The choice to become a photographer today has its good and its bad that comes with it. The good is that, more than ever before, technology is on your side. Images can be created, cropped and manipulated to embody the feel you were going for and cover the mistakes made when it was originally taken. At the same time that technology has caused a flood of people to enter into a once specialized market. The biggest seen change is the switch from the 35 mm format to the digital format. Don't get me wrong, if I could afford a $1000 camera I would purchase one in a heartbeat. But in order to get the same feel for less, I have chosen the now archaic 35mm SLR camera. This was fine for the first few years of my photographic odyssey, but I'm discovering that it's getting harder and harder to both find good film without paying an arm and a leg and followed by getting someone to develop it. One of my biggest contentions is in making prints larger than 11x14 along with having them digital format. If you're like me, that struggle has lead to long searches on the Internet for solutions. The following sites have not been tested but are the results of those searches. I thought it might be good to put them all in one place.
The first site I offer up is the wonderful standard, Mpix. The process requires that you send them your film which you send in previously requested pouches, you then have to pay an "unlock fee" which is basically .19 cents an image. You will then be sent back your negatives as well as gain access to your photos. They are only available to order at that point and they don't go much larger then 11x14. However you can purchase a DVD for $10 that contain all those files in larger formats for you to edit and then load anywhere you'd like to print off.
The drawback from this service is two fold, if you have already developed your film you can not send in your negatives to then be scanned and two I have heard rumors that this services will not be around much longer.
The next site I found is West Coast Imaging. It's a bit pricey and a little harder to understand the process but they do scan a myriad of items in to digital form. If you looking to get different sized photos scanned they can do that for you as well. But again they are pricey, you can look at 49.95 an image if you want it scanned into a digital format that exceeds 8x10 in size. The quality, I hear however, is superb. If you looking at just a few shots that you've always wanted to have in a poster size then it's well worth the venture
The final site I discovered is Go Photo. This is a very similar service to the others above. They are the medium pricing choice but they do all sorts of scans ie. negatives, slides and old family photos. They also offer a touch up service that allows your photos to come out even better then before. I have not used this service just yet but did email then on their products. They returned my question very quickly and were very diligent in helping me discover the answer and or solution to my inquiry.
All in all if you have some old photos or negatives you would love to get copies of three guys above would be the place to go. It is my advice to jump on them fast because I have noticed that the opportunity might soon be gone. Not only will you have copies of old memories to share with your family but you could find a new, one of a kind photo to treasure and be framed forever on your walls.
So as not to leave you without some weekend eye candy here is one of my many 35mm works of art : )