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print colours matt paper

magician john

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Hi,

I have printed an image on 6 x 4 on glossy paper (bluebells) and really pleased with the intense sparkly image.

Now I have printed the same photo on A4 heavyweight matt paper and the colours are pale and dull in comparison.
Is this normal reaction between the two in LR?
I have printed previously from Aperture and never noticed any colour difference.

I have used the soft proofing facility and had to desaturate the colours because of the colour gamut. I did this before I printed either photo.

I have selected the only matt version that is available in my printer profile section. ( obviously used the glossy version for the glossy paper)

I have used the brightening facility within the print model and it does lighten the photo but makes the colours lighter not more intense but more washed out. Infant, I have printed a matt copy from my original image (before soft proof) and it yields a better colour than the soft proofed one, even though there is plenty of colour gamut warnings.

Interested in any experience or ideas on this issue.

thanks

john
 

Bryan Conner

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If I were using Soft Proofing in any application, I would first make sure that I had the correct profile for the paper I was using. Do you have the correct profile for each paper that you are using? You would need a profile created specifically for the bluebells paper that you are using as well as the matte paper. An incorrect profile could (probably will) deliver less than optimum results. Papers from different sources may require vastly different profiles to get an accurate print. I would eliminate that variable first. Check the source of your paper to see if a profile is available, or use a brand of paper for which you already have a profile.
 

magician john

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Bryan,

thanks for the reply.

I use only Epson paper and yes I have the right profile picked for that paper from my printer profile.( as I did for the glossy image)
I am interested in you comment re creating a profile for the ''bluebell paper". How would I go about doing that?

john
 

Modesto Vega

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I have used the soft proofing facility and had to desaturate the colours because of the colour gamut. I did this before I printed either photo.

john
Could you please expand this comment? What sort of gamut warnings did you get with the matt paper? Did you get the pale and dull colours after making an adjustment in soft proofing mode?
 

magician john

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Modesto,

When I first switched on the Soft Proofing, most of the bluebells were red. I found that the only way for the red colour to disappear was to desaturate the colours by using the HSL and dragging downwards etc.
The warning was the same with both the glossy and the matt paper.
I printed the photo on 6 x 4 glossy which was great and then A4 in matt and not so great. The correct paper was selected for both from the printer profile.
Yes, the dull colours were after the adjustment in soft proofing, although only the matt paper image as I mentioned the glossy image was great.
 
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Just a suggesting don't adjust saturation in the images to get rid of the clipping. I know that this is a common technique that was even promoted by an Adobe video. This is like using a sledge hammer to pound in finishing nails. You will always get better results by just letting the color management system do its work. It will actually address only the pixels that are out of gamut and leave the rest of you image alone. If the resulting print is still looking flat then you probably need do consider using a different paper.

If you want a detailed explanation for why this is true watch the following two tutorials by color guru Andrew Rodney on his website DigitalDog.net. While they are both done in LR4 all the color management aspects are still valid.

Lightroom 4 and soft proofing video

Lightroom 4 and soft proofing video part2

-louie
 

Modesto Vega

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Modesto,

When I first switched on the Soft Proofing, most of the bluebells were red. I found that the only way for the red colour to disappear was to desaturate the colours by using the HSL and dragging downwards etc.
The warning was the same with both the glossy and the matt paper.
I printed the photo on 6 x 4 glossy which was great and then A4 in matt and not so great. The correct paper was selected for both from the printer profile.
Yes, the dull colours were after the adjustment in soft proofing, although only the matt paper image as I mentioned the glossy image was great.
I do agree with Louie and would recommend trying to print on the A4 matt paper without making any HSL adjustments to correct the soofproofing gamut warnings. Although the HSL adjustment has some officialdom because they are backed by some Adobe videos, I don't think they actually work insofar as they do what you are experiencing.

What type of matt paper are you using? Where can I get the icc profile to give a try with some of my photograhps?
 

magician john

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Louie,

Thanks for the reply. Have looked at first video and will look at second one later today.
Please explain more re "just letting the colour management system do its work".
What do you mean exactly?

john
 

magician john

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Modesto,

thanks for the reply.

The matt paper I have used is Epson Matt Paper Heavyweight, it is 167g A4 paper and the only matt a4 photo paper that Epson do.
I use an Epson XP750 printer.

Are other manufacturers matt paper likely to respond differently? Is there anyway you can tell without buying a whole load and just trying each one?
I guess I could also buy some A4 glossy paper but this is much more expensive.

I am unsure what you mean by the icc profile?

john
 

magician john

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Louie,

just looked at second video and interesting how really suggesting not to use the soft proofing.
when he talks about exporting in srgb, does it mean exporting and then printing or that the process of selecting the print module is the export? I wa unsure about this, so if you could clarify that would be most helpful.

thank you
 
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Hi John,

Any operation I Lightroom that includes a change in the color profile is going to involve the color management engine (CME) to adjust any individual pixels that fall outside the gamut of the target color space. Keep in mind that by default all images images in Lightroom are using the ProPhoto RGB color space. So any output operation including display, print or export to a different color space will use the CME to adjust the pixels of the resulting image to be consistent with the selected color profile.

So to get back to your question. Andrew's example of exporting to sRGB is one example of what happens when converting from a large color space to a smaller color space. One that can be easily in an online video tutorial. When you print, the print process is also using the CME to convert the image profile this time the target profile is the one for the selected printer/paper/ink that you are using. As you discovered you can also easily see the effects of this process. The underlying process in both examples work exactly the same. They just each use a different target profile.

Just to be clear I would not recommend exporting to sRBG before printing. That would involve two passes through the CME with potentially more loss of image color quality. Unfortunately many print labs insist that you do exactly this including Blurb the builtin book module in Lightroom. In this case soft-proofing to sRGB can help you see how this will potentially effect your final output. But trying edit out gamut warnings will always make a poorer result than just letting the CME do it's job.

-louie
 

magician john

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So let me clarify the reason for using soft proofing in the first place.
It is to let us see a visual of what the image will look like for our printer? Otherwise we will just get the image as it looks like on the screen which will be different to how it looks printed?
Even though I select the right paper, printer profile etc, it doesn't mean that the print will be ok, so the soft proof image gives the visual image which can be adjusted by selecting the Y key (comparing the original -on screen with the colours etc that will be printed) The colour gamut seems to be a red herring in all of this and in many cases should be ignored in the main as likely to make for a ruler image if you desaturate the colours to get rid of the colour gamut.

This is my understanding and just learning all of this so please confirm if this is correct or where I am missing the point somewhere.

thanks a lot folks

john
 
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Yes John, that sounds about right.

Based on the soft-proof view there may in fact be adjustments that you would want to make to the image just when printing to a particular paper. It may help the printed image to bump the global saturation and/or contrast etc.. This is the why Lightroom will automatically create a Virtual Copy when you edit an image while in the soft-proff mode.

The gamut clipping indicator is then useful to show when your edits start pushing the gamut beyond the limits of the profile for your target. Ultimately it's the finished print that matters. It is entirely possible that an image that shows some gamut clipping may make a better print than one with no clipping showing. You can also try using the two rendering intents that LR makes available in print and soft-proofing. They tell the CME how to handle out of gamut colors. I forget the exact detail of how these work but sometimes selecting one over the other can make a noticeable improvement in the resulting print. This is very dependent on individual images so you just have to try them out.

One final thought regarding soft-proofing for prints is to make sure that your display is set to a rather low brightness. This is an option in the profiling software when you create a profile for your display. I would recommend a setting of no more than 100 cd/m2. This could even be lower if the ambient light in your work area is also low. This will help to see subtle changes in the soft-proof that would otherwise be washed out by a bright display.


-louie
 

magician john

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Thanks a lot Louie, most helpful.

How can I check in my MAC re the light levels? e.g. being no more than 100cd/m2 or are you going to say this is only done with a calibration tool? I was considering a spyder 4 Elite at some time. Do you have any knowledge of this?

john
 
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Hi John,

Yes you need a monitor calibration device such as the spider. It will measure the display color and brightness. If you are not using such a device now I highly recommend getting one and profiling your monitor on a regular basis.

-louie
 
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