Printing Large

Grinning, I said, “I’m looking for a long-term relationship….”

My husband raised an eyebrow. “Oh?” with that upward inflection on the “h” that said, “This better be good.”

“…with a printer.” I finished. Used to my love of photography, he chuckled.

In the days of fixer I printed my images in the darkroom. When I had no access to a darkroom I found a local printer whose work I appreciated. When I moved to digital printing I chose to print small and only used photo paper. However, when the bug bites you to go big or print on unusual surfaces, you need special equipment.

Over the last year of printing large(r) than I can do at home and on different surfaces, I’ve explored the services of 3 printers and have been very happy with all 3. Not to worry. No freebies given or taken for my evaluation.

I used Bumblejax in Seattle, WA first. I selected 3 different iPhone4 images and had them printed 18″ x 18″ on aluminum. They arrived shipped in sturdy boxes with lining paper covering each image.  They hung easily and float away from the wall above my studio desk. The user interface on the website is very easy. Bumblejax prints on a variety of surfaces from bamboo, acrylic, raw aluminum, gaterboard and dibond.

Next, I tried Hipstamatic Print Lab for a print of an iPhone4 image. I took the image with Hipstamatic using TinType film and the Salvador84 Lens but the site is app agnostic allowing you to upload any file. I had the image printed the largest the Print Lab offers which is 30″ x 30″. It arrived shipped in a tube and hangs over my desk to remind me to dream BIG. It’s easy to order most print sizes from your phone but large ones need a visit to the website. They also print on a variety of surfaces including canvas, metal, wood panel and an intriguing scroll.

Lastly, I worked with PushDot Studio in Portland, OR to print an iPhone5 image of a magnolia blossom 12″ x 12″ on art paper. This was an in-person consultation and well worth it as I discovered that using the app called Big Photo to increase the number of pixels did not result in the ability to increase the print size.

I would gladly use all 3 printing services again. Who’s your favorite printer or printing service?

6 thoughts on “Printing Large

    1. Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson Post author

      Hi K.C., thanks for adding Image Wizards to the list. Bonnie’s techniques of printing on DASS Transfer Film look very intriguing. I’ll have to learn more. The books on the website look like they would be a good place to start and even better there’s a free chapter for one of them. Have you tried any of Bonnie’s techniques? Have a great one!

  1. Virginia Garcia

    Thanks Jennifer for the connection to printers. I couldnt agree more with the concept of a long term relationship. A few that I use that a local are
    John Sheridan in Oakland, Photo Works in San Francisco and Blow Up Lab also in San Francisco. Great attention to detail and will work with you on color correction and show proofs before going for the final print. Highly recommended. Photo Works and Blow Up lab do printing using all the methods mentioned iin your blog.

    1. Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson Post author

      Hi Virginia, thanks for adding some new and local options to the list. Like you, I’ve enjoyed the results most when I could have that conversation with the printer directly and in person. Thanks again!

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