Fundamentals for Great Prints

 

Fundamentals for Great Prints

 

Lesson Info

Preparing Print in Lightroom®

This print is by Ben Hartly. Nice job Ben. And that just came out, just a second ago. So, wedding shot. Great. Before I, before I show you the process of editing in Lightroom, I say we make a quick print. And, I say that we shoot a, we make a quick print of a family shot. Just because I like the prints to keep going through the inkjet printer. And actually now, as I do this, it'd be a great time to take a question. If you've got a question from the internet, or a question from the class. Okay. Pull out some paper. And I'll talk about paper in a second. Just gonna load this. I've got a really long table here I have to walk around. Load this in the back. This is the manual feed, section. Right on. Yep, question. Yea, I was just curious, are either of those laser? Is it totally different on laser printer than inkjet printer? Great. Thank you for asking about the printers. I haven't even talked about the actual printers yet. Yeah, so these are both inkjet printers. The one that I'll be...

printing off today is the Pro-1000. So it's the Canon Pro-1000, inkjet. This one has, oh I forgot how many inks. Well, you can see all of my inks over there. I think it's nine, 10, 11. 11 different inks, ink colors. This one here is the Canon Pro-10. And the difference is, you know, obviously size and the number of inks. The more inks that you have, the more color range that you can print. Also a lot of times the better your black and whites will turn out because you have like a black and a matte black, and a gray and a light gray. Whereas some of the smaller printers maybe just have, you know, black versus black and matte black. So, the bigger printers obviously cost more, but they allow some things that the smaller ones don't. And the, one of the most important ones for me is roll paper. Ah, I love printing panoramas. In fact that's one of the classes I did for CreativeLive. We did a whole class on photographing panoramas and printing them out. Well, it's hard to do that on a, you know, a piece of paper like this. Right? Square or rectangular. So, roll paper matters when it comes to printing panoramas. And then you asked, I think you asked about laser. Yeah. Most of the laser printers, they're really designed for like press printing. For like books or high volume. Not necessarily for art type printing. So, and I don't have any direct experience printing myself off of laser print, printers. So real quick here, I'm just gonna head over to print. And, I'm just gonna check my settings. I'm not even gonna talk about it too much until later when I go through the details. But I think it's always fun to have prints rolling off the printer as we're talking. And, we are, I've got the right paper chosen there, and I'm just gonna hit print, and set that off. Okay, gone. Was there anything from the internet? Yep. Okay. Um, one about the cost of printing versus sending it off to a, a print lab to have it printed. Is there like a volume that you need to be doing before you buy a Canon 1000 printer and invest in the ink and the paper? Or is it just sort of like, preference? Where does that start to make sense? Yeah, I think it comes down to control versus convenience. Okay. Printing at home, even though you have a printer in your house, I gotta be honest with you, it's not that convenient. And Canon's probably gonna hate it when I say this, but, printing at home is hard. There are so many things that you have to pay attention to. And the paper isn't necessarily cheap. And when you make a mistake, like, for example, I made a mistake right literally before the class started. The, printer ran out of ink. (laughing) Right. Ah, it happens. It happens. And so you're like, "Ah, shoot I should have changed out that ink cartridge before I hit print. But I wanna, like eek out the last amount of ink 'cause that ink cartridge cost so much money." You know. So. Those things when you pay, when you go to a lab, you don't have to worry about that. When you go to a lab you just send them the file and who knows how much rigamarole they had to go through. You just get your print back when it's done. So, here's what I do. When I have large volumes of prints to create, maybe for a, an event that I photographed and they want 8x10s from 50 or 100 portraits. I don't print those on an inkjet. I outsource those. I go to the lab. And that lab, you guys all know the labs out there. Sometimes I just go to the, the big box stores. You know, the Costcos, and the others like that. They do really great work. In fact I have prints hanging on my wall that I printed out at those types of stores. If I need a little bit finer print quality, then I'll go to something like, um, oh Miller Imaging or Impics, or something like that. You guys have probably all seen those. If I need, if I want full control though, printing at home gives me full control. I have all control over paper. I can make multiple prints until I get it just right. So, if I'm doing fine art prints and I'm selling 'em as one-offs, like at an art show, and I'm charging maybe 500 bucks or a thousand bucks for my prints, then I'll print 'em on the inkjet printer. Because I think you can get better quality on the inkjet printer. It just takes so much more patience. Yep. Sounds good. Okay. So this prints comin' out. And while that's comin' out, I'm just gonna talk about the workflow. I'm gonna work in Lightroom. And, I just wanna quickly give you a preview here. These photos were from the other instructors here at Photo Week. And I've already printed off most of those. I'm not gonna work on their photos. I'm gonna work on my photos. So, let's see here. Some of these, some of these images, ah, this is an Iceland photo. And I've wanted to make a print of that for a long time. So I'm going to print this out later. But I've already processed this. In fact, if you look down here, you'll see that this is a TIF. And anything that's a TIF for me, means I've already kind of processed it, and it's run through my whole Lightroom process. So I'm not gonna do anymore work on that. 'Cause that ones kind of ready to go. So I'm gonna take a NEF. Here's a NEF. This I took, a couple of years ago. It's an owl. In the Galapagos. And I'm gonna make a copy of that so I can work on it. And I'm going to go to my develop pane right there. So go into develop. And I'm gonna reset everything. Reset. So here is, here is the processed file. And then here is the original. Cool. So let me take you through the process. So one of the first things I do is I give the histogram a quick look, and I just see, are there any blown highlights. The blown highlights would show up over here. Alright? And, if there were blown highlights, basically the histogram would be butted up against that right-hand side. Looks like I've protected the highlights well, which means I have detail in the clouds. That's important. You want detail in the clouds. Next thing I look at, is, do I have any shadows that are blocked up. No. It looks like all of my dark stuff in the photo is down here, well within the edges of the histogram. So right away what that tells me is that this photo might be printable. Okay. There's data, the data is well away from the edges. I think we're gonna get a nice, ah, final printout of this. I'm gonna roll up the histogram so you all can see what I'm doing. And actually I'm gonna minimize this bottom one just to make everything bigger. Alright. So remember, we start big and then we go small. So start big with white balance. This is a global adjustment, right. So if I go this way, I warm it up. If I go this way, I cool it down. So the original was at 5500 Kelvin, which is kind of daylight. I know that this was a cloudy day. I was there. Oh, and I see clouds in the sky. So cloudy days typically have a little bit higher Kelvin. So I'm just gonna move that up to about 6000 ish Kelvin. 6000 Kelvin. Alright. Ish. Or, engineer precise. 6000, there we go. (laughing) I'm not gonna mess with tint. Tint is scary. It's another class for another day. (laughing) Next is exposure. And exposure just basically moves everything on that histogram left or right. Everything brighter or darker. Okay. So what, do I need to increase the exposure? Maybe a little. But really look, if I increase the exposure, what happens to my clouds? I lose the clouds. So right away, what goes into my mind is, "Oh, I need to think about regional editing. I need to adjust the clouds' brightness, cloud brightness, different than the owl brightness." So I'm just gonna leave the exposure right were it's at. Okay. Now, the next thing is highlights. Our highlights. I'm gonna move the highlights slider down to push detail back into those clouds. To kind of get some structure back in there. Next is shadow. Wanna open up the shadows a little bit on the bird. And then whites and blacks. This is for, ah, let me think here. This is for when, like, that albatross photo. Remember? The kind of blown out feathers on the albatross. That's like pure white stuff so I would actually reduce the white slider if I have maybe, ah, feathers or a wedding dress, or something like that. Something where I need more detail on those highlight areas. The white areas. In this case, not so much. I don't really need to mess with the whites and blacks. Clarity. I love clarity for wildlife photography. Clarity, pushes detail back. Um, it's this kind of what we call local contrast. If you watch the feathers, you can see clarity really helps out there in the feathers. And then we talk about vibrance and saturation. So vibrance I love 'cause vibrance is, kind of a natural look. Saturation, not so natural. Watch what happens when I move saturation. It becomes really garish and dis, I was gonna use a brand name. Ah, very garish and bright color. It just doesn't look right. So, stay away from saturation. One tip. I'm gonna go over to Ally here. When you're doing a portrait, especially of women, don't use clarity. Okay. 'Cause you'll enhance the wrinkles, and the skin imperfections, and all of that. Sometimes with guys I think it's okay to use clarity. You know. And I'm being stereotypical here, but a lot of times with guys there's a little bit of a tougher look, a more rough look. A lot of times with women you want it to be a little, you know prettier, softer. So, clarity on women is a dangerous thing. I don't know very many women who are like, "Would you make me look grittier and older and more, eh." (laughing) It doesn't happen. So, don't use clarity on your portraits. Or if you do, then don't do it on the face. Do it regionally. Alright, so that's, that's good for now. So what I've just done is I've gone through, what I would call, the regional settings. Now we're gonna scroll down here, and in Lightroom, you know, all of these other settings in Lightroom, like, split toning and the tone curve, I don't spend a lot of time in those. Detail. Well detail's sharpening. And do you all remember where sharpening lies on the, the pantheon of steps? The last thing you do. Okay. So we're gonna come back to detail later. And I didn't talk about this other stuff. Ah, lens corrections I probably should of turned on my profile correction. Check this out. If you look at the lower right hand corner. You see how there's some vignetting? Most lenses have a little bit of vignetting. And when you enable the profile correction, I'll click it now, it fixes that vignetting issue. Sometimes vignetting's good, sometimes it's bad. In this case I'll get rid of the vignetting issue. Okay. We've done regional. Now it's time to get local. So, these up here are your local adjustment tools. You've got this one, which is your graduated filter. So if you, like, have a region of sky that you want to darken, or change the color of, and you have a nice flat horizon, you can use that, you can use this tool to just, draw an area, you know, for that section of sky. This is the radial adjuster. And the radial filter. I don't use very often. I don't recommend it for much. There's, there aren't a lot of uses for the radial filter. But this, the adjustment brush, extremely useful. I use it all the time. So, we're gonna do some adjustment brush work here on the bird. And in this case, I want the bird to be a little bit brighter and a little bit crisper. You know, a little more clarity on the bird. So I'm gonna double-click effect. And I'm working fast here 'cause this isn't necessarily a processing class. It's a printing class. What I'm gonna do is, add some clarity. I'm gonna add a little bit of warmth. And a little bit of, here's the thing, the brush tool doesn't have vibrance. Adobe, please give me vibrance. So I have to do saturation. (laughs) And now I just change the size of that brush to match the wing size about. And I'm just painting here. And I'll hit my overlay tool to show you what I've done. Everything is red there, is what I've just painted on. So regionally now, I've made that look a little bit better. I'm a little happier with that. Hit O. And I'm gonna hit new, grab a new brush. I'm gonna zero everything out. Double-click effect. I want that sky to be bluer, and more clarity, and maybe a little bit of dehaze. And probably, ah, I'll leave exposure where it's at for now. And, just super fast, I'm gonna paint over the sky. That's way too much, oh my goodness. (laughing) But you know, I actually like working that way. I ramp everything up as much as it'll go, and then I can back it off after I kind of see the effect, and what I've adjusted. Alright. That's obviously too much. So now, I'm gonna remove the temperature, or move the temperature kind of back down. Ah, move the clarity down. Move the dehaze down. And I want it to be subtle, but significant. Does that make sense? You want to be able to see it. Yeah, I'm probably gonna need to do this, I would spend more time on it in real life. But, in CreativeLive life I'm just gonna call it good. Okay. Hit done. So now we've done the regional editing. Another thing that I'd like to do regionally, is work on the eyes. And so, let me just show you real quick on the brush tool, I'll zoom in on the eyes, that's why we use high resolution cameras. Look at that detail. There's another brush, ah, here, and it's called iris, iris adjustment. Oh, iris enhance. That's the one that comes for free with the software. It's a pre-program brush. But I've made my own kind of fancy adjustments, called best iris adjustment, and then even better than best. (laughing) Ah, so a lot of times, you can change the temperature bluer or warmer. That print of Ally that I made, I changed her eyes, I didn't change them, I just enhanced the blue just a little bit using this tool. So, there we go. We'll just do a little bit of owl eye adjustment. Bingo. Bingo. And we're gonna call that good. Done. Okay. So, backslash, Oh, hold on a second. I'm in the wrong, tool. So we've gone from global to regional, and now pixel. Now what I'm looking for is, are dust spots. And I see, it's really hard to tell here on the screen, but I see a dust spot right there. I'm gonna hit Q for my, Q I think stands for quality. It's actually my spot removal tool. Right there. Q. I click that to get rid of that little dust spot. And if I had lots more dust spots, I would get rid of that too. But we'll just call that good for now. See how that works. Big, medium, small, and then we're off to print. Now I worked on this really fast, and I don't really wanna print this one that I made. I'd rather do the one that I spent more time on in a controlled environment. So we'll print this bird photo out. But before I do, I wanna show you, some details about that photo. So you can see the pixel size is 4000 by 6000 pixels. Okay. So that's about a 24 megapixel file. 6000 pixels is gonna be enough to make a nice big print without interpolating, or without creating new data. So I encourage you to not do this. Don't take a photo of a bird, and have that bird be a little small portion of the frame that you have to crop and then try to print, you know, a 22 inch print with only 1000 pixels of data. Um, there's ways that you can make bird prints with small files, but you're gonna do yourself a lot of favor by having as much data as possible in that file. So that's why I use the long lenses. And that's why I spend the money on those, you know, big honking F two eight and F four telephoto lenses. Because I get full frame shots of flying birds. One of the biggest reasons why people don't get great prints is 'cause they crop in on a little element of that photo and try to make a big print out of it. It just won't work. An then the other thing that I wanted to show you. Here, get some information about the metadata, or I'm sorry, the exif data on the photo. So you can see I shot that at a 2000th of a second, F five, six, and ISO 1000. Hmmm, interesting. ISO 1000, that's pushing the limit a little bit right? So check this out. If I zoom in, I'm gonna zoom in right there. Get rid of the data. Come on render. It's a big file. There we go. Can you see that noise? Probably at home you can see that on your computer screens too. That's what ISO 1000 noise looks like. It's not horrible, but it's not creamy smooth in the sky. So, hmm, if I had a little bit more time I'd do a noise reduction, but, I'm gonna skip that. And I'm just gonna make a print out of this owl.

Class Description

To see a photograph at it's most powerful it needs to be printed. In this course, Mike Hagen will teach the basics of printing amazing photos. He'll cover settings and exports to print from Lightroom® and Photoshop®. The different sizes and aspect ratios to consider as well as how to sharpen for best quality. He'll show the different considerations for choosing the best paper and more. Start building your print portfolio with these essential tips in getting quality prints.