'Print To' Printer vs 'Print To' JPEG File  for your Calendar Project

the print to jpeg option in the print job panel of lightrooms print module


You will recall that in my third and final screencast for this project, when speaking about printing the calendar series yourself on your “home” inkjet printer rather than to have a print service do it for you both as a convenience and as a more impressive final product I advised you all to still export the project as a series of JPEG files rather than to choose the Print to Printer option.                  

You may also recall I was advising you choose to print on a good quality consumer/wholesale-retail paper in order to save yourself the substantial expense of printing on more expensive papers which would have ready-made Printer Profiles available for you to import to your Printer Utility in your computer’s Operating System.

“But I want to print on the groovy high-end papers I have. I don’t want to take my calendars to a ‘print service’. I prefer to print them myself!”

Fine; so in this next screen-capture...

the print to printer option in the print job panel of lightrooms print module

...you can see that in the ‘Print to’ option-line I have now chosen the printer as my “destination”.

I would then suggest you set the ‘Print Resolution’ to 300ppi instead of the default (240ppi) Lightroom has in-place as you can see here.

Next – and this is pretty important here, IF you intend to print on a matte paper (my preferred surface for any project really, even large “fine art” prints) I would suggest you initially experiment in the ‘Print Sharpening’ line with the “High” setting.

I say this because, again, unlike a color laser print where the impression is laid atop the surface of whatever paper your print service is working with, when you generate a print with an inkjet printer the dyes are soaked into the paper – and if you’re printing on a “matte” surface this means you will likely need a bit more sharpening for all the hard work you invested in an image that looks great on your computer screen to also look “good” on a matte surface paper printed with inkjet devices. No matter how hard and smooth the matte surface is the dyes will spread just a bit and your image appear a bit softer. This "spread" is referred to as "dot gain".

You could always go ‘Glossy’ but I personally really hate the look of an image on glossy paper. Your choice though. (But then also keep in mind: glossy papers may well require only a ‘Lowsetting to look good.

Lightroom’s on-board sharpening plugin (Photokit Sharpener) is really quite sophisticated and does a great job “right out of the box”. So depending upon how discriminating your eye is when YOU print a project you may well need to experiment a bit here.

Down in the ‘Color Management’ drawer of the ‘Print Job’ panel we are working in you have two choices, “Managed by Printer” or “Other”.

If you do not have printer-specific paper profiles then select ‘Managed by Printer’. You will normally get a respectable looking print this way. (I’m not going to go into explaining about the relevancy of this issue; there is much information on the web about the importance of printer/paper profiles, about the importance of computer monitor calibration, the difference between working in the ‘Profoto’ color space vs ‘Adobe 1998 RGB’ vs ’sRGB’. You’ve got plenty of keywords in this paragraph alone to keep you busy for weeks of reading.

However, if you do have printer profiles setup in your workstation for the paper you intend to work with on this project then select the ‘Other…’ option instead.

When this (or a similar) dialog opens...

printer profiles for utility on my computer

...select the appropriate profile and then hit the ‘Print’ button in the Lightroom workspace and your in-house printer (connected to your computer) will take the project and run with it from there.

Consider the results you get critically. Then keep running the series to build however-many calendar sets as you wish.