Several years ago I framed 8 x 10 prints of vacation photos and hung them in a hallway and family room of my home.
Gradually, those photos were replaced by photos or family or ones taken by a local professional photographer.
I was intrigued by “wall sized” photos that custom photo labs near my home could make from my photos, but wasn’t sure if I had any of high enough resolution to produce quality, large prints that would look good enough as “wall art” to justify the price I’d have to pay to have the prints made and framed.
Now I’ve found a way to turn my home into an “Ansel Adams” style art gallery at a relatively low cost.
Flickr, long popular as a way to showcase your photos online, has just announced a new service called “Flickr Wall Art” that can turn photos you’ve uploaded to your Photostream into prints as large as 20″x30.”
Two styles of prints are offered.
“Premium Photo Mounts” (or just “Photo Mounts”) are printed on “archival photo paper with lustre finish” and mounted on “1″ durable black mounting board finished with wood-textured edges.” They come in these sizes (all measured in inches)/prices: 8×10 ($59), 11×14 ($79), 12×12 ($79), 16×20 ($109) and 20×30 ($179). You can hang them on a wall, but the 8×10 and 11×14 sizes come with a stand that lets you display them on a table, desk or fireplace mantle.
“Gallery Canvas Wraps” (aka “Canvas Wraps”) come in these sizes (all measured in inches)/prices: 8×10 ($49), 11×14 ($64), 12×12 ($64), 16×20 ($99), 20×24 ($119) and 20×30 ($149) and the image wraps over the edge of the canvas.
These “wraps” are like a traditional artist’s canvas with 1.25-inch stretcher bars and come with hardware for hanging them on the wall.
First you decide which type of print that you want, then select a photo from either your overall Photostream or Flickr album to use for the print.
If a white triangle with an exclamation point appears on a photo’s thumbnail, that means that the photo’s resolution isn’t high enough to use for even an 8×10 print.
Once you’ve picked a print type and selected the photo, you’ll get a “Preview” screen that will let you change the print type, size, and the photo selection.
If you click on the size displayed, Flickr will show you which print sizes are available for the photo you wish to print.
For example, this shot of the winter sunset on Sentinel Rock above Yosemite Valley could be printed up to 16″ x 20″ as a “Photo Mount” but no larger than 12″ x 12″ as a “Canvas Mount” and 11″ x 14″ would have looked the best.
If you click on “Edit” in the “Preview” screen, you can zoom in, effectively cropping the photo. If you zoom in too far, you’ll be warned that the print quality will be low and that you should zoom out before making your purchase. The “Checkout” button will be grayed out, preventing you from buying a poor quality print unless you zoom back out.
Clicking on the “Checkout” button will allow you to select “Standard” (arrives in 10-12 business days) or “Express” (arrives in 5-7 business days) shipping, display the shipping charges and the total cost.
Next you’ll fill in your shipping address and payment information and submit your order.
Flickr, of course, isn’t the only company that can produce “wall art” from your photos. As a friend pointed out, Costco does as well, and its prices appear to be at lower, at least for some size prints.
For example, a 16″ x 20″ Flickr “Gallery Wrap” of the Sentinel Rock photo would have cost me $109, plus shipping. A similar one from Costco would have set me back only $37.99, plus shipping.
I haven’t, of course, actually ordered such prints from either Flickr or Costco, so I have no way of comparing the quality of the prints without ponying up over $150 for ones from both companies.
But whichever way you choose to go, you could be decorating your home or office with your own photographic masterpieces that will serve as reminders of trips you’ve taken, and probably spend much less than you’d pay to purchase similar sized framed photos taken by someone else from a art or photo gallery.