How to Get Your Photo Prints Right

using Apple Aperture

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on May 11, 2012
How to Get Your Photo Prints Right

Today we present you with an article by forum member JFN which talks about how to prepare your digital photos for printing so that the colors turn out correct, using Apple Aperture.  While not one of our finalist articles for the $1000 giveaway, we found this guide helpful and hope that you will too!

First of all, you need to make sure your computer has the right ICC profile installed for the photo paper you are about to use. In my case I use paper from Ilford, who provide ICC profiles for all their photo paper on their website. Check with the manufacturer of the paper you intend to use, the right profile will give you a better representation of your picture in print.

With the right ICC profile installed, and if your screen is properly calibrated, you can now use the corresponding ICC profile to preview round about how things will look on your printout, by using a function in Aperture called "Onscreen Proofing".

1. Go to "View" in the Finder menu, and activate "Onscreen Proofing":

2. Then choose the corresponding ICC profile:

3. Now you should see the profile name right under the image you are about to print and if your image looks good, you can now proceed with your print by clicking on "File" in the Finder menu and then click on "Print Image". If not, edit colors and exposure etc. in this Proofing mode until things looks good and then proceed with your prints.

4. Now you will see the print setup parameters, and the first you need to do is to select your printer:

5. Next thing to do is to setup the printer paper you intend to use, if your printer paper is no present in the setup menu, check with your paper manufacturer to find out if they have any recommendations setting this up using the paper alternatives from your printer manufacturer.

In my case with the Ilford papers, in the ICC profile zip-archive I downloaded on their website an attached pdf informed me about what paper setup to use for the major printer manufacturers on the market (In my case HP).

6. Next thing you need to do is to setup the print quality recommended by your paper manufacturer, though probably "Best" or "Maximum DPI" if available, if you dont have any recommendation, make a printout with the best alternative, it if looks too much or bad in any way, test using the precedent quality alternative. Now you can click "Save" and exit this menu.

7. The last thing to think about in order to get the prints right, is to tell aperture to actually use the corresponding ICC profile for the prints (the first setup was just for the Proofing, remember?). Under "Colorsync Profile", simply select the right profile:

Now all you need to do is to setup the right sizes for your picture vs. your paper, which is pretty selfexplanatory, and then you should be ready to print out all your nice pictures!!

You can now save this setup in the print parameters window, so you can re-use it next time you need to print (See the menu to the left in the print setup window).


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