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Thread: Educate me on Printing

  1. #1

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    Educate me on Printing

    I've decided to start printing some of my work, and purchased a canon pixma pro 9000 mkii printer. It will print 13 x 19 prints, and i want to print the largest size my crop will allow on a 13 x 19 sheet.

    I've never printed anything before ,so any help is most appreciated. Giving me the basics of a solid workflow would be fantastic. I think this would be helpful for alot of others as well, so lets talk Printing.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    I can't help you Steve but I am thinking to buy one myself.
    However, I think I will get an Epson instead I do not know which so far...
    But I read that we have to experiment lots and lots of times to get a perfect work.

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    The first step would be to go over the manual to make sure the printer is functioning properly. Next do some test prints at smaller format sizes and compare the printing image to what you see on the monitor. At this point you want to search for a downloadable color profile for your printer. From there you should be able to develop a quick and easy workflow for printing large sizes.

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Printing

    1. Set camera to Adobe RGB colour space - has wider gamut for home printing. Makes sure you post processing software is using the same colour space.
    2. Profile your monitor - absolutely essential - if you want your prints to look like what you see on your monitor
    3. Make sure you use the correct ICC profiles for your printer, paper and ink combinations.
    Paper manufacturers will provide these as downloads off their sites.
    4. You can soft proof if you want to - it works ok for some papers. I find it less reliable for canvasses.
    5. Make sure you find out how to properly sharpen a print for output - it will look oversharpened on your screen (in most cases) - don't worry about this - judge the print.
    6. Make sure you set your printer's colour management to the "No colour management setting", otherwise your printer driver will try to control everything you want to control.
    7. Set the correct ICC profile in the CS5 (assuming you are using photoshop) before you print. Always tick black point compenation.
    8. Choose either Relative colorimetric or Perceptual to compensate for gamut mismatches - remember in most instances your printer is physically incapable of printing absolutely everything you see on screen. The human eye adjusts to any discrepancies.
    9. There is little trial and error.
    10. Be prepared to spend some money - home printing isn't cheap but it adds a whole new dimension to photography.

    Good luck and happy printing. I am now at the point of generating amazing quality prints after buying an Epson 3000 6 months ago. I have also started printing wide format and I already have people willing to pay for top quality prints.

    READ THE TUTORIALS ON COLOUR MANAGEMENT!!!!! OR BUY A SCOTT KELBY BOOK - IT GIVES STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS.

    My very first print off the Epson 3000 was perfect! Commercial print shops generally produce mass market rubbish.
    Last edited by Markvetnz; 27th December 2011 at 07:04 PM.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Perhaps this is of some help. Perhaps not, but here it goes.

    When I subscribed to Silvershotz last year, I received a free pack of FineArt InkJet Paper - EG testpack A4, from fotospeed.com

    Just a tip

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    Markvetnz's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Epson for Antonio

    Epson R3000 - 17inch A3+ printer - amazing - read the reviews.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Markvetnz View Post
    ... I am now at the point of generating amazing quality prints after buying an Epson 3000 6 months ago. I have also started printing wide format and I already have people willing to pay for top quality prints....
    Rather expensive... Are you also using Epson paper ?

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Hi Steve, the main thing to do is to make sure that your monitor is calibrated first and that you have the right profiles for the type of paper you are using otherwise you wont get in print whet you see on screen. I use canon original ink and paper which are not cheap and got the printer/paper profiles from the canon website. There are lots of other things to take into account too like colour space and letting Photoshop handle the colour sent to the printer. The canon website has a guide that shows you how to set everything up for printing via Photoshop, if I have time later I will see if I can post the link for you as it takes some finding. I would also advise that you dont rush straight in and start printing the largest of pictures just yet and get some 6x4 of the same type of paper you intend to use for the large prints otherwise it will cost you a fortune if you get it wrong. Hope this helps.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Thank you Mark.

    I am not so sure to spend all this money on a printer. However...
    I will have to think it over.

    What puzzle me also is that I will have to buy some kind of equipment - color monkey, Spider, whatever - to calibrate the monitor so, more money to spend

  10. #10
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Thanks mark, thats a much better explanation than mine and spot on.

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    I've decided to start printing some of my work, and purchased a canon pixma pro 9000 mkii printer. It will print 13 x 19 prints, and i want to print the largest size my crop will allow on a 13 x 19 sheet.

    I've never printed anything before ,so any help is most appreciated. Giving me the basics of a solid workflow would be fantastic. I think this would be helpful for alot of others as well, so lets talk Printing.
    Steve
    You don't say what system or software you are using so detailed help will be difficult. However Mark has covered most of the bases. I would add that you need to maintain the largest file size that you can all the way through your workflow if you want to print a lot of 13x19. You don want to be 'upsizing' your files (well, not much) to make 13x19, if you want best quality. That means, don't shoot JPEG (unless on the very largest setting and save as TIFF as soon as you download). Preferably shoot RAW and stay in a RAW workflow as long as possible. FWIW I also use a Pro9000, I shoot RAW and process and print from Lightroom. I get great prints.
    Cheers
    Tim

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Great info everyone, thanks. I don't have a calibrated monitor. Was going to try a couple test prints and see how they came out (4x6).

    What is the best way to upsize an image? Most of my images will need to be upsized to be able to print at 13 x 19 at 300ppi.

    Approx. how much do you need to oversharpen? If you view the image at the size it will be printed and the sharpening looks good, will that be approx. the right amount of sharpening?


    Good lord, what the hell did i get myself into..............

  13. #13

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Firstly, Steve, lets start with a bit of easy preamble. I had a Canon 9000 once and it printed well. The nozzles never clogged, which can be a recurring problem with some printers although this is more of a time wasting irritation than anything serious.

    But this printer 'died' after a relatively short time so I then returned to Epson with a R1900 which, so far has worked well (but I'm now trying to type with crossed fingers). However, occasional nozzle clog problems have returned with this model.

    Apart from this, producing your own prints can be rewarding fun; when everything goes according to plan! But in reality it isn't too difficult, so don't panic! At least not yet.

    However, returning to your question, which I think may need to be answered in easy stages.

    Firstly select your paper and frame size. Which can be a nightmare in itself unless you are able to obtain standard size frames. Let's assume you have A3 paper (European standard) and matching frame. But the same principal applies to other sizes.

    The first problem is that your photo image is in a different ratio. A3 paper is 16.5 x 11.7 ins (420 x 297 mm) and if you want a 1.25 ins all round border you will need a print size of 14 x 9.2 ins so you may find it easier to work in pixels. This all depends on your software.

    Whatever your preferred method you need to crop your image to this size; then possibly rotate it if you have a landscape ratio.

    If your paper and frame sizes don't exactly match you will have to cut the paper to size after printing. I use a simple rotary trimmer for this.

    Now comes setting up your printing instructions and choice of colour profiles. Don't get too concerned by this, initially. The complicated bits will come later!

    Select paper size and correct paper type. Use a standard printing option to begin with. You can experiment with the complicated stuff later. This also applies to 'specialised instructions' which may vary depending on your software.

    For example, when printing with Photoshop and using 'Let Photoshop manage your colours' (or something like that) when you have to manually select a colour profile to suit the paper. But with standard printers and papers this should only be a couple of extra clicks.

    Then see what happens - and return with your supplementary questions.

    But like I said previously, it can be fun and isn't (usually) as complicated as it sounds. Working out the exact image size to fit a non A3 frame is in my opinion the most complicated part.

    And if all else fails - read the printing instructions which came with your printer.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 27th December 2011 at 08:21 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    I started to use the Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0 which allows the right sharpen for the right printer and size of the image.

    You can even calculate/guess the viewing distance... More parameters/settings to master

    Educate me on Printing

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Macmahon View Post
    Steve
    You don't say what system or software you are using so detailed help will be difficult. However Mark has covered most of the bases. I would add that you need to maintain the largest file size that you can all the way through your workflow if you want to print a lot of 13x19. You don want to be 'upsizing' your files (well, not much) to make 13x19, if you want best quality. That means, don't shoot JPEG (unless on the very largest setting and save as TIFF as soon as you download). Preferably shoot RAW and stay in a RAW workflow as long as possible. FWIW I also use a Pro9000, I shoot RAW and process and print from Lightroom. I get great prints.
    Cheers
    Tim
    Thanks tim, i'm using window vista. Edits are with DXO/LR2/ Photoshop cs4. All my edits are nondestructive techniques, so no worries there. My camera is only 10mp, so a little upsizing will be needed i think. I can partially upsize a little in dxo, with the raw file and then again at the end of my edit with cs4. I've tried this already and zoomed in on the screen, it looks good.

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Great info everyone, thanks. I don't have a calibrated monitor. Was going to try a couple test prints and see how they came out (4x6).

    What is the best way to upsize an image? Most of my images will need to be upsized to be able to print at 13 x 19 at 300ppi.

    Approx. how much do you need to oversharpen? If you view the image at the size it will be printed and the sharpening looks good, will that be approx. the right amount of sharpening?


    Good lord, what the hell did i get myself into..............
    While I was typing my reply I see that there have been a few others.

    Firstly, Steve, if your monitor is fairly close to correct colour don't waste money on any other equipment for now. In most cases there is little difference to be gained with regard to home prints. Maybe a little different if you are doing pro prints for other people.

    Don't worry about having to use 300 ppi. In most cases you will still get the same quality at 200 ppi, even a little less often works with some papers. If you do have to upsize, use the best quality Bicubic Interpolation that you have available.

    Don't excessively oversharpen, this will cause more problems than it solves. If it looks right on the monitor it will probably print OK. Most of my prints actually come out sharper than they appear on my monitor.

    And finally, just take it steady; try a few basic prints and see how it works out. Just using the simpler printing controls will probably produce sufficient quality.

    ps. what I said about matching image size to frame size also applies to smaller sizes like A5, 10 x 8 ins or 7 x 5 ins etc. I use a framework of guide lines to print 2 at 200 x 135 mm prints on one A4 sheet then cut them to size after printing. But this is something for later on.

  17. #17

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Steve, before you start printing the 13 x 19 also thin about how you want to display them (framed or whatever). Sugguest you print 12 x 18 this will give you a 1/2" border all around, also a 3" matte is pleasing on the eye surrounding a photo. This will let you drop into a 18 x 24 frame which is a standard size. Just because you can print 13 x 19 does not mean all your output has to be that size. Get sample packs of different suppliers stocks, run test runs to see what stock gives you the look that you are going for. Calibrating your monitor is a bigger one, in my mind, than the printer, as upper end printer will print very, very close to what you see on the monitor,once you have the correct colour management and paper ICC's loaded into the system. I have been in the colour side of the printing business for over 22 years, the colours coming out of my Epson 4900 are spot on. Good luck, use all the online resources you can, it is not as difficult as you may think.

    PS. Steve are you in North America or Europe as to paper size
    Last edited by Polar01; 27th December 2011 at 08:02 PM. Reason: additional question

  18. #18
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Great info everyone, thanks. I don't have a calibrated monitor. Was going to try a couple test prints and see how they came out (4x6).

    What is the best way to upsize an image? Most of my images will need to be upsized to be able to print at 13 x 19 at 300ppi.

    Approx. how much do you need to oversharpen? If you view the image at the size it will be printed and the sharpening looks good, will that be approx. the right amount of sharpening?


    Good lord, what the hell did i get myself into..............
    Most of my photos come out at about 8"x12" or 12"x16" with ppi of about 240 res, you should only have to do a small increase in upsizing providing you are shooting at full resolution. Again, resizing depends on what editing program you have, PSE has an imaging resize function on the tool bar. Your task isn't as difficult as you might think, the key is getting an image you feel looks great. Why not compare an image that you have had professionally printed to one from your new system. I have an hp photosmart printer that's about ten years old and it still gives me quality prints equal to what I can get from my local camera distributor. I had the chance to compare recently because the distributor offered me free prints (4"x 6") and I printed a few of the same images at home. Granted there will be a marked difference between a small print and a large one, the large print won't be so forgiving of blemishes, blurs, and lens defects.

  19. #19

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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Most of my photos come out at about 8"x12" or 12"x16" with ppi of about 240 res, you should only have to do a small increase in upsizing providing you are shooting at full resolution.
    Hi John,

    I'd bet you a dollar you couldn't tell the difference if you didn't up-sample. At the end of the day, the print driver always upsamples anyway, so you're doing a double-conversion by partially up-sampling first.

  20. #20
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    Re: Educate me on Printing

    I've got a pixma 9000 pro II; it has got a plugin for CS2-CS5 and PSE6-9, doesn't work on PSE10. You can set the paper in the plugin, I now use cheap paper http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A3-Plus-Ph...item45fadea89f

    and cheap ink because it all costs money.
    http://www.cartcon.co.uk/Ink_Cartrid...n/Pro_9000.htm

    The profile works fine but you can test print from the plugin which prints an array of differing setting to fine tune.Educate me on Printing

    Educate me on Printing

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