Like millions of Americans, you've plunked down the cash for a digital camera and even read a page or two of the manual. You've snapped yourself silly and learned to display your images on the computer screen. And now comes the hard part: making prints.
Bungled ink-jet prints may look like prints from a disposable supermarket camera....Furthermore, the average ink-jet print is not archival quality....And unless you've stored the digital image on a hard drive or a disk, you'll have no negative to reprint.
But the biggest problem is simply time: Print a few images on the all-purpose ink-jet, and you'll instantly forget all those "instant photo" digicam advertising claims. With today's software, you can't just view the image and hit "print." First, you must size the image to match your paper, often making tradeoffs in image quality. Then you'll need to adjust the color, which can involve tricky decisions in its own right. Finally, most machines take at least a minute to print, during which you can only hope you've made the correct corrections!
If neither your existing ink-jet nor a dedicated printer sounds right, consider hiring out the printing—even if that sounds more like film-based rather than digital photography—either at a local camera shop or through the Internet.
At this point, it's clear that digital printing technology is way behind the digital camera. Sure, an ink-jet printer can cobble out pretty nice prints. But as you decide how to convert those ones and zeroes into a print that Grandma Josephine can pass around at a bridge game, remember to ponder whether, after the novelty wears thin, you want to spend the time needed to print a photo at home—and how long you want the photo to last.
Sorry, Craig, it appears David Tenenbaum's web page cited above has vanished without a trace. It's difficult to know in a case like this whether the author has purposely removed the page or whether the hosting organization pulled it. I may begin archiving content referenced on this site for this reason.
Thanks, Carson Wilson