Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting Great 4x6 Prints Without Any Hassle–Part II of II

This is the continuation of my previous article entitled, Getting Great 4x6 Prints Without Any Hassle–Part I of II. If you haven’t read that already, I encourage you to do so before proceeding any further.

Lightroom Tip

In Lightroom you always start with the Page Setup button on the bottom right side of the print module that looks like this:

image

Canon PRO-1

Setting the Printer Driver – Windows

When you click it you will set the paper size to 4x6 and click the Properties button to set additional settings:

Lightroom Step 1 - Windows Canon PRO-1

Printer Driver – Quick Setup Page

After you are done with the steps listed here you might want to Save a new “Commonly Used Setting” so you don’t have to check all of this every time you print.

On this page you start with Photo Printing as a default until you have your own custom commonly used setting created. From there you have to set Borderless Printing, the Media Type to Photo  Paper Plus Gloss II, the Printer Paper Size to 4”x6” and Print Quality to High as shown here:

Quick Setup Page

I just use Portrait orientation for Lightroom because it sorts things out so that everything just works. If printing from Photoshop you must choose the correct orientation of your image OR rotate your image to the Portrait orientation to ensure your image is positioned properly on the final output print.

Printer Driver – Main Page

The media type should still be correct based on your first page settings, so the only big change here is that you MUST choose a Manual Color/Intensity and click the Set button:

Main Page

After clicking Set you’ll see the Manual Color Adjustment dialog where you’ll switch to the Matching page and choose None to turn color management OFF on your printer driver. If you fail to do this then you’ll get double color managed prints that will look horrible.

Matching Page in the Manual Color Adjustment dialog

Printer Driver – Page Setup

For this page you shouldn’t need to do anything based on the settings already specified, but you should always double check.

Page Setup

Setting the Printer Driver – OS X

Coming soon…

Lightroom Settings for Mac & Windows

After closing this dialog and returning to Lightroom you are ready to work in the print module. You start by either creating a new template or modifying an existing one. I usually start with the “(1) 4x6 template”.

All you need to do here is reset all of your margins to 0. If you can’t do this then it means you didn’t set borderless printing in your printer driver, so repeat the steps above and try again.

Once you have 0 margins you can make the cell size 6.00in by 4.00in as highlighted below:

Lightroom Canon PRO-1 Glossy Settings
Use 300 ppi & “Canon PRO-1 <GL><PP> 3 Photo Plus Paper Glossy” profile
with zero margins and a 4x6 cell size

Your final steps are to simply change the print resolution to 300ppi and choose your printer profile. Your profile should be Canon PRO-1 <GL><PP> 3 Photo Plus Paper Glossy for gloss, and for Semi-Gloss paper you’d choose Canon PRO-1 <SG> 3 Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss.

Photoshop CS6 Settings for Windows and Mac

Photoshop works much like Lightroom in that most of the work is done in the printer dialog, but there are a few things you need to make sure you do right in Photoshop.

I generally resize my images in advance using onOne Perfect Resize 7.5 or greater, then I sharpen my images as a last step before printing. If you’ve done this step properly you’ll be able to have a “Scaled Print Size” that has a scale of 100%. If you don’t do this then you’ll need to use Scale to Fit Media which does a good job, but will stretch your image so some image quality is lost.

With those disclaimers, here’s what you need to do with a properly resized image:

  1. Choose your printer and then make sure your printer settings are correct EVERY TIME
    1. Make sure Photoshop’s Layout setting matches Canon’s Orientation setting
  2. Be sure to set your Color Handling to Photoshop Manages Colors
  3. Make sure you check Black Point Compensation and Center Position.

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Epson Stylus Photo R3000

Setting the Printer Driver – Windows

When you click it you will set the paper size to 4x6 and click the Properties button to set additional settings:

Lightroom Step 1 - Windows Epson Stylus Photo R3000

Printer Driver – Main Page

This is your most important step in getting a correct print because you need to make sure you are using:

  1. Photo Black Ink
  2. Premium Photo Paper Glossy Media Type
  3. Max Quality Print Quality
  4. Your Mode setting should be Off (No Color Adjustment) to avoid double color management
  5. Your paper settings are 4 x 6 in Sheet Borderless with default expansion settings

Here’s what it should all look like:

Printer Driver - Main

Setting the Printer Driver – Page Layout

Here’s how I set my Page Layout page by default, but sometimes I’ll check Reduce/Enlarge:

Printer Driver - Page Layout

In Photoshop you must ALWAYS set the orientation correctly in this dialog.

Printer Driver – Current Settings

Your current settings window should have a summary that looks roughly like this:

Printer Driver - Current Settings

Setting the Printer Driver – OS X

Coming soon…

Lightroom Settings for Mac & Windows

After closing this dialog and returning to Lightroom you are ready to work in the print module. You start by either creating a new template or modifying an existing one. I usually start with the “(1) 4x6 template”.

All you need to do here is reset all of your margins to 0. If you can’t do this then it means you didn’t set borderless printing in your printer driver, so repeat the steps above and try again.

Once you have 0 margins you can make the cell size 6.00in by 4.00in as highlighted below:

Lightroom Epson Stylus Photo Glossy Settings
Use 360 ppi & “SPR300 Premium Glossy” profile with zero margins and a 4x6 cell size

Your final steps are to simply change the print resolution to 360ppi and choose your printer profile. Your profile should be SPR300 Premium Glossy for gloss, and for Semi-Gloss paper you’d choose SPR 3000 Premium Semigloss.

Photoshop CS6 Settings for Windows and Mac

Photoshop works much like Lightroom in that most of the work is done in the printer dialog, but there are a few things you need to make sure you do right in Photoshop.

I generally resize my images in advance using onOne Perfect Resize 7.5 or greater, then I sharpen my images as a last step before printing. If you’ve done this step properly you’ll be able to have a “Scaled Print Size” that has a scale of 100%. If you don’t do this then you’ll need to use Scale to Fit Media which does a good job, but will stretch your image so some image quality is lost.

With those disclaimers, here’s what you need to do with a properly resized image:

  1. Choose your printer and then make sure your printer settings are correct EVERY TIME
    1. Make sure Photoshop’s Layout setting matches Epson’s Orientation setting
  2. Be sure to set your Color Handling to Photoshop Manages Colors
  3. Make sure you check Black Point Compensation and Center Position.

image

Conclusion

Hopefully you will find this helpful in solving the frustration of making small prints for loved ones of your favorite photos. If so, please do me a favor and share a link to this article with your friends on your favorite social media sites and web forums. I’d also appreciate if you could consider making a donation or making purchases using links found in my articles and discount coupon codes.

NOTE: I ran out of time tonight so I wasn’t able to include the Mac screen shots, but I’ll try to do that soon. Thanks for your patience!

Where to order

Here’s links to where you can get 4x6 paper for Canon and Epson in Glossy and Semi-Gloss formats:

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this. I was also provided with samples of 4x6 paper at my request by Canon and Epson under no obligation.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

Nice article Ron!! Been trying to find those settings for my Canon printer...just been guessing before, although I did have them set like this, finally.