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Inkjet Printing for Photographers
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Why inkjet printing?


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Inkjet Printing for Photographers

with Ben Long

Video: Why inkjet printing?

Not all inkjet printers are created equal; for photo printing you want a really particular kind of inkjet printer. The good news is, there aren't actually that many that you need to consider. The realm of photo-quality inkjet printing is pretty small, so you'll probably just be looking at about half a dozen printers. For the rest of this chapter you're going to sit in with my class at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute as I talk with them about all of the issues you need to consider when you're trying to pick a good printer for photo inkjet printing.
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  1. 9m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 50s
    2. Exploring why we print
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding what you need for this course
      3m 25s
  2. 13m 29s
    1. Why inkjet printing?
      4m 36s
    2. Understanding ink types: Dye vs. pigment
      4m 26s
    3. Discussing considerations for black and white
      1m 48s
    4. Reviewing the features
      2m 39s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Printing and your workflow
      3m 3s
    2. Printing black-and-white photos
      6m 49s
    3. Understanding the histogram
      7m 37s
    4. Understanding what localized adjustments are used for
      2m 38s
    5. Explaining the histogram with a practical example
      6m 51s
    6. Making a localized adjustment in a practical example
      5m 30s
    7. Evaluating a localized adjustment in a practical example
      2m 29s
    8. Refining a localized adjustment for effect
      13m 36s
    9. Making a gradient adjustment
      6m 47s
    10. Paying attention to viewing conditions
      4m 49s
    11. Summing up
      1m 50s
  4. 54m 36s
    1. Understanding pixels, printer dots, and resolution
      2m 44s
    2. Understanding resolution
      2m 33s
    3. Defining resampling and interpolation
      3m 41s
    4. Understanding where resizing fits into your workflow
      2m 12s
    5. Defining native printer resolution
      2m 39s
    6. Understanding the relationship between viewing distance and print size
      2m 1s
    7. Reducing image size in Photoshop
      9m 11s
    8. Cropping to a specific size and resolution using Canvas Size
      4m 34s
    9. Cropping to a specific size and resolution using the Crop tool
      5m 15s
    10. Enlarging an image in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    11. Creating a triptych
      3m 55s
    12. Creating a triptych using Automator on a Mac
      4m 5s
    13. Exploring the aesthetics of print size
      4m 39s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding how sharpening works
      3m 18s
    2. Sharpening in JPEG mode
      1m 26s
    3. Exploring sharpening workflows
      3m 47s
    4. Sharpening in Camera Raw
      6m 17s
    5. Looking at noise reduction
      1m 46s
    6. Sharpening output with Smart Sharpen
      11m 52s
    7. Understanding selective sharpening
      4m 25s
    8. Sharpening through an edge mask
      7m 17s
    9. Reviewing high-pass sharpening
      4m 30s
    10. Applying aggressive sharpening
      8m 53s
    11. Exploring advanced sharpening techniques
      9m 7s
    12. Exploring the Print dialog
      11m 35s
    13. Proofing at smaller sizes
      3m 3s
  6. 53m 9s
    1. Exploring how color works
      2m 5s
    2. Reviewing color models
      2m 56s
    3. Defining gamut and color space
      9m 55s
    4. Reviewing when colors go out of gamut
      4m 54s
    5. Configuring Photoshop's color settings
      5m 47s
    6. Changing color space in Camera Raw
      4m 7s
    7. Working in an advanced color space
      6m 13s
    8. Assigning a color space in Photoshop
      2m 20s
    9. Correcting a color image
      9m 17s
    10. Printing a color image
      3m 30s
    11. Evaluating the print
      2m 5s
  7. 34m 46s
    1. What is color management?
      4m 16s
    2. Profiling a monitor
      8m 45s
    3. Evaluating a monitor profile
      4m 37s
    4. Exploring paper profiles
      5m 17s
    5. Understanding soft proofing
      11m 51s
  8. 24m 33s
    1. Understanding how paper quality affects the appearance of black in prints
      3m 26s
    2. Looking at third-party papers
      3m 46s
    3. Looking at paper finish
      3m 44s
    4. Understanding paper traits
      6m 31s
    5. Discussing paper choice and presentation
      7m 6s
  9. 23m 18s
    1. Printing a black-and-white image
      11m 45s
    2. Printing a color image
      11m 33s
  10. 1m 16s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 16s

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Inkjet Printing for Photographers
5h 53m Intermediate Sep 14, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Why print with inkjet?
  • Types of inkjet printers: dyes versus pigments
  • Making image adjustments specifically for printing
  • Printing black-and-white photos
  • Resizing an image
  • Choosing paper
  • Working with sharpening and noise reduction
  • Color management
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Printing Photos
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Ben Long

Why inkjet printing?

Not all inkjet printers are created equal; for photo printing you want a really particular kind of inkjet printer. The good news is, there aren't actually that many that you need to consider. The realm of photo-quality inkjet printing is pretty small, so you'll probably just be looking at about half a dozen printers. For the rest of this chapter you're going to sit in with my class at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute as I talk with them about all of the issues you need to consider when you're trying to pick a good printer for photo inkjet printing.

And we're going to start that right now with a discussion of why inkjet is better than the other printing technologies that are currently available. There are a lot of different printing technologies out there. There is inkjet, which we've been using. There are also Laser printers which you might have used. And there are some other technologies what you might not have heard of, like dye sublimation or thermal wax. For the most part, as far as photo printing goes, it's entirely about inkjet these days. Those other technologies, like thermal wax where, those were printers that actually had kind of like crayons in them that were melted onto the page.

Most of that has gone away. Dye sublimation, or dye sub, is still around, and one nice thing about dye sub is it gives you a truly continuous-tone print like you get in the darkroom; it's not a bunch of dots or anything like that. The downside to dye sub is you have to print on special dye sub paper, so you don't have a lot of paper options and it's expensive and the prints can be a little soft. Laser printers are nice because they're cheap. They're cheap to buy, and they are cheap to use. Cost-per-print wise is cheaper on a laser printer than anything else, even a color laser printer, but they don't have-- they're not continuous tone.

It's more like a newspaper. You look up close. You can see little dot patterns. They don't have the color gamut, meaning they don't have as wide a range of colors. Their detail isn't the same, and you can't print on lots of different media like glossy paper and stuff like that. So it comes down to inkjet. And inkjet it's a technology that's been around for quite a while, and it's called inkjet because it really is just that. It's a bunch of ink, and there is a little nozzle that's goes "splzzzz" and spits it all over the page in the shape of a photo. Now you might have an inkjet printer at home that you use for printing out Microsoft Word documents and things like that, and it might be color, and it might do an okay job of printing a photo.

What we have here is an actual inkjet printer designed specifically for photos. This specific one is an Epson Stylus Photo R2880, and they still make this printer. It's also been supplemented by a new printer, the R3000. The important thing about this printer is it uses--it doesn't have the sticker on anymore--the Epson K3 ink system, which is a very particular set of inks that's great for photo printing. So what happens when you send an image to the printer is as you know, onscreen every pixel is an individual color.

So the pixel in the upper left-hand corner might be red, and that red has a particular numeric value. That value is sent to the printer driver, which tries to translate that single dot of color into a pattern of printer dots of the same color. So this printer has eight different inks in it, I believe, and those are mixed together to create every other color. But they are not mixed together in the way that you would in a painting studio, where you glob a bunch of different inks together and swirl them around, and now you've got a final ink that's a particular color.

Instead, it's more like what you see in a magazine. They lay down patterns of dots in particular ways, and it just so happens that if you lay down out one of ink colors in a certain way next to some of the other ink colors, you get fuse or whatever. So a single-colored pixel on screen is represented on your page by maybe a hundred printer dots, teeny, tiny, little printer dots. So the first thing--the first mistake that people often make is they see the resolution of the printer--and this printer will list its resolution as 1440 dots/inch or 2880 dots/inch and they think, oh my gosh, I have to have an image that's 1440 pixels per inch. And that's not true, because a single pixel on your screen is represented by a whole bunch of printer dots.

And we'll talk about resolution later when we talk about how you size your images. So there are a number of different things to think about when you're choosing an inkjet printer. There are inks, whether you want to print black-and-white stuff, how big you want to print, what kind of computer you have, and so on and so forth. So we're going to talk about those in the next couple of movies here. For now I'd just say the thing to learn if you're serious about photo printing is don't worry about any other printing technology; get an inkjet printer, one specifically designed for printing photos, and we'll talk in a minute about what the differences are between that and the inkjet printer you might already have at home.

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