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Choose the Right Printer

Lesson 25 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

Choose the Right Printer

Lesson 25 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

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Lesson Info

25. Choose the Right Printer


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Advantages & Pitfalls of Printing


Demystifying Color Management


Understanding Bit Depth


Best Color Space to Work In


Importance of Image Capture


Live Shoot: Natural Light


Live Shoot: Studio Lights


Lesson Info

Choose the Right Printer

You know, choosing the right printer, it's very simple. Number one, you gotta start thinking about, you know, what sort of printing you're doing. So pigmenting versus dyeing. The dye printers can produce a far larger gamut, okay and there's nothing wrong with dye printers but if you're printing to put up on a wall and frame and you're, they're gonna be exposed to UV and stuff, you're not going to get a lot of archival permanency. If you are using the dye printer, wide gamut, fantastic on beautiful art paper and you are putting it in a book where it's going to be closed most of the time and it's going to be opened every now and then you are going to get a very, very, very long, long life out of, out of dye inks as well. But certainly you're not going to get them if you are going to be printing and then exposing it to UV. Okay? Ah, pigment based inks are archival, generally, whether they're in a book or whether they're up on a wall. So, in my scenario, what I use is the Epson K3 inks wit...

h cotton optical brightening additive-free paper which is going to give me around two hundred plus years. Okay? Later on this afternoon when we talk about HD printing that's available through, through the Graphistudio album manufacturing process. Okay, that is going to give us a lot of archival as well but in book form. So we'll talk a little bit later about that. What I use at Capture to Print. So we're using the ultra chrome inks, okay, on a big printer like that, forty-four inches. So these prints came off something of that size. And really, when you're choosing a printer, you know, it's up to you as to whether you go for something like a desktop printer like this, like the P800, which is able to give you... It's able to print roll as well, but you can print up to seventeen inches wide. Then if you have a roll, then you can print as long as you want really. So you can print banners but you can also do large prints like 16x24's which is, you know, around this size here, so for a desk top printer to be able to achieve this is pretty good. The difference between that and this? Number one, not only is the size but the speed in which it prints at, okay? So we're using Epson here as an example, but if you've got the Canon printers you can begin with a Pro 1000, which is this kind of scenario here, on a desk top and then going right up to say something like a Pro 4000. So, it depends on what you're printing and how often you're going to be printing and how big you're going to be displaying your work, okay? We print like I said, for a lot of photographers who capture to print. That's what we do. We're fine art printers and certainly large printers are important, okay. But if you're starting out in printing. The Epson, the P800 will do an incredible job as will, you know, if you're using Canon and you prefer the Canon The Canon Pro 1000 is certainly in that same league. For sure. To translate that information from a monitor to the, to the paper we need something called paper profiles, okay. And then the role of printer profiles is to reduce the number of test prints... (chuckles) ...guesses, that we make to eliminate them altogether really We want to be able to look at something on the screen and soft-proof it, which we'll talk about a little bit later Look at it and go "Yep, that is exactly what I'm gonna get, and this is how I'm gonna print it." So it's all about the profile itself translating the color and tonal image from the image itself, to the print. We talked about monitor profiles earlier, but, they translated the information that we captured from the camera and how we view it on a screen and how our eyes see it. The paper profiles do that between the printer and the monitor. So the monitor has a certain color pixel, and that has to be translated onto inks of lots of dots to create that pixel which is going to be done through the process of the paper profile. How do obtain paper profiles? Well, it's really very, very simple. Number one, as you begin your journey into printing you buy a particular stock of paper that you're interested in trying, from the many manufacturers that are out there. You download the appropriate paper profile specific to your printer model, okay, so if you jump on a paper manufacturers website, that's what will happen. You won't, you bought a particular stock of paper. You load the profile for that paper and it'll give you the instructions for that particular printer. Number two, you can create one yourself and... It's really not that scary. We're going to do a very, very simple paper profile in a minute. And there's different degrees of creating one yourself, from simple to extremely complex. And of course there are bureau's out there that do make profiles for photographers, so, you get a test print that, that gets sent to you, a test chart, You print it using specific instructions. You send that test chart back to the people making your profile. They read it and they send you back the actual file which is your profile. Install it in your operating system and you're good to go. Now, if you're using different papers all the time then I'd suggest that it's a great idea to invest in your own calibrating software, in your paper profiling software. But certainly if you're sticking to, you know, your three favorite stocks which I suggest is what every photographer should do, you should have three that go-to papers with different properties that you always go to and then there's always going to be a fourth for special occasions if you like. You can just get those made and once they're made they're done, okay, for that particular printer. Change printer, then you need to get new profiles made. Change paper, you gotta get another profile made. Let's have a look at things. So, if we were downloading profiles from the paper manufacturer, this is what we would do. The example I'm using here is the Canson website of course. So, find and ICC profile. It's for an Epson printer. We click onto that. It's for a Surecolor P800, which is the printer that we have here. So that is the area that we need to concern ourselves with. Because paper manufacturers will make profiles for different printer models, and different manufacturers of printers, you gotta make sure you're selecting the right maker for your printer, okay, so don't try and download Hewlett Packard profiles for your, for your paper, for your printer if you are, you know, on an Epson, basically, okay? Then once you do that, you move onto this section here which gives you the, basically, the parameters which you are going to be sitting in your printer. I am going to be looking at these parameters in-depth when we do the printing component and we're actually printing the image through Photoshop, through Lightroom and through a rip. So for arguments sake here we have, you know, the, Baryta Photographique. It says that the media settings in your printer, in the Epson printer, have to be set to premium luster. Now what does that tell the printer? When you select premium luster or velvet fine art, etc, etc. All that's doing is setting the ink loads on your paper. In other words, it's telling the machine how much ink to lay down for a particular substrate. And that is very, very important for each of the papers. Now don't forget that the profiles, that the paper manufacturer has made, have used this ink-load. So that profile will only work for that particular ink-load. Whether it's, you know, premium luster for Baryda, or velvet fine art for the Edition Etching Rag etc, etc. So, media settings effect how much ink is being laid on that paper itself. So, media settings for England, for the US, for Australia, are different. I don't know why, 'cause its the same printer, but, its just, just complicating things. And also the type of ink that is being used, so with the rag papers, the machine will use a matte black. And for anything that's coded, the machine will use a photo black, and that's, that's the same for, you know, the Epson printers and I'm pretty sure, the other brands as well. So photo black and matte black. It's just a different property of the black ink, right? So being able to achieve that maximum black that you want in your images. So it's really a very, very simple process. Now these profiles... What we call them in the industry is 'canned profiles'. In other words, like going to a supermarket and buying a you know, soup out of a can. You just open it and you eat it, it's ready to go. These are the same. These are pretty good. They're not amazing as far as, you know, finer details and etc, etc, if you are printing really large prints, because a custom profile will always beat that as far as color volumes and so on and so on. But they are excellent to do most of your printing. And it's a good place to start, and of course you can get custom made profiles from different manufacturers, etc, etc. Just be very, very wary of the settings. Make notes of them, and when you then press print, these are the parameters and how we set them in the printer dry-run We'll discuss that in a little bit.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Rocco's Photoshop Actions
Rocco's Printer Evaluation Files
Color & Luminosity Seperation Action

Ratings and Reviews

Roberto Valenzuela

I honestly consider many courses to be great, but optional. However, this course by Rocco Ancora is a MUST! It helps the photographer complete the circle of being a photographic artist. Our job doesn't end at the edit, it ends with the print. When your clients can hold and enjoy your creative vision physically, that is when the magic of being a photographer happens. I have been so fortunate to travel the world teaching and meeting some of the best photographers in the world. That being said, I can say with confidence that nobody can teach this combination of Photoshop retouching / fine-art printing better than Rocco Ancora. I believe in this class so much, I traveled to Seattle to attend this course to be part of the live studio audience. I have never done that before. But that's how important I consider this material to be. I am so happy I took the time to go and learn from the man himself. Now, I will get this course to watch it, dissect it, study it, and practice it. Very excited to see how the knowledge in this course will propel my career further. --Roberto Valenzuela

a Creativelive Student

I was fortunate enough to attend this class in person and got to experience Rocco's prints in person. The quality is absolutely breathtaking and a game changer, Learning these skills will really help my business in a number of ways. In the past, I have had a difficult time convincing clients to purchase typical lab prints through my studio, as opposed to buying them through Walmart or Costco where the quality was "close enough." Rocco's method that he shared in this class creates three dimensional images of unmatched quality and images that just jump off the page. The knowledge from this course will empower me to help run a sustainable business and thrive as a photographer. You would be foolish to not learn these methods and incorporate them into your business. Highly Recommend!!

April S.

I have invested time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop, my own gear, and my particular photographic style, but the one thing I am really lacking is a solid understanding about preparing an image for print, and the various print options (e.g., paper types). When I saw this course come up on the CL schedule it caught my eye immediately so I RSVP'd for the live broadcast. I was at work when it started and couldn't watch at that time. I do listen in from work sometimes, but after 2 minutes of listening to this course I realized it was one I really needed to watch closely and focus on. So, I stopped the stream after a couple minutes and bought the course. I have never done that before. I always wait and watch as much as I can in the initial broadcast (or rebroadcast) to decide if a course is one that I really should spend for. I knew right away though that Rocco was presenting the very information I was lacking and needed, and I wanted it! In addition, it was clear to me after looking him up online that he's a consummate professional with lots of experience and his delivery style even in just the couple of minutes that I listened reflected that. I already have X-rite ColorMunki Display and Colorchecker, a good monitor, and I have a photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) but I'm lacking that technical understanding of color and know I'm not using my resources to their fullest. I use my Canon Pixma to test-print images before uploading to the print service I use. My method isn't ideal since the service uses different printers and ink, and paper depending on what I choose, but at least I have a much better idea of what my image file will give me in print form. After Rocco's course I believe I will be much better equipped to prepare my images and choose the options best suited to each image. I'll still test print if only because it's fun to see something on paper, but I expect the results I get from the print service to be much better once I really know how to put this knowledge to work for me.

Student Work