printer form

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.

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