In the last part I shared how I do soft proofing and sharpening for print. Oftentimes this is already enough to ensure that a final print will look great, especially if you have some experience and know how a print on paper looks compared to an image on the screen.
But as I wrote before, if you want to order an expensive print or many prints, it is worth to go one step further and order a proper hard proof. I usually buy my prints at Whitewall and there I get the option to buy a test print, which costs much less than a normal print. Such a test print can be ordered for the same paper as the final print, but it will have some watermarks on it so I cannot sell it.
I use such test prints for a final comparison with what I'm seeing on the screen after soft proofing. The trickiest part is to get the brightness right for a print. With a test print I can hold it up onto a wall and see how bright it would look in different environments. Quite often, after getting a test print, I will do a final brightness adjustment before ordering the final version.
For the image above, for example, I needed three test prints until I got brightness and contrast right. The good thing, now that I have the proper settings, whenever somebody buys this image on the same paper, I don't need to do any of the proofing again. It's a task I do once for every image-paper combination I sell and that's it.
In the video below I explain more about it and also show you how I create certificates for images I sell as limited edition.