As I’ve begun playing with printing more and more, some of my fellow photographers at the office have asked me to begin printing for them. They’ve been pleased, I’ve been pleased, and I’ve learned a bunch from the experience. The latest challenge was stymieing me — how to get good prints on Epson Premium Canvas Matte paper?
After a boatload of permutations through print driver settings on the Apple side, I picked up Windows XP and VMWare Fusion in an attempt to print my work through the Windows print drivers. And that, fair readers, seems to have hit the mark.
I printed comparison runs using identical print settings in Lightroom on XP and Lightroom on Leopard, and there were definitely differences — major differences — in how the driver forced ink through my trusty R1800. With that knowledge in mind, I set down today to try printing the three canvas works ahead of me.
After making a custom paper size (one of the images is a bit oversized at 13″ x 25″), I started cooking canvas with what I’d learned. After all three were on the planks, drying, I took a good look at them, and believe I’ve found my printing path — do the work in Photoshop or Lightroom on Leopard, and them do the printing through Lightroom on XP.
Convoluted? Yup. But the results seem to be worth it!
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been battling printing issues, trying to print some contract work on canvas through my Epson R1800. To say it hasn’t gone well is giving the experience too much positive light.
As I researched the issue, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one seeing dark prints with the R1800, and not just on canvas. I’ve seen that with other media, but I “band aided” the problem by increasing the brightness of the ready-for-print images. Not elegant, and shouldn’t be necessary, but it worked… generally. However, that process didn’t translate well onto canvas, and after blowing through a roll of canvas, and a lot of ink, I was still no closer to printing canvas correctly.
One of the interesting things I noticed was that the Windows-based folks weren’t having this problem. In fact, some folks would bring the same image up on their Leopard-based Mac and a VM-based Windows XP environment, see exactly the same thing on the screen, but get different print results. And the results on the Windows side were spot-on.
The more I read, the more I decided it was time to put VMWare Fusion and Windows XP on my MacPro.
A quick run up the road, a little time spent installing, and I’m close to having XP on my Mac. For printing. Crazy, eh? I truly have crossed the streams! 🙂