Save Time, Money, Resources With These Printing Checklists

Have you ever had this feeling?

You’re looking at a gorgeous print of one of your photographs … then you notice a small detail that needs to be fixed, and you know you’re going to have to reprint it. More time, more paper, more ink. Frustration. It’s so obvious when you see it now! Why didn’t you see it before? Save time, money, resources, and increase your productivity and enjoyment at the same time.

Use these checklists to eliminate this problem.


Before you print check your … 


level horizon

precise crop

shadow detail

highlight detail                   especially at the edges

midtone contrast

saturation                             overall and specific hues

white balance                     casts are best seen in neutrals, flesh tones, and memory colors

noise reduced                      avoid blurring and artificial smoothing effects

sharpened                            avoid producing halos

imprecise masking            edges misaligned or haloed

imprecise retouching       blurry or misaligned or repeating patterns

dust                                           check at 100% screen magnification

softproof                                make output specific tweaks based on printer profile used

resampling                            if resolution is below 240 ppi or above 720 ppi

output sharpening             compensate for image softening due to dot gain


You can ensure you take all these steps with a consistent workflow.

Explore these color resources for more detail.

Explore these sharpening resources for more detail.


While you print check your …


orientation                             portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal)

page setup                             paper size and margins

color management             Adobe or Printer (for B&W)

printing profile

media setting                        precise or nearest paper type

ink                                              MK matte or PK photo black

printer resolution                1440 matte or 2880 photo


Save these settings as a Preset so you can use them again with a single click.

Explore these printing resources for more detail.


After you print check your …


white spots                            dust on paper before printing

scuffing                                   handle paper with care before and after printing

banding                                   align heads or reduce print speed or make sure data transfer’s fast

microbanding                       check for nozzle clogs or print speed

local color casts                    areas check for nozzle clogs

colors faded                           wrong side of paper


Make sure you view prints in enough light with the right color temperature.

Explore these printing tips for more detail.


Learn more in my digital printing workshops.

Masking Curves In Lightroom & ACR Is More Important Than You Might Realize


“Finally, we get curves in masks in Lightroom. Learn why this is important. Colin Smith teaches you how to use Curves in masks to target tones and take absolute control over color grading.”

00:00 Intro
00:21 Create Mask
00:45 5 adjustment zones
01:03 Adjust the tones
01:48 Making a Background mask
02:27 Adjusting Foreground with recovery and Curves
03:33 Curves Color Mode
04:10 Understanding Color Channels
06:08 adding color to tonal regions
06:48 Adjusting the color on the Background
08:010 Adjusting the Intensity of the adjustment

What’s The Difference Between Photoshop’s Opacity VS Flow VS Fill?

Opacity, Flow, Fill – what is the difference? Explore the special situations where Fill acts differently from Opacity in Photoshop. Learn various applications for color grading and special effects, plus find out how to use Blend If and Fill Layers to control them.

Celebrate The Earth With Our EcoPoetry Reading


“Malama ‘Aina” – Honor The Earth



This year The Poets Corner’s Eco-Poetry reading will feature 12 poems juried by cohosts John Paul Caponigro and Meg Weston.

In Why Ecopoetry? There’s No Planet B John Shoptaw states, “Ecopoetry is nature poetry that has designs on us, that imagines changing the ways we think, feel about, and live and act in the world.” He goes on to state that eco-poems are both environmental and environmentalist.

For this reading, we looked for poems that help us see the earth anew. Without being didactic or moralistic, our poems can express our concerns about our impact on our planet alongside our sense of awe and reverence for nature, wilderness, and the wonders of this world we live in.

Celebrate Earth Day and come hear this inspiring gathering of voices.

Register here.

5 Stunning New Lightroom Features In This April Update

Colin Smith shows you the top new features in the latest Lightroom Classic update.
00:00 Intro
00:09 Noise reduction with Adobe denoise AI
01:27 New Lightroom Masks
02:20 Curves in Masks
03:34 Open multiple Smart Objects in Photoshop
04:35 New Presets/History shows masks/PS Version/Dots on adjustments

Amazing New AI Noise Reduction Compared – Adobe and Topaz

First, Matt Kloskowsi shows us the new AI noise reduction in Lightroom and Camera Raw.
Second, Matt Kloskowski shows us how Topaz one-ups themselves with even better noise reduction.
Then compare Colin Smith’s take on Adobe’s new AI noise reduction feature.

Get A Quick Overview Of Adobe Lightroom’s New Features April 2023

Matt Kloskowski gives us a quick survey of Adobe Lightroom features that are new in April 2023.
AI Noise reduction and masking improvements are the two biggest items.

Free World Class Training Online – The Photoshop Creativity Virtual Summit – Apr 14 – 17

4 Days
19 Speakers
36 Classes
Dave Cross is giving his wildly popular Photoshop Virtual Summits an even more creative twist this year. Join us for an amazing 4 days of creative training in 36 classes from 19 world-class Photoshop experts and artists.
I’m presenting two webinars.
Apr 17
1 pm EST
How To Find Inspiration From Your Influences
Apr 20
8 am EST
Realize Your Vision With The Fine Art Of Digital Printing

6 Tools You Can Use To Improve Continuity Between Still Images

“Order, unity, and continuity are human inventions, just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias.” –  Bertrand Russell

Continuity lies at the heart of the art of storytelling. The types of images selected and the transitions made between images presented in groups can be powerful tools for visual communication. Sequences can provide useful comparisons and contrasts between separate images and their contents. They set a pace and rhythm for looking. Carefully orchestrated, they can create the illusion of moving in time forward or backward, linearly or non-linearly. They can be used in extremely creative ways. The best sequences make both individual images and the journey created by presenting many images in sequence clearer, more meaningful, and more moving.

Continuity is key. Every screenwriter needs to create it. Every storyboard artist needs to interpret it. Every director needs to guide it. Every editor needs to refine it. If you’re a still photographer, you may be called to do all of these things.

Photographers can use continuity to guide and structure initial explorations on site as well as to resolve challenging transitions and find missing gaps while continuing to develop projects.

First, create a storyboard as a checklist to make sure no angle goes uncovered; this will stimulate you to come up with many more creative solutions, so you’ll have more images to choose from. Then, update your storyboard to find out what you’ve got too much or too little and find connections between disparate images. 

Photographers also can use continuity to edit, sequence, and present existing work more effectively; use the same skills to fine-tune a story in sophisticated and compelling ways.

Just like composing music, there are specific strategies you can use and many possible ways you can apply them to solve creative challenges. How you apply them may become as much a part of your style as composition and processing.

Here are some classic strategies for sequencing images and creating transitions between them.

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