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Best Do-It-Yourself Digital


The Film Center
60 East 42nd Street

Lots of stores have those supercool self-serve Kodak Image Station kiosks that let you scan in and manipulate your snapshots. But only the Film Center, in the lobby of the Lincoln Building, has Stan Podlofsky to explain it all to you. Podlofsky's shop has an endearingly cluttered, antique look to it -- it's been open since 1978 -- but there's nothing retro about his enthusiastic embrace of state-of-the-art photo enhancement technology. You can clone and multiply a snapshot on a nine-by-eleven-inch sheet of photographic paper (it's $10 a sheet, even if you cram two five-by-sevens or a bunch of wallet-size photos on it), rebalance colors (to fade a sunburn), crop (to excise an ex), and even clear up a nasty case of red-eye, all in a matter of minutes. Customers who appreciate Podlofsky's no-extra-charge helping hand line up to use the contraption during lunchtime. And for particularly tricky photo-enhancement challenges that are beyond the Kodak machine (a torn, discolored heirloom photograph, for instance), you can enlist the Film Center's professional photo-restoration services (Podlofsky's a Photoshop whiz). Try that at Kmart.

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