It’s a sad fact that many Photographers never make a quality print of their images… ever! People invest in great cameras, forty to a hundred megapixels, and at best the photos are showcased on facebook. All those megapixels are really for nothing and cheaper gear would have done perfectly.
However there is always the possibility that one needs to make a huge print later… but you know what I mean 🙂
You also should know that printing is not just taking your file, selecting File->Print or sending it to some printing agency and expecting a great result! You need to think about paper… are you going to print on canvas, foam, paper or one of the many options available. You always have to process your photo with the end result in mind.
I have made (and continue to make) every mistake there is! Shadows too dark, it looked fine on the monitor but the print looks like crap. Highlights were not blown out on my monitor but I have no detail on my print. The nice detail looked really sharp and cool on the monitor but the print is oversharpened and just looks weird.
These are all problems I have experienced more than once, and it can get quite frustrating.
There are ways to check some of those things before you print, and if the end result matters you need to make a test print with some contrast and sharpness variations and then choose the best one.
There are some technical things you need to know before you print, resolution is one, colour space and colour profiles are another, the right way to resize and more.
I will be doing a tutorial soon on how to prepare your work for printing, sign up on my mailing list if you want me to notify you.
Until then use what you know and practice! Pick a few of your favorite photos and print them, you don’t have to go big, it is not expensive to use a professional printer for small prints. Buy a frame and hang pictures on your wall, give them to somebody… showcase your work! And above all get good at this before some client walks in and wants to buy fine art from you.