Preparing digital photos for printing in minilab

In this article I will discuss what can be an easy way to get the best results when printing digital photos, how to prepare your digital photos to print. Reveal some of the features in the preparation of files for printing, a digital photo lab (minilab). Also touch monitor calibration, color-profile settings and space RGB.

Prepare digital photos for print

If you use a film camera - everything is simple: otschelkal roll, took the tape to the lab - got ready prints. In the same way you can go with your digital photos, of course, if you're all the same what quality will be your pictures.

With digital photo printing machine related some details of which will be discussed in this article. All information presented below nothing but my own personal experience, which I am sharing with you today. Should not take this article as a guide to action. This is just advice that you have the right to accept or reject.

Crop photo

So, what actually starts preparing for printing - with processing files in the editor, in my case, Photoshop CS5. In the preparation of a photo, you must know exactly in what format will print this size (10x15/15x21/20x30/30x40/30x90, etc.). Suppose you have processed the photo in the editor, and now we need to crop a certain linear parameters. But how do we know what parameters need to prescribe.
Tip: Ask the staff mini-Laba give you a printout of the geometric parameters of files (such printouts "keep on hand" most photo labs), this will accurately set the desired size of the printout.

Why is this done?
Suppose you bring your photos to a photo and want to make 40 pictures size 10x15, 20 photos - 15x21 and 5 photos - 21x30. Officer Mini Laba offer you additional services such as the correction of the geometric dimensions of the file. The fees range from 6 to 10 cents per file. The amount is small but when you print 100 photos in addition will go for about 10 bucks and a crop. Well, okay, 10 bucks more - $10 less than... There is another problem - how the operator Crop your images. After all, we are with you know exactly what the crop depends on the perception of the image.


The same picture looks completely different in different versions framing. I sometimes have an hour "twist" single photo to select the most successful, in my opinion, option framing.
Operator Mini Laba will not bother with the framing of your photos. And not because he was unfamiliar with the rules of golden sections or the rule of thirds (although this is not impossible), but for the simple reason that he has no time to mess with a lot of orders. Very often the mini-labs "crush" on the number rather than quality. Although, again, everyone understands the word in its quality. Therefore, crop the photos on your own and move to the next step.


Why again adjust the sharpness of a photo if it is already done in the processing - may you ask?
As a general rule, processing a file, it is equal to the parameters that are set on the camera while shooting. For example, 3872x2592, dpi 240 pixels/inch, weight 8Mb. File with these parameters is acceptable if the mark should be approximately 41x27, 5cm. But if we are going to print pictures 15x21 format, the picture permits change - 2480x1795, dpi 300 pixels/inch.


Thus, the loss of resolution after cropping significantly reduced image sharpness. And now, to restore the sharpness of the picture, you need to re-adjust the sharpness. Otherwise, the print will zamylenym and focus. About what kind of sharpening using himself - in detail in a separate article. Here consider only the basic elements of preparing images for printing.

Color profile - space RGB - Monitor Calibration

In different minilab photo printing occurs on different machines. Consequently, the same image will be different in color rendering if it printed in different photo labs. The logical question is - what do you do to the color that we see on your screen, no different from the colors in the final print?

It all depends on what machine is printing, the quality of photo paper used, the condition used for the moment the developing solution and course of training and competence of the operator, who is directly involved in color correction and exposure images. But there is another important factor that affects the quality of the color - the color profile specific press.

Say, press one of the best and adjust accordingly, photo top level Developing solutions just been changed to fresh, but even all of these important factors do not have the desired effect if your digital photos contain incompatible with your machine color profile. Color profile - is setting parameters specific RGB space press. Depending on these parameters, the machine "sees" what is what, and consequently picks up the intensity of a color. While editing a photo in the editor in the first place to convert embedded color profile to profile the printing press, for example, Nikon sRGB changing to FF Frontier Print sRGB, Fujifilm, Ver 1.0.
- How can I load the profile press in the editor?
- First, we must ask the operator Mini Laba give you a file with the color profile of the car.
- Second, download the file to the editor: Photoshop CS5> Edit> color settings> download.

photo paper for printing

Some employees are denied this request, so it is not necessary in the future to use their services. If you got rid of the flash drive's profile and sample images to calibrate the monitor, be sure - here respect the client, therefore, will do everything to get you back here again and again... Typically, patrons enjoy substantial discounts on services mini Laba. In this lab your wishes will not be left without attention. Knowing your preferences, operators will be easier to please you. When filling out the order not forget to mention the fact that it offered no color correction, as the colors are calibrated under their car in the editor.

Perhaps your prints look a little dark, the reason for this may be an incorrect setting of the picture. The fact that the photos on display look a little brighter than the print. This is so that the LCD monitor lit LEDs, they are, as it were an image making it shine brighter. Competent monitor calibration to some extent help to avoid this phenomenon. Professional monitor calibration - not cheap, but you can customize the tone, brightness, contrast and gamma. It's enough to use the facilities of Windows. How to do this will find in the settings screen.
For example, OS Windows7> Control Panel> Color Management> Advanced> Display Calibration. Adhering to the instructions menu, go all the calibration procedure.

Select photo paper

Choosing photo paper for printing, you must know its characteristics. For example, if the print in grayscale, in the deep shadows and where the black color is noticeable noise - a little paper with good contrast, and is only suitable for bright saturated scenes. But if your pictures are taken in difficult lighting situations, such as a portrait in the studio with a black background or night scene, where most of the frame has a deep black background, in which case you should use contrast photographic paper, where black does not turn to mush. For example, Kodak Professional ENDURA paper, - one of the best papers, where black is black as in the midtones and shadows in the deep, and has excellent color rendition of skin.

Glossy or Matte?
Here it is necessary to take into account the wishes of the customer and some artistic aspect. For example, if the portrait is printed on silk (matte), it looks more artistic rather than gloss. Glossy paper image as it were more alive than matte, but less practical. On glossy fingerprints, stains from all kinds of liquids are more visible, that does not add to the aesthetic pleasure of viewing pictures. Also, do not gloss best behaved in an album under the film, or in a frame under glass, bubbles and sticky emulsion plots mercilessly reduce the merits of good pictures. That's all.

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