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What kind of post processing, if any, would you suggest when printing images (besides cropping to the printing aspect ratio)? Would the post processing change depending on where the print is made (online service, home printer etc)?

I am mainly concerned with prints not larger than the A4 size and the images being 8 MP or higher in resolution.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The main concern with printing is colour accuracy. Not all printers, especially high street printers, will recognise advanced colour profiles such as AdobeRGB (1998) so I'd recommend converting your images to the sRGB colour space before exporting the JPGs, otherwise you may end up with unexpected results, e.g. prints being too dark. Make sure your JPG is of the highest possible quality (100%). I can't speak for Apple's Aperture, but in Adobe Lightroom there's an option to sharpen for printing when you export to a JPG.

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Or if your printer supplies a specific print profile use that rather than sRGB/AdobeRGB. –  LC1983 Feb 22 '11 at 16:48

In addition to what Nick said, you may notice that you have different expectations for printed images than you have for images displayed on a screen. Something that looks sharp and dazzling on the screen may look barely acceptable for a high-volume newpaper when printed.

It's not all about resolution, either -- we tend to have different expectations about sharpness, contrast and saturation on paper than we have for screen images. How much adjustment you may need to do depends entirely on you, but you'll need to see the prints before you can make any real determinations. Once you know what you need in order to satisfy yourself, you can pretty much take it as read that the same adjustments will always be needed for the same combination of camera, lens and output device.

Adequate sharpening for print, for instance, is very difficult to determine without printing. If you're zoomed out far enough to see the whole image on screen, the effects of sharpening will be lost. If you're zoomed in far enough to see the sharpening, you won't be able to see the effect on the whole picture.

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