We’ve all done it, and usually without much success, Printing photos on your home printer!
Unfortunately, many printed photos turn out to be too small or too big for the size paper you're using or distorted blurred, pixelated or over compressed. So the next time you are printing your holiday snaps try these simple steps to producing a flawless print.
The resolution of the photo you are about to print needs to be above 300 dpi (dots per inch). This is the minimum acceptable resolution for prints larger than 4 inches by 6 inches. If this resolution is below 300dpi, the resulting print will be blurry or pixelated.
Choose the right photo paper.
To print photos that look great you need to have the right photo paper. Photo paper comes in three main finishes, glossy, semi-glossy and matte, although there are other types of printer paper, such as premium, watercolour or grained.
Glossy paper has a very high shine and although it has a much better print impact, it tends to gather dust and finger prints a lot quicker than matte paper. Black and white photographs look much better on matte finish paper.
Printer paper is also available in different sizes and weight, choose the right one for your printer and the thickness of paper you want to print your photographs on.
|You need the right photo paper to print vibrant photos.|
What is the best type of printer?
Inkjet printers produce smoother, sharper colours than laser printers, with special photo ink cartridges producing subtler shadings and image edges and with the right photo papers give even better results.
That said, laser printers are fast becoming more precise, printing more vibrant colours and sharper images, most laser printers will produce an acceptable photograph.
|Get subtler shadings and brighter colours with an inkjet printer|
Which ink cartridges?
There are many printer ink colours on the market today, ranging from basic black, cyan, magenta and yellow to specialist colours like red, green, grey and even orange! Also available are Gloss optimiser ink cartridges, although these are mainly used for wide format or speciality printers.
Can I use compatible printer ink or toner cartridges to print my photos? This is a question asked many times, compatible ink cartridges have improved dramatically recently and most will print to the same high quality as original (OEM) printer cartridges. The choice is mainly dependant on cost; a compatible cartridge can be up to 75% cheaper than an OEM.
Which printer settings?
Before printing any photographs you will need to edit your printing preferences. To do this open the printing prompt window (Pressing "Ctrl" and "P" normally does it)
Click the "Properties" button in the prompt window to edit print settings. For best results, change the printing task to "Photo," the quality to "High" and the type of paper to either "Glossy" or "Matte" depending on which type you are using.
Check before printing.
Most printers have a ‘Print Preview’ button that lets you preview your document before you print it. Use this before every print especially printing photographs.
Preview what the resulting print will look like by clicking "Print Preview" in the prompt window. This allows you to spot and correct any scaling errors or image distortion before proceeding with the printing process.
And finally….hit that print button!
Sit back and wait for your masterpiece to appear.
|Press print and sit back while you wait for your great photos|
Remove the photo from your printer carefully without touching the printed surface and avoid disturbing the ink. Place it in a well-ventilated area for at least a half-hour to allow it to dry.
Image source: Pinterest