Digital photography has revolutionized the way people take photographs. Years ago, if you wanted to take a picture of something, you had to buy a roll of film. Each roll had a limited number of pictures available, usually allowing you to take anywhere between 12 to 48 photos before the roll was finished.
When buying the film, you had to plan, choosing the right ISO level for your needs. Unlike digital photography, you couldn’t see the photos right away when you snapped them. Instead, you had to wait until you had the film developed. That meant that there was no way to know if you had gotten a good shot until you had already left the area where you were shooting.
With digital photography, all of those problems have been remedied. Today, digital cameras and smartphones can take incredible photos, all without the need for film. Instead of having to have the film developed, you can see the photos instantly, allowing you to make sure that you got the shot you want before you move on to a new location.
While all of these benefits are great, it is also sometimes nice to have a physical photograph that you can frame, put in a scrapbook, or hold in your hand. Although you can send the digital files from your photos to a lab to have them printed, you also can print your photos at home. Check out the essential tips for printing photos below to get excellent results every time:
1. Start with high-quality photos. If you are starting with low-resolution, pixelated photos, you can’t expect to get excellent results when you print them out. To take high-quality photos, set the resolution on your camera as high as possible. The more megapixels each photo has, the better it will look when it is printed out. Increasing the resolution also allows you to enlarge the pictures without losing quality, making it easier to print your photos in different sizes.
2. Invest in a photo printer. Don’t try to use a standard office printer to print your photographs. Instead, look for a printer that is specifically designed for printing photos. There are both inkjet and laser printers available. Read reviews carefully to make sure that the printer lives up to its promises. Video reviews can be particularly helpful since they give you a chance to see the printer in action before you buy it. Consider the quality of the prints, the print speed, the cost of the ink, and the cost of the printer itself when deciding which model to buy.
3. By high-quality photo paper. The quality of the paper that you print on is every bit as important as the quality of the printer. Choose paper that is made specifically for printing photos. Matte-finished paper is usually the best option since it does a better job of hiding fingerprints.
4. Calibrate the settings on your monitor. Before printing the photos, you most likely will need to make minor adjustments to them on your computer. Most photo printers come with software programs that allow you to tweak everything from the color to the brightness and contrast of your photos. If the settings on your monitor are off, however, what you see on your screen won’t match what comes out of the printer. Follow the instructions in your monitor’s user manual to ensure that the color settings are properly calibrated.
5. Do a test print. If you have a large batch of photos to print, start by printing just one of them. Check the print in natural light to make sure that the colors and contrast are correct. Artificial light can change the way that colors look, which is why it is important to check for color accuracy in normal daylight.
Once you have your prints in hand, you can use them however you want. Framing them is a great option. Adding a picture frame instantly elevates the look of a photo, making it look much more professional. Prints like these are also great for scrapbooking or for sending to friends or family members. If you want to keep them looking their best, you can also keep them in an acid-free, archival photo album. Albums like these provide essential protection for the photos, keeping them from fading or deteriorating over time.