A soft proof simulates the results of the printing or developing process. This takes the printing or exposure method into account as well as the medium on which your picture will be produced. That means, for example, the white tone of a Fine Art paper or the maximum possible color space of a photo paper will be simulated. In this way, you can judge the effect of your photograph in advance and make targeted adjustments. It is important, however, to use a calibrated monitor for this.
Soft proofing with Adobe Photoshop:
- Open Adobe Photoshop
- Open the file you want to simulate
- Menu > View > Proof Setup > Custom
- Under “Device To Simulate”, select the profile
- Do not select "Preserve RGB values"
- Rendering intent: "Relative Colorimetric" with “Black Point Compensation”
- Optional: "Simulate Paper Color"
- Click OK to confirm
- Check your color profile in fullscreen mode against a gray background
The soft proof is now active for the open image. You can switch it on and off with the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Y.
Additionally, it can be helpful to show the gamut warning (SHIFT + CTRL + Y). These marks the out-of-gamut colors for the intended print paper. This makes it possible to optimize larger color spaces to the gamut of specific output devices. In Adobe Lightroom, you can use the following softproofing method:
- Open Adobe Lightroom
- Switch into the Develop module
- Beneath the displayed photo, check the soft proof box to activate it.
- In the toolbar on the right-hand side, you will see the soft proof settings
- Under Profile, you can select from all the profiles installed on your computer and activate the simulation. Note that Adobe Lightroom can only show RGB profiles. CMYK profiles will not be shown.
- In the histogram in the top right, you can activate the gamut warning for the selected profile. Lightroom will mark the colors that cannot be optimally reproduced in red. This way, you can make precise adjustments.