For those that print their own photos.....

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
What kind of setup do you use?? I would love to print my own, I have an HP all in one printer that absolutely stinks when it comes to printing a photo (especially color)....

How tough is it to "calibrate" your monitor or whatever for printing??? Isn't this one of the more important tasks???

Been looking at the Epson printers forever.....One with 6 or 7 ink different color cartidges.....Any thoughts? I used to use Wolf for printing my photo enlargements, etc. but am probably going to give Adorama try....Unless I can figure out a way to get results good enough for a frame here at the house....So I won't be printing everyday, mostly 8x10 s or 11x14s every now and then, maybe some 4x6s or something.....But it sure would be nice to be able to print a good looking 8x10 with only a moment's notice......What say you???
You have now opened a 55 gallon can of worms and this is a subject I have battled for a long time.
After many hours( and I mean MANY), Here's what I have come up with to get consistantly good prints at home according to my research.
This is not to say, you can't just hook up a printer and print photos, but if you are looking for GOOD prints all the time, this will help you get there.

The first thing you have to do is get the Camera, the computer, Photoshop and the printer all speaking the same language.

Color Management/Anger Management can be quite confusing. I will do my best to be as straight forward as I can.
First, we have to undertstand "color space". Most DSLR cameras give you the choice of shooting in srgb or Adobe rgb.
srgb works best for web use,Adobe rgb works better for printing.
Adobe rgb has a wider gamut of color and the web is set up to work better with srgb.
It just can't handle the wider color gamut of Adobe rgb, especially the blues and greens.
On the other hand, Printers can put the extra color to good use.

So, Set your camera to shoot in Adobe rgb.

Next, We have to configure Photoshop for Adobe rgb.
(Very important Note: You can do this and print your own photos and post on the web, BUT, if you are going to send your photos off for print, you should probably stay in srgb in the camera and photoshop).Most labs are set up for srgb.
Now that I've put some fear in you, Let's move on.

Now, in PS by going to "Edit">Color settings, we can set up PS to speak with the camera.
When the Dialogue box opens, Do this.

Change the settings box from(North America General Purpose 2 ) to ( North America Prepress 2 ).
This will set your working space to Adobe rgb 1998 and will set your warning dialogs.

You can now Click on "ok"

Now when you open a photo in PS that was not taken in Adobe rgb, a pop-up box will appear and give you some choices about assigning profiles.
If you are going to print the photo, check the box that says "profile" and set the drop down to adobe rgb 1998.
If you are not going to print, just check "No color Mgmt".


Next is Calibrating your monitor. I use the Spyder ProII and
calibrate every 30 days.
We do this so that what we see on the screen is what the printer will get when the info is sent from the computer.

Here's the tricky part: When we calibrate the monitor with a device like the Spyder, it automatically assigns this profile to Photoshop. Not too big of a deal, It just creates another step, when we get ready to print a photo.(We will get to that)

PRINTING!! This is where it all comes together.

Now that we have the camera, the computer and Photoshop all talking the same Language,
it's time to educate the printer.
Each printer will give you it's own dialogs, but they all work in the same basic way.

OK, We have a photo opened in PS that we have cropped, resized and sharpened that is,let's say, 4x6 @ 300DPI.

Here are the steps you need to take to print that photo:

1st is the added step I told you about earlier.
Go to "Edit">assign profile and check the box at the bottom left that says "Profile, then make sure from the drop down that it is set to Adobe rgb 1998. Click ok.

Now go to "File"> Print, and page set-up. This is where you will tell the printer you want a 4x6 boarderless photo in landscape or portrait orientation.

Now, back in the printer dialog box, set the print to "Document Adobergb 1998 and in the options area, set color handling to " let Photoshop determine colors" and rendering intent to "Perceptual". Now we need to set the printer profile. Click the drop down arrows and choose the profile that matches the paper you will be using.

This will open your printer preference box and this is where they will all be different.

There are only three things you need to be concerned with here.

1. Set the Media type. This is the paper you will be using.

2. The quality you want. I recommend the highest.

3. AND MOST IMPORTANT> Under Color management Choose " None Notta Nothing or No"!!!!!!!!!!!

Now Click PRINT and hold your breath.:bounce::bounce::bounce:
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Now to answer your questions.
Yes that would be a good printer
Yes, It is very important to have your monitor calibrated.
It's easy to calibrate your monitor with something like the Spyder
There is a method of calibration you can do without the device(marginal results)
It's not always cheaper to print your own, but in my world it is.
Gotta love printing a large print right Now.


Shoot and I thought just getting good photos was the hard part. Thanks for the tutorial DRB I believe this thead goes into the sticky "Photo tricks of the Trade.

Thread starter #7


Senior Member
DRB-you mean thats all I had to do for all this time I've been wondering?????:rofl:

Thanks for the great advice there....I am going to have to put that to work here soon (in other words get ready for more questions!!!:bounce:).....:flag:
If you do decide to get serious about printing your own. Give me a call. I can walk you through this set up in less than 2 minutes.
That does not include the calibration part
That takes a few minutes. It has to do it's thang.


Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
I don't print many pics so can't add anything

I just wanted to thank all of you for sharing the good info:clap:

I was going to link this to our "Photo tricks of the trade (Tutorials)" sticky, but see Hoss already did:biggrin3:

Nice tutorial DRB, thanks for sharing it:)


GONetwork Member
I have not bought a photo printer because I would not use it very often and the cost of the ink. With limited use do the print nozzles get clogged?
I use an epson r2400 and love the quality of the prints that I get. I print pictures for shows and hang them right next to prints that are from the top of the line epson and hp printers and can't tell a difference. I only print on matte finish papers, but I've heard the glossy prints from this printer turn out great too. When I bought it I went on the epson website and got one of the factory reconditioned ones because it saved about 350 dollars over a brand new one.


Senior Member
epson printer

I have the epson R380. My wife is a picture/photo fanatic. I have had 2 other HPs and by far this thing is wonderful. Definitely more expensive when it comes to replacing all the ink cartridges but well worth the money....IMO