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Denver Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom Lessons

Photography Tutoring in Denver

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So now you have Adobe Lightroom and it's time to print out your new artwork.   Hmmmm, what is all this stuff in here?  There's a lot in the print module to figure out.  Well here's my notes on the subject which should clear up most of your questions.  This outline will not cover every single option in the Adobe Lightroom Print Module. Some stuff should just be self explainatory. But if there is any question about what a feature might be used for, I'll try and fit it in.

General Module Layout:

  • Preview: displays a quick overview of the layout you are currently using. Particularly useful when browsing Templates/Presets

  • Template Browser: Use pre-existing layout designs or make your own. If you create a layout you particularly like and think you will use often in the future, you can just click the "+" symbol and then name a new template.

  • Collections: These collections are the same ones you find in your Develop Module and your Library Module within Lightroom. This is another reason why using collections is so important, as they are your "go to" area for images throughout all Lightroom's Main modules.

  • Page Setup Button: Used to select settings for your printer. It will also be where you define the entire page layout dimensions if you are printing "to printer" as opposed to printing "to jpg" for a printer elsewhere.

  • Right Hand Column: This is all your parameters you'll be using (see below).

Layout Options

  • Single Image / Contact Sheet: as the name implies you can create a single image print or you can create a layout shee of multiple images. Not that the layout will always be in a grid format and the same size for each image.

  • Picture Package: This option allows you to only show a single image, but display it in various sizes so a customer can choose what they like best.

  • Custom Package: Allows you to use any images you want, in any sizes, in any location or layout. You can create really fun collages and collections with this option.

Image Settings

  • Zoom to Fill: As the name implies will zoom your image to fill the "cell" space in which it has been placed. (see below for cell info). Note that in doing this you get nice even sized images but you may also end up cropping your images.

  • Rotate to Fill: This option will rotate your image based on the aspect ratio of the image and that of the cell you are placing the image into. It will try and make sure that "long sides" are the same direction for both image and cell. This can result in images appearing sideways on your printout, but makes better us of the cell space.

  • Repeat One Photo per Page: This option will only appear if your Layout style is set to "single image/contact sheet". It will auto fill every cell on the page with a single image for you. To be honest I don't know why anyone would use this.

  • Stroke Border: Also only availabe in "single image/contact sheet" layout. Adds a border to your image.

  • Photo Border: (Picture Package and Custom Package only) gives you a margin around your border with each cell.

  • Inner Stroke: (Picture Package and Custom Package only) gives you a visible stroke / border around each image.

Ruler, Grid & Guides

  • Ruler Units: This not only determines the unit of measure for the rulers you see in the layout. It also will determine the units used for all the modules. Cells, page, photos, etc... So if you're working on a cell and you say "I wish these cells were in pixels not inches",, then you need to change this setting.

  • Grid Snap: This option makes layout super easy as it will automatically "snap" your image in line with other images OR with grid measurements on the layout. Use the double arrow selection to choose which. With snap on, you can quickly drag and drop images into a perfect layout with no measuring needed.

  • Note: that if you are in "single image/contact sheet" layout mode, then the grid snap will not show, but is replaced with a set of grid and cell spacing/size options.

Cells (Picture Package and Custom Package only)

  • Add to Package: Here you can quicly add new input cells to your layout with the click of a button. Various sizes are available on six buttons. Each button can be modified to a "standard" size or edited to any size you wish.

  • Adjust Selected Cell: Allows you to manually adjust a specific cell size using slider which display the exact measurements of that cell. You can also just grab the corner of any cell and drag to resize.

  • Rotate Cell: Rotates cell 90 degrees and keeps the same aspect ratio

  • Lock to Photo Aspect Ratio: This option allow you to auto resize any cell to the aspect ratio of the image without you having to know or measure your image to get the correct cell size.
  • Hint: If you want to move an image around within a cell (so that LR is not choosing your crop for you), click cntl (pc) or alt (mac) and your cursor will turn into a hand to move the image around within the borders of the cell.


  • Identity Plate: Used to lable your paper with a signature, copyright or logo. This can be used on the images themselves, but is usually for titles and such on the paper outside the images.

  • Override Color: If you are using an image with color 'x' and you want a new color for this print job. You can override that color. Lightroom will overlay a new color overtop your image.

  • Render Behind Image: Places your ID plate behind the images

  • Render on Every Image: Places your ID plate across the front of every image in the layout seperately.

  • Watermarking: Same as any watermarking and uses the same watermark presets you have already established in Lightroom.

  • Cut Guides: Display where cutting by a printer will be done dependent on your print settings.

Print Job:

  • Print to: Make sure you have "printer" or "jpg" set to the correct option.

  • Draft Mode: Only used if you are trying to save ink and just seeing what it looks like on paper. Not to be used for a finished product.

  • Print Sharpening: This is sharpening beyond your normal sharpening for screen viewing. This is an attempt to conter the "spread" of ink that occures during an actual print process.

  • JPG: You will nearly always want to use 100% since you want the best quality possible for print and file size is rarely an issue.

  • Color Management: This is what is going to allow your print to look as close as possible to what you created on screen in Lightroom and Photoshop. This goes into a whole other topic so we will end it here.

To Learn more about Color Management from Lightroom (and in general), please read this post. (post coming soon)

Your Instructor


My goal is always to teach WHY a technique works, not just HOW it's done. This is the fundamental difference between Big Sun training and most other photo courses who teach only by route. By learning the reasons behind the practice, you are able to move forward on your own, breaking away from the mundane and expanding your creativity.

 As with any service you should research what/whom you are investing in to ensure the right fit.

I encourage you to review my own work before signing up for any photography class.

Gene Tewksbury
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