Settings for Printing Photographs

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jackfitzgerald, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. My friend is including a handful of my photographs in a collection of poetry he is releasing in the coming weeks. The collection will be released online, but he wants to have a physical copy bound for his mother as gift for her birthday. What settings should i be tweaking to make sure the images come out as best as possible? I am aware that something needs to be done with the DPI settings, but not to clear as to what they may be.
  2. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

  3. It depends on the printer, paper, ink and whether any adjustments to the image were made on a calibrated monitor. Nothing will match what you see on a monitor in every respect, but you can come close enough for government work.
  4. You said "bound". Are you sending them to a photo book publisher, like Printique (nee AdoramaPix) or Shutterfly? They have online instructions about how to prepare images for them. In my experience, they don't ask you for a DPI setting. Other than things I can't print myself (books, metal prints), I almost always print myself, but I occasionally have used a good lab, and they didn't ask for DPI either. They set that for their own printers.

    On the other hand, if you are printing yourself, your printer has a native resolution, which you should use.

    But that is just DPI. there are lots of other considerations. Step one in the tree to figure this out is whether you are sending them off or printing yourself.
  5. That is correct.

    Here is something that illustrates the importance of the right printer, inks and paper.

    Papers, Ink and Printers…they Matter!

    OP, make lots of test prints to perfect your work.
  6. As a corollary, it may be better to use images directly from the camera, without adjustment, than to make adjustments on a non-calibrated system.

    On the other hand, with color management, results using monitor and print profiles may not be be perfect, but the differences are smaller, which means a lot less trial and error.

    Your working environment affects your results too. A 120 cd monitor may be too bright, causing your prints to come out dark. Colors in the walls and computer background affect your perception during adjustments. I finally bought a print viewing lamp, bright and 6500K, which helps a lot. It's not a viewing booth, but only cost 1/10th as much, and is more consistent than sunlight (especially this time of year in Chicago).
  7. What kind of lamp are you using, Ed?

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