Printing your Photos in a Digital Age


By now, we have all heard how the Indiegogo project called Enfojer failed on lift off and couldn't get the funding needed to go commercial. That's really sad but then again, who needs to print photos? There is always the colorlab option if you need a few quick ones.

Digital sharing has negated the need for anyone to share photos physically. Instagram's new Direct Sharing method is probably a good example of how you can send private photos to people. As long as they have an Android or iOS device, they will receive your photos, however explicit they maybe, for your eyes only.

Dark Room Revisited

I have played around in dark rooms, and it's pretty fun. It takes hours to come out with the prints you want and that's the need to spend time on this particular hobby to be any good at it. The dodging and burning is a method to expose parts of an image and you only have the light on the Enlarger to guide you. It is fun but never easy. For this you could use your hands to dodge and burn or some other home made tools. Part of the fun is the hours you spend on it. It is clearly not a simple process and it takes plenty of time.

De Vere is a name well known in the analogue dark room enlarger market and they have a similar product to Enfojer if you care to check them out. They make digital enlargers, where photos are projected to photo sensitive paper. The 504DS model is fully digital.

The complete solution:
  • 17 Megapixel LCD Panel
  • Precision Enlarger Column
  • Front of Baseboard Controls
  • Power Suppy
  • 50mm Rodenstock Lens
  • PC System with DS Software
Choice of two light sources:
  • DigiLite Tungsten
  • LED Technology
This means you can output any digital file from your computer to the enlarger for printing. Unlike Enfojer's complete solution, you need to go out to buy your own paper and chemicals for the wash and bath. Not easy to find if you live in a small city.

Frankly, if you asked me personally about the cost of printing on film and on a digital printer, well, the cost are about the same.

First, we are restricted by certain sizes with a digital printer. If you have an A3 printer, well, it's cool but you probably need to spend a small fortune on ink—which I dare say, is never cheap.

Then you have the De Vere Enlarger, which prints to film paper—not cheap either if you take into account the chemicals you need to do this. Photographic paper can last up to 70 years when kept well, while photo printer papers claim to have the exact life expectancy, I can't really vouch for such claims.

Photo sensitive paper have expiry dates and so does the chemicals. Whereas photo print paper for the bubble jet paper has no expiry date and at worst, the ink would dry up anyway once you open them up for use.

My advice is simple. Do what makes you happiest. If you are happy playing around in the darkroom, spending countless hours dodging and burning your pictures, then go for it. But if you are the sort who don't want to spend a lot of time indoors and prefer to go out to shoot more, then by all means go indulge yourself.

There is simply no right or wrong way to print your photos so remember to have fun while you're at it.


There are some people who spend hours upon hours shooting pictures. Others spend hours and hours behind a computer enhancing and editing photos. Regardless of what you enjoy doing most, a digital darkroom is probably one of the best options if you are in the market of printing your own photos on photo quality paper. The De Vere Enlarger is probably a good investment for those who are artisans, creating one of a kind prints using photographic paper.