Ilford Lab Direct specialises in black & white printing and uses a B&W silver gelatin paper, claiming a truly neutral print. Its site is uncluttered, simple and easy to navigate, with a quick upload service, an upload tutorial, and monitor calibrations with a test print on offer if needed. Once uploaded we were given options to set the border, crop, finish and file optimization, which offers an auto correction to density and contrast (leave this off if your photos have been edited previously). The software allows you to choose each size separately; this size and setup can then be applied to any number of prints and added to your basket and there’s a handy traffic light signal warning if you choose a print size too large for your image to scale to.
Our prints took two days to turn up, arriving in a roll tube, secured at each end with plastic stoppers and sealed with parcel tape. Bubble Wrap prevented movement within the tube and the prints inside were further protected by packing paper and taped to keep them together. Print quality was excellent with a sharp cut, no colour cast and a faithful reproduction of tones. The highlights did start to lose some detail, but mid-tones and shadows were remarkably good.
£42.95 for 3 prints & postage
Digital Photo Silver Award