Thursday, January 25, 2007
Experience the joy of photography with the latest in inkjet printers and papers
Imagine dropping ink onto a piece of watercolor paper using a turkey baster compared to using an eye dropper. I'm exaggerating the difference, but it immediately gives you a sense of the level of control that's available when applying ink in such small amounts.
Printing Made Easy
Manufacturers are making it easier to make quality prints without the need of a computer. Whether a camera is connected to a printer via a USB cable or a memory card is inserted into a built-in media slot, prints are produced with excellent color and contrast at the touch of a button.
One element that makes this possible is the inclusion of PictBridge technology in many new digital cameras and inkjet printers. Adopted by manufacturers as an industry standard, the technology streamlines communication between cameras and printers, even if they're made by different makers. By using the controls found on the camera or the printer, you can crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and choose a print size and quantity with ease. This technology eliminates the need to labor over a photo-editing application when all you want is a quick print.
Paper Makes The Difference
The most important choice that impacts the look and quality of your prints is the paper. The same printer, the same image file and the same inks produce different results on different papers. Even if seven different glossy papers are used, you'll be surprised at the varied look each delivers.
A paper's whiteness, weight, thickness and surface all have an impact on the final look of the print. Although comparing specifications may provide an idea of the differences, nothing replaces the experience of actually making a print.
There is no best paper. If you don't want to worry about it, however, you can stick to the printer manufacturer's papers to achieve excellent results. This is paramount if archivability is a concern, as the official lightfastness of a print is based on the manufacturer's own papers. Check with the independent paper manufacturer for information on the compatibility of the paper with a new printer. For thorough lightfastness tests, visit Wilhelm Imaging Research (www.wilhelm-research.com), which provides its own independent evaluations.
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