Dealing with out of gamut areas

Started Apr 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,015
Re: Dealing with out of gamut areas

Ethan Hansen wrote:

Your technique of checking the layer mask is a good one. I suggest, however, that you can obtain more visually pleasing results by not relying too much on desaturation. Yes, everything can be brought in-gamut if you desaturate enough, but the resulting print may well be flat and lifeless.

The first thing to check is whether the printer (or other destination) profile's conversion is to your liking. Also switch through the available rendering intents to find the one that best matches the image content and your personal vision. Chances are, only a portion of out-of-gamut colors will be rendered objectionably.

You are right in using Hue/Sat for adjusting the problem colors. It is the only tool in Photoshop or Lightroom that decouples saturation from color tint. Often the most visually pleasing results come from reducing lightness, a slight change in hue, or a combination thereof. Reducing saturation is the final option.

When you come across a problematic set of colors that no amount of adjustment seems to help, try soft proofing the original image to your monitor profile. If the gamut warning highlights these colors, your monitor cannot display them accurately. My experience has been that the best result in print often come from simply letting the printer profile do its thing with these colors.

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I typically use an (approx) sRGB monitor setup on my CG301W. This provides the most compatibility with non color managed apps that assume sRGB and works with most images in Photoshop. For the ones that are out of monitor gamut but inside the printer's gamut, I will switch while in PS to the native ICC. Most, but not all, images will be inside the monitor's native gamut so it is fairly easy to tweak an image for a nice print.

Yellowish orange and cyan are the typical areas where one can have an image that is outside even wide gamut monitors but still be within the print gamut. I have seen this on flowers and some synthetic fabric colors but it is not common.

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