Printing On Photo Paper
August 25, 2011
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Have you ever had this happen? You go to print something on your nice expensive photo paper and it comes out as a total disaster. This can be annoying and make you think that maybe something is wrong with your printer when the vast majority of these problems can be fixed by simple changes to your photo or printer settings. Here are a few ways that you can improve the quality of your prints:

Paper Type Setting

Getting the most out of your prints starts with having the correct setting on your paper. Changing this setting makes a ridiculous difference in how your print will turn out. It is amazingly simple to change these in windows for any printer. First open the image in Windows Photo Viewer (this will probably be your default image viewer). Select the print tab and open up the print options.

some text Printed on our Canon MX870 two different times. One was with a specified photo paper setting (left), and printed with standard settings (right). Image by Klaus Friese


The settings completely change the way the printer applies ink to the page. Going from plane paper to the specific kind of glossy paper you have makes a huge difference in how the print will turn out.

Brightness

As discussed in this article, getting the right color out of you prints is essential. On photo paper, the contrast of the print can be especially tricky to manage. The prints will often come out much darker than the digital image appears on the screen. The simplest way of fixing this is by changing the brightness of your photos. This can be done in any standard image editor. In The GIMP or Photoshop, it is as easy as going to clicking on the color tab and selecting brightness. Increasing the brightness by just a few tints can make a world of difference.

Dots Per Inch

Another factor is going to be the dot per inch (DPI) count on your files. This will change how dense the dots from your printer will be. If you want a larger size out of your print you can lower the DPI but of course this will decrease the clarity. Standard DPI for a photo is usually 300 DPI while web images are usually 72. Modern printers will publish their DPI and it will normally be much higher than anything you will get out of a standard camera. 300 is the minimum for getting a completely clean document but lower numbers will suffice depending on the content of the image.

If you have questions or comments about this or any other article send an email at tylergoering@gmail.com.

  1 Comment

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