Fixing muddy darks on my print

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david_feindel, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. I'm trying to print my own version of the classic Bixby Bridge shot, and can't get the large areas in dark shadow to print well. They are muddy, blob-like dark on the print. Everything looks very good on my monitor (calibrated NEC PA, btw). All the other tonal ranges on the print are sharp and match the color on my monitor. I'm printing on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Satin, using a P600 printer, and Hahnemuhle's ICC profile. LR has the colors in these dark areas in the ~3-10% range for the RGB channels (in the PS info panel, they show as ~3-30 for each of the channels). Am I just trying to get too much contrast out of this paper? If so, is there a rule of thumb to follow as to the minimum levels you can print and see detail? Is there a way to set warnings in either LR or PS for this condition? Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. What does the soft proof show, with your profile when you set the simulation for ink and paper?
    Could be the calibration of the display (not targeting this paper) or the ICC profile (not all ICC profiles are created equally) !
     
  3. In LR, with the soft proof box checked, proper paper and printer profile chosen, simulate paper & ink turned on, and show gamut warning turned on, everything still looks pretty good (though not as good as w/ soft proofing turned off). It shows 5-6 tiny black areas out of gamut, but those are all in the foreground on the right of the photo (see attached). Looking at it in PS, with custom proof conditions set to proper printer/paper device, black point compensation checked, and simulate paper color checked (simulate black ink can't be checked), the screen image looks much closer to what came out of the printer--muddy and "blobby". The screen image turns absolutely ugly if black point compensation is unchecked. The area of concern is the entire hillside in shadow to the left of the bridge.

    So a new puzzling item is why is soft proofing so different between the two programs? I printed in from LR; this example suggests I should be at least doing soft printing in PS instead....

    BixbyBridgeScreenShot.jpg
     
  4. First off, LR and PS should provide identical previews. Check GPU preferences in both and toggle off and re-examine. Make sure the display profile is NOT a version 4 (check app that created it). Until both match, no idea if one or both are “correct”.
     
  5. You can ignore the out of gamut overly; buggy and not useful:

    The Out Of Gamut Overlay in Photoshop and Lightroom

    In this 25 minute video, I'll cover everything you need to know about the Out Of Gamut (OOG) overlay in Photoshop and Lightroom. You'll see why, with a rare exception, you can ignore this very old feature and still deal with out of gamut colors using modern color management tools.

    YouTube:
    High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/OOG_Video.mp4
     

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