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Old May 1, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
gryffinwings
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Printing Digital Photos?

I was wondering how you go about printing digital photos?
Does the computer automatically downsize them to the size of photo paper that you are using or do you need to specify?
Also can you print from RAW format? or do you need to convert it to JPEG to print?

I have a Canon PIXMA MG6120 printer.
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:21 AM   #2
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You would print the pictures using whatever photo editing software you've been using. Based on your other posts, that would be Aperture in your case. Short Apple Video on Printing from Aperture

In general photo programs let you select the image size and also let you crop the photo for printing.

There is no need to convert the image to any other format.
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:43 PM   #3
miles01110
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Use an online service like Snapfish.
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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Printing digital photos accurately is one of the hardest tasks you can do. You have to calibrate both your monitor and printer so that the photo looks the same on the paper as it does on the monitor. If you don't mind about having inaccurate colors (and most people don't even notice it) then you'll be fine default printing from aperture or iphoto.
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Old May 1, 2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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One other thing to keep in mind is the aspect ratio of the paper is rarely the same as the picture. That is - (for example) - the long side of the picture may be much longer than the short side, when the long side of the paper is only a bit longer than the short side.

More specifically.... an 8x10 piece of paper is nearly square, however most DSLRs shot something that is longer and narrower. If you want to fill the paper fully you need to crop the image to the same aspect ratio of the paper. If you want to print the full image you will end up leaving white (unprinted paper).

Also know that it is very easy to print a large digital picture to a smaller piece of paper....but your results will start looking soft and mushy if you are trying to print a small picture to a bigger piece of paper.

jbg232 is right about getting accurate prints..... however, the printers are usually not the major problem it is the monitor. Get that right and, unless you're unlucky, the prints will be pretty close. To get them better then you will need to explore the world of paper/printer profiles.

And you thought photography was easy, eh?
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Old May 1, 2012, 06:46 PM   #6
Deepsingh
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how do you calibrate a macbook pro. is spyder4 a good tool to use.

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Old May 1, 2012, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepsingh View Post
how do you calibrate a macbook pro. is spyder4 a good tool to use.
A Spyder works. One of the complications with a MBP, or any portable, is that the screen needs to be set to the exact same bright/dim setting as the calibration. Also, ambient light (that is the light in the room you are working in) can affect the colours - both the amount of ambient light plus the colour of the light (i.e. daylight vs lightbulbs).

I can be done... but there's a bit more work to getting consistent results.
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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Printing at home is an amazingly nerdy process, one that needs some huge improvements. Hopefully Apple will do something.

Actually, I sent in a photo for Apple to print via Aperture and they did a great job. Someone mentioned Snapfish. It is not a bad idea to send important photos out to techs who have printers and technology we will never have as consumers. This is what I plan to do from now on, and just print little quickies at home.
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Old May 2, 2012, 07:44 AM   #9
gryffinwings
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Looks like I have my work cut out for me to do this at a hobby level.
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Old May 2, 2012, 09:40 AM   #10
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I have a canon printer for such things. Before I purchased it, I was debating whether to buy the printer or use services like snap fish or just bring the memory cards to my local drugstore that offer similar services.

In the end, I opted for the printer, since it only prints great pictures but I use it for other printing needs. That is I needed a printer anyways and so I spent a little more for a quality printer and its pretty versatile
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Old May 2, 2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
Printing at home is an amazingly nerdy process, one that needs some huge improvements. Hopefully Apple will do something.
..
Depends on the level of quality you are aiming for. If the monitor is even just reasonably calibrated (using the built-in "eyeball calibration" process in OS X), then it should be pretty easy to get about 80% of the quality. Assuming one is using the manufacturer's paper and built in profiles.

But, oh boy, building up that last ~20% - yep....nerdy as heck. Downloading profiles. Testing papers. Using HW to calibrate the monitor. Scanning test patches. Yep ... one has to be really really dedicated to wring those last few percent points out of a print.
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Old May 2, 2012, 02:37 PM   #12
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I don't even bother printing out any of my own photos. I typically use ProDPI which is a professional lab based in California for the majority of my prints/enlargements. However, if I just want a 4x6, I'll simply use Mpix.
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Old May 2, 2012, 02:49 PM   #13
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If you want to print at home you will need either a Spyder Studio or ColorMunki photo. That way you can calibrate your printer and screen. Quite easy to do. I've used the ColorMunki and it has an interactive video at each stage to make it idiot proof.
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Old May 3, 2012, 09:17 PM   #14
Oracle1729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
You would print the pictures using whatever photo editing software you've been using. Based on your other posts, that would be Aperture in your case. Short Apple Video on Printing from Aperture

In general photo programs let you select the image size and also let you crop the photo for printing.

There is no need to convert the image to any other format.
First as far as no need to convert the image. The OP was talking about RAW files, RAW files are not actually an image, they're raw sensor data. Take on its own it has no meaning that a printer could understand. You need some program to convert this to an image that will be meaningful to normal photo editing programs and a printer.

Your comments on cropping are irrelevant, the OP had his picture ready to print.

You can send your full resolution file to the printer and you should get good results but it will slow down the printing process a lot as the printer has to process all the excess information, throw away the data it doesn't need and figure out how to recalculate the image. It will be much faster and slightly better quality if you tailor the resolution to the needs of the printer. Much better quality if you have a workflow where you sharpen for print after you do your final resize.

Last edited by maflynn; May 4, 2012 at 08:05 AM. Reason: removed insult
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Old May 3, 2012, 09:24 PM   #15
gryffinwings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oracle1729 View Post
First as far as no need to convert the image. The OP was talking about RAW files, RAW files are not actually an image, they're raw sensor data. Take on its own it has no meaning that a printer could understand. You need some program to convert this to an image that will be meaningful to normal photo editing programs and a printer.

Your comments on cropping are irrelevant, the OP had his picture ready to print.

You can send your full resolution file to the printer and you should get good results but it will slow down the printing process a lot as the printer has to process all the excess information, throw away the data it doesn't need and figure out how to recalculate the image. It will be much faster and slightly better quality if you tailor the resolution to the needs of the printer. Much better quality if you have a workflow where you sharpen for print after you do your final resize.
Yes I noticed that the time it took to print from my DNG files was quite excessive. What can I do to make the printing process a bit faster than it is. I'm not sure I'm understanding what your recommending.
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Last edited by maflynn; May 4, 2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: clean up
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Old May 3, 2012, 10:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Use an online service like Snapfish.
Or a pro lab if you want it properly done. But unless you are printing every day and need a lot of prints, the care and feeding of an inkjet printer is not worth it.
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Old May 3, 2012, 11:12 PM   #17
snberk103
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Actually , Bear is more correct than you are... So you may want to tone down the sarcasm a tad, eh? While you are correct that Aperture may be working with RAW files initially, it actually "converts" these to display on the screen and to print. In fact the original RAW file is never actually touched and everything Aperture does with the image is a copy of the RAW file converted into something else. So when the OP prints from their RAW files - while you are technically correct that they have to be "converted" it is all transparent. What Bear said is entirely correct from the user's point of view. If the images are taking too long print there any number of reasons why - usually however it is because you have asked the application to send a file with too much resolution. The other consideration is that they are comparing a print at the correct resolution to one that had too little resolution (draft quality). It is possible that that a print is taking too little time, and using this as the benchmark is a problem too.
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Last edited by maflynn; May 4, 2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: clean up
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:33 AM   #18
Bear
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The user was asking how to print. I pointed him to a tutorial on printing in Aperture.

And you only need to convert the image if you're exporting it for another program to work on it.
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:46 PM   #19
mofunk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gryffinwings View Post
I was wondering how you go about printing digital photos?
Does the computer automatically downsize them to the size of photo paper that you are using or do you need to specify?
Also can you print from RAW format? or do you need to convert it to JPEG to print?

I have a Canon PIXMA MG6120 printer.

I'm using Lightroom 3 Print module. I have set up my print settings so that it prints from the paper in the back loader. There you can select what type of paper you are using and what size. You have to play with it, because I noticed you can choose either the photo editing settings or the print settings on your Canon pixma. My prints are really close to what you get from a camera store.

I know there is a video on youtube on how to print from LR. Check the web and see how to find the right settings for you
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