|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Here's something you might have overlooked. Setting a printer driver may not be the pinnacle of photographic excitement, but it's really important, especially if your printer offers specialized settings for black-and-white.
At the most basic, you should check that you've set your printer to its highest-quality setting and selected a paper type that most closely matches the paper you're using. Photo printers designed for enthusiasts and professionals usually will have even more controls to fine-tune their output. It's worth your time to review your printer's user manual to be sure you're taking full advantage of the printer driver.
Even with a well-calibrated system, what you see on screen is going to be different from what you see in print. A backlit screen is always going to have more pop than a print. The adjustments you've made to your image to prepare for printing—brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights and the like—may look great on screen, but not translate as well in print.
Make some test prints. One of our favorite techniques is to divide an image into sections, apply different adjustments to each section and then compare the results in the final print. This does add an extra step to the workflow, but it's worth it. It may end up actually saving you time, as well as ink and paper. You'll want to do this for every combination of image, ink and paper.