Lightroom 5: 05 Printing
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Soft proofing


Lightroom 5: 05 Printing

with Tim Grey

Video: Soft proofing

Needless to say, when you print an image I can continue applying a variety of different adjustments, of course, but in

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Watch the Online Video Course Lightroom 5: 05 Printing
1h 6m Beginner Jun 12, 2014

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By carefully setting up and proofing your images in Lightroom, you can create prints worth sharing and selling. Author Tim Grey continues his exploration of Lightroom, this time in its Print module, and shows you how to print contact sheets and individual images, add watermarks and text overlays, create picture packages, correct inaccurate prints, and save print jobs for future use.

This course was created by Tim Grey. We're honored to host this training in our library. Watch more courses in this series here.

Tim Grey

Soft proofing

Needless to say, when you print an image in light room you want that printed output to be as close to a perfect match as possible to what you see on your monitor display. Of course we have to take into account that a monitor versus a print, represents a very different experience in terms of viewing an image. The monitor is literally glowing with light, whereas the print depends upon reflected light. That said, we do want to get a print as close as possible to what we're seeing on the display.

In many cases, if the print is not a perfect the match, the problem is that that print is a little bit too dark. I'll scroll down to the bottom of the right panel, in the print module for example. And you'll see that we have a print adjustment option that allows us to adjust the brightness and contrast of that printed output. But what about a situation where color is your primary issue? Well for that we'll turn to soft proofing. Soft proofing is an option that allows us to get a preview of what the printed image looks like, so that we get a better sense of what to expect.

But we can also apply adjustments to help compensate for the limitations, of that printed output. That soft proofing option is found in the develop module. In this case I printed the image you see here, and the red areas in particular didn't look all that good. They were lacking some detail that should have been present or at least that I was expecting. So, let's take a look at soft proofing, and see how we can use soft proofing in order to help compensate for limitations in the printed output. I'll switch to the development module, and then below the image in the toolbar, I'll turn on the soft proofing check box.

You'll notice that I'll get an indication that I'm in the proof preview display, and I can also see a simulated paper edge around the image. And over on the right side below the histogram, you'll see that I have some options for soft proofing. Specifically, I can specify a profile and a rendering intent. And that matches exactly the options that I have available when actually printing the image. In other words when I'm printing I choose a profile based on the specific printer ink, and paper combination that I'm using to print the image, and I also choose a rendering intent.

In this case, I'm printing to a red river, ultra pro, satin paper. On Epson Stylus Pro R3000 printer. So, I have the correct profile established here. And I generally print with the relative color metric rendering intent, so I'll leave that option set. And I also want to simulate paper and ink. In other words, I want the preview that I'm seeing here, to reflect as accurately as possible. What I can expect in the final print. Taking a look at that preview. I can see that, sure enough, the display now matches what I was seeing in the print in terms of a lack of detail in some of those bright vibrant red areas.

And, so now I can consider what sort of adjustment might help compensate for that. Of course, I could just use this as a bit of information, so that I now have the knowledge that my printer is not really capable of producing these vibrant red tones. At least with the particular type of paper that I'm printing to. But I can also apply adjustments in an effort to compensate for the limitations of my printed output. So in this case, for example, I might reduce the overall saturation, or I could also shift the hue of the reds to a value that the printer is able to do a better job printing.

In this case, I think just producing saturation might do the trick. And so, all start off by reducing the value for the saturation slider. You can see in the preview that I'm immediately getting a much better results. Something that I'd be very happy with in the final print. As soon as I release the mouse on that slider though, I'll receive a message from light room indicating. Essentially that I am applying the adjustments intended to compensate for a specific printer, ink, and paper combination. So I really probably don't want to apply these general adjustments to the original image.

After all when I should this image online for example, there's probably no need to reduce the saturation. And, therefore I'm going to create a proof copy. So, go ahead and click the create proof copy button. And, now I have a Virtual Copy of my original image. And with that Virtual Copy I can now apply those various adjustments. So, you can see in this case for example. I have that reduction in overall saturation. I can continue applying a variety of different adjustments, of course, but in this case I think reducing the saturation is all I really needed to do.

Of course, I could have also reduced that saturation only for the reds using the HSL controls. But the bottom line is that I'm able to apply adjustments aimed at compensating for the limitations in my print conditions. So, I can compensate for the limitations in this case of a particular printer, ink, and paper combination. In order to produce the best print possible. Obviously, in some cases that will involve a compromise based on the capabilities of my output conditions. But the point is that with soft proofing I can get a better sense of what those limitations are and, to a certain extent, I can also compensate for those shortcomings.

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