Why printed pictures look better

I personally like printed pictures much better than when they are presented on a screen. Unfortunately, I rarely print a photo book. Only for special occasions like when my grandfather turned 75. I gave him a photo book presenting a selection of the photos I took at his birthday. Another time was when my girlfriend and I went on our first vacation trip together 4,5 years ago. Last week, a German company (Saal Digital) that is profiling herself in The Netherlands, gave selected group of photographers a free photo book, in exchange for a review. The review can be found at the bottom of this blog. In this blog I discuss why printing pictures is way better than viewing them on a screen!

Photo book

I chose to add some text, to interact with the viewer.

For me printed photo books are great for multiple reasons. First, every display, whether it is on your phone, your laptop, or television, shows colours and contrast differently. This is because the monitors are calibrated differently, but also because not every display is able to show the same amount of colours. If you print the pictures, every spectator you’ll show the book, will see the same colours.

Photo book

Double page (two A4 papers, landscape oriented) prints look amazing! Double the size of my laptop’s screen!

However, probably the biggest difference between printed pictures and the ones shown on your screen is the physical aspect. Having something non-digital to watch, or even to hold in your hands add so much to the dynamics of a picture and thus to experience of viewing the photo. Besides, your screen is a light source, which is exhausting to the eyes. Viewing some photos on paper, is relaxing.

Photo book

Grab a coffee and your glasses and take a tour trough The Netherlands on paper. Made possible by Saal Digital. 

Another great aspect of a printed portfolio, is that you can not show it on-line. I can hear you think, how is that an advantage? Well, your audience is much smaller, so the product is more exclusive. But how about you being able to present your work personally? The feedback you’ll get is much more intense. Compliments or remarks aren’t done in writings, but personally, with expressions and emotions and what not.

Photo book

Black and white pictures look even better when printed!

The times I printed my work, I enjoyed it a lot. Makes me wonder: How about a large print on the wall? Have you ever printed your work? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo book

Get your eyes closer to a book feels better than to get closer to a screen the view the details.

Thanks for reading and kind regards,

Tieme

Saal Digital gave me a free photo book in exchange for a review. It was Easter by the time I ordered my book, so delivery took a week (it had to be shipped from Germany to The Netherlands during holidays). Creating my book in the Saal Design Software was easy. There are multiple templates to select from for many purposes (like for a professional portfolio, baby photos, or celebrating an anniversary). In my opinion the only downsides of the software are the limited set of fonts for text (I would have liked categorised fonts) and the ability to move a picture within preselected location on the page (I figured out double clicking it did the trick, this should have been easier).

The software offers the ability to save your project, so you can work on it for multiple days without loosing your work. After designing your book, the order process starts. You can select multiple options, like matte or glass paper and a (non) padded cover.

The quality of the prints are fine! Nice vivid colours and good sharpness. The pictures are printed just as I hoped they would. All in all a fine product. Whether or not the price is competing, is up to you.

Photo book

I think I am going to print more!

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Hello Tieme,
    I totally agree with you that holding a picture (book) in your hands is a much nicer experience. Although my pictures appear “picture perfect” on my laptop and I like looking at my homemade screensaver, having a picture book on the coffee table for browsing is a really nice idea.
    Last month I printed some of my favourite pics in polaroid format, just for fun, and stuck them in a small photo album. My initial intention was to have them printed as a book, but even the top rated online services didn’t convince me. Some didn’t have the book format I wanted, others didn’t have the right colour or the right paper… Maybe I’m just too picky, but when I send my pictures into cyberspace I want them to come back in a way that’s perfect for me 🙂
    I’ve also considered having bigger prints on the wall but again, I’m too picky and can’t decide a) which pics and b) frame them or print on canvas… So far I’ve only put a small selection of 12 x 12 pics in frames, they can be exchanged for other/newer pics, which is important to me – once you’ve got a large print on the wall you might not want to exchange it for a new one.
    Your post got me thinking, though, that maybe I should be more decisive and just have a photo book printed – perfect or not 🙂
    Have a good & best regards,
    Kiki

    • Reply

      Hey Kiki!

      Sorry for the fairly late reply, and as always, thank you for stopping by! I am glad that you can relate to this. Honestly, I haven’t printed a lot of my work. Maybe I thought it wasn’t worth it. I have printed pictures taken on vacation, but show casing my portfolio is something completely different!

      It was a bit scary at first, but I have to admit, it’s pretty cool once done. I might print something bigger in the future, but not sure which photo deserves a big print!

      Oh wow, sorry for being blunt (it is my duty as a Dutchy to be rude sometimes), that is picky! Even not the right paper! But you are so right. The right paper and having the colours correct are very important! And indeed, what about framing? A frame, no frame, one piece, or divide one photo into three separate frames? Difficult questions, but I think you’ll be happy with the results.

      How about being totally bold, and ask your local coffee shop, pastry, or even retirement home if they are willing to print your photos and hang them.. I mean, they are worth being exposed!!

      Again, thank you for stopping by! Hope spring has started in Germany too!

      Warm regards,
      Tieme

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