Printing

Printing

Before you start printing, you might want to arrange for the newly-weds to come and have a look at the photos. This is one massive advantage of digital photography; you can show them the photos on a large monitor or even on your TV, where previously you would have had to make do with a contact sheet and a magnifying glass. Let them look through the photos you've taken, and tag the ones that they want to be included in the album, and which ones they'd like for larger prints. If you use Adobe Bridge, the file viewer attached to Photoshop, you can do this before you even process the Raw files. As long as you have the correct version of Camera Raw for your camera, Bridge can preview Raw files in a full-screen slideshow.

As I mentioned in the first part of this tutorial, if you're going to do the prints yourself you're going to need a top-quality photo printer. There's little point in spending a couple of grand on a top-quality digital SLR camera if you're going to print the results on a £50 desktop printer. A top-of-the-range A3+ photo printer such as the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 Mk II or the new Epson R2880 will cost you nearly £600, but it's worth every penny when you see the results. This is the sort of thing you should be looking at to print top quality wedding photos.

One criticism that has been made against inkjet prints is that they fade over time. While this certainly used to be true, the main manufacturers have done a lot of work in this area over the past few years. Canon's ChromaLife100+ inks should last for at least 100 years, while Epson claim that their latest range of Claria inks will last for up to 200 years stored in an album, or 98 years in frame, which is longer than conventional photographic prints will normally last. They are also scratch resistant and water resistant, so they're a perfect choice for treasured wedding photos. However it is worth noting that third-party inks and refilled cartridges may not have the same durability. Refills may be cheaper, but I'd always recommend spending a little more and getting genuine original manufacturer ink supplies. Using the manufacturer's own paper is also a good idea, since the paper and inks are designed to work together for the best results. Unless you need a paper with some special finish or texture then premium glossy photo paper is the best choice for both quality and durability.

To get the very best out of a professional colour photo printer you need to consider colour management. Fortunately this is a lot simpler than it used to be, due to greater standardisation of colour matching between cameras, photo editing software and printer drivers. The driver software for a good photo printer should have the option to use the Adobe RGB colour space, and this is usually also available as an option on more advanced digital SLRs. Using this colour space throughout the process will help to ensure that the colours of the original photo, plus any adjustments that you make in image editing, will be accurately reflected in the finished product.

Many professional photographers use advanced monitor calibration devices and ICC profiles to ensure totally accurate colour reproduction between what you see on the screen and what you get out of the printer, but modern top quality photo printers have colour profiles built in that match their manufacturer-original inks and paper, producing virtually perfect results without any meddling. Nonetheless you might also want to take a look at this very good article by Simon Williams, our resident printer expert.

Depending on the size of the photo album you'll most likely need to print a selection of sizes from 6 x 4 to 10 x 8 inches, as well as some larger prints for framing.. You can either go for a modern look and print them borderless, or go for a more traditional look and print your photos with 5mm borders. Depending on the size of the wedding you may well end up producing between 50 and 100 prints just for the album, plus any larger prints or extra copies, so do make sure you have an adequate supply of ink and paper for the job.

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