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Atkinson PhotoCard is in the Mail

essay by Bettina + Uwe Steinmueller

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Often when we think of our best photos we think in the context of galleries and books. What about sending one of these nice photos to a friend as a postcard. Creating post cards is nice but also a major hassle:

  • Printing takes time
  • Printing on both sides is even worse
  • The resulting cards are not coated

Our friend Bill Atkinson (a highly regarded fine art photographer and color management expert) created a nice solution called Atkinson PhotoCard for the iPhone/iPod Touch. At that point we liked the idea but did not look further into it because the screen and keyboard are so small for us. Then Bill launched PhotoCard for the iPad and we checked it out. Sending PhotoCards to our relatives in Germany was just the right thing to do.

The application is fairly priced at $4.99 and includes 3 Credits. To send cards by real postal mail you need 2 credits for mailing to the US and 3 credits to the rest of the world (a credit costs less than $1). This means for less than $3 you get a ready printed PhotoCard sent to e.g. Germany without even to leave your desk.

About the printed Cards

The printed cards are big, nicely printed and coated for protection.

Note: The handling of the PhotoCards by the mailing services is beyond the control of Bill's service and may show some marks from the sorting machines. Bill is actually going so far to educate the people at the USPS sorting facility where his cards get dropped off.

About email cards

You also can use the PhotoCard application to send cards by email and this service is completely free (except the one time fee for the application itself). The recipient of that email gets the cards front and back to his inbox.

How to send a card

First step is to select your image. You have two options:

  • Bill provides a selection of his fine images

  • You select one of your own images from the iPad Photo albums

Tip: We always size images to 1440x960 which is the optimal size for the PhotoCard. This way the application does not perform any resizing that might degrade the quality.

Once you have selected the card you view the back:

The left is for your own message to the recipient. You can select the stamp to use and the printing service will turn it into a legal USPS digitally printed stamp (that had cost Bill quite some effort).

Finally you enter an address:

You can use addresses from your address book (the last 10 are remembered for your convenience). For the address you can choose:

  • Email: send by email and no cost applies
  • Postal mail: The needed credits get deducted (make sure you have enough credits in your account)

I am sure your and our friends appreciate these cards. Printed they can me small art pieces.


The Atkinson PhotoCard is a fine and fun application. Hope your next PhotoCard is soon in the mail.

Want an elegant and easy way to present your photos. SmugMug offers a very compelling solution. Get 20% off for the first year by entering the coupon code DOP.

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