9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2018 4:02 AM by D Fosse

    Match print colour - Photoshop cc

    Debs @ Tres Belle

      Hi everyone,

      I am struggling to get my professional prints (from a local pro print lab) to look the same as what I see on my screen.  The appear to be duller and not as sharp. What I am currently doing:-

      * Editing in raw

      * using camera raw filter sliders to get what I need in contract, highlights, shadow, sharpness etc

      * saving as srgb for print


      The gallery I present looks bright and sharp, but when I sent to print they come back not what I expect good but not like for like. 


      How can I see what I am going to get in a a print?  I have looked on adobe help and does have a section fro MATCH PRINT COLOUR but I don't know how to get to that in photoshop.


      Please help, I have some big orders coming through and don't want to get it wrong




        • 1. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
          JJMack Most Valuable Participant

          Have you ask your Pro print lab what they think. What you can give them to get the print you want.  What color profile your files should have and what files sizes you should supply for different size prints. Is you Display setup in a good environment and well calibrated.

          • 2. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            If you really want a good screen to print match, there's no way around

            • a calibrator (i1 Display, ColorMunki, Spyder)
            • a good monitor with at least an IPS panel and good color uniformity
            • solid color management procedures, including a printer with a color managed process (that excludes most camera shop printing)


            There really are no shortcuts to this. But with a good setup and some experience, it's possible to get an exact match - much better than most people think possible. The trick is to calibrate the display to match the print, not the other way round.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
              Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Also, in regards to sharpening, different printer require different amounts of sharpening. Most often the images will look over sharpened on your monitor. Best to run some tests. Do one print with sections sharpened at various amounts to see which looks best as a starting point for that printer.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                Debs @ Tres Belle Level 1

                Yes I have asked if I could bring my Mac and do a print there and then to see what can be done .... waiting for response

                • 5. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                  Debs @ Tres Belle Level 1

                  Hi there I have calibrated and do regularly with colormonki and have a MacBook Pro. I don’t print myself I use professional print lab local to me.


                  I am a studio photographer of children and families and I present them with a gallery of edited images so the images on screen look good But they print slightly different so I’m looking for the gap.


                  in an adobe help search there is a section called match print color and titled (see how your print will look) but it does not tell you how to get to this feature I have looked everywhere.


                  Can anyone help with this?


                  I don’t want to over expose and sharpen images in raw to suit print when they will look bad on my online gallery so as I say I need to find the “photographers secret”. I thought it was saving to srgb but that does not close the gap either.


                  thanks if anyone can be more specific




                  • 6. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                    JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                    Have you ask your Pro print lab what they think you need to do.

                    • 7. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      https://forums.adobe.com/people/Debs+%40+Tres+Belle  wrote


                      thanks if anyone can be more specific


                      I was actually very specific. You need to calibrate your display to match the print. You also need to use a printer with a fully color managed process.


                      But you have to walk a few steps before getting to that point.  While an MBP has a good display for a laptop, it's still a long way from a good desktop monitor. You need to be able to adjust your monitor's response over a wide range of parameters, and you need to know that the monitor will take these adjustments well without introducing other problems.


                      First of all, you need to match the monitor's white point to paper white. You need to "see" paper white on screen. This is a purely visual process, normally carried out by setting white point luminance and color in the monitor's OSD controls. With high-end monitors that have integrated calibration software you set those targets directly there.


                      Your perception is influenced by ambient light and your whole working environment. That's why it's done visually and no numbers can be given. The usual "canned" advice of D65 and 120 cd/m² is just a starting point for "average" conditions, whatever that is.


                      Then you need to look at monitor black. This is extremely important and underrated, because it sets total contrast range and "snap". Most displays out of the box have much too deep blacks, thus too much contrast. So you are guaranteed to be disappointed when you see the finished result. A good inkjet print on high-grade glossy paper has a contrast range of max 300:1 - in other words a white point at 120 gives a black point at 0.4. But most papers have much less contrast / higher black than this.


                      With this set, you have a basic screen to print match. The environment is set. Now run your calibration and profiling to pick up the rest.




                      The next thing you need is a fully color managed print process. If your printer just asks for sRGB, or they can't answer at all what they want - then it's not color managed. If it is, they should be able to give you a specific print profile. You use this profile either to soft proof, in which case they probably want your files in Adobe RGB, or in some cases you can convert to the print profile and send them that. But the former is the best, safest and most common procedure.


                      That's as specific as you get

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                        davescm Adobe Community Professional

                        Excellent advice from D.Fosse.

                        I will add one thing. Even with all of the above in place - when adjusting images use the histogram.
                        I recently had a look at a problem for a friend  where his set up calibration and profiling had been done correctly, but he complained his prints were still too dark. The problem was evident with a quick look at the histogram - his images were underexposed. His eyes had adapted to the darker images on screen (our eyes and brains have a remarkable capacity for adapting to changing light)  but when printed the prints came out for what they were - too dark. A quick curves adjustment watching the histogram resolved the problem.



                        • 9. Re: Match print colour - Photoshop cc
                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Yes, absolutely, Dave. In fact this is included in my "ambient light / working environment" variable - but deserves to be lifted up and examined on its own.


                          I think the present "fashionable" dark application interface is responsible for a lot of dark prints. I think the reason it's so popular is that it makes everything look immediately good on screen, so it has instant appeal - but it does that by removing the visual references that the eye needs to reliably assess what it's looking at.


                          In Photoshop this is easily fixed by using the traditional light interface. But Lightroom has a serious problem here (as I've pointed out many times). You can set the image backdrop to a lighter gray, but not the rest of the interface. That renders the whole interface a dizzying mess of dark and light that does as much damage. BTW, Capture One is even worse - it's not even dark gray, it's pitch black. Looks really cool, until you see the print.


                          Anyway, the histogram is there to be used. No, it doesn't tell you how the image will look, but It's the most useful diagnostic tool you have in any imaging application. If you have a problem, the histogram will usually tell you exactly what the problem is.