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Question: Is soft proofing effective?
No, never use it - 1 (1.1%)
Sometimes - 18 (19.4%)
Better than no SP not a match - 18 (19.4%)
Yes, always use it - 51 (54.8%)
Just make a print! - 5 (5.4%)
Total Voters: 92

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Author Topic: Soft proofing doesn’t work  (Read 29861 times)
K.C.
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2011, 08:29:49 PM »
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I can't help thinking there's something else going on here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Mark do you think you could put your finger on the return key a little more often ?

For all you have to share your posts are dreadfully hard to read when they're one huge paragraph.

It would sure be appreciated.
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jedbest
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2011, 08:40:11 PM »
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I would like to second Mark's comments. For those of use who print our own images,  soft proofing provide that extra percent of possible excellence to make our prints shine. While I am a big supporter of what Matt and Scott teach, I think they are misguided with respect to soft proofing. It is a procedure that allows us to improve what we print and as Vincent Versace states, "the print is all". It is how we convey what our mind sees and our heart feels.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 08:41:59 PM by jedbest » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2011, 08:55:41 PM »
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Mark do you think you could put your finger on the return key a little more often ?

For all you have to share your posts are dreadfully hard to read when they're one huge paragraph.

It would sure be appreciated.

Ya - as I look them over i see you have a point! Usually I'm attentive to this kind of stuff, but I've been up to my eyeballs lately, so speeding stuff off. I'll keep it mind - best to have happy comfortable readers!

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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PhilipCummins
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2011, 10:30:01 PM »
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I don't share your opinion. IMHO, there are several cases where softproofing simply isn't representing the print on display enough. Viewing light still is a compromise on the actual display conditions later on. The more with papers containing FBAs.

Well, I would say this is where tools for soft-proofing would need to be improved so that one could accurately assess the light source that would be used where the print is being displayed as well as assess the media that the print would be printed on to compensate for FWA's. For example, I recall reading about some restaurant that used very dim/unusual lighting and requested prints be made to compensate for this, apparently they looked ghastly under most light sources however in the restaurant they were normal. If say, soft proofing could let me choose lighting conditions as well as print profile ICC's that would be quite useful in some situations.

For example, Canon now provides Ambient Light Correction which can assist in compensating for some light sources (which I'll admit I haven't used before), ProfileMaker can create specific profiles for measured light sources, so it's up to the person doing the work to best utilise their tools to cut down on trial and error to make things work properly. Sure, there's nothing stopping you using whatever workflow you like, however if you can use a tool to cut down on trial and error then it's most likely worth using it.

There's a big difference between recognising when to (or not to) use a particular tool vs writing off other tools simply as you don't have time to test and evaluate them properly.
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graeme
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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2011, 06:07:52 AM »
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I'm not a professional photographer but photography / photoshop is part of my work.

I use a 4 year old 20" Apple Cinema Display calibrated with a DTP 94 puck using ColorEyes Display Pro. My viewing light is an Ott - Lite which I measure using the puck. I print using a 6 year old four color Canon A4 consumer level printer ( using Canon paper profiles profiles ). Not exactly a high end pro set up but I find soft proofing indispensible. I'm not saying that it's 100% accurate but it spares me some nasty & expensive surprises. Most of the images I print are of stained glass or designs for stained glass which very often contain very strong blues  ( r53 g0 b171 ). These will print as a disgusting pinky purple. With soft proofing I can predict this and use adjustment layers to tweak these colors into a slightly less disgusting greeny blue.

Rendering Intent can make a serious difference.

BTW I have also had stuff printed for me on an big Epson ( a 9000 and something ) for which I was supplied with a profile. The soft proofing worked well in this case too.

Soft proofing - not perfect but much better than the alternative.

It's not too difficult to understand either - Jeff Schewe explains it pretty clearly in 'From camera to Print' and also http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/phscs2ip_reproprep.pdf

And I'm not a super intelligent or highly educated person.

Regards

Graeme
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2011, 08:04:03 AM »
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Andrew, to address your question about print-specific edits and different versions for different media, the 'Snapshot' function of LR should keep track of those fairly handily.  Finish editing, create a Snapshot.  Softproof, adjust, create a Snapshot.  Printing on another surface, go back to the original Snapshot, proof, adjust, create a new Snapshot.  It seems that this would be a good use of that function within LR. 

The biggest issue, it seems, with the currently available plug in is that it only allows you to make adjustments in Quick Develop rather than in the full Develop module so the full functionality that might be required to adjust the proof isn't available...... yet.

As far as Kloskowski's comments regarding the advisability of soft proofing, I put him in the same camp as Ken Rockwell.  Mildly amusing but not overly informative.

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Rhossydd
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2011, 10:18:47 AM »
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Like some of the previous comments I find soft proofing lacking sometimes, especially with respect to the appearance of blacks and shadow areas.
I'll always use it for critical prints or ones with unusual colour ranges that might have OOG issues, but mostly I have a pretty good understanding of what I'll get out and don't have disappointments too often.

This discussion also highlights the problems the LR team have in implementing SP, but given their track record so far I'm confident that they'll eventually deliver us a good usable solution.

As far as Kloskowski's comments regarding the advisability of soft proofing, I put him in the same camp as Ken Rockwell.  Mildly amusing but not overly informative.
Quite, his comment to Andrew's posting saying "I have a nice bright monitor to look at too, that’s set to 100% brightness like the rest of the world. You’d be amazed at how great these things look when you turn the brightness all the way up " removed any remaining credibility.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2011, 10:23:25 AM »
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Quite, his comment to Andrew's posting saying "I have a nice bright monitor to look at too, that’s set to 100% brightness like the rest of the world. You’d be amazed at how great these things look when you turn the brightness all the way up " removed any remaining credibility.

Well, no credibility on this issue, but don't write him off - he's a very adept Photoshop guru in many other ways, which makes me wonder why the intellectual vacuum on soft-proofing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2011, 12:01:34 PM »
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Quite, his comment to Andrew's posting saying "I have a nice bright monitor to look at too, that’s set to 100% brightness like the rest of the world. You’d be amazed at how great these things look when you turn the brightness all the way up " removed any remaining credibility.

That WAS an interesting comment! I totally agree with your point about this being a credibility issue. Notice his recent reply to Jeff. Looking over this, it appears that indeed, Matt knows how to use soft proofing. There’s no question someone of his stature knows how to invoke and set up the options in the dialog. What I think he’s totally missing is how to properly calibrate his display. I’m not sure why he even does this based on how he is handling this process. You pointed out that he drives his display at 100%. He admits that his prints are too dark (darker) than the display as described in another of his blog posts (http://lightroomkillertips.com/2010/video-the-trick-to-getting-brigher-prints). He suggests to his audience they apply a LR preset to lighten up the images. So considering his display is set to 100%, that he has prints that don’t match without soft proofing, seems quite logical that WITH soft proofing, he’s not getting a match! He suggests that soft proofing can’t fix the too dark prints when the issue is clearly one of calibration. The connection between how he calibrates his display and the results he gets apparently hasn’t crossed his mind (despite in both blog posts, I’ve tried to have him focus on this disconnect)!

So at this point, I suspect he’s set in his ways, isn’t interested in examining the odd method he uses to drive his display at 100% and all the issues its producing. He thinks the rest of the world drives their displays at 100% which is a stretch. He thinks that is necessary to use the display outside of imaging work or surfing the web or watching video’s suffer. I believe Matt knows how to setup a soft proof. I do believe Matt needs help in calibrating his display. I believe Matt has no desire or will examine this, he’s more interested in being “right”. That’s a shame. I’ve told him I’d be happy to help him, I’ll be ignored as I’ve been in the past.

Short of maybe posting the URL of this discussion and the on-going results of the poll, my involvement in posting to his blog seems pointless and only guaranteed to piss him off, which isn’t my goal. I’d far prefer to show him how to properly handle display calibration and show him the benefits of soft proofing even if the current implementation could use improvements. Then he could further help his “audience” (his term).

FWIW, he says he’s sat in on my presentations about this topic, I don’t ever recall covering the specifics of setting a display calibration target values for NAPP (I haven’t spoken for them in over 2 years, I doubt they will ever ask me to again). I’d be happy to bring in a display, print viewing booth and demonstrate in real time how to do this properly, either for Matt or a NAPP audience. That is unlikely to ever happen because again, I get the idea that sticking to your concept that whatever works for ‘you’, despite the technology and tools available is the bottom line.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2011, 12:05:26 PM »
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Well, no credibility on this issue, but don't write him off - he's a very adept Photoshop guru in many other ways, which makes me wonder why the intellectual vacuum on soft-proofing.

I’m ONLY writing him off in terms of color management and his unwillingness to examine common logic surrounding color management. I’ve learned a ton about LR from him. That’s what makes his attitude in this context so difficult to swallow.
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Andrew Rodney
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DeeJay
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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2011, 12:26:19 PM »
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While I always soft proof, I have to say that I'm sometimes left feeling like it hasn't helped completely.

Knowing rendering intent and the process of how you adjust the image makes alot of difference but quite often I find that soft proofing doesn't go "all the way" to show how it will really look due to the inherent differences processes of screen and print. ie backlit or reflective. I don't always get an exact reference which is my goal, and it should be a realistic one. With time I'm getting to learn how different outputs will look though and I will factor that into my equation but unfortunately to some degree there remains some guess work at least for me.

Sometimes for me I question though that some outputs have been tampered with by the clients graphics department or the times printers have asked for files in RGB A98 and then a problem arises in rip or profiling/conversion. I do insist that I do the profiling myself as at least I know it's going to be done properly, or if not then it's my fault, but some printers I think have the same ethos!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 12:36:50 PM by DeeJay » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2011, 01:11:36 PM »
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I’m ONLY writing him off in terms of color management and his unwillingness to examine common logic surrounding color management. I’ve learned a ton about LR from him. That’s what makes his attitude in this context so difficult to swallow.

Yes - I understand where you were coming from. I was responding to Rhossydd who seemed to be making a more generalized comment.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2011, 01:15:27 PM »
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While I always soft proof, I have to say that I'm sometimes left feeling like it hasn't helped completely.

Knowing rendering intent and the process of how you adjust the image makes alot of difference but quite often I find that soft proofing doesn't go "all the way" to show how it will really look due to the inherent differences processes of screen and print. ie backlit or reflective. I don't always get an exact reference which is my goal, and it should be a realistic one. With time I'm getting to learn how different outputs will look though and I will factor that into my equation but unfortunately to some degree there remains some guess work at least for me.


Yes, there is an inherent difference between reflected and transmitted light which soft-proofing cannot yet bridge with 100% accuracy. But again, the perfect can be the enemy of the good when you can't attain perfection. The relevant issue is whether you are better off with SP or without it, and from all my experience there is no doubt about the answer. I'll always chose what's better, perfect or not.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2011, 01:19:43 PM »
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Yes - I understand where you were coming from. I was responding to Rhossydd who seemed to be making a more generalized comment.

Well I think had he added “to this subject” at the end of the sentence (Quite, his comment to Andrew's posting saying "I have a nice bright monitor to look at too, that’s set to 100% brightness like the rest of the world. You’d be amazed at how great these things look when you turn the brightness all the way up " removed any remaining credibility.) it would not have been read by some as a generalized comment. FWIW, I didn’t read it as a generalized comment. When you consider that anyone who drives any modern LCD at 100% brightness, then suggests most people are doing this is out of touch. I mean really, who do you know running an (presumably) LCD at 250-300cd/m2 and then thinks that useful?

Quote
While I always soft proof, I have to say that I'm sometimes left feeling like it hasn't helped completely.

Its far from perfect and there are some things that could make it much better (the UI surround for one). But the suggestion that not soft proofing is a better solution than the imperfect soft proof, while at the same time describing prints that are far darker than the display highly suggests that the calibration process of the equation needs serious examination before dismissing the tools. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!
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Andrew Rodney
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DeeJay
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2011, 02:10:40 PM »
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I would always softproof if only to get a reference. I do feel that I've learned a bit in the time I've been doing it, and I know how I need to compensate for a couple particular outputs. But there's always some colours that get me. It's always adequate for now but i do wish it was more reliable.

Funnily enough though, to put in perspective, the majority of my work is printed in magazines and it looks different in every room or even every corner of my rooms in my house with it's different lighting conditions.

I like to push things around with colour and I would never send anything out without softproofing it and checking for out of gamut colours. And Mark I agree, while it's not going to be perfect it's the best option I have and the chances of my clients being happy with it are greatly increased.

Can't for the life of me understand why you wouldn't when it's there on offer.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 02:12:21 PM by DeeJay » Logged
jedbest
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« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2011, 02:36:02 PM »
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The issue that bothers me is that soft proofing clearly is available and is an improvement yet Matt and Scott seem to just dismiss it out of hand. Their arguments as to why they do not use it ring hollow. Having a monitor that runs at 250 cd is not a valid reason NOT to avail to yourself to the improvement that soft proofing  provides in printing.

Just my two cents.
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rmyers
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« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2011, 11:10:16 PM »
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Maybe they don't want to teach it and have to field questions about it?  Not sure the subject matter fits in the teaching style of their seminars.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2011, 06:18:02 AM »
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Maybe they don't want to teach it and have to field questions about it?  Not sure the subject matter fits in the teaching style of their seminars.

That could well be true.  The soft proofing process doesn't exactly fit into Kelby's formulaic 'perform these steps in this order to get that result' method of instruction.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2011, 09:15:28 AM »
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Maybe they don't want to teach it and have to field questions about it?  Not sure the subject matter fits in the teaching style of their seminars.

If so, why even mention that ‘it doesn’t work’? Best to say nothing.

It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Abraham Lincoln
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Andrew Rodney
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Anthony.Ralph
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« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2011, 09:36:14 AM »
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Matt Kloskowski has never come across to me (at least from what I have seen and heard on the 'web) as being other than quite well informed about his subject(s) and pleasant with it to boot, so his comments, as reported, concerning soft proofing are really surprising and somewhat disappointing.

I wonder if Matt could be invited to join this discussion and amplify his point-of-view. Whilst conversations here can be er, robust  Smiley  I am sure people would give him a fair hearing...

Anthony.
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