Printing Photographs

In the different pages much has been mentioned about scanning, restoring, and archiving photographs. Editing techniques have been discussed with the idea to display the best possible image on either a screen or printed as a photograph. 

This page will start by simply looking at what is possible using the latest version of Apple’s Preview. Opening an image (TIFF, JPEG, etc.) will by default open Preview. 

Using Preview to Print

Firstly, in Preview - Preferences - Image, you can either pick “1 image pixel equal 1 screen pixel”, or “size of screen equals size on printout”. 

Secondly, under Print there are specific options for printing colour photographs. Use “Show Details”, and under “Presets” you can pick “Photo on Glossy Paper” or “Photo on Plain Paper”. “Paper Size” offers a wide choice of page formats covering also the most common photograph formats. 

Thirdly, the “Toolbox” icon in the toolbar offers a Selection Tools, Instant Alpha, Sketch, Draw, Shapes, Text, Sign, Adjust Colour, Adjust Size, Shape Style, Boarder colour, Fill Colour, and Text Style. Some of these are also accessible in the Tools menu.

The starting point is to look firstly at what the image is offering. Under Tools, - Show Inspector, you have General Info and More Info, which provides a complete description of the image. For example, its image size, the colour model and colour profile used, and the file format and if the image was compressed or not. 

Under Tools - Adjust Size, you can see the present height and width of the image, and you can pick the units (pixels, percent, inches, cm, mm, points).

Under Tools - Adjust Colour, you can see the histogram and you can adjust Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation, Temperature, Tint, and Sharpness. 

You can see all these options below

If your photograph is so fantastic as to merit a big poster size print, then open Adjust Size and pick the dimension and resolution required. 

As an example, we take the following image with its default dimensions. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 16.36.48

We re-dimension it for a width of 120 cm and a height of 90 with a resolution of 240 ppi. Now with the Adjust Colour we can optimise the image, for example setting sharpness at its lowest or highest level (see the two images below). 


Once the size and colour adjustments have been optimised, a file can be created. With the above mentioned adjustments this would convert a 24 MB TIFF file into a 385.7 MB TIFF file which could be sent to a printers.  

  © Bernard Smith 2017-18