Photo Printing

So, one of my pandemic impulse purchases, at least a year ago, was a photo printer (Epson Stylus Photo R2000). I sometimes sell prints of my food and flower photos, and I often print up promotional postcards for various things, so I thought it might be more cost-effective to be able to print at home, and give me more control over the process too. I’m a little bit of a control freak, you may or may not know.

Of course, then I was full of pandemic depression and couldn’t cope with anything, so when it arrived, I stuck it in the basement and ignored it for a year. But this week I finally cleared up the basement desk enough to access it again, and Jed kindly downloaded the printer drivers and tested it, and fixed it when it didn’t print correctly the first time, and so now we have a working photo printer (and incidentally, color for school projects and such). Exciting.

I tested a couple different papers the last few days — printer paper, matte photo paper, two kinds of glossy paper. I usually prefer matte photos to glossy when I’m doing family photos for framing, but the matte paper isn’t a good choice for food and flower photos, I think — I looked into it more, and it’s more recommended for things like black and white prints, where it can let the texture and gradations of light really show through, or for moody photos.

The two glossy photo papers I tried both worked fine and look pretty identical, but one is more expensive. I think if I were doing high-end photography, I’d go with the more expensive one (HP Premium Plus Photo Paper Soft Gloss), which is printed on a stiffer paper, but for what I’m likely to use it for, I think the other is fine (Canon GP-701 LTR 100SH GP-701 LTR Photo Paper Glossy). The second photo shows matte on the left, Canon glossy on the right.)

I definitely still have to figure out some settings things, because my photos print fine on 8.5×11 sheets, but when I tried to print a 5×7 (good for recipe cards), it completely failed to scale, even though as far as I can tell, I have it set to scale in the printer settings. I’m not sure if there’s somewhere else where I’m supposed to tell it that I’m using 5×7 paper — I can’t figure out where yet. Maybe Jed can advise me.

But still, progress. Exciting. At some point, I’ll have to engage in the monstrous task of going through ALL my flower photos and figuring out which are the best ones, both for printing, and for inclusion in a gardening book I’m hoping to write in the next few years. You can expect that I’ll be posting lots of photo galleries at that point, and asking people to vote for their favorites.

How can I pick just one photo of a rose when there are so many beautiful ones? I cannot. You’re going to have to do it for me. 🙂

I’m not using high-end archival quality paper & inks; I’m not expecting anyone to pay a lot for these prints. My photography has improved a lot over the years, but I’m still far from what a professional photographer can do. I think I usually sell them for $10 each. I’d like to keep them affordable — something to brighten up someone’s kitchen would be nice.

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