Printing photographs at home

Ever since I came back from my winter trip to Ladakh, I have been trying to print some of the photographs at home (to send them back to our driver), using my Canon MP 287 Printer.

It is an inkjet printer and not really all the economical either, however the last thing I want to do is take some of my best photographs in high resolution, that too without any copyright marks and hand it over to some stranger at the local photo lab or an online one (call me paranoid, but with so many rampant copyright violations, I am just not willing to take this chance).

Biggest problem with printing at home is that you are never sure how the colors and sharpness would turn out, especially in case of RAW photographs and an uncalibrated monitor (haven’t been able to get it right by manually calibrating it, hence have left it as it is for the time being).

Thankfully, out of the several photographs I have printed in past few days, only one has turned out bad and only one which wasn’t sharp enough and that was before I got working on the below workflow, which has not only made printing at home easier for me, but also gotten my quite decent results.

So at this moment, this is what my printing workflow looks like:

  1. Adjust the color temperature, exposure, picture style (standard looks great) and remove CA and color blur using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional Software and then export the processed RAW image as 16bit TIFF to Photoshop.
  2. Adjust levels and curves (usually only slight correction is needed).
  3. Resample the photograph to 6”x4” using the image size tool with pixel density set to 300 per inch.
  4. Sharpen the photograph with USM with the following settings; 0.7 radius, 300% strength and 1 threshold.
  5. Convert the image to 8bit and CMYK color profile.
  6. Export as JPEG with maximum quality.
  7. Open the processed image in Canon’s Easy PhotoPrint EX software and print a border less photo with high quality and image enhancement feature turned on, on a HP Glossy 6”x4” Photo Paper.

While I am sure professionals would likely do a slightly better job, this way I am not only in total control of the output and learning how to process for print, I can also be sure that my photographs aren’t going to turn up in some table top calendar, without my permission!


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