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The Lesson from Costco's Photo Lab
Old 03-11-2019   #1
Dave Jenkins
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The Lesson from Costco's Photo Lab

There's a very interesting discussion at The Online Photographer about the best way to preserve the photographs that are important to us. The discussion was spurred by a post by photographer Missy Mwak titled "The Lesson from Costco's Photo Lab." https://theonlinephotographer.typepa...t-to-save.html
Her post is excellent, and the many comments about it on The Online Photographer are also excellent.

We could easily put our collections of family photos on thumb drives and send copies to everyone. But will they look at them? Years from now, will they even be able to view them? Prints are far more likely to be looked at, especially if they are placed in some kind of order with bits of relevant information.

After reading her post and all the comments, I have several questions:
1.) What is the longevity of digitally printed books such as those from Blurb.com, etc.?
2.) How does the longevity of a print from a lab compare with that of a print from my home inkjet printer?
3.) How do you make a negative from a digital file?

I've also been reading more of Missy's posts. That girl is a treasure!
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My newest book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia is available now wherever books are sold.
Georgia: A Backroads Portrait http://blur.by/1gg1SMt is awaiting publication.
My best-selling book (28,000+ copies) is Rock City Barns: A Passing Era.
My web site: davidbjenkins.com
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Old 03-11-2019   #2
Bill Clark
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Hi Dave,

You caused me to think about preservstion of memories with visuals. I believe fiber based black and white prints last a long time. However there are a few ingredients that will determine the result in a long or a short life of a print. Or a book. Or a digital file. The lifevwould be one number up here where it’s cold and relativity dry compared to a place like Florida.

1. Wouldn’t the longetivity of a book printed by a source such as blurb be dependent on several factors? Such as the quality of paper and inks to the binding and gluing materials used to how and where it is stored by the customer. The lab I used printed wedding albums I made on Kodak Endura paper that, after my review, I sent to Pictobooks. Would the digital files outlast the actual book?

2. I would think that a print made by a lab on a material like Kodak Endura paper would last a long time. Printing life from an inkjet printer would depend on paper and inks used and how it is viewed, how often and how it is stored. Again what the customers does with the finished print will affect the life of it.

3. Aren’t apps available to make a negative from a digital file. Why not use film in the first place? I guess a person could take a photograph using film of the digital file that has been made into a print.

Have you thought about how long you want a book or print to last? What is forever? The earth is only going to last a certain amount of time. It’s evolving. Then what happens?

Did this goofy post help?

Hope all is well with you.
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Old 03-11-2019   #3
richardHaw
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back in the day, when a visitor comes to the house we would show them the family album so they will know more about the family. that tradition is now long-gone. the last time i have heard this done was....17 years ago?!
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Old 03-11-2019   #4
charjohncarter
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My Costco uses Fuji Crystal Archive paper and they are laser exposed and wet developed, fixed and washed. I don't know about the longevity but I do print many, many photos (family) and then send to family members. I've done it for 14 years and they don't seem to fade. They can look at them or not, put in an album or a drawer, or whatever. I really don't care; it is up to them. I also make them so they know how they got them after I'm gone. Here is one recent one.

Kodak Gold 200 by John Carter, on Flickr

For the money I feel Costco, at least the Danville, CA Costco, does a great job.

EDIT: Below (willie 901) did not give me good news. I've used off site printing and it isn't the quality of the Danville Costco.
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Old 03-12-2019   #5
Dogman
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I'm a believer in printing. But I'm also realistic. We photographers work in a fragile medium. There's a multitude of ways we can lose all our photographs no matter how we try to preserve them.
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Old 03-12-2019   #6
willie_901
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Costco is closing Photo Centers in some Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California stores (link).
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Old 03-12-2019   #7
MIkhail
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I print books.
One for each of my two kids, once a year.
Sometimes I just add pictures in there by gluing them in.
That's the only way I know to deal with this.
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Old 03-12-2019   #8
Dave Jenkins
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Costco has closed their photo lab in my store (North Georgia suburbs of Chattanooga, TN). I can still submit files online and receive them by mail.
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Dave Jenkins

My newest book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia is available now wherever books are sold.
Georgia: A Backroads Portrait http://blur.by/1gg1SMt is awaiting publication.
My best-selling book (28,000+ copies) is Rock City Barns: A Passing Era.
My web site: davidbjenkins.com
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Old 03-12-2019   #9
Steve M.
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The company below has worked well for quick prints, both B&W and colour. You're not going to get an art quality print, but prices are low, and the product is certainly good enough to put on a wall if you so choose. I have no association with them at all, this is just how it went with me.

https://www.snapfish.com/home
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