Help! calibration, color profiles, soft proofing, etc.

Started Jan 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
ComputerDork Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Help! calibration, color profiles, soft proofing, etc.

So as people say, for now just print with printer managed color unless you're using some sort of paper that the printer doesn't have a setting for. If you are, you need an ICC profile for the printer and paper type which you should be able to get from the paper manufacturer, and use Lightroom with "Lightroom managed color" with that ICC profile. Buying a spectrophotometer to make your own ICC profile for each paper you use doesn't do that much except that if you compare two prints to an object in real life then the custom calibrated print will look slightly closer to the real life color, but the amount is so little that it could be rendered meaningless by other inaccuracies in the color workflow (slight error in the standard camera profile, different lighting conditions when making the comparison, etc.)

Also, "soft proofing" isn't really supposed to show you an exact match for the printer output on paper. All it will really do is give you a relative idea of how the colors will change. For example, if the black becomes very dark gray under soft proofing then this basically means "the black on the printer is going to be a bit lighter than the black actually specified in your working space". If detail disappears in a red area (like the folds on a red dress) then it means "the printer can't print these slight distinctions in color as well as your monitor can" probably because they're out of gamut, so you might want to adjust the contrast in that area to make the folds seem harder lit.

I personally wouldn't make image adjustments in soft proofing mode unless I'm trying to fix a problem like losing detail in a certain area, and before I resorted to manual editing I'd try other things like making sure that the rendering intent is set to Perceptual. You don't want your "master" image to only look right on one printer, and its hopeless since soft proofing doesn't show you an exact match anyway.

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