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"The Luminous Landscape" Teaches Me to PrintAugust 4, 2007
I had all the right equipment and software (except for PhotoKit Sharpener; see below), but my prints were always flat, dull, and blurry. Then I watched the new Luminous Landscape printing tutorial, and now I can print! (It's $35 for almost 7 hours with Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe, who are terrific together.)
Here's a summary of the critical steps:
None of these steps are optional; you have to do each one. It's possible to do without PhotoKit Sharpener, but it has built-in knowledge about output resolution and glossy vs matte papers that you'd have to come up with by experiment. You might as well spend the $100 in paper and ink you'd waste on the plug-in.
If you're thinking that maybe you don't have to shoot raw, and that you don't have to work in ProPhoto RGB and 16 bits, or that you can just sharpen yourself without spending extra for another tool, you might be right. All I know is that I do it exactly this way and each print is excellent. I print each image exactly once, too—no wasted paper or ink. My advice is to shoot raw and get the plug-in. If you do it right the difference is dramatic.
Don't even think of printing without calibrating your monitor with a hardware device and using a proper printer profile. It won't work.
Maybe Aperture can do as well as Photoshop (I don't know it well enough), but Lightroom definitely can't, because its sharpening isn't good enough and it doesn't have soft proofing.
Before I watched the tutorial I had the calibration and profiling steps down OK, so I was getting the right colors, but I wasn't using the duplicate image as a target, so my final adjustments for printing were too erratic. My sharpening was way off, mostly because I didn't understand how important it was, especially output sharpening. So the prints lacked detail.
You know, now that I've done it, I'm starting to think printing is easy. Sure wasn't easy before I watched the tutorial.
Raw Conversion: Better Never Than Late April 24, 2008
Scanning in India by Way of California With ScanCafe February 15, 2008
How To Back Up Your Personal Computer January 30, 2008
Every Camera I've Ever Owned January 25, 2008
Sharpening JPEGs for the Web January 4, 2008
Lessons Learned From My Memory Problem December 20, 2007
Hunting Down a Mac Hardware Problem December 20, 2007
Trimming GPS Tracks With GPSTrackViewer November 13, 2007
The World's Shortest Camera Buying Guide September 22, 2007
Transporting and Storing Portable Backup Drives August 26, 2007
"The Luminous Landscape" Teaches Me to Print August 4, 2007
Creating a Google Photo Map (Revised) June 26, 2007
Sony GPS-CS1: Not Good Enough for Geotagging Photos June 24, 2007
Epson P-3000/P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer March 10, 2007
Trying Out Infrared January 20, 2007
Stupid Designs Hold Digital Back April 1, 2006
A small collection of my best photos (click the image). You can order prints, too.
The 2004 2nd Edition, a so-called "update" of the 1985 book, which turned out, not surprisingly, to be a re-write. Covers Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, and Darwin (Mac OS X).
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