Achieve Professional Quality Photos from Home Printer

Great photos deserve great prints. There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a perfectly-captured image be transferred effortlessly into the print world. Traditionally, however, the process involved in printing high-quality photographs, was costly and time-consuming.

Thankfully, the days of entrusting a third-party printer with your family photographs are over. With exciting new software and printing materials available, it is finally possible to achieve professional quality prints, all from the comfort of your home. Read on to find out how to achieve professional quality prints, from your home printer.

Choose the Right Paper

Modern technology allows you to print onto just about any material. When it comes to printing professional photographs, it’s time to step away from standard paper, and invest in high-quality photo paper.

Photo paper is specifically formulated to prevent ink from absorbing into the paper, affecting the overall quality and clarity of your image. Photo paper also comes in a wide range of finishes. Gloss finishes provide a gleem to the image, which can help the vibrancy of certain images shine through. In turn, matte finishes give images a subtle and pared-back look.

Pick the Right Ink

Up to 70% of print quality is determined by the ink cartridge. Therefore, when it comes to printing high-quality photographs, it is essential to stick to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges. These ink cartridges are the cartridges that come with your printer, or are created by the same manufacturer specifically for your printer. While generic cartridges may do the trick for text on plain paper, most third-party ink will negatively impact the quality of your print.

It is also important to check whether your home printer supports additional inks beyond the usual black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Many will support the use of a pigment black cartridge, specifically for photo printing. This version of black ink reflects light differently than the usual dye-based ink, creating sharper detail and better dark shades in photos. It’s also less susceptible to fading over time.

Double Check Your Settings

When printing photographs from your home printer, you need to pay close attention to your printer settings. The settings used when printing traditional documents and when printing photographs, will be dramatically different.

Set the print quality as high as possible, with the necessary settings for photo paper and photo size. Even a high-quality image will print poorly if set to standard document quality. Many printers have a maximum resolution listed in the product specifications, generally measured in dpi. The higher the dpi, the sharper and more detailed an image it can print. For the best print quality, you want the image file to have a resolution similar to the printer. Don’t be afraid to look up further details in your printer’s user manual.

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If you've tried your hand at printing your own photos and been disappointed in the results, you may be making some mistakes that are easy to correct. Follow these simple tips to achieve professional quality photos, without the hefty price tag.