Modern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

A picture from Indonesia’s Komodo Nationwide Park that’s on deck for printing in Lightroom’s Print Module. Photograph by Jason Bradley.

Within the second installment of this four-part collection relating to photograph printing, I talked about creating consistency by means of calibrating our gadgets and launched you to ideas on the right way to apply ICC colour administration. The purpose was to supply a basis for printing with a way of management, by incorporating ICC profiles into your workflow. On this article, I’ll focus extra on the how-to of it by masking the vital steps and aims of a typical printing workflow, the key phrase right here being vital.

A typical printing workflow is much less in regards to the printer and software program you select or whether or not you utilize the producer’s print driver versus a third-party RIP (Raster Picture Processor; see the sidebar for extra on this subject). As a substitute, the steps I’m referring to are extra common, and they need to be famous whatever the aforementioned. Most significantly, each the placement of, and the configuration of, the settings as you print will range relying on the platform, the printer and the software program used. So, right here, I’ll focus on the problems that I deem to be “vital stuff” and that stay the identical from one printing workflow to a different.

Step 1: Gentle Proofing
After a file has been developed and is able to print, don’t hit the print button—but. I recommend that you just soft-proof first. A tough proof is a print we are able to maintain and take a look at to see if what we’ve made works, whereas smooth proofs are one thing we are able to take a look at earlier than hitting “Print”. Particularly, a smooth proof can inform us whether or not now we have colour out of gamut and, thus, provides the chance to make any changes earlier than printing.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 1: Right here’s a screenshot of a printer profile set within a show or monitor profile. As you possibly can see, they’re completely different. Coloration out of your file to your monitor to your print is completely different and may’t all the time be reproduced when changing to a printer profile.

When referring to out-of-gamut colours, I’m referring to colours in your file that your printer can’t reproduce (Determine 1). In my final article, I talked about how gadgets in our workflow chain reproduce colour in a different way. Regardless that your show can present you a selected shade of blue, that doesn’t imply your printer could make that very same blue. Gentle proofing permits us to determine if such a discrepancy exists between file and print. It tells us what colours are “out of gamut,” and it reveals the place in our photos the out-of-gamut colours are, offering us with the highway map we have to appropriate the issue. Right here’s the way it works when working in Lightroom.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 2: Examine the Gentle Proofing field to examine your picture file for out-of-gamut colour.

1. Whereas within the Develop Module in Lightroom, search for and examine the Gentle Proofing field within the toolbar (Determine 2).

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 3: Select the printer profile to your printer and the photograph paper you’re utilizing.

2. Search for the Gentle Proofing Panel within the higher proper of your consumer interface. Then choose the right printer profile for the printer and photograph paper you’re utilizing (Determine 3). In case you’re in search of your printer profile for the primary time, click on on Different and discover your profile from a range bigger than the one sampled in Determine 3.

3. Select a Perceptual or Relative Intent, situated beneath the place you selected your profile. With out getting too technical, rendering intents are completely different strategies for shifting colour from the pc to the printer. For probably the most half, Perceptual is the place you’ll wish to be, however you possibly can swap forwards and backwards to see which appears to be like higher. Ideally, you’ll see no change in any respect.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 4: Activate the Present Vacation spot Gamut Warning to establish your out-of-gamut colour.

4. Click on on the small Present Vacation spot Gamut Warning icon. Colours which might be out of gamut will then present as crimson (Determine 4).

TIP: Try the earlier article on this collection to learn extra about printer profiles and the right way to load them.

Step 2: Correcting Out-of-Gamut Coloration
Evidently, you possibly can print with out smooth proofing. The factor is, for those who print a file with out-of-gamut colour, that colour might be interpreted—which is a flowery phrase for guessing. Gentle proofing, thus, gives management, consistency and predictability.

When fixing out-of-gamut colour, the purpose, no matter strategy, is to alter the colour to one thing that’s printable with out the necessity for interpolation. The trick to doing that is to avoid world changes, which means, don’t use, say, the Saturation slider in Lightroom, as it should shift the saturation of all the colours in your file, not simply your out-of-gamut ones. Thus, assume when it comes to performing localized changes.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 5

1. One option to change colour is to alter its hue. Whereas in Lightroom’s Develop Module, open the HSL Panel, and click on on the Hue part. Subsequent, choose the Focused Adjustment instrument, which turns your cursor right into a crosshair. You then can click on immediately in your out-of-gamut colour and click-and-drag your mouse up or down to alter the hue of that colour (Determine 5). In fact, preserve your out-of-gamut clipping warnings energetic to see the crimson gamut warning fade or disappear as you go.

2. You can also change a colour by altering its degree of saturation. With this strategy, do every little thing virtually precisely the identical as within the final step, however as an alternative of choosing the Hue part, choose Saturation. Then, give attention to desaturating your out-of-gamut colour, which I’ve discovered to be the simpler option to carry colour into gamut. Alternatively, you possibly can desaturate a particular zone through the use of your Adjustment brush. Activate the comb, transfer your Saturation slider to the left and start brushing over the realm with out-of-gamut colour.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 5 & 5a: Use the Focused Adjustment instrument to simply choose and alter your out-of-gamut colour.

NOTE: As you alter a picture whereas smooth proofing, Lightroom will ask you after your first adjustment for those who’d wish to create a digital copy of your smooth proof. You’ll be able to select to Create Proof, or to Make This a Proof. Making the digital copy creates a duplicate that’s devoted to the adjustments made for print output solely (Determine 5a).

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 6: Click on the Web page Setup button to decide on the printer and paper you’re utilizing.

Step 3: Web page Setup
After your smooth proof, it’s time to go to Lightroom’s Print Module to start configuring the settings to your print. Within the lower-left nook of the Print Module, you’ll discover the Web page Setup button, which launches the Web page Setup dialog field when clicked (Determine 6). Your two objectives for this step are easy: Choose the printer you’re going to make use of and the paper measurement you’re printing on, be it roll paper or a reduce sheet.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 7: The Print dialog is the place we configure settings such because the media kind we’re utilizing, the place we activate 16-bit output and switch off colour administration, and the place we set the print decision.

Step 4: Print Settings
Simply to the best of the Web page Setup button is the Print Settings button, which launches the Print dialog field so that you can configure. Once more, setting places might range, however my purpose is finding the Printer settings as proven in Determine 7. The aims for Printer settings are to set the media kind, flip colour administration off, be sure I’m printing with 16-bit output, and set the output decision. Subsequent, you’ll wish to discover the place you possibly can set your Platen Hole.

Printer Settings: Right here, the media kind is about to Premium Luster Paper (260), however realizing the best setting to your media kind probably might be a thriller to these printing for the primary time. The simplest option to know is to go to your paper producer’s web site, and discover a information specification sheet or a “Learn Me” file that gives their suggestion. You all the time can name the producer for those who discover the knowledge troublesome to find. Subsequent, be sure to’re printing with 16-bit output. Word that this setting is of no use for those who’re printing JPEGs, that are inherently 8-bit.

Coloration administration needs to be turned off as a result of we don’t need the printer managing the colour. The entire level of masking using ICC profiles within the final article was to realize management and consistency of our printing. So flip colour administration off, and in one other workflow step, we’ll level to the ICC printer profile. Lastly, I recommend utilizing an output decision of 2880 dpi. Most printers will be set larger, nevertheless it’s not wanted for photograph prints and may tremendously sluggish issues down.

Platen Hole: Whereas many photographers get away with out worrying in regards to the Platen Hole, it turns into vital with two situations: for those who get into utilizing thick or heavy-weighted papers, or for those who ever expertise what’s referred to as a “head strike.” A head strike is when your print head (the factor that spits the ink out onto the paper) makes contact with the paper because it strikes forwards and backwards alongside the paper. The outcomes are often ink splotches or streaks left in your print—often on the sting of the paper. Head strikes occur, and one of the best ways to repair the issue is by setting your Platen Hole accordingly.

Modern Printmaking Part Three: WorkflowModern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 8: We additionally have to configure settings across the thickness and density of the paper we’re utilizing by means of these settings.

The purpose when configuring your Platen Hole is to have the print head as near the paper as potential with out touching or putting the paper. It’s finest to check with your printer’s handbook for his or her suggestions on the right way to set the paper thickness. Choices are often to play with rising your Paper Thickness settings, your Paper Suction settings (many printers have vacuums pulling the paper into the printer physique to maintain them flat as they run by means of the printer), Platen Hole settings and Roll Paper Again Pressure settings (Determine 8).

odern Printmaking Part Three: Workflowodern Printmaking Part Three: Workflow

Determine 9: Along with configuring settings with the print driver as within the final couple of determine references, we additionally have to configure settings for the way Lightroom exports our picture within the Print Job panel.

Step 5: Setting Your Printer Profile and Output Sharpening

Subsequent, go to Lightroom’s Print Job panel discovered within the decrease proper of the Print Module (Determine 9). Basically, this panel controls the settings Lightroom makes use of to export a file earlier than it goes to print. First, set the Print Decision. I recommend setting Canon printers to 300, and to 360 for Epson; every of these will match the dpi functionality of the Canon and Epson print heads. Subsequent, set Print Sharpening, then 16 Bit Output, after which for Coloration Administration, set the printer profile to your particular printer mannequin and for the precise paper you’re printing on.

Workflow Abstract
To borrow once more from my final article on this collection, I recommend that you just start creating consistency and management of your printing by incorporating ICC colour administration into your routine. Calibrate your show, get your printer profiles out of your paper producer and set up them. Then, as soon as your picture is developed to your liking, undergo the next steps:

Gentle-proof your picture to ensure all of your colours are in gamut
Make any corrections wanted to carry out-of-gamut colour in gamut
Select the paper measurement you’re printing on, and the printer
Print settings
Printer settings
Set your media kind
Set your output to 16-bit
Flip off colour administration
Set your decision to 2880 dpi
Set the Platen Hole
Inform your printer the paper thickness you’re utilizing
Set the quantity of paper suction
Set the roll paper again pressure (not wanted if printing on reduce sheets)
Set your printer profile and output sharpening

Digital printing is admittedly a technical endeavor. The times of printing creatively, with dodging and burning, with distinction masks and different methods, are out the window with digital; all these inventive steps are completed within the Develop Module of Lightroom in the present day. When you’ve gone by means of these steps a number of instances, I promise you, printing digitally is straightforward. It’s going to make you quicker than ever, extra constant than ever and, finally, extra productive than ever.

Native Print Drivers Versus RIPs
The examples given right here for configuring the printer settings are by means of utilizing the Epson Print Driver. Nonetheless, you could have heard of the choice of utilizing one thing referred to as a RIP, or Raster Picture Processor. In a nutshell, a RIP is a printer driver on steroids. In principle, it does every little thing higher and quicker than the native print driver, together with providing you with higher general print high quality. There are various RIPs available on the market, nonetheless, and never all are created equal or definitely worth the purchase. In truth, until you’re knowledgeable printer, I’d recommend not even trying into RIPs as an choice. The hole between the qualities of the very best RIPs versus utilizing native print drivers has shrunk dramatically in recent times. Personally, I take advantage of a RIP referred to as ImagePrint among the time, however lots of my printing is finished straight by means of Lightroom and my printer’s native print driver. The standard is nice, and until I have to gang-run many photos directly, Lightroom printing handles issues fairly effectively.

Learn Half 4: Selecting Supplies of this text collection.

Initially Printed April 30, 2016

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