Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo Finish

I finally, officially, completely, and totally finished the application package for nominating my house to the National Register of Historic Places. It is quite the involved process. Baring a natural disaster, I should get the thing in the mail tomorrow.

The last part, which I did today, was making the pictures for the application. Mainly these are pictures of the house and some of the finer architectural details. As I said in an earlier post, they want archival quality, B&W photos. Also, because I’m sending digital photos, they require the original color images to be sent on a CD as well.

I ended buying in an Epson Picture Mate Dash photo printer for this. It’s a pretty cool little device, and it utilizes a new printing technology to render long term, fade resistant photos. I tried to buy one at Staples, but they were continually out of stock for 6 weeks and running. I ended up ordering it on-line from Epson and it was the same price as the one at Staples. I did need to pay shipping, but I didn’t pay sales tax, so it sort of balanced out. It ran a little more than $100.

It looks sort of like a lunch pail or a 1940s era bake-a-lite purse. It doesn’t use ink cartridges, in the traditional sense. Instead, there is a single cartridge that slides in to a slot in the back. The cartridge looks kind of like a VCR tape, only about a quarter the size. Because it only prints 4X6 photos, you buy a Print Pack for it that comes with a print cartridge and photo paper. One Print Pack will print 150 photos and costs about $45 with tax. That works out to be 30 cents a photo.

While 30 cents a photo is not the cheapest price for photos, the quality is superb. I have an Epson Stylus Photo R200 as well, and the Picture Mate photos are much better. With the R200, the photos look fine, but when you look at them at an angle you can faintly see where the print head moved across the page. You don’t see that at all with the Picture Mate.

Epson claims the Picture Mate photos will last 200 years. I’m not really sure how they determined that, but its good enough for the people at the National Parks Service, so its good enough for me.

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