Photo Printing 101: How to Preview and Fix Your Print Colors in Photoshop

If you’re new to photo printing, Sid’s most recent video on StyleMyPic should be mandatory. In it, he explains what it means for a color in Photoshop to be “out of gamut” and how to use Photoshop’s Proof Colors and Gamut Warning views to get your prints looking perfect.

As any experienced photographer will tell you, the brightest, most saturated colors available on a monitor are considered “out of gamut” for the standard CMYK color space used for printing; in other words: the printer cannot create these colors and if you try to print them, parts of your images will be less saturated and/or otherwise “shifted”.

To help photographers make sure the image they’re working on looks good in print, Photoshop includes several tools, including Gamut Warning and Proof Colors. These views will show you which colors in your image are out of gamut, what they will look like when automatically converted to CMYK, and can help you dial in your colors so that the resulting print looks right for you.

Setting up your proof correctly will allow you to see what the printed version of your image will look like.
With such a saturated image, the CMYK colors on the left are closest to the RGB image on the right when printed.

The video covers all of these basics in detail, as well as some common mistakes photographers make when using Gamut Warning and Proof Colors. Then, at the end, Sid shows you how to correct even extremely difficult images using various adjustment layers and the Out of Gamut mask to achieve printable results.

The video is too long and detailed to break down each step here, but if you’re at all interested in photo printing, it’s worth diving in and watching.

Of course, there are many other aspects to making a photo look good in print, such as resizing, sharpening, etc., which are covered in other tutorials on StyleMyPic and other channels. similar. But if you’re just getting started, understanding the CMYK color space and how to soft proof your RGB photos for printing is a great place to start.

Elaine F. Brim