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For me there's something amazing about creating a good photographic print. It's almost like you're finishing off the photograph. And in order to create a good print, one of the things that you typically need to do is to create what's called a Soft Proof Preview. This preview allows you to simulate how this image that you're viewing on your monitor will actually appear after it's gone through the whole printing process. So let's take a look at how we can work with the Soft Proof Preview and also how we can make any needed adjustments to our photograph in order to ensure that it looks its best.
Let's navigate to our View pulldown menu and then go to Proof Setup and choose Custom. This will open up the Custom Proof dialog. Here we can choose to simulate a particular device and paper type. I'm going to be printing to my Epson 3880, so I'll go ahead and click on this pulldown menu and I can choose different paper types. For example, let's choose this PremiumGlossyPhotoPaper. Now when we do that, what we'll see is that this paper, it can handle more color. It also can give you more saturation.
Let's compare that say to a different paper type, perhaps one like this one which was that EnhancedMatte which was selected previously. Well, now the image looks a little bit more muted. If you click on your Preview, you can see the before and after so that all of the deep saturation and deep contrast that we see in our monitor, we're not going to be able to create that on our printer if we leave the image as is. Another thing that you'll notice is as you choose these different options in regards to your profiles for your paper and also your printer that when you make a selection, say, even like PremiumGlossy, you have another option which is a Rendering Intent.
Sometimes it's difficult to know which intent will work best. Well, here we can select different intents and you can see how it's changing the overall color characteristics. As I choose these different options, one of the things that I'm noticing is that the difference between Relative and also Absolute is that I like Absolute better with this paper type. It gives me even more saturation and more vivid colors. Now each image will respond differently, but it's nice to kind of see this preview before you actually create the print.
Well, to make things a little bit more complicated for us, let's go to a paper type that's going to mute the image a bit, like this one here, this EnhancedMattePaper. Let's then choose a particular Rendering Indent that we think will work well for this image and I'll just click through all of these until I find one that I think looks best. Again, here I like the color and saturation yet it doesn't really work for this image, so I'm going to go back to Relative Colorimetric. It's a bit more muted. But let's go ahead and click OK to apply this preview.
When you click OK, you're not changing anything. You're just getting a glimpse, almost like a glimpse into the future of how this image will print. You can turn this preview on and off either by way of a shortcut or by going to this menu item here, Proof Colors. The shortcut, that's Command+Y on the Mac; Ctrl+Y on Windows. Well, what do we do with this preview? Well, one of the things that I like to do is I like to duplicate my image and then have the image side by side one with the preview turned on, one with the preview turned off, so that I can make any needed adjustments.
Let me show you what I mean and let's take a look at how we can do this. If you go to your Image pulldown menu, here we can select Duplicate. By doing this, it will create a copy of our file, let's click OK to do that and you can see we now have two tabs of this open. On the copy file, let's turn the Soft Proof Preview off. Next, go to Window, choose Arrange, and let's choose 2-up Vertical. By doing that, we can see these side by side. Well, here is the image how we wanted to display and here is how it's going to print.
Here is the actual file we're going to send to the printer. Well, with this preview turned on, what we can do is make any needed adjustments in order to try to correct the photograph or modify it so we can bring it closer to the way that we want it to appear. Now we'll never be able to get it perfect, but we can get it a little bit closer. So let's go ahead and click on an Adjustment layer Icon in order to start to modify this photograph. Here I'll go ahead and brighten the image up a little bit and I just realized I'm actually on the wrong photograph, so here let me delete that adjustment layer and I want to click in the tab of the photo I'm actually going to send to the printer.
That's rob.jpg. Well, now that I've selected the correct photo, I'll click on my Curves adjustment and start to brighten this one up a little bit. Then I'm also going to try to add a bit of contrast because this photo has some nice contrast. Well, as I make those changes, what I'm noticing is that it's looking a little bit better but there is too much red in the file. Well, next I'll go to my Hue/Saturation Adjustment Icon or adjustment layer and I'll click on the Target Adjustment tool and click on the skin here.
That's going to take me to these reds and I just want to desaturated those reds a little bit. The reason I'm doing that is because when I increase that contrast, it did add a nice boost to the overall colors yet it just brought in too much red, so I wanted to scale that back a little bit. I'm trying to match these two images so that they're starting to look a little bit more close. Next, what about the blues? Well, with this tool selected we'll go ahead and click on the shirt, and then here we can change the overall brightness or darkness of that blue.
And by darkening that up and also increasing the Saturation a little bit, we can start to find perhaps something which is a little bit more comparative. Well, now that we've made these adjustments, let's close this icon so that we can see these two side by side. There is no way to get this perfect. What you can start to see is that we're having a few similarities in regards to the overall look. I'm also thinking about how this paper works and how the ink sets on the paper. One of the things that I know is that this type of paper, it likes really deep blacks.
So I'm going to go back to my Curves adjustment here by double-clicking this and I'm going to deepen these blacks up even a little bit more, darkening those. Now while this looks a little bit muddy here on the paper, I think it's going to set into that really nicely. Now that we've made these types of adjustments and now that we've customized them either by going back into our different channels and making any needed changes in order to get the image to look its best, what I want to do is just focus on the image I want to send to the printer. So here we'll press the F key in order to focus on this picture.
As we look at this, we want to turn off the Preview. To do that, press Command+Y on a Mac, or Ctrl+Y on Windows, and here you can see what we've done, is essentially here's where the image was. Yet we discovered that it was going to fall a little flat and a little desaturated. So we just compensated for that adding in some more color and saturation. Each image will respond differently depending upon your printer and paper and all of those things. And I hope that by seeing this process, it can help you start to see how you can try to make some corrections before you send your image to the printer, in that by having the Soft Proof Preview, it can just give you a little bit of an insight.
Now the Preview will never be perfect and there are those who say, you know what, I don't like using the Soft Proof Preview at all. There are others who use it all the time. What you'll want to do is experiment a little bit with this process. In my own workflow, I find that it guides me just a bit. It kind of nudges me in the right direction. Well, now that we've gone through this whole process, let's now take a look at the next part of the process, and that is working with the Print dialog and then finally sending our image to the printer.
And let's go ahead and do that in the following movie.
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