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By carefully setting up and proofing your images in Lightroom, you can create prints worth sharing and selling. Author Tim Grey continues his exploration of Lightroom, this time in its Print module, and shows you how to print contact sheets and individual images, add watermarks and text overlays, create picture packages, correct inaccurate prints, and save print jobs for future use.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We're honored to host this training in our library. Watch more courses in this series here.
Once I've defined my print layout, and I feel that I'm ready to put ink to paper, then I can finalize my print settings, and actually print my image. And that is handled in the print job section, at the bottom of the right panel, so now that I have everything finalized, I'll go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of the right panel, to the print job section. I'll make sure that the print to option is set to printer rather than jpeg file. And I want a high quality print, so I'm going to turn off the draft mode printing option.
I'll specify a particular print resolution, so I'm going to turn on the print resolution check box if it's not on already. And then, I will specify a pixel printage resolution that is ideal for my particular printer. And, in this case, I'm using a photo ink jet printer that renders print data at 360 pixels per inch. And so im going to specify that as the output resolution. I can also apply a little bit of print sharpening. And this is different from the sharpening you are able to apply in the develop module. The develop module sharpening is really intended to compensate for a loss of sharpness in the original image.
The print sharpening options allows us to compensate for the nature of a print. When you put ink to paper, that ink is going to spread out a little bit, that's usually referred to as dot gain. And that will lead to a softer appearance than your actually seeing on your display. We can compensate for that by turning on the print sharpening check box, and then specifying the media type, glossy versus matte. Because more sharpening compensation is needed for a matte print for example. I'll go ahead and choose glossy in this case because that's the type of material I'm going to print to.
And then, I can choose low, standard, or high. There's no preview for this print sharpening and so you'll need to use a little trial and error to see which settings produce the best results for your particular print work flow and based on your taste. Notice that I also have the option to produce 16 bit output. Some printers and operating systems do support 16 bit output. Conceptually, that will improve the range of tonal values and color values you're able to produce and therefore reduce the risk of post roseation in that final print.
In most cases, though, the differences will not really be visible and so I wouldn't worry too much about that 16 bit option. Perhaps the most important settings relate to color management, and specifically how are we going to manage colors in order to ensure that we produce an accurate print? We have two basic options. We can either use the managed by printer option in which case light room will simply send the data as it is and allow the printer to compensate in order to produce an accurate print. Or, if you have an ICC profile available for the specific printer, ink, and paper combination that you're using for printing, you can choose that profile.
First, you need to make that profile available, I'll go ahead and click the pop up here, and then I'll choose other, which will bring up a dialogue where I can specify which profiles I want to have available. On the pop up list. I'll go ahead and specify a couple of the other profiles that I have installed on my system, for example. And then I'll click the okay button and now you can see that those additional profiles are available. In this case, though, I'm printing with an Epsom R-3000 printer. And I'll be using red reverse Ultra PRO sandy paper.
And, so I downloaded a profile. An ICC profile from the red river website. Essentially I want to make sure that I'm using a customized ICC profile for this specific printer, ink, and paper combination that I'm using. And usually the variable there is your printer plus the paper that you are using. And you can usually, then, from either the printer manufacturer or the paper manufacturer, download profiles from the website and install them on your system. They'll then be available on that list, so I've already downloaded and installed this Ultra PRO satin profile, I'll go ahead and choose that from the pop up.
I can then choose a rendering intent. My options are perceptual or relative. Generally speaking, if we have colors that are beyond the ability of your printer ink and paper combination to reproduce, then we'll need to apply some changes there. The perceptual rendering intent will actually desaturate the overall image being printed, so that all colors fit within the color gamut of the current print conditions. That retains the relationships between colors, but it does cause an overall loss of saturation. My preference in most cases is to use the relative option.
This will cause colors that fall within the gamut of your print setup to be printed exactly as they should be. Only the colors that are out of gamut will actually be adjusted and provided you don't have a huge range of colors that are out of gamut, I consider the relative color and metric option here to be the better choice. In addition we can apply print adjustments and this allows us to compensate for the particular behavior of our printer. In other words does the print appear to be a little bit too dark or too bright. But that's something that I really can't adjust for until I've made a test print.
So at the moment I'm going to turn that option off. And now I am ready to actually print my image. I'll go ahead and click the printer button because that would bring up my print dialogue. You can see that the printer is set to the particular printer I'm going to print to. But I want to make sure that all of my settings are appropriate. So I'll go to the pop up here. And bear in mind of course that the specific settings that are available will depend on your operating system. As well as the particular printer that you're using.
So I'm going to go through the settings for my setup, but of course your particular configuration might be a little bit different. Most importantly I want to make sure that I've established an appropriate type of paper. In this case for example, I will use a semi gloss paper option and that will produce a very good result utilizing my photo black ink on my semi gloss paper. Again I'm printing to an Ultra PRO certain paper type from a different manufacturer from Red River rather than Epson in this case. And so I need to use the closest matching paper type.
I also want to take a look at the advanced settings, and again, the particular options here will depend upon your printer and operating system configuration. But the bottom line is that we want to make sure that color management is disabled for your printer so that your printer does not apply any color adjustment, and that's because I'm using an ICC profile in order to compensate for the behavior of my printer, ink, and paper combination. So light room essentially is applying a color adjustment. To my image data so that I'll end up with an accurate print, I need to make sure then that my printer is not also applying any such compensation.
In many cases the setting will be referred to as no color adjustment or no color management, but again, the specific settings will depend on your configuration so be sure to check your printer documentation. To determine the best settings to use. Once you have those settings established, you're ready to click the print button in order to initiate that printed output.
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