So I thought about how and what to tell you about the whole printing experience in Taipei and I figured that the best way was just go through the steps I made. If you want to short answer (where, how much, how good, speak English? Etc.' ) just jump to the end of the post. I'm not going to write the names of stores in Chinese, unless they have a website, sorry, the best thing I can do is pinpoint in Google maps the location. And by the way -
I first just tried printing in a photocopy place that has some really nice paper, just to check out the printed picture, look for problems, tones. It's a tiny place with two nice guys that work with Photoshop, print very fast and good quality ( given that this is a photocopy place. Located here (goggle maps: 25.028195,121.546479) , phone: 02-27075811. English- partial.
Then I looked for places that could print and develop Film (I sometimes shoot with my antique 500CM Hasselblad, 120 mm film) I found three places to develop film:
- The cheapest, fastest one – a small place next to the main entrance ( south west corner) of national Taiwan university. Never could remember the name of the shop but it's here (25.017857, 121.532693) the owner know English and the developing is fast and to most of the films. Quality –good, but not perfect. Cost – 150 nt a 120mm film, with TIFF on CD in a 2000*2000 size. You can develop it to the maximum (apx. 40 MB) and pay 10NT for each MEGA.
- Jazz image (jazzimage.com.tw) – no doubt that it's the most attractive place of the bunch, but their developing is quite expense- 200 NT a picture. Quality- high, I don’t think it's worth the cost though. I'll talk about them later in the printing. Some speak good English.
Jazz Photo Image 爵士影像．門市部台北市八德路二段431號9:00~21:00
(一~ 五) 9:30~18:00 (六．日) (02)2721-9003
- 台北影像 – small place , second floor near bade and changan east. Here (25.046379,121.543636). They only develop and only some types of films ( no fuji), and no English , at all. Quality – good. Prices – 120 NT a 120mm film.
台北影像 - 台北市復興南路1段36-3號2樓. 02-8772-1008
Quite simply – there is only one place that incorporates good English, high quality and good choices of paper and that is jazz image. I printed there more than 10 batched already, every batch of 5-7 images, I have to say that I was happy most of the time, if I wasn't it's because I choose a paper that didn’t suit the picture. On the matter- the fine art paper is has amazing texture, really cool for Black and White. The process is that you come with the USB stick, move the pictures to their HD . Choose the papers and sized you want, get the quotation and come back a day after to get the results. Sometimes when you print a lot\first time you can sit down and get some color samples of the pictures (I printed a poster sized one so I needed to see that it's ok in a 6*9). The prices are not cheap, but if you are a photographer ask for the photographer discount (which is 20%...).
So right now you developed your film ( or digital) pictures, you got the prints, and now you're looking for that framing shop… and o boy , listen to this – most of the framing shop's here don’t use glass they use acrylic glass. Personally I hate it because it reflects like crazy so if you choose to print on a shiny paper (like a very vivid color landscape shot) you end up looking at yourself.
So you have two choices – find a place that uses glass (kind of rare) or print on matt paper. There are interesting options like taking the print and using heat to "glue" it to glass, but it’s expensive ( 2000 NT for a middle size picture) and no grantee that the print would not get ruined in the process.
After looking though all of Shida (Heping east road, sec.1 ) and trying them out ( and getting disappointed every time) I found a very good place in bade – here , green sign outside. (Google maps 25.047008,121.542006). They have a lot of choices of mounts and frames, work pretty fast (it takes a few days) and really good quality. English – yes, some of the people.