In this guest article from Metro Print, you will learn about ten important aspects of a photography print lab. Metro Print is a leading photographic print lab in the UK.
Whether you want to showcase your work in a gallery setting, or need to print out professional quality portraits and landscapes, you’ll need to find the right print lab to help you. There are a few features to look for when you are comparing photography print labs, and the best will include the following aspects to consider.
- Traditional Film Development – A photography print lab’s primary purpose is to develop film, whether you have digital files or old-fashioned negatives. They can use a chemical wash and development process to bring out the best in your images.
- Digital Printing Equipment – Traditional development is combined with the height of technology in the form of today’s digital printers. Digital printers provide the sharpest output and crisp colors that stay true to the original image.
- Different Types of Prints – Print options give professional quality finishes to even amateur photos. There are a few options to choose from. Giclee prints provide a high-resolution, intensely detailed finish, while C-Type prints are the most popular options for color photographs.
- Image Size Manipulation – From wallet size to large prints, a professional photography lab can take your initial file and manipulate it into the size you want, without sacrificing quality. Large scale prints may need extra care and retouching, so that you don’t lose your initial color, tone, and contrast as the image grows larger.
- Presentation Options – Some print labs will go a step further than printing on high-grade paper, and will allow you to customize your final print by printing it on canvas or using gallery mounts. These make prints ready for gallery exhibitions or to display as artwork in your home.
- Photographic Retouching and Manipulation – If you have old photographs that need to be restored, or images that need to be cleaned up due to factors like the infamous “red-eye,” you can send these to a professional lab. This is especially useful if you’re not super comfortable with Photoshop.
- Photographic Scanning – Using scanners at home can leave your image looking blurry, but a professional print lab will have state-of-the-art equipment such as Drum or Durst Sigma scans for a high-resolution finish. This helps you avoid color breaks or gradient banding that is such a problem with at-home scanning jobs.
- Commercial Printing – If you need your image used for a banner or other large-scale commercial print, vinyl printing services are often available for a slick and professional finish. These use the same types of printers, but different plastic materials as the medium.
- Fast Turnaround Time – It’s expected in today’s fast-paced world that you should have access to your professional prints in a matter of days.
- Online Services – You should be able to upload your digital files online and select the printing services that will best suit your needs. The finished product can then be delivered directly to your home or studio.
Metroprint is one of the UK’s leading photography printers, offering Giclee printing, C-Type prints and large scale printing amongst other cutting edge services.