Canadians may find it interesting that Telus just bought Black’s Photo. Look for increased Telus saturation in the malls. Just like Bell Canada recently bought Canada’s ex-Radio Shack stores.
I don’t find this very surprising: there is indeed some convergence in these small devices and Black’s just sells commodities to a low-end market, and no doubt Telus needed more mall saturation. In any case I am not sure how Black’s survived: their busines used to be photo developing and printing. Who does that anymore? And how many overpriced Chinese-made picture frames can you sell?
That said: this will defocus Black’s from photography. As it is, the only place to go in most of Ontario is Henry’s (where I teach). Henry’s (and, in a few places, Vistek) are the only places to go for specialized photography retailing, where you need expertise and selection, and this will make this even more true.
As for printing, which is what Black’s really do? We should do this ourselves. I print 13″ x 19″ prints on my Canon Pixma Pro 9500 printer, and once you are used to how it works and once you have set up the printer drivers, you are better off doing it yourself. A learning curve, but a useful one.
Print your pictures, do not leave them sitting in hard drives!