PSE 2018 Video Tutorial – How I Print Photos

This video tutorial explains how I print photos on my Epson R1800 printer using Photoshop Elements 2016. My printer is an older one, but it still works quite well. Contrary to what experts recommend, I do not use a color managed workflow that requires you to periodically calibrate your monitor. I let the printer do the color management and not Photoshop.

Several years ago I did routinely calibrate my monitor and followed a color management process. But frankly, I get better and more consistent results using my approach, and it is easier.

If you are using an a higher end Epson printer, like the R1800, the screens will look very similar. On the other hand, if you are using a more inexpensive printer like my every day Epson WF-2760, the dialog screens will look different, but all of the settings I use will be available somewhere. If you use another brand of printer, the screens and settings may be entirely different, but the general concept will be the same. Click on the figure below to view the tutorial.

PSE 2018 Printing1

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Until next time…


Printer Blues–The Final Chapter

For those of you have have followed my previous posts (Chapter 1 and Chapter 2) on the head clogging problems I’ve had on my Epson R1800, this is the final chapter.

My nozzle cleaning kit arrived from Portugal a few days ago. After plowing through its very detailed yet terribly unorganized instruction manual, I tried it out on my clogged R1800. The printer’s nozzles remain hopelessly clogged. I believe I followed the instructions properly, but to no avail. The test pattern still has gaps in multiple colors. The chances were not good that I would succeed where professionals had already failed, but it was worth the $20 to give it a try.

My next step with this printer is to take it to Goodwill. I could put it up for sale on Craigslist for parts and probably get a few dollars for it. But I do not have the time or the interest. I don’t feel too bad taking it to Goodwill. I discovered I have had it longer than I thought. I bought it in 2005 for $550. I’ve got my money’s worth. I also discovered I bought my day-in-day-out printer, the Epson 1280, back in 2001.

So what did I learn from all of this? As I said in the earlier posts, my problem was probably caused by a combination of switching to recycled inks from the Epson brand, and/or letting the printer set too long between uses. In all fairness to those companies’ from whom I bought the non-Epson inks, I believe the biggest cause was a letting it sit too long without using.

Going forward using the R1800 I got from my daughter, I will stay with Epson inks, and make certain I use it at least weekly.

Printer Blues–Chapter 2

In my earlier post, I explained the clogging problems I was having with my Epson R1800. You can see that post by CLICKING HERE.

In that post, I said I had taken my printer to the repair station. They had called me back saying so far they were unable to unclog all of the nozzles. They were going to give it another shot on the weekend, and call me back. They did call on Tuesday to say they were unable to totally unclog all of the nozzles, although they were successful with some. I picked up my printer and talked briefly with the technician. According to him, my problem was probably caused by a combination of not using the printer enough and using non-Epson cartridges. He also said their company only uses Epson cartridges, unless the customer insists on non-Epson brands.

So now I have my $500 printer at home needing a $350 print head. As I said in my last post, I have ordered a cleaning kit for about $20. It should arrive in a week or so. When I get it, I’ll try cleaning the nozzles one more time myself. If that does not work, my printer is off to the Goodwill.

By the way, I was not charged anything by the repair shop, since they could not fix the printer. Their standard service charge is $85. I think what they did was more than fair, since it sounds like they tried repeatedly to unclog my printer.

I see a Chapter 3 of this series to let you know how I make out using the the cleaning kit myself. Stay tuned.

Have any of you tried cleaning your inkjet printers with one of the many kits available? If so, leave a comment and let us know how you made out, OK?

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Epson Printer Blues

Look’s like I screwed up my Epson R1800 printer. This is my prime printer for photos. I have an Epson 1280 I use for everyday printing. I have always used Epson inks on my R1800, which uses pigment as opposed to dye-based inks. Buying Epson brand ink, even online is about $110.

Originally, I also used only Epson inks in my 1280. About the time I bought my R1800 and stopped using my 1280 for photos, I began to buy non-Epson ink for my 1280. Doing this cost me about 30% of buying Epson ink. I use this printer all of the time and have had only minor ink clogging problems over the years.

So about about a year or so ago, I began to buy non-Epson inks for my R1800 at roughly 60% savings relative to Epson-brand ink. I began to have significantly more ink clogging problems than before. I was slow to react to the problem, because I was printing less photos than I had been. At times, I would not use my R1800 for two or three weeks.

So about three months ago, I took my R1800 to a repair shop and had it cleaned etc. I had never had it serviced since I bought it, and I figured it was time. I was not very impressed  with the store, and frankly I do not think they did that good of a job. By the way, I basically cannot find a list of Epson authorized service centers by going to their website. If anyone knows of one in the Los Angeles area or the link to Epson’s list of service centers, please leave a comment.

So over the past couple of months, my clogging problems have increased tremendously. Also, I have had other quality related issues with the non-Epson ink cartridges I have been buying. Recently, I have spent (wasted) a lot of money fighting this problem. By the way, the non-Epson ink cartridges I am buying for my 1280 continue to perform about the same as the Epson ink I initially used.

It all reached a head late last week. I could no longer get my R1800 to pass the Nozzle Check Test, no matter how many times I ran the clean cycle and its more sophisticated auto cleaning routine. I was using up lots of ink trying to clean the nozzles. Blue the ink was almost not present, in the print pattern, even though I put in two different blue cartridges, hence the title of my post. Through Google, I found an Epson authorized service center nearby and took my printer in last Thursday. They called me back Friday. So far they have been unable to unclog my printer using special cleaners and syringes.  They told me I need a new $350 print head. I only paid $500 for the printer. They are going to try some more, and call me back on Monday. I fully expect the result will be the same, so I’ll go and pick up my basically worthless printer.

Fortunately, my daughter gave me her R1800. She had a few ink clog problems and got frustrated, so she gave it to me a few months ago. She basically only prints 4×6 and now and now uses an online printing service. A couple of print nozzle cleaning cycles and her printer is working perfectly. By the way, she has only used Epson inks.

So here is my plan. Assuming the repair shop cannot get mine to function properly, I will bring it home and try to clean the nozzles myself. What harm can I do? Nozzle cleaning kits are a hot item all over the internet. I’ve already ordered one for $20 or so. It should arrive in a couple of weeks.

I’ll let you know how this all turns out in a future post. To be honest, I’m not sure I am going back to Epson inks or not. I want to talk more with the technicians who worked on my printer.

So far, I have learned one thing, however. You are better off using your printer than letting it sit for extended periods regardless of the brand of ink you use, especially if it uses pigment inks instead of the more common (but less permanent) dye-based inks.

Stay tuned.

Please leave a comment and tell us about your photo printing experiences.