With visuals having come to play a dominant role in any kind of publishing task, the printing quality of images has become matter of concern, research and development. The process of producing a final image that is faithful to the original picture in terms of color and tones is called photographic printing and the process involves the preparation of a photographic negative that can be reproduced on sensitized paper. Conventionally, the process comprises three major steps that are carried out in a photographic darkroom or within an automated photo printing machine. This includes the exposure of the image on the sensitized paper using a contact printer or enlarger, processing of the latent image through a chemical immersion process and toning of the print with additional chemical processes. Photo printing can either be in monochrome (black and white) or in color.
Photo printing essentially depends on the device or the printer chosen for the final output. But prior to choosing a printer, it is important to understand how to view a color print. To begin with, when the picture is viewed, the brightness and color of the light should be the same as that under which the picture is being seen. This may not be a practical option at all times but one must remember that viewing conditions directly affect the way a picture looks. For example, a color print viewed in daylight will appear slightly bluer than the same print viewed in tungsten light such as a household bulb.
The next step is to choose the right photo printer. Today, such is the technological advance made in this sector that a color print obtained from a good printer is almost the same as a print made with traditional photography. This is also because of the wide choice of papers, inks and processes that are available. When choosing a color printer, the best way to know about its performance is to print one of your own images on a variety of them and then compare the results. What is important is to understand the theory of printer resolutions even though this may not be the final determining factor of color and quality. Resolution is related to the size of the ink drops. Each pixel on an inkjet printer, for instance, is not a single drop of color but a cluster of many tiny drops.
So how does printing of color images happen? Color printers create images by dividing a page into thousands, or even millions of tiny dots, each of which can be addressed by the computer. Color printers use what is known as a subtractive process that uses three primary colors – cyan, magenta and yellow. Most printers also use a separate black color to provide a deeper black than is obtained by mixing the primaries. Together, they help in the printing of the image. By leaving a spot blank, or by using one or more of the three subtractive primaries on a single dot, a printer can create eight primary colors.
There are many printers available and the choice of a particular one would depend on the quality of final output required. Liquid inkjet printers are known as the low-cost entry point for personal printing and low-volume color printing. Where quality is of paramount importance, dye sublimation printers are used. The “dye" refers to the process of using solid dyes instead of inks or toners and “sublimation" is the scientific term for a process where dyes are converted into a gas without going through an intervening liquid phase. Solid inkjet printers are preferred for producing reports and publications with color graphs or other graphics on ordinary paper. They can also be used to produce high-quality transparencies at low cost.
However, color laser printers are the ones most in demand nowadays and these have not only revolutionized black and white printing but made desktop publishing possible. A laser beam is focused on a photoelectric belt or drum, creating an electrical charge in areas where the toner is to adhere. The charged toners adhere to the belt. This is a one-step process for black and white printing. In color printers, the cartridge has to print the same thing over and over for each color: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
Printing provides detailed information on Printing, Photo Printing, Post Card Printing, Commercial Printing and more. Printing is affiliated with Screen Printing Equipment .