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Great Landscapes

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The Ideas Library

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What do blocked print nozzles look like? No idea, but I know what a print made with blocked nozzles looks like – and so do you if you look at the examples above.

I am probably the worst photographer to own a printer. Experts will tell you that printers work most reliably when they are used regularly, but given I can be away on a trip for two or three weeks at a time, my Epson SureColor P10070 can sit idle for longer than it should.

So recently when I made a print after being away for a month, I simply turned the printer on, loaded the paper and pressed the button. That was a waste of paper – as you can see from the print on the left.

What I should have done was use all the modern technology built into the SureColor P10070 and done a nozzle check or let the printer do an automatic clean. I didn’t and so the blocked nozzles prevented some of the ink from reaching the paper and the resulting print was rather lacklustre!

Fortunately, when the printing was finished, the SureColor was beeping at me, suggesting I clean the print head – which I did. A few minutes later, it reported the process was finished and the printer was ready to try again: the result you can see on the right which is a much better result!

I think making prints is one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography, when all your hard work comes together into something tangible. People often ask me if I have trouble making good quality prints and my answer is no, not if I do everything properly. Really, if you have the right equipment and set-up, making great prints is really easy.

So, what do you need. First up, you need a good quality monitor so when you edit your files, you’re seeing an accurate rendition of what the photograph really looks like. I use EIZO monitors for this reason. Second, you need a good quality printer – but you don’t need something as large as my 44-inch SureColor P10070. The SureColor P600 and P800 desktop printers will handle A3+ and A2 size prints respectively.

Finally, you need a good printer profile for each paper type you use. I get mine from Dr Les Walkling ( and Kayell also provides them. These custom profiles make all the difference and give me the ‘perfect print’.

If you have a subscription to Better Photography, check out Issue 93 and the printing feature which will explain everything you need to know. If you don’t already subscribe, you can grab Issue 93 with an online subscription because all the back issues are available to current subscribers!! Click here for details!

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