Soft Proofing in Lightroom® & Photoshop®


Color Management for Better Prints


Lesson Info

Soft Proofing in Lightroom® & Photoshop®

So for this I'm just gonna work in Lightroom and I'm gonna show you, I'm gonna go back to that Galapagos print; remember the first one I showed today. It was really good contrast and density and the second one was kind of fuzzy and soft. Soft proofing allows you to to see that fuzziness and softness ahead of time so you don't waste the paper and the ink. The purpose is to simulate how that image is gonna look once it's printed. Again it saves time and money; you can just see it right on your computer monitor. Oh! It looks soft, I need to do something. So here's how you do it; in Lightroom, you go to the develop module. Then we're gonna go down to the tool bar and there's a little box down there and you click soft proofing. Then below the histogram there's a bunch of soft proofing options. You're gonna choose the profile and choose the intent. I'm gonna show you how that works and you'll be able to see in real time how that image changes, depending on the printer and the paper. So let's...

do that; I'll go back to Lightroom. And we'll go find, oops, we'll go find that print. Let me think here; that was, I'm just thinking that I didn't actually put that into a folder, and I'm wondering if I wanna waste the time to find it. I'll find it here real fast. There it is. So that's number 49, that's with the green filter. There it is, in D for develop. Okay, thank you for bearing with me. There's our print or there's our image. And I did all the things that I talk about in the first class which is you start big, you know, global, regional, detail. You can see that this image still even has the dust specks that I have in the sky. Now, I wanna see what this is gonna look like with a different type of paper. Currently I'm looking at it under pro photo RGB. Okay that's the current profile I'm looking at. Just I'm in Lightroom, so I'm looking at it in pro photo RGB, cool. Let's see what it's gonna look like if I printed it out on that like this canon fine art paper. It's called premium matte. So I go down here; let me, I think I'll close this side. Here we go. Right down here in the tool bar is a little box and click soft proofing. Oh my goodness, look what happened. So let's change the profile. In fact, actually let's look at the profile I have there. Canon pro 10, two-thirds matte photo paper. I don't know if it's two-thirds; it might be two outta three who knows, whatever. Matte photo paper. That's this, okay? Right here; this is the canon matte photo paper and that's the print that I showed you earlier. Here, okay? So the one on camera left, is the, kinda the glossy and then the one on camera right to you guys' right is that matte photo paper. Interesting huh? When I do that soft proof, watch when I activate it, and deactivate it, oops. It looks almost like what really happened in real life. (laughing) I get excited because you know what we're talking about, what we're teaching you really comes out in reality. Interesting, fascinating, so you're like you know what, I really like this paper though. I like the feel of it, I like the look of it, I like the moodiness of it, but I want a little bit more of what it looked like in real life. So how do you do that? Well now that I've got soft proofing turned on, I'm gonna edit it in this new color space. That was you're question earlier basically. Is how do you know when to edit in that new color space. Well now is when I wanna edit in that new color space. So I turn on soft proofing, and then, I wanna create a proof copy. So I want my original to stay where it was at, but I wanna work on this new copy; there we go. And now I'm working on that new copy. So for you Lightroom fanatics, look here. In the lower left, I'll make this a little bit bigger so you can see what's going on. This is the original, and I'll turn, I'll actually turn off soft proofing on that original; there we go and then this, is the soft proof unit. So now as I work on it, I'm not actually modifying that original image. So what do I wanna do? Well I want that, I want that, not enough real estate here on these projected monitors; there we go. I want those blacks to come back. Move that black down, oh that's looking good. I want the highlights to be a little bit brighter; maybe give some more white to those whites. Okay, that's looking mo betta. Give it some clarity, now we're getting some of that magic back and I'm working on the proofed copy. Cool. Now I go to print, but now when I print it, I'm printing it based on that soft, soft proofed copy and now wizzy wig; what I see there in proof land, is what I'm gonna get in the final print. Nice. So I'm gonna just real briefly show you this very similar effect in Photoshop, just highlight it, and I've got this in the handouts for the class as well. So for those of you that got the class, oh and by the way, I'm sorry, doing a little bit of squirrel action here. Squirrel! Print just came out. Look at those colors; fantastic. Yee haw. I love it, okay. Now back to you're regular programing. (laughing) We're gonna go off to Photoshop, and let's look at this photo which I call, this photo I call Tyrannosaurus Rex on the beach. T-Rex on the beach. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Alright so if I wanna show you this, if you wanna see soft proofing in Photoshop, you're gonna go here, you're gonna go to view, where's view, there you go. Proof setup. And maybe you've got some that you can put here as a standard, but most of the time you're gonna go to custom, so again view, proof setup, custom, and then when you've downloaded the drivers for your printer, you can then pick the device to simulate, so in this case I'm showing an Epson there. We don't want that, we want Canon. So let's just assume it's the Canon Pro 10 with Pro Luster. There we go and then rendering intent, relative or perceptual, whatever. Black point compensation; all of these terms you see again and now I click okay. So now that's kind of the, I'll call it the profile in waiting; that's the profile in waiting. Now if you wanna see it, you go command Y, or view proof colors. So command Y turns proofing off, on or off. So right now you see it, it's off, and I go command Y, on; so I'm just gonna do it from my keyboard, command Y. Off, on. Off, on. So see even with like this matte or glossy paper, you still lose a little bit and so you wanna edit your photo after you've done all this big work, you wanna edit it in that new color space, so you can see what those blacks are gonna do and then actually get the results that you're after.

Class Description

Knowing how to control and see color is essential in making quality prints. Mike Hagen will walk through the entire color process for getting prints to look the way you envisioned. He'll discuss the techniques for calibrating your monitor, color management and color space.


Cheryl Tarr

I enjoyed watching this. Mike is an engaging instructor. Very clear and easy to follow. I was somewhat familiar with the various color spaces but this solidified my understanding. I now have some 'next steps' to improve my printing, thank you!

user 0d6f29

It was good but as others said incomplete. There needs to be several more segments on the printer dialog boxes and color management.