Digital photo developing requires a solid workflow to achieve perfect and consistent results. Getting the perfect print isn’t merely a case of taking the shot, editing and printing but once your system is set up properly it is fairly straight forward. The first thing to concentrate on before carrying on with your digital photo developing is to ensure your monitor and printer agree with each other. In other words they need to be calibrated to get consistent colour rendition. you need to make sure that the way your printer sees the image is the way you see it on your computer. This is essential in digital photo developing.
So how do you deal with the confusing issue of calibration in your digital photo developing. First of all you need to calibrate your monitor and then you need to calibrate your printer. There is some pretty expensive software for doing this and if you’re serious about your photography it is worth the investment. You can do it, though, by getting an image of someone with a normal skin tone printed by a first class lab so that it is rendered accurately. Hold it up to your image on the computer screen for comparison and adjust the colours, contrast and brightness of your monitor till they match. That’s your first step to spot on digital photo developing.
The next step in setting up your digital photo developing workflow is to make sure your printer is calibrated. You need to access your printer driver software to do this. Your printer manual will show you how. Your printer driver will likely contain some pre-set options, referred to as printer profiles. These relate to the combination of printer, ink and paper that work together to give an accurate result. You can alter these profiles manually by tweaking the cyan, magenta, yellow and black sliders to give your desired result so that the print matches what is on your monitor. Once familiar with how your digital photo developing system works you can set up different profiles for different printers or different labs if you outsource your work. You can also get profiles from paper manufacturers so you have a profile for each paper type you use.
Digital photo developing can be quite complex and it is worth getting to know how it works to achieve the prints your images deserve. It’s also a lot of fun when you know how to do it properly.