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Soft Proofing - Simulate Paper and Ink

Sumo

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Following a couple of poor quality prints recently, I was informed that I needed to download some ICC Profiles and work in soft proof when editing images.

This still hasn't solved the problem and the images still fail to "pop".
It's not that my images are especially dark, but that they seem to have a colour cast across them, as shown in the attached images. Everything appears fine until I check the Simulate Paper and Ink box
I'm currently working in the Epson Semi-Gloss profile.
Thanks for any advice.

Simulate Paper and Ink box UNCHECKED

capture.jpg


Epson Semi-Gloss profile


Capture2.JPG
 
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When you print you need to declare the same Printer color profile and Boost the Brightness and contrast to get a brighter print. Note also the Matte and to some extent Semi-Gloss papers will absorb more ink. You may want to experiment with some different papers to see better results.
Red River Papers offers a sample pack reasonably priced to give you an idea what type of paper does what. Inkjet Sample Kits - Red River Inkjet Paper. They also have Color profiles for your printer with all of their papers.
My preference for snappy prints that pop is RR Arctic Polar Satin

1573681648327.png

1573681648327.png
 
Joined
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Clee, the OP is in the UK, and I don't think Red River ship over here.

I can recommend Permajet who offer a similar pack and service, including free custom profiling for any of their papers.

Dave
 

Sumo

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Thanks to both of you - I do appreciate you giving me help.
I've been in touch with Permajet who have been really helpful.
Thanks again
 
Joined
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Following a couple of poor quality prints recently, I was informed that I needed to download some ICC Profiles and work in soft proof when editing images.
This still hasn't solved the problem and the images still fail to "pop".
It's not that my images are especially dark, but that they seem to have a colour cast across them, as shown in the attached images. Everything appears fine until I check the Simulate Paper and Ink box
It's natural and expected that an image would "pop" less after enabling Simulate Paper and Ink.

When the image is in Soft Proof mode, all that does is preview the image in the color gamut of the selected profile. Just the colors.

When Simulate Paper and Ink is enabled, the simulation now accounts for the white point and black point of the paper and ink combination. This usually results in less contrast, less "pop". It is not a mistake. It increases the accuracy of the simulation, because the paper does not have the same color or dynamic range as the display. If the paper is not perfectly white, Simulate Paper and Ink must add a color cast to accurately represent that actual white point of the paper. If the paper is not perfectly bright (and it won't be), the simulation must darken the maximum white. Same with the black end, if the maximum black achievable by the paper is not true solid black (and it won't be), the simulation must lighten the shadows to more accurately represent the darkest tone the paper can actually reproduce.

This pulling in of both the white point and black point to match the paper appears as a lack of "pop" because dynamic range has been reduced, to create a more accurate representation of the paper. The degree to which it happens depends on the paper and ink combination. You see a "nicer" soft proof when you use paper/ink combinations that support a higher dynamic range (brighter white and deeper black), which usually means more expensive fine art papers. Below is an animation showing how the soft proof with Simulate Paper and Ink changes depending on the paper being simulated. (Yes, I did post this before here but can't find that post to link to)

Conrad-Chavez-Lightroom-Classic-soft-proofing.gif


The Soft Proof simulations show that the lowest contrast is usually with cheap matte paper, which is exactly what you find on actual prints. While soft proofing with Simulate Paper and Ink isn't perfect, the difference between how the soft proofs look for different paper profiles is usually a good approximation of how different the prints look on those papers if you put them side by side, and does help to make appropriate adjustments before printing.

Here's a Red River Paper web page explaining this in a different way:
Soft Proofing in Photoshop and Lightroom

Also, here's a classic article that the late color expert Bruce Fraser wrote in 2000, explaining why, when you enable the Photoshop equivalent of Simulate Paper and Ink, "…the image seems to die before your very eyes due to the dynamic range compression. The effect is quite unsettling and can cast doubt on the result."
Soft Proofing in Photoshop 6.0
 
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Sumo

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Mar 20, 2015
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UK
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Thank you Conrad for a really great reply - as good as any video I've found and for me personally, right to the point. Thanks again !
 
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Simulate Paper and Ink is a tricky setting to understand; the display simulation often looks worse than the actual print even if you've set everything absolutely by the book. That's partly because our perception of the print is influenced by the brightness and color of the light we're viewing it under, partly because our eyes adapt to the print (e.g. interpreting the whitest part as neutral full brightness white when it technically isn't) …and other factors I'm not enough of a color scientist to understand.

But Simulate Paper and Ink is still a useful guide, at least for me. If turning it on shows an alarming loss of detail in the shadows, as is often the case on matte papers, then I will adjust the Proof Copy to try and get back some of that shadow detail. Again, it may not be a perfect simulation, but it’s good enough that when properly used, Soft Proof + Simulate Paper and Ink should reduce the number of test prints you make. Which saves money and time.

This is why it's so great that Lightroom Classic lets you have multiple Proof Copies (soft-proofed virtual copies) for an image: You can keep different proof copies optimized for each type of paper+ink profile you plan to print it on, and the paper-specific adjustments don't affect each other, and don't affect the master which can be kept device-independent.
 
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