I purchased a 13x19 printer and after seeing what is needed to get a truly acceptable print, I decided that mail-order prints are not such a good idea for critical work.
I mean, the lab does a good job, and no one is complaining, but side-by-side with one of our own prints they are just aren't as nice. The markup we put on the big prints is enough that we can afford the occasional reprint if we don't like how the colors turn out (we always have our prints sent to us, and we reship to the customer), and if it is a print we haven't done at the lab before, we normally have a detail of it printed at smaller size for a calibration test. White House is pretty consistent, so once you get it right you can order the same thing 6 months later and be pretty confident it will look right.
06-06-2015, 01:46 PM   #10
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I got excellent results from Snapfish but these were small 4"x6" prints. There was slight cropping on the edges. Otherwise, I use my local lab shop. It's pricier but the results are worth it. I can talk with the lab techs directly so they know what I am trying to achieve. My prints are probably much simpler than what you are looking to do, though.
06-06-2015, 02:06 PM   #11
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These are the shots, the landscape 20x30 or so, the girl 16x20, on metal preferably






06-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Nations photo lab
Same here. I really love the results with their metallic photo paper. Some photos it doesn't improve greatly, but most photos look incredible with it. I have a 16x20 of a photo I took of the USS Constellation at night. They light up the lines, and they shine on the paper like polished silver, where on a normal glossy print, they're not particularly noticeable. With the metallic paper, even on the 5x7 prints I had done for an art fair, they look fantastic. I had our wedding shots printed there, too. My wife's dress just glows, in both the color and black and white shots.

I also print my own for most stuff 13x19 and under, using RedRiver's polar pearl metallic paper (and sometimes their aurora art natural or one of their heavy matte papers) on a canon pima pro9000 mk2 printer.

If you're not in a hurry, they regularly have sales where they mark large prints down a fair bit. Right now they have them marked down to $6.75 each (well, $8.50 for the metallic - and it's worth the extra!)

---------- Post added 06-06-15 at 05:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
These are the shots, the landscape 20x30 or so, the girl 16x20, on metal preferably
Really like the lady shot!
It was $29 for my 20x30 print from our wedding on metallic paper. I don't know if Nations prints to metal that large (I'm pretty sure they'll mount metallic prints ON metal that big, though), but for that, I'd check groupon... there are lots of places that do metal prints and the first one is usually pretty cheap, even at largish sizes. I understand the quality varies greatly (some places just mount prints, some print straight to metal, some use metal that's been coated like inkjet paper, etc, etc, etc)
06-06-2015, 02:43 PM   #13
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Adorama and usually on metallic paper.
06-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #14
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There is metallic paper, but there is also METAL. Adorama I know will make a print on a ready-to-hang (or ready to prop on your desk) piece of hard metal (which doesn't look like metallic paper, strangely enough, it is flatter, more matte but smooth).
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