Question from a client: When would you use PS for print with preview versus printing directly out of LR?

My answer: Re: printing from PS vs. LR – the Print with Preview in Photoshop is not the main attraction here. It’s the soft-proofing beforehand, and the ability to make adjustments specifically for that print.

If I want to make sure to get the absolute-best-possible print, I will still use Photoshop. I soft proof the file against a reference, make adjustments for the print conditions, and print directly from PS.

But this only is really beneficial for certain images, on certain papers. For example, if I am printing a photo with lots of rich, deep, saturated colors, and it’s going on matte paper, I’d want to soft-proof and make adjustments in order to retain as much quality as possible.

For most images, on photo papers with wide gamuts such as gloss or luster, the colors in the photo will fall within my printer/paper/ink’s gamut, and major adjustments aren’t necessary.

When printing from Lightroom, I might make minor adjustments based on the image, such as opening up the shadows a bit (try Fill Light and Brightness) and boosting the Saturation by +5 to +10.

As for the actual printing process itself, with the correct settings, there should be no difference in quality in PS vs. LR.

And you can also sort-proof your files and prep them as necessary, then print them from Lightroom. Lightroom’s layout capabilities make it the clear winner when you have many images to print.

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