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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Here I want to provide a brief printing workflow overview and in this context I thought it might be helpful to mention a few topics like color space, resizing, sharpening, how we can work with presets, and also rendering intents. So let's dive right in. All right, well let's say that we've decided to use a particular template, in this case the Fine Art Mat template. Well the next thing that we really want to do before we make any other changes is to make sure we've dialed in our Page Setup options. So here we'll go ahead and click on Page Setup.
What we want to do of course is choose the correct printer, in this case the Epson 3800, and then our Paper Size. In this case, I'm going to go ahead and select the Super A3 paper size and I'm going to choose Manual and Rear. This allows me to use some of my fine art papers like the Velvet Fine Art paper, which I'm so fond of. So I'll go ahead and make that selection. You also want to dial in your Orientation. Now it's critical that you do this first, and you want to do this first because all the other changes that you make will be contingent upon your paper size, and it's also just a great place to start in regards to defining the paper size, thinking through, how do I want to print this, what type of paper am I going to use? So in this case we've selected the correct source.
Next step, click OK. All right, well you can see that didn't change the formatting of this because it's a little bit different regards to the size. Next thing we want to do is go to Print Settings and in Print Settings we want to define a few things. In this case, I need to go down to my Printer Settings and here what I'm going to do is turn off my Color Mode, make sure Color Management is off. I'll choose my Media Type. In this case we're going to go ahead and select Velvet Fine Art Paper. Well, because this is a way that I print quite often, what I want to do is save this out as a preset.
To do that, navigate to your Presets pulldown menu and then choose Save As and I'll name this Preset VFA for Velvet Fine Art - 13 x 19. That's the size, and I'll click OK. All right, well here in the Presets pulldown menu you can see that I've saved that there. That will help me speed up my overall workflow, as I continue to print more and more from Lightroom. All right, well once I've dialed that in, I'll go ahead and click Save. All that that's going to do is simply remember those Print Settings. Next, I can go into my panels.
Making your way over to your panels. One of the things that we could do is go into Layout and here we could go ahead and customize this. We could change the overall position of this or of course we can simply hover over this and click and drag one way or another. Now in this case there aren't really a lot of options that I want to change here. I liked the layout, so I'm just going to leave this all as is. That being said, you may want to go through your different panels, make any changes that you want to select here, as you modify these different options. So again I'll just click through these briefly, make sure I'm not overlooking anything and all of this looks great.
Next up, I'm going to go to the Print Job. Now what's interesting is that what we're doing here is we're working in Lightroom, which really doesn't have a color space, and for a lot of this, this is kind of tricky to understand. Because we're working in this raw context, this color space isn't quite relevant just yet. What's going to happen is it's going to work with a space which is similar to Pro Photo. It's going to then resize our photograph, resample it, either up or down as needed. In other words, based on the paper size and the actual image size here, Lightroom is going to take care of all of that for us.
Remember in Photoshop, we go to the Image Size dialog. We make all of our changes. Well here again, that's all taken care of for us, which is really nice. And the same thing goes for color space. Again, it's going to work all of those color issues out and help manage that process, if we do a few things right here. One of the first things you want to do is choose Print Resolution. Now by default, many people print at 300 pixels per inch. Often that's actually too much information. So you may want to experiment with a lower resolution like 240, or that being said, many times when I create huge poster size prints I print at 180, and it's kind of counterintuitive because you think that the larger the file the more resolution you need.
It's actually not true because when you have a really large photograph, say like on a billboard, your viewing distance is so far away that you actually need less resolution than an 8 x 10 that you're going to hold in your hand and hold close to your face. So again, you'll just want to experiment a little bit with Print Resolution. Next we have some Print Sharpening. What's going to happen with this sharpening is it's going to be contingent upon the overall resolution and the resizing or resampling of the photograph. So just keep in mind that a lot is going on here. Lightroom is really thinking about these issues, and it's not going to apply the same amount of sharpening regardless of the image. Rather it's going to say, okay, here is the file.
Here's how big the file is. Here's what we had to do with this file, either resize it up or down, and therefore we'll apply a certain amount of sharpening. What I recommend that you do of course is experiment with these different settings and print an image out, three different ways, look at them side-by-side. That will help you become familiar with how this sharpening actually works. All right, well what about Color Management? Well what we want to do here is first select our profile. We've talked about this already. We can select this from this pop-up menu here or go to Other.
We can add other profiles from the list. If we want to include those, I'll go ahead and turn on one other profile and click OK, and then here we can see that that's now showing up in this contextual menu. All right, well let's go back to the Velvet Fine Art profile because that's actually the one that we want. Next, Rendering Intent. We have two options, in this case Relative or Perceptual, and Relative is actually an abbreviation for Relative Colorimetric, and what this Rendering Intent does is it maps all the colors in the source image to the nearest equivalent of the in-gamut colors.
Now this is great because it says, "hey, you know what, there is a color which is out of gamut, like maybe this bright yellow here." It's going to then map that to the nearest equivalent of an in-gamut version of that color. The problem with this though is that sometimes there is clipping of colors, which are out of gamut. We kind of lose some of those colors. So then the other option is Perceptual. Why would you want to choose that? Well, what this does is it maps our colors to fit in your destination profile space and in this case it really creates nice color differentiations, those differentiations are preserved.
So it's looking at things and comparing them and bringing in those differences in a unique way. Now what happens to the brightest colors is the brightest colors are mapped to the brightest printable color within that space. Now some people really like Perceptual and you'll say certain images just look great, but sometimes, you may discover that it will unnecessarily desaturate certain colors. Like with this image, the color is pretty complicated here, right, because the exposure is pretty down and we have this bright spot of sun in the image.
And so if I printed this out, I would probably first try say Perceptual, because that's a lot of times the one we go for first. And if I discover that all of a sudden, you know what, it just feels too desaturated. I feel like it kind of knocked out some of those colors that I wanted. Well then, in that case I would go ahead and try Relative. Now of course with all printing, this is contingent upon your paper type, in other words, if you have a glossy paper, that is a wider gamut than a velvet or matte paper. So you need to test this out a little bit and what any print expert will tell you is that of course you want to dial in all your settings correctly.
You want to increase the chance of getting a print which matches what you're seeing on your monitor as closely as possible. But at the end of the day, in order to get really good at printing, you simply have to print and print and print again. You have to experiment and see how these images and colors work and see what color is kind of fall out of gamut in certain paper types, then in certain contexts in regards to the lighting and the overall situation and of course the subject matter. All right, well now that we've dialed in all of those options, our last step here is to either select Print One or Print...
When we press Print One, what that does is it skips the Print dialog. Now we can do that because we've already dialed in our Print Settings. On the other hand if we want to double- check things, we can also click Print... This will then open up our Print dialog. Here we can make sure we're printing to the right paper type, and then of course we can go down to our Printer Settings and here just double-check that we're doing everything correctly. And in this case, I think it looks good. The next step would be to simply click the Print button and then to wait expectantly as that print comes out of our printer.
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