Want to achieve the best quality results when you print? Of course you do! With these top tips we show you how to obtain the very best results. Here are the 7 top tips for achieving the best results from your photo printing.
1. Shoot in RAW for better post-production control - capturing every detail for the finest print quality.
When you shoot in RAW you are recording all of the data recorded by the Camera's sensor, producing the highest quality image possible. With RAW there is no image compression and therefore no detail in the image is lost. Not only this but RAW records so much more data than a JPEG file, meaning that you have more scope to save an image if it was incorrectly exposed for instance. When you edit a RAW file, it is called non-destructive editing, as you never actually apply the changes made during the editing process to the image itself, but to what is termed as a sidecar file instead. This means that you can revert to the original file should you need to and there will be no loss of quality.
2. Shoot using the lowest ISO possible for less noise in your prints.
When shooting in low light conditions you may find that you need to use a higher ISO than say for someone shooting in daylight or studio conditions. Traditionally, higher ISOs did cause problems in the print by creating a 'graininess' called noise. Most modern day cameras now produce really good results at high ISOs, but to obtain the optimum quality it is always advisable to try and keep the ISO as low as is possible.
3. When shooting with a slower shutter speed, use a tripod and remote release for the sharpest possible printed image.
This is to eliminate problems caused by camera shake or wobble, which can make final images appear soft or even blurry. Even the lightest touch on your camera, no matter how careful you are can introduce shake into an image. It is really good practice to use a tripod whenever you can anyway to ensure you always get the best quality from your images; and taking this one step further by using a remote release will make sure you have done everything you can to make sure that your images are not affected by shake or wobble.
4. Choose print media carefully, for the right quality and feel to compliment your image.
The choice of media is so subjective and it really is down to personal taste and the end use of the image. There is a guide HERE that may help you in deciding if Gloss, Satin or Matt finishes are best for your project. Also read HERE if you want to know the differences between a Photo Paper and a Fine Art Paper.
5. Use a colour calibrated workflow, so that what you see, edit and perfect on screen is replicated in print.
This is a crucial step in printing as there is nothing more infuriating than sending your beautiful image of a field of lavenders to print and it comes out looking like someone threw the dish water out on the whole affair! You know it looks 'bob on' on your monitor and it is surprising how many people will go on to blame the printer when they are missing this key component to producing stunning images. It is important to regularly calibrate monitors and with the Canon PRO-Series printers, they have a built in densitometer as standard that you can use to recalibrate the printer. To see more about this feature read HERE.
6. Print contact sheets or full size prints on the shoot day, to help perfect your end product.
In the 'old days' we would use our trusty Polaroid camera for an almost instant image to ensure that everything was looking as it should be, as waiting for the Lab or to produce an image in the Darkroom would have been unfeasible. Now we can simply send our images to print, either as a contact sheet or as a full size image to instantly see and review an image. This allows us to make sure that everything is perfect before we produce the final print. Often Proofing Paper will be used at this review stage as it is cheaper than the paper used for the final image, but will still reproduce colours, tones and graduations accurately.
7. Use Canon's Print Studio Pro plug-in to enjoy a perfect workflow between your image and the final print.
See the Canon's 7 Top Tips for Better Photo Printing Video