Printing Digital Images - Remember all the settings / by Chris Dahl

I have talked about my background working in photo labs in the past. When I spent my day in a darkroom making prints, I would make test prints for several clients at a time. To keep all of the images and settings organized the lab had pre-printed envelopes with all the needed information organized in a “form”. I would mark the settings on the envelope and keep the negatives and test print for each customer together. The QC person marked on the test prints any changes that were needed. The test print would also have symbols marked on the surface indicating the dodging and burning. I would transfer their changes to the form on the envelope and make another test. This process kept going until the QC put a check mark on the test print.

As we work in Photoshop or Lightroom the settings are all stored in the software. You can see these changes in the History of the Develop Module. You can even create a virtual copy of an image based on the paper and profile you are using in the print module. These settings are stored to reuse for a later print. This makes our lives so much easier than what I had years ago in the photo lab.

However, I am a task oriented person and I like to keep records. Also, the printer setup page is not as forgiving as Lightroom and needs to be changed as you use different paper types and sizes. I developed a print setup sheet a year ago to help me keep better records and force me to check all settings before I hit the print button. I keep these forms with a copy of my test print in a notebook for future reference. This sheet allows me to go back and review and double check all the print settings.

Adobe Acrobat is included in the Creative Cloud plan. I used Acrobat DC to create a fallible form that I use today. See the image of the form below.

Oak Avenue.jpg

Print Form

I have posted a copy of this form without my logo for you to download below.

I now make a form for every print that I display in galleries or sale on my web site. The test print and a copy of the form go in a 3 ring binder that I can refer back to later as needed.

This process makes reprinting easier for me. I now go through the routine of checking all settings line by line before hitting the print button.

I have made a copy of the PDF file available for you to download and use. If you like the file, please let me know in the comments below.

If you see edits that would make it more useful, leave a comment below and if I agree I will make the changes.

The file is locate here.