A Post By: Romeo Demes
Tips To Print High Quality Photos Using Your Home Printer
If you are a professional photographer or an budding enthusiast, you might find joy in printing all your best captures to showcase in your home, or show off you skills to people. Sometimes the prints might not look as crisp and vibrant as they look on a digital display. There are several factors that affects the quality of a hard copy.
The resolution of the photo, the quality of parchment you want to print on, capability and quality of the printer, printer settings, etc. This article mainly target users who currently don’t have a photo printer or simply couldn’t afford one, and wish to print high quality pictures using a normal inkjet printer they have at home. A lot of members here might already know of some of the tips and tricks we are going to share down below, but we think it would be helpful to a lot of newbies.
Pixels per square inch
A lot of photographers spend an awful lot of time fine tuning their masterpieces. They might look alright on an LCD display, but they might look pixelated and bad when they are printed. The main reason is that, digital displays use pixels and printed material inches. You can use an image manipulation program like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP (if you are on Linux) to optimize the picture’s resolution. The more the number of pixels per square inch, the higher the quality of the image will be.
If you have no idea about how many pixels you should assign to every square inch for printing purposes, you can assign 300 ppi which is generally recommended for photo printing. Where as, for viewing on the web a modest 72 ppi is all that is required. So if you are going to print on a 8″ × 12” paper, which is the best size for printing on a standard A4 size. The image will have a resolution of 2400 x 3600 pixels, which will be good enough to bring about as much detail as possible on the print from the original picture. Adjusting this setting in Photoshop or GIMP is pretty easy, there is no reason to be intimidated if you are a newbie.
Printer Ink Quality
It is always recommend to use the manufacturer’s ink cartridges in your printer. Genuine ink cartridges are good at color matching and also make your pictures last for decades. Cheaper 3rd party ink cartridges might be good for printing documents and letters, but if you really want to reproduce your images with accurate color matching and logevity, you need to use only quality cartridges. Using refilled cartridges might also ruin the outcome of the picture on the paper. Laser printers are not good at printing photos, but if you happened to have good color laser printer, make sure you use toners from the manufacturer and not some 3rd party powder that you can find for cheap price. I personally have this Xerox printer at home and get my toner here. I usually wait for the website to have some discounts and order what I need (I`m from the EU and this works best for me). You can find online stores near your city as well, compare prices and don`t forget to check out the delivery costs.
Paper quality & Printer settings
If you are concerned about quality and don’t have a photo printer, your ink jet printer can do just fine. In fact photo printers are technically speaking, ink jets. Never use regular paper to print your photos. Most ink jet printers can accept photo paper. You might have to change some settings in your printer or on the computer that is tethered to the machine. There are many printers that also come with a option toggle the printer between high-quality printing and normal printing. Set the right paper size, the paper type, the print quality and are ready to print high quality images right from your home on your low-cost ink jet printer and save yourself a trip to Walmart or Wal Greens.
Also, make sure you give it some time to dry. Photo papers usually have a glossy surface and it might take from a few seconds to up to a few minutes for the ink to dry (depending on the type of photo paper you use, you can take a look for example at the different types from Epson and read the description for each to understand what`s the main difference and what would suit you the best). It is also good to laminate the picture or secure them in a page saver for longevity.
About the author:
Romeo Demes is a passionate writer and designer who graduated on the University of Graphic Arts and has worked several years in a photographic studio in his home country after college. He usually does image editing, graphic design and content management, but is currently saving up for a entry level camera to get into the world of self made photographs. Connect with him on Google+