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.


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 ?

Author: charne

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