Digital Photos...Just Like the Darkroom Used to Make

You probably take pictures of the family, or your vacation, carry them around in that big envelope from the drug store and show them off. But what happens when you go digital? Today, you can get those digital photos looking very familiar, and as good as any photograph you ve ever taken.

In the old days, like last year, you pretty much had to print at home. But now you can pull the memory card right out of the camera, or the computer, take it to the camera store, and bring home the prints. Alex Gilmore owns Bay Camera Company on Habersham Street in Savannah. They can handle all the current computer storage formats, memory cards, CD's Zip discs, floppy discs, anything.

You can print your pictures at home, but Gilmore says you might not be happy in the long run. "Well, it's the image quality is going to be a little bit better because it's on silver halides paper for one. The inkjet printers, it's not been proven yet that they have the longevity the lasting of prints, you get them wet and the ink runs off, it's a little different. And you know the real value of a photograph, particularly a family picture, is not today, but 25 or 30 years from now, when you have it in a photo album. And that's the real value of the photographs."

Just like with old-fashioned film, they can fix the little things that can make a big difference. "Make that a little darker, add a little contrast to it, go to the next one, and so forth, we'd go through each individual image we do that with, before it's printed, let's make you a little darker.

But what about the cost, you ask? Gilmore says the digital gap is closing. "As the newer equipment comes out, the costs are meeting, where the digital costs now is pennies more than just getting a print from a negative. Plus you have the advantage of not getting the film processed, and not having to buy film. So the cost of processing is getting very close to what it would cost to get film processed."