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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 31 Dec 2011 (Saturday) 15:47
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STICKY: Beginner's Guide to Printing

 
Tony-S
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Dec 31, 2011 15:47 |  #1

Beginner's Guide to Printing

This guide will help you get good prints from your home printer. It assumes that you have a calibrated display and one of the common photographic software packages - Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements or Aperture. While there are many other software packages for printing, the process is typically similar. If you do not use one of these four applications you will need to determine what the proper settings are for your software.

For an excellent primer on enlarging and printing, see Tim's printing faq.

Note: I am not covering soft proofing in this post. Some people believe this is an essential component of getting the best quality prints, so if that is your goal you should investigate soft proofing and how to incorporate it into your workflow.

1. Papers, Printers and Profiles

Each paper requires a distinct profile matched to a specific printer. Companies that manufacture printers usually include profiles for their papers during installation of the software that came with the printer, but not for other papers. Because of this, if you use papers from other vendors you must (1) download the profiles from the vendor web site, (2) make your own profile using a specialized and expensive colorimeter or (3) pay someone else to make a profile specific for your paper and printer (for every paper/printer combo you need a distinct profile). This tutorial will only discuss option (1).

2. Choosing Paper

There are many companies that manufacture papers other than the printer manufacturers (e.g., Canon, Epson, HP, Kodak, Brother, etc.). These papers are often of superior quality and sometimes less expensive. Some companies, such as Harmon, even sell fiber-based papers. These companies include:

Ilford (http://www.ilford.com (external link))
Red River (http://www.redriverpap​er.com/ (external link))
Moab (http://moabpaper.com/ (external link))
Innova (http://www.innovaart.c​om/ (external link))
Harmon (http://www.harman-inkjet.com/home.asp (external link))
Hahnemuhle (http://www.hahnemuehle​.com/ (external link))
(and many others)

Papers come in many sizes, weights and surfaces. Some are better for archival purposes than others. A minimum weight should be 66 lb (266 gsm) and minimum thickness of 10 mil. Common surfaces include glossy, satin, luster, matte and metallic, but there are many others.

3. Installing Profiles

a. Choose a paper. For instance, you may choose Red River's Arctic Polar Luster (external link).
b. Download the profile from Red River that is specific for your printer, in this example the Epson 3800 (external link).
c. Install the profile in its proper place.

Windows 7, Vista, XP:
Hard Drive\Windows\system32​\spool\drivers\color

Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or Snow Leopard (10.6):
Hard Drive/Library/ColorSyn​c/Profiles

d. Once installed, restart your photo software so the profiles can be loaded.

I'm an OS X user, and while I don't use Windows or Linux, the general approach is nearly the same. You will need to post questions here to get answers from others who know the proper procedure. It is also possible that different versions of the software listed here have different methods of managing color, so you will need to ask version-specific questions.

4. Printing from Photoshop CS5

I have an Epson 3800 printer. If you have a different printer the details of this section will vary from a little (other Epson printers) to a lot (Canon or HP printers). However, you should be able to garner enough from this section to at least learn what to look for with your printer, or enough to ask more specific questions about how to set something with your printer.

The first step is to open an image and choose File > Print... This opens the following Photoshop print dialog box.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6697051761_a03cc5247e_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697051761/  (external link)
1 Photoshop dialog (external link)

Box 1 in red should list your printer; however, if you have more than one printer make sure you set this to the one to which you intend to print. Box 2 should be set to Photoshop Manages Colors and then you choose the printer profile that you installed as directed above. This will be a long list, so you'll need to search carefully. For most printing you want to set to relative colormetric and enable black point compensation. Box 3 is very important - click on Print Settings and you should get the Print Dialog box.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7152/6697051931_7235e9b99f.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697051931/  (external link)
2 Print settings (external link)

In box 1, choose Print Settings. This allows you to select a paper type. If you're using paper from the company that makes the printer, it is likely that the paper you're using is already listed. If you're using a third-party paper, then just select one from the pull-down that is similar to yours. For example, I use Red River Arctic Polar Luster and have chosen Epson's Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster in box 2. This setting adjusts the volume of ink that is deposited onto the paper. Box 3 is critical - this should be disabled; if it's not, then when you print you'll get the infamous double profile - Photoshop sends one color profile and your printer applies a second color profile. This will completely screw up your prints. You can verify it's disabled by choosing Color Matching pull-down menu.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7148/6697087417_c0245137a5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697087417/  (external link)
3 Color matching (external link)

Next, use Save As... from the Preset pulldown (image below) to save a preset for this particular paper for this printer. (I have found Arctic Polar Satin and Arctic Polar Luster to have the same characteristics, thus I use the same preset for both papers.) Give it a name that is easy for you to identify. Once saved, you no longer have to go through all of this - just pull up the preset in the Printer Dialog Box. After you have everything set, click Save to return to the Photoshop print dialog Box.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6697051433_af5a3c7a7e_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697051433/  (external link)
4 Save settings (external link)

You should be returned to the Print Dialog Box and now you just need to click Print.

5. Printing from Photoshop Elements 9

Photoshop Elements is similar. After opening a file, choose File > Print... to bring up Elements' Print dialog box.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6697053069_492c77243d_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697053069/  (external link)
1 Elements dialog (external link)

Click on More Options... (red box at bottom) to set the three pull-down menu items as in the image, making certain that the profile you choose is for the profile you installed as directed above.

After that, click Print... and you should be brought to the printer's Print dialog box. Select Color Match from the pull-down menu; it should be disabled. If not, you'll get double-profiling. Next, select the Preset from the Photoshop section above and you should be ready to print.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7169/6697053229_4316eeca97_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697053229/  (external link)
2 Printer dialog (external link)

6. Printing from Aperture

Printing from Aperture is probably the easiest because it has a single dialog box for printing.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7033/6697053341_f48e754641.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/digi-film/6697053341/  (external link)
1 Aperture 3 dialog (external link)

Set everything as in the box (with appropriate paper size and profile) and click Print... In the next box, choose the Preset you made above and then print the image.

7. Lightroom

I don't have Lightroom but I will add it if someone can prepare this section.

8. Digital Photo Pro

Click here for DPP.

"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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JonK
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Jan 02, 2012 15:30 |  #2

Looks good Tony - I will do some screen caps of LR tonight for you.


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René ­ Damkot
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Jan 02, 2012 15:41 |  #3

Cool to see this started. :)

It might be a good idea that, if you have specific questions, you do not post them here, but start a new thread. Otherwise this thread will come a bit too cluttered.


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fab123
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Jan 13, 2012 15:48 as a reply to  @ René Damkot's post |  #4

Great tips for a newbie like me. Thank you!


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Garry ­ Spight
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Feb 03, 2012 14:40 |  #5

Thank You was having trouble with printer settings, Normally outsource my printing but am experimenting at home now


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roymon1988
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Feb 23, 2012 23:31 |  #6

does any one knows if you can print photos 7X7 or 5.5By 5.5?




  
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René ­ Damkot
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Mar 04, 2012 14:09 |  #7

Why not? Depending on the printer used, you might need to print onto a larger piece of paper though.


"I think the idea of art kills creativity" - Douglas Adams
Why Color Management.
Color Problems? Click here.
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Get Colormanaged (external link)
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PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED.

  
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tonylong
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Mar 04, 2012 19:53 |  #8

roymon1988 wrote in post #13956342 (external link)
does any one knows if you can print photos 7X7 or 5.5By 5.5?

René Damkot wrote in post #14021404 (external link)
Why not? Depending on the printer used, you might need to print onto a larger piece of paper though.

You can certainly print two 5.5s on an 8 1/2x11 piece of paper. I have printed plenty of 5x7 photos doubled up on that paper.


Tony
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Bear ­ Dale
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Mar 12, 2012 00:57 |  #9

Ooh just saw this ...... Excellent info Tony !


Cheers,
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andrewthomasclifton
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Mar 23, 2012 12:32 |  #10

Thank you SO much for this. been learning alot about printing lately :)


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sass25479
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May 07, 2012 18:06 |  #11

Thanks for the info. Does anyone have experience with online printer profiles for online labs?




  
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tonylong
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May 07, 2012 21:30 |  #12

sass25479 wrote in post #14395232 (external link)
Thanks for the info. Does anyone have experience with online printer profiles for online labs?

If you have a calibrated monitor and Photoshop and/or Lightroom, then you definitely can benefit from downloading the ICC profiles and then using them to SoftProof the images before sending them out to print.

Do some tests with the Lab before making a large order, to verify that you are getting the results you want/expect!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBase (external link)
Wildlife project pics here (external link), Biking Photog shoots here (external link), "Suburbia" project here (external link)! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics here (external link)

  
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Nathan
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Jun 21, 2012 13:27 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #13

Would love to see the LR instructions... I've never been able to get it working and I just bought LR4... so I need to go at it again


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tonylong
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Jun 21, 2012 19:49 |  #14

Nathan wrote in post #14612213 (external link)
Would love to see the LR instructions... I've never been able to get it working and I just bought LR4... so I need to go at it again

What problems are you having printing from LR? Are you printing directly (desktop printer) or preparing a shot to send to a lab?

What steps are you following?

I'm about to take of so won't be able to wade into the discussion, but if you could give a detailed explanation I'm sure people can chime in with help!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBase (external link)
Wildlife project pics here (external link), Biking Photog shoots here (external link), "Suburbia" project here (external link)! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics here (external link)

  
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René ­ Damkot
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Jun 22, 2012 05:32 |  #15

Nathan wrote in post #14612213 (external link)
Would love to see the LR instructions... I've never been able to get it working and I just bought LR4... so I need to go at it again

This should do the trick for an Epson R2880 printing on Innova Fibaprint:

IMAGE: https://img.skitch.com/20120622-ei2hjpw2sab1wy7nnqm2am9p9q.jpg

Printer driver settings similar to when printing with Photoshop managing colors.

"I think the idea of art kills creativity" - Douglas Adams
Why Color Management.
Color Problems? Click here.
MySpace (external link)
Get Colormanaged (external link)
Twitter (external link)
PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED.

  
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