Lightroom: Move print brightness and contrast sliders into Soft proofing

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
In LR4 the additional brightness and contrast sliders in the print module do not have a preview and therefore are of little value to me. Not every image benefits from a standard increase so each print would have to be checked individually with test prints which I am not going to do for hundreds of images. May I suggest that this functionality should be moved into the Soft Proofing section and allow for a change to the soft proofed version of the image which could then be printed as is?
Photo of Doug Woods

Doug Woods

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 7 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Champion

  • 1373 Posts
  • 336 Reply Likes
Brightness (via Exposure) and Contrast already exist in Soft Proofing as part of the Develop module. If you want to see the B/C rendering in Soft Proofing you are best limited to tools in the Develop Module.

These Print module tools are designed to be non-color space transformational but rather as way to adjust for nuances which might prevent your picture from appearing as you expect and as soft proofing might lead you to expect. Soft Proofing attempts to match the color gamuts of the spaces you are using - particularly monitor and printer/paper.

The Brightness and Contrast tweaks are meant to give a down-stream change to previously color managed output and help you compensate for:

Ambient Room Light (or lack)
Monitor Over/Under Brightness
Brightness of the shirt you wear when you hold the print
Humidity of the paper
Day of the week...
etc.

Their purpose is to answer the question: "I love the way my image and its proof looks on screen but my print is still too dark/light/dull/edgy-how do I fix it?"
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
OK, this may not be the place to ask, so I apologize if not. I have a completely calibrated (monitor, Epson 7880 printer) and am using both LR4 and PSCS6. I strive to do everything in a good color-managed workflow. The new adjustments in the Print Module of LR4 have almost completely eliminated the brightness/contrast variance between what I see on my calibrated LCD and the final print on PremLuster. I have settled on +55brite and +40contrast. But my issue now is in those cases where I want to print from PS vs. LR, there are no output adjustments, and the print is back to being horribly dark again. Simply adding a print-version-only layer adjustment doesn't seem to help, probably because that method actually makes adjustments in a non-linear way. So, any suggestions for how to get the brigthness closer to the sreen when printing from PS?
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Champion

  • 1373 Posts
  • 336 Reply Likes
Your monitor is likely too bright and that is why:

1. You have to tweak your LR print so violently.
2. You think you need an adjustment value in Photoshop.

How are you setting your monitor brightness?
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I target the monitor during calibration at 80 cdm, but then lower it further to about 50% strength. Also noting that saturation is much stronger on-screen than print so my screen contrast might be too high, even though that's the result from the XRite iOne Display calibration (printer is Munki Photo). I plan to re-cal both today and see what happens next. Thanks.
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Champion

  • 1373 Posts
  • 336 Reply Likes
Just for fun:

Take a sheet of printer paper and use your camera's meter to read the light reflecting off of it in a place where your normally view it.

Open a word processor and put a big white digital sheet on the screen and read the light coming off from it.

By how many stops do they differ?

Adjust your monitor until it comes in-line with your paper's exposure value.

Then, print using your paper's profile. Does it match now?
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for this suggestion. I did that and metered with a hand-held (Sekonic) meter. Slightly less than one stop difference. That and other suggestions hear led me to go completely through my calibration again, this time with a Spyder which I also have. After all this process, I landed on the color setting in Photoshop that toggles for Desaturating Monitor Colors, and it was (don't recall ever doing this, but....) set to 20%. I unchecked that and double-checked all the profiles again. And that seems to have been the culprit, combined with the room lights I'm in are not my normal and have a definite warmer color cast. In short, I think I've gotten it taken care of now since the last test prints are consistent regardless of whether LR (with no Print adjustment) or PS. I'm not sure why I hadn't checked that color settings yet, but for whatever reason hadn't.
Thanks for your help.
Photo of Robert Frost

Robert Frost

  • 412 Posts
  • 64 Reply Likes
Why do you need to print from PS? After editing in PS, take it back into LR and print. That is what I do. Printing from LR is far better than PS, IMO.

Bob Frost
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Well, sometimes I'm editing in PS and want to crop or enlarge to just a vignette (for checking sharpness in printer, detail color, etc.) or occassionally I want to print an image that I don't have, or want to have, in my LR catalog (printing a shot by a friend, graphics that aren't photos, etc.), and don't want to go through the hassle of importing, printing, then deleting/removing the shot. Normally I do print from LR, but I'm one of those who just gets bugged when something so carefully calibrated and controlled doesn't look as it should. One would think that Adobe would want to have some of the key improvements in both applications.
Photo of Richard Owens

Richard Owens

  • 28 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Mr. Smith,

With all due respect, you need to learn color management from the beginning.
Anyne who calibrates to 80CDM then reduces brightness 50%does not have an effective CM going on. May I suggest "From Camera To Print" from Luminous Landscape. You will learn from Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe all you need to get you on track.

The sliders added in version 4 are nothing more than a crutch for those who cannot get their CM ducks in a row. With those setttings you are using, you aren't even in the ballpark.

The problem isn't Adobe's. I have been printing from Lightroom since version 1 with only occasional softproofing in Photoshop. I have never found the need for any adjustment sliders. I feel they are a crutch for those that can't seem to get a handle on Color Management.

I say this to you with respect and am not trying to be condescending. If I have hurt you feelings I apologize

Beautiful prints can come out of Lightroom without a convoluted process and heavy doses of witchcraft potions and incantations.

Rich

P.S. If your paper profiles came from a Color Munki make sure they are v2, not v4.
V4 can screw you up.
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Wow, thanks for the very helpful reply. I'll look up the article, hoping that it is more informative than the various XRite webinars, articles, and other sources I've consulted and spent time understanding. Since you assume I have no experience ("start at the beginning") with color management, I'm not sure what to expect it to add. But after looking at the previous replies and recalibrating yesterday, I came away with a much better result, largely due to realizing the room lighting temp was throwing me off. I don't think I said the issue was Adobe's, but was hoping someone would give me so insight I was missing and basically some helpful tips on their experiences.
I find most replies to the limited web forums to which I post to be helpful, even if not fully successful in resolving my issues. But yours is mostly a lecture on why someone with as much experience as you have shouldn't even ask the question. I'm glad you weren't wanting to be condescending since I sure would wonder what you'd have said or offered as "suggestions" if you had wanted to be so.
Well, so much for this forum!
Photo of Andrew Rodney

Andrew Rodney

  • 652 Posts
  • 122 Reply Likes
>>The sliders added in version 4 are nothing more than a crutch for those who cannot get their CM ducks in a row. <<

Exactly! It is an awful kludge and insures the same RGB values will never print the same in any other application. If the print is darker than the display, control the print viewing conditions and the display luminance and color to produce a visual match:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tut...
Photo of Bryn Forbes

Bryn Forbes

  • 158 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes
I'm still interested in James Smith's question that nobody actually answered (though he seems to have found a different solution via color management) what is the brightness print adjustment slider actually doing? i.e. what is the equivalent adjustment in photoshop?
Photo of James Smith

James Smith

  • 8 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Well, I started this, so I thought I'd update my experience. I'm going to give a longer answer than expected, so hope this will help you or others.

As noted by others who responded, color management for every device (monitor(s), printer, scanner if used, etc.) is critical. Even though knowing this before I posted the original question, most all of my printing had been done via Photoshop, essentially without issue. My problems started with I began to print directly from LR4. I suspected conflicting settings, but not have been as familiar with LR's print module as PS, I didn't find an immediate cause, so thus asked the question. As you note, most of the replies focused on color management not LR"s sliders. I finally found the issue was indeed conflicting settings. I know your follow-up question was regarding the sliders, but just a few notes on CM anyway that may help in your printing. First, I found that the same medial profile (in my case a custom XRite profile for each specific media) was not selected in ALL of the dialogs that effect on-screen and printing. So be sure that you In the Develop Module's "Create Proof Copy" and the Print Module's "Print Job>Color Management" profile are the same and the proper ones for your media. Note that if you select any profile, the Print Adjustment box is automatically checked, so any lingering settings should be set to "zero", or the box unchecked. Also, be sure the "Soft Proofing" box in the Develop Module (lower left corner) is checked "on", otherwise you won't be seeing what your profile is intended to render.

if you use an external editor such as PS in conjunction with LR during your workflow, be sure that the external editor Preferences are not set to sRGB (I use ProPhoto RGB) just in case the profile-conflict policies you've set in your external editor don't warn you that you're actually using a color space you didn't expect). I'm now using LR5, and can't remember if LR4's labeling s exactly the same, but the process would be the same.

Once I realized the problem, the LR print issues, for the most part, were eliminated. As an aside, I note however that I also use other plug-ins (OnOne, Nik, etc.) and occasionally I get a result with LR that I don't see in PS.

Now, all of that said, back to your question about my original question, Before discovering my inconsistent settings, As you mention, the LR print sliders don't preview, so it was trial/error. I printed a series of tests, each with a 10-point change in brightness. The result was, as expected, there in the final print. I also fiddled with contrast the same way, and that also resulted. So, in short, the sliders do work although not in preview for reasons I can't understand. My suggestion is to be sure everything else is right, this if you must, use the sliders only for some extraordinary adjustments (can't think now of what those might be other than use of a media that you don't have a good profile for), and then to use them only after a series of test prints.

Sorry for the ramble, and for those who might note any inaccuracies, be gentle, I'm just a guy who prints his own work for non-commercial purposes, not a guru and don't pretend to be.
JS