The pros and cons of digital photo storage

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You would be forgiven for thinking that printing photos in this day and age has become redundant. After all, it’s so easy to take photos on a smartphone and upload them online to share with your friends and family. So, why is it still important to have your digital photos professionally printed?

When it comes to relying on digital storage to catalogue everything for us – which it does very well – there are downsides to keeping our captured memories stored on chips and clouds.

Downsides to digital photo storage

Firstly, you could lose your digital files due to a failed hard drive, USB stick or smartphone, or you could misplace those items and lose access to everything. Relying on social media platforms to store your photos is also risky.

If the platform shuts down or your account gets deleted, you risk losing those memories forever. While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t going away anytime soon – keep in mind these things do happen.

And with the constant updates to software and operating systems, there may eventually come a time where our ordinary JPEGS, TIFs and PNGs files are no longer compatible with new platforms.

Again, it may seem unlikely today, but there have been numerous attempts in the past to replace these formats and could one day become a reality.

With all the downsides to digital storage, what can we do to preserve our treasured memories? Let’s take a look at how the printing industry has adapted to the needs of consumers today.

The printing industry today

The early 90s saw the birth of the digital printing age. Back then, the idea of connecting personal computers directly to scanners, fax machines, copiers and printers revolutionised the industry. Instead of relying on hard copies to reproduce an image, data from a file could be transferred to the machine and reproduced onto a blank canvas almost instantly.

This approach greatly reduced the cost of printing and time spent on preparation, while boosting production quantities in the process.

Today, despite the advancements in technology, many of the same key principles of digital printing have remained standard to this day.

Photo printing services

Having photos printed from a service provider like Officeworks, Kmart, Big W or Harvey Norman has never been easier. For a low cost, you can print any number of photos at a low cost. Unlike the old days, where people had to settle for a large print-run to justify the cost.

Another benefit of photo printing services is the quality. Officeworks print all their photos on Fujifilm Crystal Archive paper, which is extremely durable and can be printed in gloss or matte finishes. Also, most providers print at 300 dpi resolution or higher and accept JPEG, TIFF and PSD file formats. And with a printing service, you have plenty of options to personalise your photos.

You can customise your photos to be printed in a range of shapes and sizes, along with different colours, border patterns, banners and even templates.

Want to create a stunning decorative piece for the home? Have your digital photos printed onto a durable canvas. The technology of today lets you create a photo album that truly reflects your personality.

Online photo ordering

All the big players like Kmart, Big W, Harvey Norman and Officeworks have their own online ordering system. From the comfort of your computer, you can upload photos and customise them to your exact specifications.

Upload your photos in JPEG, PDF or TIFF, and customise your photos from the comfort of your computer. When your order is complete, request the photo to be delivered straight to your doorstep.

Some photo printing services even have their own downloadable app, which allow you to complete the entire order on your smartphone or other mobile device.

Printing at Home

These days, you can purchase a quality wireless inkjet printer from as little as $35 from many stores. But if you’re looking to invest in a professional photography printer, there are many affordable options on the market.

  • The Canon ImagePROGRAF prints state-of-the-art photos in sizes ranging from 17” to 60.” Meanwhile, the 12-colour LUCIA Ex Pigment Ink System offers full colour calibration to achieve a range of colours and shades. It also comes with a 250GB hard drive and prints at an astonishing 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution.
  • The HP Designjet Printer is another professional printer ideal for producing quality prints. With a 4GB hard disk, advanced colour/ICC profile management options, and over 80% Pantone coverage – you have the technology to select, specify, match and control the colour range to produce stunning lifelike photos.

The choice is yours

The instant gratification of the digital age is a wonderful thing. Sharing photos online with hundreds if not thousands of people at once is a satisfying experience. And it’s a trend that isn’t going away any time soon. But for those times when you want to reflect on those truly special moments, having your photos professionally printed offers its own sentimental value.

With so many service providers and ways to customise your personal prints – the benefits of having your own photo collection means you can preserve your favourite moments any way you like.

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