Printing Your Photos

So we make these trips to Walt Disney World.  We bring all of our lenses.  We fill up countless memory cards.  We drag our tripods all over the place.  We stay way past closing to get shots of the park with no other guests in them.  But what do we do with our photos?  Do they just sit on hard drives probably never to be looked at again?  Our hard work deserves a little appreciation and printing them is a great way to do it.  As I look up from my computer, I have over twenty prints hanging in my office.  Nearly all of them are mine – I do have one of Cory’s photos hanging on my wall.  They’re great conversation starters.  But more importantly, when I’m having a hard day at work or something I’m doing isn’t going right I can look up and take a moment to remember something fun.

I used to dabble in printing the photos myself and actually quite enjoyed it.  But the printer I had couldn’t print edge to edge so I was constantly trimming the images after I was done or leaving the white border in tact.  A number of times I accidentally moved the print before the ink was totally dry and printing myself turned out to be a bit of a hit or miss option for me.  That was all before I discovered Adorama Pix though, and I don’t think I’ll go back to printing images on my own ever again.  They’ve been my go-to source for photo prints for the last three years now and I’ve always been happy with the results.  Their work is outstanding and as luck would have it they are having a sale on prints right now.  The sale ends Monday so get cracking over the weekend!!!  $5.99 for a 16×20, $1.99 for an 11×14 and only $0.99 for an 8×10.  They also throw in free shipping if your order is above $39.

Once you have your photos uploaded to Adorama there are several options you have to go through in order to place your order.  One of the first things you have to decide on is what kind of paper you would like them to use.  Adorama offers their prints on a variety of paper and they do a good job of describing the finishes but I wanted to see how my images looked on each of them.  At $0.99 for an 8×10 it was an easy decision and ordered three images on each of the paper choices.  In fact, when I order prints I usually wait for a sale like this and then order them on multiple paper styles just to see what works out best.

  • LUSTER: Adorama calls Luster their most popular paper and it is easy to see why.  The glossy finish has a bit of a sheen to it and colors just pop off the page.  To my eye, Luster is between Matte and Glossy in terms of just how glossy the image is.  Most of the prints that I have are on Luster paper as I like the slight sheen that the paper has and the texture on the paper is very fine.  Besides the 8x10s I ordered, I got each of the three photos as 16×20 prints and are already hanging on the wall.  Luster just makes your photos pop, especially if you have a lot of color.
  • GLOSSY: Glossy is a step up from Luster in terms of how glossy the finish is.  I tend to like he Luster variant better, especially in the lighting conditions of my office.  The high gloss just picks up too much of a glare for my liking.
  • METALLIC:  Metallic costs a bit more than all the others ($1.50 for 8×10 instead of the $0.99 sale price) but the cost is definitely worth it.  I love the way prints turn out on the Metallic paper.  There is an even more pronounced sheen to the paper than the Luster I mentioned above.  The colors pop right off the page and there is a certain depth to it.  I have a Black & White HDR image hanging in my office that just looks gorgeous on the Metallic paper.
  • SILK : Silk is one of their newer finishes.  The paper has an almost vintage feel to it as there is a linen like texture to it.  You can see the grain of the paper in the image which is really nice.  This is definitely more of a matte finish.  Adorama recommends it for wedding and portrait pictures, but I really like the way this image turned out with it.  The streaks of the fireworks almost pick up a slight lenticular effect to it which is pretty neat.  I can imagine that this paper would look great for a black and white photo too.
  • MATTE: There is almost no shine at all on the Matte finish papers.  Colors are true but it makes the image look just a bit flatter than I like.  I definitely wouldn’t order a fireworks shot on the Matte paper, but I have a picture of an elephant playing in the water in Animal Kingdom that just looks great on Matte.  This is another paper that Adorama recommends for portrait work for how well it handles skin tones.  I think I’ll grab a couple of character shots and try them on Matte next time I place an order.
  • DEEP MATTE: This is only available on 16×20 prints and I didn’t order anything on the Deep Matte.  So I can’t comment on how this paper would look.

When you are editing your photos remember that you are looking at the image on a nice, back lit screen.  Your photos won’t have the benefit of that back light – unless you are mounting them in a light box.  So push the images a little bit more than you are comfortable with as your prints will naturally turn out darker.







One of the options when placing your order refers to color corrections.  By default, the Apply Image Corrections radio button is clicked on.  As I was ordering this round of images, I messed up and forgot to click the No Thanks option.  Did it ruin the images?  No.  It didn’t.  When I look at what I sent them and what I got back two of the images are spot on to what I sent them.  In regards to my red Wishes photo though, I know I pushed the highlights because I liked the red glow that the people took on in the crowd.  When Adorama color corrected it, they backed the highlights down and the fireworks look better but it lost the crowd.  Again, this isn’t on Adorama, this is on me.  I messed up and forgot to click the radio button that I had already color corrected it.  No worries though.  I already have another order placed to correct it.


So do you print your photos?  And if you do where do you hang them?  We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

This image was shot with my Canon 60D and the kit 18-135 lens at f/8 and I was using my MeFoto RoadTrip tripod (which I reviewed on the site here).  Please consider following the Amazon link as it helps support the site.

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Laura B.

about 1 year ago Reply

I'm a huge fan of the printed photo, and still print a large majority of my shots for use at home and at my office. I managed a photo lab for years, and just love seeing that finished product. I have access to a privatr lab with a silver halide printer, and despite reading about how inkjet colors are truer, I've found that I get the truest colors when I print myself, on that printer. I know what sheen and what brand of paper will give me the best result based on each individual photo. Kodak's lustre and Fuji's metallic are my favorites. I admit it, I'm a photo printer snob. It was much easier before I knew how to run my own machine!! On the positive side, I no longer use Walmart!


about 1 year ago Reply

That sounds like a nice setup to have LauraB! I tried printing at the local Walgreens once. Fine for 4x6 when you are in a pinch, but I'll trust a pro lab for all the important stuff.


about 1 year ago Reply

By the way LauraB, thanks for finding us again now that the blog is back. We are trying to settle into posting 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


about 1 year ago Reply

I'm glad to see someone posting about printing. It is great to develop a photo on screen but there is nothing like looking at a full sized print. I use my local Costco, which not only has great prices but also icc profiles for a color managed workflow. I make 4x6 test prints, then make any corrections I need, and then order 12x18 prints for my office. I've got a easel setup on my desk and rotate through prints on a daily basis. Its a great conversation starter and keeps me motivated to take great shots. I'm glad to see you back up and running. If you need any good ideas or even guests posts let me know i'd love do a bit of a brain dump.


about 1 year ago Reply

Thanks Mark for the comment, we're going to try and settle into 3 posts a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and we have a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon. Constantly rotating your pictures in and out sounds like a fun concept. Feel free to post a link to your flickr profile so we can all see your work. Happy printing!

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