Basic Printing Tips
Now that you have taken, loaded, edited and stored your wonderful photographs, you may decide to print them but do you do that at home, at a high street store or use an online lab?
It all depends on your budget and what you want the images for.
If I am just printing a photo to stick on the fridge or send to a friend, I will use one of my printers at home. I have two, one professional A3 printer and a basic all rounder (printer, scanner, fax etc). If the photos are slightly more important and I need them immediately I will use a high street lab and if they are for framing at home, I will use an online professional service.
Weddings, portraits or any client based photography
99.9% of the time I will use an online professional lab as I know the quality will be exceptional and they will use the finest quality paper. What online labs also do is pay attention to your colour management (a bit more advanced) for example sRGB, Adobe RGB and so on. Many high street labs pay no attention to this whatsoever and the results can often be quite disappointing.
Please understand that in the same way that it is the lens and not the camera that creates great images, with printing, the paper you use is of paramount importance to both quality and longevity.
Papers come in many styles from standard, plain photo paper to canvas prints and crazy-but-awesome-looking metallic printing paper. The weight is also important (the heavier the better) so please, if the prints are important and you are printing at home or using a professional lab, use the best paper you can afford.
All printers these days are very user friendly, they come with all the information you need to get started as well as clear and concise instructions.
Once your printer, software and drivers are installed (many are “plug and play” these days), the software will provide a “printing wizard” for you to follow with ease. It would be pointless to give a demo here as all printers are different and change all the time.
When doing practice prints to ensure alignment, size and colours are correct, set the print quality to draft and use standard paper. That will save money on ink and quality paper wastage.
Congratulations, you have now completed the absolute beginners section and I hope you now feel more confident with your camera and that you are starting to see results.
Now move onto the DSLR Training section for more in depth training!