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snappy snaps

8th June 2009 permanent link

Some things the internet doesn’t know yet, as I mentioned to fellow bloggers Brian Micklethwait and Michael Jennings (blog even more moribund than mine) whilst lunching with them in London last Sunday.

My pro photo lab episode at home in Munich ended in tears as a result of a defective usb stick (mine, not the fault of the lab in any way), resulting in me urgently needing to get large, high quality digital prints done in London on a Saturday.

Googling revealed no pro labs in central London that appeared to be open at weekends. (Lots of pro labs used to be open at weekends, to enable Saturday’s sports and theatre photographers to get their pictures into the Sunday papers. Not any more, apparently.) I didn’t want to take my precious work of art to some random one hour print place. So what to do?

What to do, I figured out, was go to a pro camera shop and ask the people there what they would do. Calumet on Drummond Street is big, reasonably central and open on Saturdays, so off I went. “Snappy Snaps on Wardour Street”, the young lady there said immediately. “Don’t be put off by the name; they’re franchises and they’re all different. He’s good.”

Indeed he is. The place has a fresh looking coat of Snappy Snaps bright yellow on the front, but apart from that it looks and feels totally like a professional lab that’s been serving the Soho journalist trade for decades. It has The Smell. The price list prominently features the correct now becoming obscure items like medium format film and slide processing. I start talking to the guy about profiles and proofs for large format digital printers, and I strongly suspect he’s the old school film guy, because he quickly calls a young lady over to deal with me. She fires up the Mac – no Windows PCs here, another good sign – and helps me choose which of the various versions of my file are going to look best on their printer. The prints, collected the next morning, are great.

“Ah, but now you’ll blog this, and then the internet will know it” Brian pointed out, correctly.

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