If you take lots of time setting up your photographs for the perfect final product, you probably know how frustrating it is to get prints of those photos that don’t look anything like you imagined. Taking the time to consider how you’re printing those photos is just as important as setting up that perfect shot in the first place. This article will give you a few tips for printing better-looking photographs, whether you’re a hobbyist or a photographer by trade.
Perfect Your Monitor’s Settings
If you edit your pictures on a home computer, but they never seem to look as good as they did on your screen, it’s possible that the screen itself is the issue. Your computer’s screen might have odd settings, such as the contrast being too high or the color balance being far from normal. If so, all your edits will be in response to what you see on that screen. This can often mean you’re making adjustments based on your screen’s issues rather than your photo’s issues. Fixing your screen’s settings can give you a more accurate idea of how your picture will look printed.
Explore Your Media Options
In this context, media are the types of materials you plan to print your image onto. The kind of material you print on has a huge effect on the colors of your photo and the balance between lights and darks. Printing onto media like acrylic, metal, or canvas will require different adjustments to get the best image quality. If you’re printing on paper, consider using a type with a heavier weight and a slight luster to allow colors to pop out more.
Think About the Finish
Sometimes, a shinier finish on your medium of choice can lead to a beautifully detailed photo. In other cases, it will only create an annoying glare that makes it impossible to see the image as a whole. Matte finishes are your best bet for photos that you want to display raw. However, if you can get past the glare issue, paper with a semi-gloss or glossy finish can give you a more vibrant final product.
Go Beyond Typical Inks
One of the best tips for printing better-looking photographs is to think about the kinds of ink you will use. For everyday purposes, the inks in a normal printer will work fine. On the other hand, if you want to truly showcase the quality of your photo, your choice of ink matters much more. You may want to invest in a giclee print instead. This uses museum-quality archival inks to get the exact vibrancy of color you want for your photo.