Soft proof your im­ages

Cor­rect un­print­able colours to look sim­i­lar to what you see on screen

NPhoto - - Contents -

We pro­cessed the colours and tones in the land­scape pho­to­graph shown below to re­veal more de­tail in the im­age and cre­ate more at­trac­tive vi­brant­look­ing colours. How­ever, after pro­cess­ing a photo to look good on screen, it can then be frus­trat­ing to end up with a print that looks less bright and vi­brant than the dig­i­tal ver­sion of the photo.

Your printer may strug­gle to re­pro­duce the pro­cessed pic­ture’s colour ac­cu­rately. This is be­cause com­puter dis­plays pro­duce mil­lions of colours by mix­ing reds, greens and blues (RGB) to­gether, while most do­mes­tic print­ers com­bine cyan, ma­genta, yel­low and black (CMYK) to cre­ate a nar­rower range of colours. Colours that can’t be printed are re­ferred to as ‘out of gamut’ colours. The im­age on your mon­i­tor is also brightly il­lu­mi­nated, lead­ing to vi­brant colours that can look com­par­a­tively drab on pa­per.

Light­room’s De­velop mod­ule has a handy Soft Proof­ing mode that’s de­signed to help you iden­tify the out-of-gamut colours that a printer can’t re­pro­duce, so that you can ad­just them to fall within the print­able range. To demon­strate soft proof­ing, we’ll use the bright and colour­ful pro­cessed ver­sion of our im­age as a start­ing point.

Light­room uses the sRGB (stan­dard RGB) colour space that’s de­signed to dis­play colours on screen. After se­lec­tively ad­just­ing prob­lem­atic colours in an sRGB colour space, we’ll demon­strate how to force Light­room to use a nar­rower, more printer-friendly colour space – Adobe RGB.

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