Monday, January 30, 2012

10 Tips for Printing Great Photos

In the days of film cameras, the ability to edit and enhance photographs belonged to photo labs with specialized equipment. In the twenty-first century, that ability resides in almost any computer and some websites. The one attribute that is the same regardless of the passage of time is the quality and resolution of the photo at the time it is taken. Some adjustments are possible, but other changes are not within the realm of reason after the photo image has been captured. To print beautiful photos, follow these steps every time:

Picture Taking and Preparation

Only movie producers can use a picture taken by a cheap cell phone to produce a close-up printed picture that shows every minute detail. For the rest of us, there are certain details that must be addressed prior to taking pictures.

1. Increase Resolution

High-resolution images will require more space on the memory card in the camera. Five or six megapixels will capture sufficient detail for printing standard- size prints. Ten megapixels can be used if large prints will be produced from the images. Resolution modifications are easier to make in the software when the image has high-resolution.

2. Use TIFF format

JPEG file format is fine for email and website display, but TIFF files retain more detail when printed on paper. Translation from the digital image to the printed image is easier for most printers when the TIFF format is used in the camera and while storing the image on the computer disk.

3. Edit Images

Easy-to-use computer software is available for enhancing colors and cropping the size and shape of the subjects in the photograph. Resolution can be retained while applying changes to the image. Changed images should be saved to another filename to retain the original image downloaded from the camera.

Printer Preparation

Selecting the right printer for the number of photos that will be printed is an important part of achieving excellent results. Manufacturers strive to produce printers that meet multiple needs for the consumer. Specialty printers are available for people who have more specific requirements for photo printing.

4. Align The Print Heads

Printer management software offers the option to execute an alignment program that ensures the print heads are aligned with the hardware. This simple procedure should be performed with regular paper in the machine.

5. Configure Print Settings

Printers offer the option to reduce the print quality for various tasks to save ink. Pictures should be printed with the finest possible setting on the print quality option. While the image will require more ink, the human eye will appreciate the fine colors printed in the image on the highest resolution setting.

6. Match Settings To Paper Type

Glossy paper and matte paper will require different print settings to achieve superior results for each printed picture. The print manual will specify how to change the setting in the printer for each paper type.

7. Test The Settings

Send a small photo to the printer with all of the settings in place for the printing project. Examine the result to ensure that the image reveals clear color separation and appropriate details. Allow the print to dry before proceeding to the next step.

Print Great Photos Every Time

A great combination of high-resolution digital images and appropriate print settings will result in beautifully printed images. Printer supplies are just as important as the previous steps.

8. Select Image Size

Most photographers have an idea of the size of prints that will be produced from the images captured with the camera. Standard 4-by-6-inch photos can be printed from a three to five-megapixel image with remarkable clarity. Extremely high-resolution images should be modified to lower the resolution to prevent overloading the printer. Aligning the digital image resolution with the printer resolution will provide better image quality on paper.

9. Use High-Quality Ink

Printer manufacturers produce ink that is designed to produce the best possible results from their hardware. Ink substitutions might result in poorer print quality, which is noticeable in photo clarity and longevity of the photo.

10. Choose Superior Paper

Certain printer manufacturers produce paper that is designed for the printer models produced by the company. One package of the photo paper that is designed for the printer will convince the photographer that high-quality paper makes all the difference for print projects.

Final Word

Practice will make the photographer more comfortable with the process of preparing the images and printer for the final steps where beautiful pictures come forth from the printer. Each time the entire process is used, the photographer should take some notes to remember the adjustments that must be made to produce clear images on paper.

James spends most of his time blogging, writing and researching but can also be found working with ink and toner cartridges like HP toner from time to time.


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