I hope Santa was good to you. Perhaps you got a printer for Christmas? If so, check out these short videos from the good folks at Epson Printers. Doing your own printing is my third secret of better digital photography. If you care about the overall quality and colour of your prints then you’ll avoid the digital print machines found in so many retail and big box stores. Those machines are setup to print JPG images shot in a predictable and standard manner. Anytime you start to shoot images you really care about, the automatic printing machines will just ruin your efforts. With your own printer you can control how your final print comes out.
If you haven’t purchased a printer yet, keep an eye out for sales on printers that will print at least an 11″X17″ print. These larger prints will make your images look better. They will also give you more room to leave big white margins around the image itself. This looks so cool and you can’t do it as well with a printer that will only do an 8″X10″ print.
As for recommendations: the Epson 1900 or better still the 2880. Canon’s 9500 printer is wonderful. Personally I’ve got an Epson 3800 which will do a 16″X20″ print. You might find the 3800 discounted as Epson has a new 3880 printer which is cool but not worth the price difference if you can find a 3800 at around $1000 or so. The 3880 is likely selling at around $1500.