Regardless of the output type, the more image data you have to start with, the more you can use for printing. This means shooting with the highest available resolution and quality, using raw format where it’s available and shooting in colour, even though you want to end up with a B&W print. However, when composing shots you should use the same strategies as you used when shooting with B&W film: think in black and white and pre-visualise the subject as a series of tones.
We’ve already covered the selection of inks and papers for everyday printing in Choosing the Right Inks and Papers but, when you want to make prints for display, the printer manufacturer’s range may not include the surface you wish to print on. Fortunately, there are plenty of ‘fine art’ papers with textures ranging from ultra-smooth to as rough as watercolour paper and a wide range of thicknesses (see below). Some suppliers offer media with textured surfaces like canvas, linen and even silk, which will allow you to turn your favourite pictures into attractive works of art. However, care should be taken when selecting them.
The Layers palette resembles a series of acetate sheets stacked one upon another. Where there is no image on part of a layer you can see straight through to the layer beneath it and where there is an image, you can adjust its transparency to control the degree to which the image below can be seen. You can cut out sections of an image and create a new layer that can be adjusted without affecting other parts of the image or use layers to combine several images into one.
Keen photographers quickly outgrow the basic software applications and want more control over the adjustments they can make to their digital photos. At the same time, families may also look for applications that extend the range of things they can do with their digital pictures. Fortunately, both groups are well catered for and there are lots of programs to choose from. In this chapter, we’ll look at some of the best.
How Many Inks? The simplest printers use four ink colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Such printers are commonly known as CMYK printers, the ‘K” standing for ‘key’ and representing black. In theory, all other colours can be produced by combining these four colours in different proportions. However, it is almost impossible to produce inks that are totally colour-pure so printer manufacturers have developed ink sets with increased colour and tonal accuracy.
Leading expert on image preservation, Henry Wilhelm, talks about issues critical to today’s digital photographers.
EPSON SPECIAL PROMOTION: You’ve paid hundreds of dollars for a top-quality digital camera and hundreds more for a photo printer – so why compromise your investment by buying cheap inks and papers? Using genuine media (in other words, the inks and papers supplied by your printer’s manufacturer) will also give you the best possible prints your camera images can produce.
What should you do with a used inkjet cartridge?
Different types of inkjet printer require radically different ink types. Printers designed for dyebased inks can’t work with pigment inks – and vice versa. Printers that rely on heat to force out droplets of ink need inks that can maintain a specific viscosity range through repeated heating and cooling, while printers driven by piezo-electric technology require inks with highly specific viscosities.
Regardless of what type of printer you want, when choosing an inkjet printer, consider the following additional factors: