You need to source your printing paper before you can fully complete the set up process. If your are using LR colour settings to control your process, you need ICC codes for the paper as well. Please see the Colour Management section for more information on this.
I buy gloss and semi gloss / matt paper in packs of 50 x A4 sheets of Pinnacle branded paper (available from Paper Spectrum). Others buy A3 paper and cut the sheets down. Beware of paper lighter than about 150 gsm, I think this is too lightweight for competition work. See Suppliers for more options on paper.
LR Print Module
Worked Example, Please view your image in the LR Print Module and explore the ‘Big Button’s and ‘Right Side Panel’ in LR.
I have not tried to give advice on any other software products for the print process. However, the general points are likely to be similar whatever you use.
Big Buttons at Bottom of LR Print Module
1. Page Set Up…
See button at the bottom left of LR Print Module screen. This opens a dialogue box. Select;
Printer; Your printer should be listed. If not go back and review your preparation.
Paper Size; In my Worked Example set A4. My Canon iX6550 printer accepts any size up to A3. I can print A3 and use a cut out A3 mount. I use my Mat Cutter to cut different sizes and shapes for a letterbox print, for instance. I cut my paper with an A3+ guillotine which keeps it straight and square.
Print Orientation (Landscape of Portrait); Worked Example, depends on your image.
Print submissions have an advantage over PDIs which are limited to 1400×1050 pixels irrespective of their print shape. With a print, your only restriction is a 50×40 cm mount in landscape OR portrait. You can put any shape you like into the mount with as much or as little mount showing excepting that it must have enough mount to support the print.
Scale; Worked Example, 100%
2. Print Settings…
Presets; Worked Example. Default Settings.
- Layout – Worked Example, 1 page per sheet & border none.
- Colour Matching – Worked Example, Canon colour matching.
- Paper Handling – Worked Example, nothing need be ticked.
- Quality & Media – Worked Example Photo Paper Plus Glossy II. You may have a completely different list so please choose the appropriate one for your printer.
- Color Options – Worked Example, nothing ticked or changed.
- Borderless Printing – Worked Example, MUST be ticked.
- Margin – Worked Example, Selecting anything here unticks the borderless option above; so don’t set any thing for image printing for this exercise.
- Supply Levels – Worked Example, Keep an eye on the supply levels. Ink is used faster than you think!
PDF Option, you may find this useful, but I prefer the Print to JPEG file option on the right hand panel in LR. This gets a mention elsewhere.
ONLY press this button if you want to print!
4. Print to File… OR Printer…
Depending on your Print to: setting under Print Job, this button changes.
Print to File; This option opens a file save dialogue if you want to save your printer formatted file for later, or perhaps to transfer to a different PC etc.
Printer; The option replicates the Print Settings button to the left of your screen.
LR Print Module Right Side Panel
The side panel is to the right of the image panel in the Print module. It contains these sections;
- Layout Style; I use Single Image,
- Image Settings; I use:
- Zoom to Fill; Experiment with the ‘zoom’ setting. If your aspect ratio and cell size (below) is correct, the print should fit exactly. If it doesn’t, then zoom is your friend, but beware of unintended consequences elsewhere!
- Rotate to Fit; Unticked – unless you want to confuse yourself with Page Set Up (button) and ‘Orientation’ & Print Settings (button) and ‘Layout Direction’.
- Stroke Border; This adds a line in a colour of choice (see colour selected in box by the control; click to change). The Stroke Border sits around your image WITHIN the current image size; it makes your image smaller by shrinking it by the size of the border. Try it out now and for this Guide Exercise, set it to zero when you have finished. If you are printing multiple images at a time LR will only set one stoke border (size and colour) for the set.
- Ruler Units; I set mine to centimetres or millimetres depending on what I am doing. Margins, move the sliders around and discover the minimum values. You want the Page Grid Rows and Columns set to one for this exercise, unless you want to print multiple images on one sheet of paper.
- Margins; You can experiment with your margins here and see the image interface (centre screen) adjust as you move the margin control sliders, or move them manually on the image display. You can input precise measurements by clicking on the margin measurement to the right of each margins (Left, Right etc.).
- Cell Size; This is the size of the image being printed. In our 2mm bled example, this is the frame size plus 4mm in each direction. Set your height and width as required. If you are trying to set your cell size and cannot get the cell big enough, check your margin settings (above). Reduce the margin to zero and you will enable the maximum cell size.
- Guides; Tick everything! you need to ensure that your image fills the space you are assigning to it.
- Page; This panel determines what is printed on your printed paper (the page in this instance). The page background would be useful consideration if you wanted to extend your border with extra layers, colours, text, or even graphics. I don’t use any of these option in this Guide Exercise.
- Print Job; These settings are very important, so don’t miss them out!
- Print to JPG; This is allows you to print to a file to check out your various settings, borders for instance, without having to feed the printer. I can recommend trying this out. Set to Printer when you are ready to do so.
- Print Resolution; mine is set to 240 ppi (pixels per inch). I believe LR adjusts the value printed within the 180 -1440 ppi range. The setting in the box here is a safety net in case your pixels are insufficient for the print size chosen. Not an issue for me to date.
- 16-Bit Output; Better, more modern printers accept 16 bit data. Most including mine are on the older 8 bit standard.
- Colour Management; This is where you set up whether or not LR controls the printer colour space or if you allow the printer to use its own preferences. This control over-rides all others. For some, it is difficult to find!
- Colour Management by Printer; Note the Printer… button at the foot of the panel, allows you to change Colour Matching and Colour Options. On my Canon 6550 these are extensive options. Rendering is not one of them. Note also, you can only set ‘Profile: Managed by Printer’ if ‘Print to’ (to the top of the Print Job panel) is also set to ‘Printer’.
- Colour Management by Profile; For this to work, you need to have an ICC code installed in your Library (Apple has a good utility to manage this) so that the Profile generator can find it / them. I have two additional options labelled Intent: Perceptual and Relative (relative Colorimetric). This is the non-printer rendering option. You may like to look this up and try a test print with each.
- Print Adjustment; I leave this unticked.
Print Your Image
- Development Module;
- crop your image to required Aspect Ratio (see 3 Image Editing and Size)
- Print Module;
- Set Cell Size to equal the size of the printed image required. See 3 Image Editing and Size for the detail on this.
- With your image already cropped to the correct aspect ratio it should fit the print cell size exactly.
- If it doesn’t, but very nearly does, I recommend the ‘Zoom to fill’ tick box to complete the job. Otherwise, you need to adjust the margins until the selected size works within your page size. This can be laborious because LR is making calculations in the background based on the paper size, margins allowed by your selected printer and so on.
- Orientation; check this. In my set up LR confuses me and sets the Print module producing a print 90 degrees to the left.
- Page set up Portrait, arrow up toward head in graphic.
- Rotate to fit OFF; << this was the cause of my problem I think.
- Set Height & Width; if not possible to get full height or width, revisit the Page Set up button, select paper size, select Manage Custom Sizes and edit the one you are using. Set the margins all the same (mine are 6.3mm). Save the settings (A4 Standard is my custom size – named by me).
- Revisit Cell Size and set your required size.
- See Print settings graphic with figure 1 in it, correctly orientated.
- Print to JPEG file initially, before actually print the image. This allows you to check the output is what you expected, including the orientation and editing of print. Best done in daylight …
Back in the development module;
The image displayed should reflect the changes you have made and by now should look right for printing. Note the size shown top left of image; this should equate to the Frame size plus the suggested 2 mm all round for bleed (a technical term for the extra printing that gets hidden by the frame in this instance) or be under sized to allow for a white / coloured border on your print.
The units used are set in Layout (above). I have found these measurements reliable to the millimetre.
Make your Printing choice!
Before your final print to paper or to file, I turn the BRIGHTNESS of my IMAC monitor down to 4 out of 16 brightness symbols. Experts tell me this sets up my screen to a similar brightness as the Club projector. I am told many prints and PDI’s are submitted that are too dark because the brightness on the editing monitor is too bright! Im not that expert, but it works for me.
- Use LR ‘Print to’ JPEG file selected, press Print (as above if you want to run another check).
- Use LR ‘Print to’ Printer, press Print.
- Use LR ‘Export’ and take your JPEG image to your 3rd party print supplier.
Please go to 5 Mount the Print