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In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the art and the craft of creating beautiful, archival-quality inkjet prints. The course looks at the anatomy of a print job: how a printer works, how to adjust and prepare your image to get the best results, and what happens to your photo in its journey from pixels to paper.
After a discussion of how to choose a printer, the course covers the process of preparing both black and white and color images using Adobe Photoshop. Ben describes how to take images from looking good onscreen to being properly adjusted for best results on paper, covering details such as sizing, sharpening, and color management.
With photographer and master framer Konrad Eek, Ben explores the creative decisions that photographers should address before printing. What size print? How does print size relate to the message of the photo and to the space where the photo will be displayed? What kinds of paper choices do you have, and how does your photo's content relate to the paper you choose?
The course also describes how to properly evaluate a print and how to handle common challenges that crop up during the printing process.
With this image adjusted, we're actually ready to get to the print dialog box and do our printing. So I'm going to go up here to File and choose Print. This should look pretty familiar to you. It's the same print dialog box we used when printing a black and white image and for the most part we need to make all of the same settings. We're going to do one thing a little bit differently. First thing I'm going to do as I did before is make sure that my printer is chosen correctly and then I'm going to Print Settings and choose My Media. If you are not familiar with these steps that I'm doing, you need to go back and watch the earlier print dialog movie. I'm just picking my paper.
This time, this is a color image, so I'm leaving Print mode set to AccuPhoto HD2. There are two ways of printing color pictures from Photoshop. One is to let the printer driver figure out how color should work and the other is to let Photoshop figure out how color should work. In this example we're going to let the printer driver figure the color. The advantage of this is it's easy to do. The Epson printer driver does a great job of choosing color. The disadvantage is there's no way to figure out a match between the screen and printer.
There's no time here when Photoshop is making any effort to figure out how to translate the on-screen image to the printed image. Now you may think why would I ever then want to print this way? Well, I think you find that actually your results can be very, very good, especially if you've been following the techniques we've outlined in this course. In the next chapter we'll show you how to do a color managed printing workflow wherein you try to get the screen to match the page and while that's great when it works, I think you'll see that there are some disadvantages to that as well.
So I've set my Print mode to AccuPhoto HD2, which is Epson's color print mode. Your printer might be different. I am going to set my Color mode to Adobe RGB, because, of course, that's where I'm choosing to work, and I am going to hit Save. I need to make sure that color handling is set to Printer Manages Colors. I have two options here, Printer Manages Colors or Photoshop Manages Colors. Now we configured this popup in our last Print dialog tutorial, because I needed the printer to manage colors because I was using a special black and white mode.
Here, I want the same things. I'm leaving that set like that making sure that my profile is set properly. Now Rendering Intent controls how Photoshop will map colors into the particular color space that the printer needs. For the most part all you ever need to do here is Relative Colorimetric. For sure, you do not need to do Saturation. You might want to experiment sometime with Perceptual, maybe Absolute Colorimetric. You will get different results if you choose those. So that's worth doing a little experimenting with.
For driver color I usually leave it set to Relative Colorimetric. I rarely find that changing the Rendering Intent here really makes any difference. I want the image centered, I'm not scaling, and I don't need any of printing marks. So I'm ready to print this image. When I'm working with driver color, this is really all I have to do whether or not I get a good print is really contingent on the edits that I've made and whether or not I have successfully adjusted the tone and color for the different parts of my image accordingly. As I mentioned before, test prints are pretty much always required.
So I might choose to do this at a smaller size. I'm pretty confident about this image. I'm going to hit the Print button and see how it comes out.
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