I have come to terms with printing my digital photos. Where I used to lock myself into a dim room and slop buckets of acidic bleach around in a tank, I now sit in a dim room and poke away at a computer keyboard. The atmosphere is better and there is no clean-up at the end of the evening.
The price is better too - colour chemistry wasn't cheap and paper could be of variable quality. Agfa in their last year of production had coating-line disasters that we only saw when we tried to process the stuff -and sometimes the disaster continued for an entire box of paper.
Well, the new inkjets make this a thing of the past. If you have a monitor that is anywhere near calibrated...and normal inkjet paper...and a simple program like Photoshop Elements, your printing process can be as simple as opening the image file, press 'control' and 'P' and then press 'enter' two more times. Out scoots a postcard print in 30 seconds and you are done.
This is an extreme example of simplicity, based upon the Epson printer managing the colours of an sRGB file, but it does act as a beacon for those mired in the complexities of colour management and conflicting internet computer advice. My Epson R3000 has been superseded in their range by their Surecolor SC-P600
...and I think that they have chosen s silly sort of naming structure for this that will be hard for people to remember...but the simple set-up and operation will certainly continue.
The ink management for the new Epson will be a little more straightforward than with my R-3000. Mine asks me for multiple permissions before it will change from gloss to matte black inks or vice versa - the new Surecolor will assess the situation and change automatically when needed. Not a big thing, but nice to have.
Anyone who has prints made regularly by commercial houses will benefit from looking into the Epson printers. The example of the single postcard print is extreme - most times we print either a run of postcards or a variety of enlargements. The postcard prices from big department store processing can be low but in some cases I suspect that is commensurate with the quality that is turned out. When you print for yourself, you can print it just the way you want it.
Heading picture: Chelsea Bunz and a real rabbit.