How I Learned To Love Printing in Lightroom
After yesterday’s driver debacle I decided to finally take the bull by the horns and dig further under the hood and take my printing in Lightroom one step further. I took all this straight from Scott Kelby’s Lightroom book so if this stuff interests you at all, go buy the book. I’m posting this not to substitute for reading SK’s great book but to highlight how easy it is to follow a few simple directions and get outstanding results.
Here’s the steps I took to crank out what is arguably the best looking print I have yet to create on my Epson R2400 to date. This assumes the use of an Epson printer and Epson papers. I’m pretty sure the steps are similar for other combinations.
1. Go to Epson.com and follow the links to your printer driver. Somewhere on that same page there will/should be a link that says this: Visit our Premium ICC Profiles for Stylus Photo R2400
page for access to Premium ICC profiles produced by Epson America, Inc.
In most cases, these custom ICC profiles will provide more accurate
color and black and white reproduction than with the standard profiles
already shipping with every printer.
2. Click that link (or if using an R2400, click the one above) and download the icc profile for the papers you use – in my case it’s the Matte Paper – Heavyweight and Velvet Fine Art. It’ll download to your desktop. Double click the unzipped installer file and it’ll do it it’s thing.
3. Open Lightroom, pick an image and take it into the PRINT Module.
4. Ok, here’s the “under the hood” stuff. It’s pretty elementary but for someone who’s had an abject terror of anything related to printing, this is bold stuff. Assuming you have your page set-up the way you want it – margins where you want them, paper size, etc – Go down to the PRINT JOB panel on the bottom of right hand side and do the following:
A. Set Print Resolution to 360ppi
B. Set Print Sharpening to HIGH
C. Under Color Management, Profile – Click and hold where it says Managed By Printer, and in the resulting menu choose Other. This will now bring up a dialogue to choose the appropriate profile for the paper you’ve chosen. Check the box (or boxes if you use several papers).
D. You’r profiles are now added so choose the one for the paper you want to print on for this job.
That’s it. Now the only other thing you want to do is make sure Colour Management is turned off in the Print Settings dialogue.
You’ll get a more thorough explanation in The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book. I followed these steps and printed a bang-on print of one of my favourite images from India.
I’ve read alot of negative things about printing in Lightroom, and I’m the first to admit to being a beginner at digital printing, so there might be much I am missing. But I know what a great print looks like and I know when my printer isn’t meeting my expectations. 10 minutes after reading through the Printing chapter again, I fired up my printer and finally saw what my Epson can do. I strongly encourage you to dig under the hood, and want to reiterate what so many people told me – the proper icc profiles make a world of difference. (So does calibrating your monitor – I use Pantone’s excellent Eye-One weekly)
Go forth, print and be merry.