Hot to get the best from your Printer
Getting the last ounce of performance from your printer requires a great deal of experimentation. You need to match your printers with your image source, and also take into account the subject of the photograph and the quality of paper used.There are simply so many variables that the digital photo printing is rapidly becoming as much of an art form as traditional darkroom developing.
Take the time to preform a series of testing printers using a few different setting on you printer. Your printer software driver will always have a [Quality-Speed] setting,and obviously the Quality setting is more suited to print color images such as photos. However that’s the printing for Dummies level – experts such as us always click on the Advanced setting tab. The Advanced option vary from printer, but usually enable you to fine-tune the colors in the images and adjust the printer resolution to suit the type of paper being used.. Some printers employ techniques to reduce banding, and most allow you to actually save your setting once you’re happy.
A good idea is to photograph a standard color chart, and use that to adjust your link colors for the best results. Remember to photograph the chart both indoors, outdoors and with flash, because each location causes a different color cast. You can then build up a library of printer setting to suit each photograph.
Color printers may be cheaper now than ever before, but that still doesn’t mean they’re disposable. Maintenance is crucial if you want to get consistent results for your printer. If you see streaks or bands appearing, then it’s a sing that you should clean the print head and check nozzles. Thankfully ,this is always an automatic function these days ,usually involving just pressing a few buttons on the printer, or making use of a feature built into you printer driver utility. It is also worth remembering that you should dusty your printer regularly, to avoid it becoming encrusted with gunk- which in turn leads to a greater change of the paper heading down for a jam session. Locate the printer with care: direct sunlight can dry the inks prematurely, and sitting it to close to a monitor can distort your video display!
Depending on the manufacturer, some printers go though a head alignment process when first used . Occasionally this alignment can drift, and so its pays to repeat the process if you suspect that your images are suffering. Every time you change ink cartridges, you have to preform the checks . Look after your link. When you are buying , look at the ‘Use by’ dates. Modern inks are complicated mixture of pigments and solvents, and over time they subtly change.Store unused cartridges in a cool dry place not to stock up for several years in advance. re inking kits can be used to save money, but are often more trouble than they worth. While it’s tempting to frame your best shots, be careful where you place them . Most inks fade dramatically if left out in direct sunlight, causing discoloration and loss of contrast. Keep your beast images on disk so you can reprint them if necessary . Dye-sublimation printers are less prone to fading.
The choice of paper is crucial to getting the best results from your printer. While stranded laser or photocopy printing is cheap, photos demand more. All the big manufacturers (Epson, Hewlett Packard, Kodak) produce their own branded paper : glossy, extra-glossy, super-brilliant-white-extra glossy- the range is staggering. . The better papers instantly absorb the ink, drying quickly without allowing the tiny droplets to spread. This enables higher printing resolutions to be used, witch in turn makes for better definition and finer color dithering. The shiny appearance of the glossy paper makes the print more like an ordinary photograph. Although it’s not cheap, the results are worth it. The manufactures often sell samples or trail packs, with a few sheets of each , so experimentation is needed.
SHOPPING FOR COLOR
The ideal printer will be practically free, cheap to run, and produce laser-quality text and photographic quality color images at a rate of 20 pages per minute. Obviously having these features in a printer is impossible, and so you need to reach a compromise. Some printers sacrifice text quality for images quality, others are great at text yet lousy at pictures . Some cost you a fortune, others are cheap but slow. Irritatingly,almost no new printers comes with a printer cable; and the Usb interface in coming, but it’s not quite here yet! Color printers come in many different shapes an sizes . The growth in digital photography has produced an entirely new kind of printer, one which isn’t designed to print to ordinary paper at all. Printers such as the Fuji NX5D use special postcard-sized paper to develop the image and although the process is slow, the results are as close to photographs are you’re likely to get. Other printers, such as those from Alps, use color ribbons witch transfer images onto special glossy paper with amazing results.
The said, for overall flexibility you can’t beat the color ink jet.The large range means there is one to suit every budget, from the Lexmark 1100 to the Epson 1520. With printers such as these and the Hewlett Packard models, you can produce stunning color prints. One more thing: if you absolutely need photographic quality, many commercial graphic design houses can take an ordinary graphics image in JPEG format and expose it to standard 35mm film.Usually this process is used to create slides for business presentations, but they can expose your image onto color negative film instead. You can then get this made into ordinary photo prints. tt almost brings everything full circle, doesn’t it ?