Petr Stehlík

Step Up the Photography with Prints

Over a year or so of my photography life, I have collected around 6 000 pictures. Some of them good, some of them really bad but a couple of them stand out compared to others. I really like them, I can watch them every day and I still like them, I even made some of them my desktop and phone wallpapers.

I decided a few months ago to have two of them printed. The reason why was really easy, I didn’t know what give my sister as a gift for her birthday so I sat her down in front of my photo library, brought out the best pics according to my choosing and let her choose one. She couldn’t decide between two of them so as an act of kindness I had both of them printed for her. What a good brother I am, right?

You can see the pics below but now imagine them in large print, they are completely astonishing!

Afterwards, I decided to have one more picture printed just for me but in a bit unusual format. I managed to snap a couple of pictures during my vacation on the Canary Islands where one of them is on top of the old collapsed caldera with clouds hanging low. Even as a panorama (precisely 4 pictures stitched together). This one I decided to have printed on a meter long canvas (and around 35 cm high). And the result was awesome as well.

Below this point I review a printing house service for which I was given a promo. I am just mentioning it so you know the context.

One day I was given a really nice promo from Saal Digital to have a canvas printed and with my excitement from the previous prints I knew right away I want another one. The hard part now was to choose which one.

Recently I was on a business trip to Barcelona and I was lucky enough to be there for their village festival in Gracia. Basically, people decorate the shit out of their streets so you can be sure I took my camera as well to see it. The photo I chose for the print is quite abstract and non-definitive as the perspective of the photo is really unusual. It is one of the ceilings of the decorated street taken 10 cm from the ground just pointing out and hoping for sheer luck to get a good pic which I did!

Now to the business of actually printing it. Before that, I just send the JPEG in maximum quality to a print house and hoped for the best. With Saal, you have to rely on your skills of photo editing as all is up to you. Once done and order I waited about 10 days to have it delivered.

The shipping was really quick taking into account the time to have it printed. The packaging was of good quality, sturdy and firm. I feared a bit to have it delivered from Germany to Brno as it might have been damaged but nothing fortunately happened.

The overall quality is really good, the contrast nor colour weren’t altered compared to the digital original. When I took it out from the packaging the canvas was still a bit sticky meaning you rushed the drying process a bit and shipped it a day sooner then you should have.

Afterwards, I had to finish the assembly process by inserting little pieces of wood into the corner to stabilize the wooden frame. Nice touch for protecting the frame! Now I was looking for the last piece of the puzzle. The little hook for hanging my canvas. I couldn’t find it. Not sure if it is by mistake or not but if you are not including it by default, you should. It is 50 cents thing, don’t be that cheap if you order 50 euro canvas.

The software is not that good, on the first I opened it crashed when I was saving the photo. That wasn’t a good sign. I tried the web builder as well but it lacks quite a lot of features compared to the desktop app. Also, the desktop app is made in Adobe Air, that is 3 years old technology, try to step up the game and use for example Electron framework for building it. Or even better–native app. In the app itself, I lacked the edge mirroring option or at least I couldn’t find it. I liked the quality indicator but I am not sure if 18 Mpx photo is just “fine” quality for the 75×50 cm canvas. In my experience, it is more than enough. When I was happy with the setup I went for the ordering process which was good. The one thing I missed was different types of canvases in terms of quality and price. I know that automation leads the world but maybe an option to submit a photo and have a professional to set it up for printing would be definitely welcomed. Otherwise, the process and mainly the canvas quality is great.

I always love to see my photos become real and experience them in large without any light from a display. It is also a great gift for your relatives. You give them something quite personal, something you actually created. Yes, as the author of the image you have the memories of how and when you took it. But when given, it will always remind them of the giver.

Let me know what you think about a post like this. Tweet me or leave comment. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *