One of the great joys resulting from the change to digital compared to shooting film is the ability to get great photo prints optimized for the subject and photographer. Everyone who used to try to get a good, custom print from a slide or negative knows what a challenge that used to be. There were multiple visits to the lab when an image didn’t print right and had to be reprinted. Or often, you’d just accept the print as is because it was “good enough,” and any changes weren’t worth the back-and-forth with the lab. You probably know what I’m talking about.
Digital photography and high-quality inkjet printers have changed this. Photographers now get digital photo prints that surpass what was possible with film. Not everyone does, though. Plus, the idea that digital can solve all photo problems has led to disappointment with digital prints when they didn’t quite measure up.
Follow the photo printing tips here so you can get prints that surpass your expectations.
If you have regular contact with other photographers, you’ll quickly discover that digital photo printing choices can be a bit variable, even to the point of argument over which techniques are truly “best.” My feeling is that the best settings are those that give you the results you want, regardless of how any other photographer might make prints. However, there are some photo printing tips that you might find useful:
1. Select an image from your files for printing. I like using cataloging/viewing programs such as ACDSee, iView MediaPro or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for this purpose.
2. Adjust your image for the best blacks, whites and midtones.
3. Correct and fine-tune color appropriate to the scene and subject.
4. Fix local problems of color and contrast (areas that can be selected and adjusted separately from the rest of the image). Also, use cloning and healing tools to get rid of unwanted spots and other blemishes.
5. Adjust the size of the photo to a printing size that you desire, using a resolution between 200 and 300 ppi.
6. Sharpen the image for its size using Unsharp Mask.