Secrets of flawless digital photo printing
What do we want? Perfect quality! When do we want it? As soon as we press the print button! Unfortunately, it turns out in.
What do we want? Perfect quality! When do we want it? As soon as we press the print button! Unfortunately, we do not always succeed. Surely you are familiar with the feeling of disappointment that rolls over you from head to toe when you look at a masterpiece on the screen and comparing it with a printout of very dubious quality: it turns out that in your hands you are holding some kind of waste paper covered with ink, which was given to you by an insolent printer. Who is to blame? How do I fix it? Today we will deal with all the “how” and “why” and learn how to print digital photos (this time, flawlessly) in the silence and comfort of your home.
Why Printed Images Look Different?
The main problem with printing photographs is that they look completely different on paper than on the screen. The reason is that the screen emits light, using its own principle of displaying colors, and the paper itself reflects the light falling on it, and besides, printers use a completely different coloring system. Screens display colors using three phosphors, and the printer uses base color ink to create new color combinations.
Thus, we have identified the main and quite obvious reason for the difference between the image on the screen and on paper. However, it is important to know that with the help of some tricks we discuss below, you can actually print photos that are almost identical to the screen image.
Possible reasons for your frustration:
- Monitor brightness and contrast settings
- Your product is not designed for photo printing
- The printer has the correct ink, toner, or other consumable
- You are using the wrong type of paper
- Images have the wrong level of resolution
- Post-processing changed colors
Of course, other factors also affect the quality and the final appearance of the printed images. However, when printing, you can actually get an image that is incredibly close to screen resolution. The deciding factor here is choosing the right combination of photo paper and photo printer, and adjusting image settings to prepare it for printing.
What factors affect print quality?
Photos look good on a computer screen in almost any size. But the resolution of most monitors is 72 dpi, which is considered extremely low for printing. Printers print the image at a specific dpi value: for example, for inkjet printers it is 150 dpi, so the finished photos may look mosaic and generally grainy. If your printer prints at an even higher resolution, say 300 dpi, then if you want to print a 4 x 6 inch (152.4 mm x 101.6 mm) photo, it must be 1200 x 1800 pixels. The ratio between pixel size and dpi is critical for high quality printed photos.
As we have already said with you, you must always take into account that the pictures always look different on the screen. Even large-screen monitors show images at their Optimum quality. It is very important to note how dangerous it is to experiment with the factory settings of your monitor, as even small adjustments to contrast, color and brightness can knock the colors of your photos, making them look even more different on paper from the digital original. You can use the printer‘s control panel and calibrate it to your monitor using basic settings so that your printed photos look as close to the screen image as possible.
If you are going to print a lot at home, your best bet is to invest in a quality photo printer. These printer models are becoming more affordable and making them a great investment. However, most inkjet printers with the right paper and settings can provide quite decent print quality. photos will be almost indistinguishable from professional photos printed on photo printers.
The beauty of printing at home is that you can experiment with different types of paper. In addition to the base matte and glossy paper, there are many varieties, and, of course, it is simply impossible to call any one “the best”. different types of paper give different results, and it all depends on what you want to get. You should be a researcher and experiment with every type of photo paper.
High resolution problem
As you read this, you’ve probably wondered why NOT save all your images in high resolution, like 300 dpi. But if you have edited a 300 dpi photo at least once, you may have noticed that it takes quite a long time to change such a picture. If you save all your pictures in high quality, the hard drive will soon overflow, and the camera’s memory is NOT limitless. Yet many computers and digital cameras are powerful and fast in processing.
Working with digital images and printing them is best done in the RAW file format, but again, we are faced with the problem of storing with a large number of such files or the issue of quickly filling the memory card in the camera when shooting in RAW. Keep in mind, however, that RAW files offer a lot more flexibility, both in post-processing and color depth, and in showing more detail when printing large images.
The worst mistake when printing digital images
You will be surprised, but most of them blame printers or computers for their failures with printing and unsightly photos. In fact, the biggest mistakes photographers make when processing photos before printing. Logically, it seems to us that if you make the pictures a little sharper, they will be clearer in print. Think again. The degree of focusing should be related to the size of the photo in which you will print it, and this is extremely important to consider. What you see digitally will look very different when printed, so be careful with sharpening tools.
What if everything turns out worse than ever?
In short, if you have done everything you could, and the expected result is still unsuccessful, leave it to the professionals. After all, if this sounds too difficult for you, there are other options. There are many places (we are sure that even not far from you) where specialists will take care of all the settings themselves, and you just take home the printed pictures. in the best possible way. Many print centers work so well that you will hardly find the difference between digital and printed images.
You just MUST start printing your pictures. And that’s why:
We want to say that you really should experiment with printing at home. This will be useful for photographers of any genre, and for several reasons. First of all, you will have a better understanding of photography in general and a better sense of your work. You will see something new. tangible evidence of your work without any backlighting. There is something special about it.
Printing digital photos is another pleasant, enjoyable side of photography, which, unfortunately, we are bypassing today, because we shoot mainly for online publications. This is, of course, not a lost art, but certainly often neglected. You can print in small and large formats, take wide pictures and cropped. there are a lot of possibilities, and they are limited only by your equipment.
By printing pictures, you seem to bring them to life. In addition, the smallest details are visible on the paper, which will be easy to notice when viewing photos on the screen. Finally, printed photos make a great gift or part of your decor. If this is not the most enjoyable part of photography, then we really DO NOT know what it can become. If you agree with us, please share your experience with digital prints.
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