Exercise 5.2: Print quotes


1. Search the internet for different companies offering inkjet and C-type printing. Compile three quotes for getting your work professionally printed, with a variety of different options.

2. Prepare one image file exactly as specified by the printers. 

3. Write a brief entry reflecting on whether or not you feel that an inkjet can be treated as a 'photograph'. 

1. For this exercise I decided to use The Print Space, Loxley Colour, and White Wall. I chose a print size of 20" x 24", because if I wanted to print photographs it would probably be to mount on a wall, so they would need to be fairly large. 

On the rare occasion that I print any photos, it is usually at Asda at one of their booths. This is usually because of its convenience rather than print quality. However, this exercise has enabled me to make the time to explore other possible print providers. The Internet has caught up to digital photography, offering an easy upload solution to printing from a memory card. 

Whilst I was looking through the various websites, I was surprised by how many different printing options that there are, and how many different surfaces a photographer's images can be printed on to!

The table above shows the prices for printing a 20" x 24" image. On comparison, there is quite a big difference in the C-type print (from £11.40 - £18.70), whereas the Giclee prints are very similar. Although Loxley Colour are the cheapest of the 3 for C-Type prints, I have used them before, and the quality was very good. This raises the question: Is there a noticeable difference in quality for a more expensive print, or is the human eye unable to distinguish between the difference?

2. Since I have already used Loxley Colour before, I decided to use my account to mock-up an image to print from my Transitions assignment (below). Despite deciding to create a photo book for the assignment, the process will enable me to put more thought into the type of paper etc that I will choose when publishing the book.

3. Can an inkjet be treated as a photograph? 

Whereas a C-Type image has been written by light, it could be argued that an ink jet image is being created by a printer. The absence of light in its creation would therefore mean that it could not be called a 'photograph'. However, nowadays many photographs rarely make it to existing on paper. Instead, they exist as bits and bytes, on memory cards and hard drives. Social networks circulate and regurgitate images between countless numbers of users. May be that is where the distinction lies. An 'image' exists on a screen, a photograph exists on paper. 

Overall, images tend to be firstly associated to the photographer who took them, rather than their title. The fact that an image has been constructed by the photographer, who has made distinct choices in order to capture a particular scene. If a photograph is able to exist on a roll of film or memory card, then it must also be acceptable for it to be printed on to paper as an ink jet.