Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring different types of printers and papers, part of Lightroom 4 Essential Training: 3 Creating Prints & Books.
Creating compelling photographic prints is about more than learning how to use the different sliders or controls. And so here what I want to do is talk a little bit about working with our printers and different paper types, because one of the things that I have discovered is that the paper type that you use, it can really affect the overall mood, feeling and quality of that final print. Let's start off by talking about printers. You know, there are so many different brands and type of printers out there, but one of the things that I think that you'll discover is once you find a printer which meets your needs, you'll find it to be a tool that you just can't live without.
In my own workflow, I use the Epson 3880, and one of the things that I've discovered is that by having this printer, it helps me actualize and kind of finalize my vision by creating these prints. And you know, a big part of printing is working with different types of paper. Here I have a number of different types of paper that just serve as examples. In each of these different types of paper, they have a different thickness, a different whiteness; some are a little bit more blue or others a bit more yellow.
They also have different texture. And what I found is that the thickness and the texture and the tone, well, it affects the overall mood and feeling of that final print. Let me explain. Here with this image, it's printed on a nice, thick, exhibition paper. Yet this one has a bit of a gloss or luster to it. When you look at this image depending on the angle, there will be a bit of a shine. I think of this type of paper is almost exciting. You'll see a lot of color saturation and contrast.
It can handle a lot. It's a beautiful paper type. In a sense, it's exciting and it's a little bit loud. Yet perhaps you have an image that's a bit more quiet. Let's say like this photograph here. This one was printed on a matte paper. Well here the white, it's a little bit more dull. Also, because of the way the ink is set on the paper, it's not going to have as high of a contrast or color saturation. The difference is subtle. Yet sometimes it's in that subtlety, it's in that nuance, which makes all the difference in the world.
Perhaps we could take this even further. Let's say we have a photograph like this one where we're really going for a mood or a feeling or an emotion. This is Velvet Fine Art paper. This paper is a lot like watercolor paper. Again, the ink is really set into the paper. You can't get as much of a color saturation here or as wide of a range of contrast, yet this paper has a wonderful feeling or mood or emotion. Now the trick here of course is that there is no one perfect printer and paper combination, rather it's thinking about your photographs.
And it's thinking about your vision for those pictures. And a lot of times what you'll discover is this. You'll gravitate towards a certain kind of paper; like you really like this one paper. You'll print one of your best images on it and it won't work. And here is why. Because sometimes certain images look best printed on different types of paper, you almost need to experiment and by experimenting, ideally what this can lead you to is that great combination or the image the way it was captured, the subject matter and then the paper and printer that was used somehow combine together to create something which is magic and compelling.
So as you seek to learn how to create more effective prints, here is what I recommend. Start experimenting, experimenting with different paper types and also with different images, and see if you can't find that perfect combination which will help you create more compelling photographs.
For more training on Lightroom, watch Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module and Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Enhancing Photos with the Develop Module.
- Creating better prints by soft proofing
- Choosing a soft proof rendering input
- Creating a custom template
- Customizing the print layout style
- Adjusting print to JPG settings
- Reviewing prints
- Creating collections for a book project
- Using Auto Layout
- Using guides and cell controls
- Swapping image position in a book
- Changing the book background
- Working with typography
- Adding captions
- Designing a book cover
- Exporting to PDF
- Ordering from Blurb