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LR-Softproofing - Achieving true reds/magenta

Acranius

New Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2024
Messages
6
Lightroom Version Number
13.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 11
Hello!

Surely most of you have spent several thousands on your current gear; and so have I ... point being, I am very let down by input quality ≠ output quality. Most of my work is created for online purposes, e.g., web-presentations of any kind with the occasional print for advertising of my clients.

Using LR Classic (newest version through auto-update), I struggle, massively, to achieve 'true' reds and magentas in LR's editing softproofing. My target is SRGB and while I know that SRGB struggles somewhat with deep reds, the difference in color truly is too intense. E.g., recently I photographed an event which dealt mostly with strong and vibrant red lamps as key-color accent. In the 'normal' editing tab, these images look fabulous - as soon as I hit Softproofing (or upon exporting as SRGB) the images are flat and at best 'meh'.

Within the limitations of SRGB, are there any tricks to get the absolute most out of what's possible, regarding reds/magentas? I already played around with the 'normal' LR settings, but the ceiling is hit at what I would call darkish-oranges.

PS: My original images are RAW, 24MP, AdobeRGB

Thank you for any help/ tutorials/ tricks.
 
Correct, but unfortunately you do not have that choice in the Export dialog, only in the Print module. AFAIK, export is always perceptive. So to use relative colorimetric for jpeg export, you would have to use the 'Print to file' option in the Print module. Relative colorimetric clips out of gamut colors however (as shown in your attachment), so I don't think you will want to use that with highly saturated colors anyway.
 
I am far from being a colour management expert, but nobody mentioned that there are two ways to 'manage' out of gamut colors, ie perceptive and relative.
When using soft proofing, you can try both and see the one that best fit your purpose. That choice is particularly important when dealing with very saturated colors.
This is the best suggestion I have seen it you are going to try to use Softproofing for transmissive media.
 
Makes you wonder what the point of these wider color-spectrums is, if almost no consumer-device (smartphone, average PC-monitor), online platform nor printer can make any use of it.

It also makes me wonder, why especially those online platforms that focus on images (e.g., instagram) limit the color spectrum to SRGB ... I mean obviously TIFF files are huge, but speaking of 'outdated philosophies' what's wrong with a jpeg-like file that simply has that 20-30% more information by including Adobe RGB, instead of SRGB.

It really sucks that cameras have come such a long way with countless dynamic steps, only to be bottle necked by just about any presentation-medium.
I am sorry that you are having issues with displaying a larger gamut of reds in your image, but I think that you expectations for output of images may be quite high. Historically, printed images have mostly had a very limited dynamic range, and photographers were always having to live within what they could display. Monitors also have their historic limits, as Cletus mentioned, but are getting better with each generation. Worse yet, you have little to no control over how others actually view your images. So unless you know your intended audience has the ability to view on a wider gamut device, trying to fit what you can in an sRGB space is the safest option, and that does mean losing some of what was captured, an issue I also came to terms with when printing a number of red rose photos for display a few years ago. I think that Victoria's suggestion above in post #7 is probably the one I would give strong consideration to. Accepting the limits of your materials at hand is not easy, but it is not new to artists.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
I think we may need to clear up some misunderstanding about soft proofing. Soft proofing does not magically allow you to display out-of-gamut colors. What does not fit inside sRGB will not be displayed in sRGB, soft proof or no soft proof. Nothing can change that!
With 30+ years of experience delivering images for output in a range of media from sheet-fed CMYK to fine art inkjet on matte papers to websites, I've come to embrace the truth alluded to in the above quote: the bucket of possibilities is finite and absolute for each medium. It can be very frustrating to compare a larger bucket (e.g., an Adobe98 image on an Adobe98 monitor) to a smaller bucket (e.g., that same image simulated in an sRGB color space). But accepting the truth of different sized buckets is the first step to successful image prep.

In a nutshell, when preparing an image for output in a smaller color space, I follow this general workflow:
  1. Compare original to output rendering onscreen using soft proof.
  2. Chose the rendering intent that gets me closest color match.
  3. Take note of the problem areas in the softproof version - loss of contrast in color areas?, crushing of tonality in certain areas?, etc.
  4. Turn off original and never compare them again (which is the source of frustration).
  5. Address issues in the problem areas (while working in soft proof) using the basics - tonal contrast, color contrast, etc. The goal is to create the same impression of detail and color shown in the original, even thought the specifics might not be exactly the same.
  6. If final output is to paper, create hard proof.
  7. If final output is to web, export the adjusted version and view it on a crappy laptop monitor, away from your high-tech, high-gamut workstation.
Just my view from the trenches.
 
Thanks everyone for being so supportive and informative! Much appreciated. I think, for the moment Softproofing appears as the best option; plus a pinch of communication towards my clients (which is hard as most of them aren't tech-savvy) about realistic expectations. If they want strong reds, it's just not going to be possible on their web-presentations. Curious to hear how you handle expectations with non-tech-savvy clients that care mostly about output results ... but that's a topic for another day.

Thanks again - and all the best!
 
Thanks everyone for being so supportive and informative! Much appreciated. I think, for the moment Softproofing appears as the best option; plus a pinch of communication towards my clients (which is hard as most of them aren't tech-savvy) about realistic expectations. If they want strong reds, it's just not going to be possible on their web-presentations. Curious to hear how you handle expectations with non-tech-savvy clients that care mostly about output results ... but that's a topic for another day.

Thanks again - and all the best!
KISS - Keep it simple, Sam.

If the clients see the product live and then see it on screen, tell them that this is the limit of what most of the general populations see on their screens, and that everyone faces this same marketing/advertising challenge. I guess that this approach would also be the same even if they did not directly compare the actual product with your images. And I personally would not show them anything on a wide gamut display, as this can set up false expectations for what is the exception, not the rule. If people only know sRGB from what it displays, then stick with it. And you can always let them know that printed media might offer a bit more range and tone if you are confident that your printer can deliver.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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