You don't "try" different profiles, you make sure it is the correct one throughout and consistently. The correct CMYK profile is the one that corresponds to the actual printing process. The printer should tell you which one to use, and if you don't have it installed, download it. Ask them!
Don't use Image > Mode in Photoshop. It gives you the false impression that there is some "generic" CMYK, which there isn't. In fact it is just a profile conversion into whatever you have set up as your working CMYK. By default that's US Web Coated SWOP, but that may not be the correct one to use.
For images, work in RGB and place RGB in InDesign. Convert to destination CMYK - the correct one - when you Export to press-ready PDF from InDesign. This way the document can easily be repurposed for changing press conditions.
You can use Photoshop to proof to process CMYK. This will tell you if there is significant gamut clipping in the conversion, and show you what that clipping will look like. You can then decide whether you need to tweak the original file to compensate. That is not required, just your call to improve appearance if it seems worthwhile.
I don't think I have understood 100% what you have written - but I'll try help -
please help me by explaining more fully what you did here (see below):
"I created a document in RGB in PhotoshopCS6, and then converted a jpg from that in a duplicate copy of that document as a CMYK image. I brought it into an InDesignCS6 document and exported as a Print PDF and the colors are much paler than the original JPG."
Ok, so you
you "created a document in RGB in PhotoshopCS6"
- what RGB setting (the ICC profile) please?
you "converted a jpg from that in a duplicate copy of that document as a CMYK image"
- so, am I right - you duplicated the document and converted the duplicate to CMYK,
how did you do that conversiion? there are 2 main methods:
A: image/ mode / CMYK
- or -
B: "edit / convert to profile"
A would use the CMYK profile which has been selected in edit / color settings (what is that please?)
B would use whatever CMYK profile you select (this should be the CMYK profile specified by your printer.) what did you choose please?
there is no "generic" CMYK, ideally you'd know what the printer wants then choose that CMYK profile.
you "I brought it into an InDesignCS6 document"
- so you imported the image into an InDesign Document
in InDesign have a look at edit / color settings
4: you " - exported as a Print PDF."
- did you select the Adobe PDF preset "high quality print" at the time of export?
within that preset you'll see in section 4: "output" that this is setup for "no colour conversion"
what "no colour conversion" means is that the image file which you imported will retain its CMYK characteristics,
i.e. it doesn't get converted.
[that’s why, when intending to make print ready PDF's and placing CMYK, it's important to place images which have been converted to the right CMYK colourspace ( using the ICC profile your printer specifies)]
So, you have 3 images and unfortunately there's a visual difference between them
1: a document in photoshop which is RGB
2: a document in photoshop which was converted to CMYK
3: a CMYK file placed into InDesign and exported as a PDF
where are the differences?
with what application are you viewing the exported PDF?
That’s pretty vital to all this.
I hope this helps
if so, please do mark my reply as "helpful" and if you're OK now, as "correct answer" so others who have similar issues can see the solution
neil barstow, colourmanagement.net
Did you get time to look over my reply and think about this any more?
Perhaps your issue is solved now?
If so please do mark my reply as "helpful" and if you're OK now as: "correct answer" so that others can track down this thread if they have similar issues.
Neil Barstow, colourmanagement.net