Photo Printing

Recently the folks at Momversation asked me if I’d try a Canon PIXMA MG6120. Since I really enjoy my existing all in one, I figured I’d give the photo printer a try as well. Here’s the thing…

I am not a photographer.

I don’t even play a photographer on the internet. My photos suck. They are consistent and they are absolutely sucktastic. If you don’t believe me, check out my Flickr stream, add me as a contact, and we can hope and pray together that at this time next year I’ll have non-sucky pictures.

In the interim I take some pretty snazzy videos. You see last year I bought Mr. G a Canon 7D EOS for his birthday with a pretty snazzy lens too. He is in charge of all photography, but I love to play with it and take a little video. Which is awesome for sharing with family, but not so awesome for hanging things on the walls.

What surprised and delighted me about the Canon PIXMA MG6120 printer was that I could take my HD videos (you can use an EOS or a PowerShot), scroll through them, freeze on a frame that I liked and print just that frame. I absolutely love this for a zillion reasons (I’m pretty sure you can think of why). I am not someone who is accustomed to being in front of a still camera. I blink when the flash hits, I go to smile, but not too big or your eyes disappear, and guess what… all the warmth disappears. I look annoyed. Which is how I then feel looking at the pictures. Video is different. I like video, I love having video of events and of special moments in our lives. I can pick a dozen great pictures out of every video.

And now I can print them at home.

Here’s what you need to know about photo printing at home (this is literally my first ever experience with it). Things look a little yellower in print than on the computer screen. So all the times that I was taking my pictures and correcting the white balance to “warm them up” a little might look nice on the screen, but it does NOT look nice printed up.

Yes, I realize that you probably knew that. I did not.

My kids had a great time playing with the printer. They printed a stack of stills from some movies they’d made with friends. The set up is simple, really my nine year old hooked his laptop up without asking for help.

The printer itself is ridiculously easy to use. Canon calls it Intelligent Touch. I call it pretty. I won’t be printing photos every day, so I can fold everything shut like this and it is easy to dust. Unless you are running a photo studio out of your house, a photo printer needs to be easy to close up and to dust.

A special thanks to Vickie for creating this fabulous ornament. I love that the picture is in black and white and it looks like a negative. It reminds me of high school photo class, and how I’d stare at negatives and wonder what they’d end up looking like. I’m pretty sure everyone knows that if I was left to my own I’d create something perfect for Craftastrophe.

I have a little advice for first time photo printers (yes, it’s ridiculous that this is my first time). Buy some cheap paper and print some small pictures. It takes a little tinkering to get a good sense of what a 5×7 really looks like, or how those blurry edges look on paper. If you’re like me and you’ve been outsourcing all of your paper printing, set aside an hour to just play with it before you pop in the good paper (which can cost about a dollar a sheet).

One of the really cool things about Canon printers is that when they’re running low on ink you’ll get a little pop up on your screen letting you know which color you need to buy, and it links you right over to the right place to purchase it online. Respecting my time will make me love you forever.

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  1. My photos are pretty “sucktastic” too… I take them on my Blackberry. My children are going to look back and be like “why are our childhood photos so blurry in the age of HD?” I’ve convinced myself that if I had a real camera… I’d take awesome pictures worthy of printing. Until then… I’ll continue to save photos on my Blackberry and edit them the best I can on Picnik before adding them to the scrapbook. Ha!

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  3. I have tried a number of at-home photo printers. …I just don’t like the way the ink looks ON the paper. It’s like..A scratch off ticket! It’s not slick & glossy like when I pick them up from the drug store. I also notice that my home printed photos start to yellow fairly quickly after they’ve been printed…I mean, I have photos from the day I was BORN that are okay…but photos from my daughter’s birth that are already yellow.

    B/c I am a scrapbooker I tend to go for the store printed ones instead (although I have had a photog friend say, “OHGROSSNEVERUSEWALGREENS!”) Well…unless you have another option – outside of spending thousands on the machine YOU USE, please don’t knock my Walgreens pictures! So far…in about a decade of taking photos of my own, none of them have yellowed or had the ink flake off! I’ve only been digital about 7 years…but I have been using snapfish for a long time for those. I upload, then print them locally. I can get them a teeny bit cheaper if snapfish prints them…but again, they don’t seem to be the same as the ones at the drugstore.

    I’m curious how you think the photos look/compare to professional photos & things you’ve printed in other locations. :)

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