If I Were Any Dumber…

If I were any dumber I’d be a box of rocks.

I’m not saying I’ve completely solved my various and irritating problems with printing through Lightroom, but I may have just experienced a major epiphany. A huge breakthrough. And the fact it is so incredibly obvious only goes to prove that I should not be allowed to use photo editing software. Or maybe even a camera.

Today I elected to print one of my images as I wanted to frame and hang it on a wall in my office, where sits my photo-editing computer. It’s a nice picture. See!

So here’s the issue.

I was looking to print this image as an 8×10 in this scenario. I opened the image in Lightroom. Fiddled with page setup. Fiddled with the Print Setup. And printed the image.

Funny….. my 8×10 didn’t come out as an 8×10. When I trimmed away the remaining white border (using 8.5×11 stock) my remaining print was more like 7.5×11.

Huh?

Irritated I went back and re-traced my steps. Check this. Select that. Bingo, bango, bongo. Same results.

I returned to the original file in Lightroom and sat there looking at it and asking myself, “Mark: what’s wrong here?” And as I absent-mindedly looked around the screen hoping for inspiration I found exactly that. Inspiration

Cropping.

Not only was this image cropped from the original, but it was cropped at the same aspect ratio as the original file, which is closest to the 6×4 aspect ratio, which is not the 8×10 (or 4×5) ratio.

I quickly created a virtual copy of the image, re-cropped it, but at the 8×10 aspect ratio, exported it as a file through the Print portion of Lightroom and finally printed it via Mac’s Preview app.

Now you may wonder why I elected to use the Preview app for printing instead of simply doing such straight out of Lightroom and that would be both a fair and reasonable question. It also happens to be one for which I have an answer!

When I use Preview I find the option to turn off the printer’s colour management system and allow the Mac to control such. This means I can use the colour profile in which I create the JPEG from the original RAW file instead of using my HP printer’s colour management, which doesn’t get things quite right (especially greens).

I imagine there is something I’m missing about colour management in Lightroom in accordance with my HP printer, but I’ll be damned if I’ve found it yet. In addition, hours spent online looking for help yielded no results. As such, using Preview adds only a minor extra step, but it’s well worth the trip if only to get better control over colour management.

Mischief managed….

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