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Start PRINTING your photos today | ESSENTIAL Tips and Tricks

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Everything you need to know to start printing your photographs perfectly today! Whether you’re using a lab or you’re own printer I’ve got some tips to really help you out.

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I absolutely love printing my pictures. It is the final step in creating an image and it just brings the work to life. I genuinely believe that photography is an art and when you print out a picture and hold it in your hand it is difficult to argue with that. You can see and feel the amount of work that has gone into creating the image and it takes on a new life once you can physically hold it in your hand.

I’m going to assume you are using Lightroom to edit your images but if you’re not the same applies to other software. I really recommend Lightroom though so I’ll put a link above where you can get a free trial. Once you have finished your edit and it’s time to print, the first thing to do is create a virtual copy of the image. This is going to be our print file. When we look at our image on a screen it is backlit by the monitor and once you print your image you obviously do not have that. So to compensate for this I always increase my exposure just a touch. Somewhere between a quarter and half a stop and it avoids the image printing out dull and disappointing. I then just pop that virtual copy into a collection so I have it for future reference.

Lab Vs DIY

So let’s just talk briefly about using a lab vs DIY.

Having your own good photo printer is a very nice thing. I have this Canon Pro 10s which prints up to A3+. It produces prints that are equal to the quality of a lab and I absolutely love it. It is expensive though and you need to work out whether it will be worth it for you.

A lab can often work out cheaper if you are not printing very often. They are also more versatile in terms of the size of print, the material you can print on and you can easily try out different papers. The downside is you’re not in control and the results can often be disappointing and colour not accurate.

Colour Accuracy

Accurate colour is important because we want our images to print out to match how we have edited them on the screen. You don’t your beautiful orange and pink sunset to print out green. There’s a lot going on to go from screen to paper so we use ICC profiles to make it easy. ICC profiles are based on the type of printer being used and the type of paper. Once installed we can go into Lightroom and enable soft proofing in the develop module, select the paper you want to use and get a good idea of how your print will look on paper.

Good labs should all provide ICC profiles for you to download for free and if you are printing yourself, paper companies should provide them for your printer model.

So once you have applied the profile and made an adjustments you are now ready to print.

Next we need to decide what type of paper we’re going to use. Generally there are three kinds

Semi Gloss

The type and quality of the paper you use can massively affect the final print. It is very much a personal thing and something you will need to experiment with. As a general rule though I use a glossy finish for images that are heavily saturated and colourful.

The glossy finish really helps the colours to pop and it works perfectly for my water drop images and they just look brilliant.

Semi Gloss – I think is my favourite. I have been using Canson Baryta for years and it’s just a magnificent paper. It feels and looks extremely professional and high quality and works a really wide range of images. The majority of landscape prints I sell are printed on this.

Matt or Rag paper – Good cotton rag paper is the best bet for a matt finish. Good rag papers will have a high DMax rating which mean they hold the blacks very very well. Rag papers are perfect for black and white images although are also great for certain landscapes and colour portraits when a more muted fine art feel is required.

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

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This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Gorgemuld

    Thank you for the video!
    I have a question, regarding aspect ratio and printing for "border-less".
    Maybe you have already made a video about this, but I would love to hear your take on this.
    Kind regards

  2. Alan Lafferty

    Great video Adam
    Just started selling prints
    Sony sensor is 3:2
    Socials are 4:5
    Printers do most sizes
    Prices jump considerably from A3 to A2 size.
    Frames tend to be different sizes again.
    Hard thing to make second nature.

    I was thinking to crop all pics the way I want it and then add a border big enough to allow me to crop to A4, A3 ratios but then I may have unevenly distributed borders.

    Do you stick to specific ratios for your photos and then you know which size to order or do you adjust the photo and then pick the size to match?

  3. Fish 3010

    For some reason soft proofing adds more blue to the image and when printing it's actually extra orange-ish.

  4. Joel Crow

    Your voice sounds just like Colin Bryce from WSM, not just your accent but your voice too

  5. Ian McDonald

    Thanks for the video! I’ve been thinking of printing some of my images and finally took the plunge and used an online photo lab, I wanted to print an image for a relative as a present. I decided to go with a gloss image that I wanted to put in a frame with a glass front. I found that the gloss print reacts with the glass, making smudge like impressions, I spoke to the print lab I used and they told me it was down to the fact I’d used gloss and they told me I should use Matt prints.? I’ve sort of got round it by holding the image away from the glass with card strips round the border, can you tell me if the same happens when using semi-gloss? I don’t really want to compromise on colours so would rather not use Matt! Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated

  6. Paul Leather

    Is there any chance of you running through how to use the Pixma Pro 10s. The programs that come with the disc are all about calendars and Christmas cards which I'm not interested in. Yours in hope Paul

  7. Mark DG

    This would be much better if he wasn’t waffling on and just got on with the actual topic!

  8. Thomas Ruhland

    Hi First man! How are you? I was wondering, how much it cost you to print one image at home ( paper, ink, etc..) compared to one image printed at your local print shop. Let's say A3 format. Did you ever calculate this? Have a good day. Tom

  9. Jamie Quirke

    Can you help me in explaining print settings? I struggle with the DPI in Lightroom for all sizes. Can you shed some information please, Adam?

  10. Steve P

    Borders make the photo look like traditional darkroom printing when using an easel that kept the paper flat while projecting the image.

  11. meanbean98

    what program are you using or maybe i missed something long day…

  12. meanbean98

    omg i miss that so much i had so many cannon printers and epsons and did so much photo restoration years ago before digital really took over but seeing it on paper is nice also had a lab but for the restoration would do it at home .Now i just love art need to get my camera back out actually some phones take better pics so hi def now nice very cool … im sure its costly everything back in the day was that magical number 500 and up expensive wondering how much these cost now.. oh color accuracy is def important

  13. Marcio Souza

    Hi Adam! How do you put your name on the right corner of your printed images? In one of your images shown on the vídeo, I noticed that it has your name on the bottom right corner. Thanks!

  14. Dahak666

    Is the printer u use good to print art pieces and what ? By ? papers can it print out? For example like a 18×24 sheet. Also what paper do you recommend for art pieces?

  15. Arkey

    I'm trying to do papercraft. I even dimmed and calibrated my monitor and played with the brightness in photoshop. All the test prints of individuals and colorful clowns juggling came out half decent. But when it comes to my pdf print. It all comes out dark and muddy and not as vibrant as see on my monitor. I have no idea how to fix this and I don't want to believe that its the file itself or else im screwed because i weeks making it.

  16. Alex

    I think your audio is peaking a little 😇

  17. ted brown

    Most printers cannot handle 310 gram paper. It's very thick and will Jam up in most printers.

  18. travelwithravi

    Nice video. Thanks for going through everything. I do have one question.

    After soft-proofing using ICC profile, do u use the same ICC profile under Print tab to print the image?

  19. Bob McDonald

    Really useful and informative, Adam and presented without the tech jargon – many thanks! Liked and subscribed 😊

  20. Cameron Majed

    Thanks for sharing, really helpful. Have you ever tried Maehlers paper ? Thanks again

  21. 60 sec's on crap and opening video, most of us just want to get to the "Essential Tips and Tricks" not the crapping on fracken crap, crap, crap !!!!

  22. Andrew Michael

    Wow, I do enjoy your videos, I learn a great deal, it’s as if we, the viewers and your YouTube Follows, are in this with you, kind of in your class at school (even if it sometimes feels like your telling us off too!!). I’d like to thank for guiding us on our photographic journey and sharing your journey. On the subject of printing I’ve just invested in my first photo printer, raised the bar so to speak. Your video is a really big help, it’s so rewarding to see your images in print and even though it’s a challenge to get it right it’s so worth it and I’d even go so far as to say it is helping my photography move to the next level by looking at the print and not the screen and backward thing the image taking and editing process and re-engineering my workflow. A great big thank you. 👍👏

  23. Carlson Darlson

    how long do I have to wait after removing a glossy image after printing or does the ink dry instantly?

  24. Ah yes, I can relate to driving a beautiful sports car with a beautiful girl next to me.

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