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10/09/2017 01:02:27 PM · #1
Hey guys... Not sure I should admit this or not but I don't think I've ever printed any of my work... I think it's time.

I want to start printing stuff for a couple of reasons... One - Gifts to family members who have been asking me for years to print out my work for them so they can hang it on their walls or in their offices at work. Two - I'd like to start selling prints to friends and friends of friends.

To do this, I would like to know the in's and out's of printing since like I said... I don't think I've ever had any of my work printed.

Does anyone have any resources that would help me? Tutorials? How to export properly from Lightroom and Photoshop? What to look for in a printing company? What surface to print on?

Basically any question that revolves around printing...
10/09/2017 01:33:03 PM · #2
you are not alone. waiting to see what this thread brings.
10/09/2017 03:16:31 PM · #3
If you are thinking of generating prints at home, I don't have much info to offer. I'm sure others will help with home printing advice. But, I haven't printed anything at home for 5 years.

It was an epiphany and a life-saver to shift to having ALL my prints made at a quality print house. The good ones do it cheaper, better and with more reliability.

There are some fundamentals which, when mastered, help the end product:

My fav print houses have a ROES (remote order entry system) for professional photographers. That type of ordering system will produce your best prints.

1. Get the exposure right.
2. Manage your white balance.
3. Save files at highest resolution you can muster.
4. Generate sharp images (get it right in the camera), but do not oversharpen in pp.
5. Save files in sRGB color space (More specifically sRGB IEC61966-2.1.). My fav print houses recommend this. It helps match the image on your monitor to the final print.
6. Crop your image to the proportion you wish to use. (Almost all of my images are 3:2 or 4:5 or, on rare occasions, square.)
7. Calibrate your monitor on a regular basis. Set the brightness to the middle of its range. (most users think they want their screen as bright as possible, and they turn the brightness up too high. Then when viewing their images, this will result in images adjusted too dark, with the dark end of the images clipped.)
8. Submit JPEG files to the print house.

I use MeridianPro. I've also heard good things about WhiteHouse and Bay Photo.

At this point in my life, I would never go back to owning a photo printer at home. My time is better spent with camera-in-hand.

10/09/2017 03:58:59 PM · #4
Originally posted by hahn23:

If you are thinking of generating prints at home, I don't have much info to offer. I'm sure others will help with home printing advice. But, I haven't printed anything at home for 5 years.

It was an epiphany and a life-saver to shift to having ALL my prints made at a quality print house. The good ones do it cheaper, better and with more reliability.

There are some fundamentals which, when mastered, help the end product:

My fav print houses have a ROES (remote order entry system) for professional photographers. That type of ordering system will produce your best prints.

1. Get the exposure right.
2. Manage your white balance.
3. Save files at highest resolution you can muster.
4. Generate sharp images (get it right in the camera), but do not oversharpen in pp.
5. Save files in sRGB color space (More specifically sRGB IEC61966-2.1.). My fav print houses recommend this. It helps match the image on your monitor to the final print.
6. Crop your image to the proportion you wish to use. (Almost all of my images are 3:2 or 4:5 or, on rare occasions, square.)
7. Calibrate your monitor on a regular basis. Set the brightness to the middle of its range. (most users think they want their screen as bright as possible, and they turn the brightness up too high. Then when viewing their images, this will result in images adjusted too dark, with the dark end of the images clipped.)
8. Submit JPEG files to the print house.

I use MeridianPro. I've also heard good things about WhiteHouse and Bay Photo.

At this point in my life, I would never go back to owning a photo printer at home. My time is better spent with camera-in-hand.


A couple questions related to your post.

1 - Note to self, learn how to read histogram charts for my images. Lol.
2 - If I shoot RAW and do changes in PP will this effect a print?
3 - Also another research project for me to make sure I am in fact keeping he files I have as large as they can be when I export them.
4 - Big question... How much is too much sharpening in PP? Is there a rule of thumb here?
5 - I will look up tutorials for this since I don't know much about file types for color.
6 - I've started to get into the habit of cropping my image based on the proportion in which my camera shoots in. I figured later down the road if I wanted to print the image, it wouldn't be too hard to crop to the correct proportion. Thanks for this heads up.
7 - In the market for a new monitor anyways so I will look into this when I do end up getting one.
8 - Submit JPEG as opposed to what? In other words, what should I avoid?
10/09/2017 04:01:21 PM · #5
And judging from the prints I've seen hanging in Richard's gallery, he knows of what he speaks!

ETA: I've also done relatively little printing, but I am currently having some of my eclipse images printed. Because of the unusual nature of these images, I wanted to be sure that what comes out of the printer was going to meet expectations. I'm lucky enough to have a high-quality print house locally, and I took my files in and sat with them for a while, ran some small test prints. Glad I did, I am now confident that when I get the final prints, they will wow me.

Message edited by author 2017-10-09 16:05:02.
10/09/2017 08:55:55 PM · #6
Originally posted by hahn23:

7. Calibrate your monitor on a regular basis. Set the brightness to the middle of its range. (most users think they want their screen as bright as possible, and they turn the brightness up too high. Then when viewing their images, this will result in images adjusted too dark, with the dark end of the images clipped.)


I would go a step further than this, and strongly recommend getting a monitor calibration device. I used to use a Pantone Huey, but I don't think they make those any longer. I now use a Spyder5 to calibrate my monitor.

With this device, what I see on the screen is very much identical to what comes out of the printer. I really see it as a must-have tool for printing. Back before I started using these, it was basically a crap shoot as to how much my prints would look like what I was expecting!

Message edited by author 2017-10-09 20:56:21.
10/10/2017 12:05:23 AM · #7
I do both some home printing and printing at a print house. For the latter I have to download their colour profile (apparently based on Fuji photo paper) and rotate all images into portrait mode. The images that I want them to print are exported from Lightroom as JPGs (using my edited Tiff files as base), using their colour profile and with JPG quality set on 80%. You also can can choose for sharpening for print (low to high).

For my home printing (up to A3 format) I nowadays use the same workflow, except for the colour profile (I use the before mentioned sRGB). At first my colours were sometimes quite off, but since calibrating all my screens the colours are fine now. And what Richard says about the brightness is completely true; at first my prints were too dark but adjusting the brightness of the screen and therefore adjusting the brightness of the images did the trick.

As for paper, there’s so many choices, you probably have to experiment with it. I like to use glossy photo paper, but when I make prints that will be framed (behind glass) I go for lustre photo paper. I never uses matte photo paper.
10/10/2017 04:18:59 AM · #8
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:


A couple questions related to your post.

1 - Note to self, learn how to read histogram charts for my images. Lol.
2 - If I shoot RAW and do changes in PP will this effect a print?

Yes, changes that show on your monitor will affect the print.

3 - Also another research project for me to make sure I am in fact keeping he files I have as large as they can be when I export them.
4 - Big question... How much is too much sharpening in PP? Is there a rule of thumb here?

The appearance of halos and artifacts result from too much sharpening.

5 - I will look up tutorials for this since I don't know much about file types for color.

The print houses I use uniformly recommend sRGB.

6 - I've started to get into the habit of cropping my image based on the proportion in which my camera shoots in. I figured later down the road if I wanted to print the image, it wouldn't be too hard to crop to the correct proportion. Thanks for this heads up.

Stlcking to standard sizes will save you money in the long run on mats and frames. Also, composition is aided by the friendly to the eye proportions.

7 - In the market for a new monitor anyways so I will look into this when I do end up getting one.

Apple's monitors have built in calibration software. That's all I've ever used and I get great color matches to the print house output. The screen brightness at middle is really important.

8 - Submit JPEG as opposed to what? In other words, what should I avoid?

Use JPEG because it's the standard and compressed (without image deterioration) for efficient Internet file transmission. TIFFs tend to be much larger files, but are lossless. All other file types will probably be not used by your print house. Ultimately, convert the files to be printed by a print house to a JPEG format.


Message edited by author 2017-10-10 04:31:39.
10/10/2017 12:05:10 PM · #9
Thank you all for the help. I know this will be a lot of trial and error which sucks but it is what it is...

Question... I have been using a tv screen recently for my monitor (because I game on the same set up) and was wondering if I could calibrate a tv screen just as easy as I could a computer monitor...?
10/10/2017 07:11:01 PM · #10
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Thank you all for the help. I know this will be a lot of trial and error which sucks but it is what it is...

Question... I have been using a tv screen recently for my monitor (because I game on the same set up) and was wondering if I could calibrate a tv screen just as easy as I could a computer monitor...?

If you can adjust the intensity and contrast of the individual channels you probably can with one of those external calibration devices or trial and error.

FWIW I do about 99% of my printing at Costco -- quality Fuji photo paper (up to 12x18) on well-maintained machines (printer profiles available though I don't use them), good service, great prices. Upload and order from home, prints are usually available for pick-up in 1-2 hours or you can have them mailed (4x6 prints are mailed free!).
10/11/2017 04:05:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Thank you all for the help. I know this will be a lot of trial and error which sucks but it is what it is...

Question... I have been using a tv screen recently for my monitor (because I game on the same set up) and was wondering if I could calibrate a tv screen just as easy as I could a computer monitor...?

If you can adjust the intensity and contrast of the individual channels you probably can with one of those external calibration devices or trial and error.

FWIW I do about 99% of my printing at Costco -- quality Fuji photo paper (up to 12x18) on well-maintained machines (printer profiles available though I don't use them), good service, great prices. Upload and order from home, prints are usually available for pick-up in 1-2 hours or you can have them mailed (4x6 prints are mailed free!).


Would you trust Costco for high enough quality to sell the prints?
10/11/2017 08:18:55 PM · #12
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Would you trust Costco for high enough quality to sell the prints?

Sure, though you should probably print some sample images and check for yourself first.
10/11/2017 09:32:35 PM · #13
Interesting ideas here. Some of mine were printed at Costco, & framed under glass. Costco has been reliable, predictable, & economical for me but never forget that the quality of the print depends on the file you send them. Preparing for print is its own unique process.

My personal preference is not for glass & gloss. I prefer the visual accessibility of wrapped canvas prints & Costco does a fine job on those, too.

I've also had some printed on silk fabric, for scarves. I always intended to stretch a couple of them on frames, to hang in a window but never got around to it. I'm thinking of printing to clear plastic instead, for window clings. Instant stained glass!

Message edited by author 2017-10-11 21:36:44.
10/12/2017 08:17:29 AM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Would you trust Costco for high enough quality to sell the prints?

Sure, though you should probably print some sample images and check for yourself first.


Noted. Once these images are done with current challenge voting I will be asking more specific question related to the "way you prepare a print" as said by 21_F.gif pixelpig.

Thanks for all the help on this. I will try Costco first and then move on if I'm not happy.
10/12/2017 07:46:02 PM · #15
the big thing is to be clear on your intended end result.

are you looking to make gallery-quality fine art? or are you just looking to put stuff on the wall?

like anything else in photography, you can drive yourself nuts, obsessing over the most insignificant details, only to find that it really just doesn't matter. now, if obsessing over insignificant details is how you relax and enjoy things, then by all means, dive deep.

otherwise, find your own sweet spot for how to get what makes you happy with the least amount of computer time. then you can spend more time behind the camera (like richard), looking to capture something else to hang on your walls.

i've been getting great results from easycanvasprints, as well as enjoying insane prices. they regularly have "85% off" deals - 16x20 for $23-ish, 18x24 for $27-ish. canvases look great.

nothing beats having great images on your walls where they can be seen and appreciated in real life, as opposed to being locked away in some digital purgatory.

well, there is one thing that beats that...having someone pay you to put *your* images on *their* walls :D (another thing richard can attest to)

Message edited by author 2017-10-12 19:46:56.
10/13/2017 01:38:56 PM · #16
I use Costco.
Depending on whether you print at your local Costco or by mail, you can download a profile to use.
These links came from the footer of Costco photo's web page.

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Would you trust Costco for high enough quality to sell the prints?

Sure, though you should probably print some sample images and check for yourself first.


Message edited by author 2017-10-13 13:40:31.
10/13/2017 01:42:45 PM · #17
I ordered from them as well and was very impressed with the quality and color. And my wife was happy to have some imafges from our recent Italy trip! ;)
Originally posted by Skip:


i've been getting great results from easycanvasprints, as well as enjoying insane prices. they regularly have "85% off" deals - 16x20 for $23-ish, 18x24 for $27-ish. canvases look great.
10/14/2017 09:48:56 AM · #18
I broke down and bought an Epson Pro Stylus 3880 a couple of years ago. It prints up to 17x22.

I got tired of paying as much as $50 for high quality prints without the option of reprinting on the spot if I decided I wanted the image better than what first came out of the printer. I can't tell you how many times I spent good money to have something printed only to wish it had been a little lighter/darker/more contrast/more pop.......and at the point where I was already committed to the print because it was someone else's printer. I figure it costs me about five dollars max to print a 17x22. If I wanna scrap it, no big deal.

I do have a guy now who very much suits me, and will reprint if I'm not happy, but I pretty much only utilize his services for really big prints and canvas.

The whole thing with calibration and all that has always eluded me as I've always wanted to have the option to revise my image and reprint. Sometimes I just don't care if it's wholly accurate/realistic......I want it a certain way to represent my own vision of the image.
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