Glyn Dewis / Beauty, Portrait Photographer
I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I have wasted over the past few years trying to get my images on screen to come out looking the same in print. In the beginning it was the colours I just couldn’t get right but that was soon fixed after I started calibrating my screen using a device such as the X-rite i1 Display Pro. However despite the colours being correct, prints would also come back too light or too dark. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get it right!
For quite some time I resorted to a workaround…
You can check out the i1 Display Pro by Clicking here
When it comes to calibrating your screen you’ll always get the best and most consistent results when you do the calibration in the same environment settings each time, and by this I mean calibrating at the same time of day in the same lighting.
In my own office / workspace I have blackout blinds and also use daylight balanced bulbs so using these means the room lighting is consistent when I’m looking at the screen.
I also use the BenQ range of monitors which come with a screen shade / hood which prevents light from outside the screen, spilling onto it and so giving you a false impression of what you’re looking at. A lot of today’s monitors come with these kind of shades.
Soft Proofing in Lightroom...Where is it?
Ok so first things first, you’ll find the Soft Proofing checkbox underneath your picture on the left hand side when in the Develop Module. If you don’t see it there then you just need to make it visible by clicking to open the menu that is underneath your picture but on the right hand side.
Download and Install the ICC Profiles
The key to soft proofing comes from using what are called ICC Profiles (ICC stands for International Colour Consortium) and in their simplest terms these are basically files that have been created by printing labs, manufacturers of printers and such like to allow us to see what images will look like when printed on different mediums (paper, canvas, metal…).
Where do I get them from?
Now I use a Loxley Colour Printing Lab for all my printing needs. They’re based in Scotland and on their website there’s a link to download their own specific ICC Profiles that are relevant for their printing process and their differing papers / mediums.
The reason I mention this is because ICC Profiles differ from Lab to Lab, from Printer to Printer and from Paper / Medium to Paper / Medium, meaning you need to download the relevant ones for the processes you use i.e. I wouldn’t use a Loxley Colour ICC Profile if I was sending image files to be printed by Bay Photo. Make sense?
So go visit or get in touch with your printing lab of choice to download their specific ICC Profiles or if you use Loxley Colour or fancy giving them a try here’s how you find their ICC Profiles from within their website:
Once download you then need to put them in the correct place in your computer so that later on the software you use (Lightroom, Photoshop) can see them.
Most times you’ll likely find that simply double-clicking on the profile name will then cause it to install correctly however if that doesn’t work for you here is where you need to place them into:
C: > Windows > System32 > Spool > Drivers > Color
Macintosh HD > Library > Colorsync > Profiles
So now you’re ready to go for the real process of soft proofing. In the next part, I will show you how to conduct the process of soft proofing in Lightroom.
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