Anything and everything about Photoshop Elements
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I have been practicing printing on slightly colored paper to make invitations. Colors like light ivory, straw, violet or blue are very common. The problem is that the color of the substrate will have an important influence on your image, even with very light colors. After wasting a lot of ink and paper to obtain so so results... I decided to try a kind of homemade 'soft proof' to see on screen which kind of edits would be beneficial to my prints.

To begin with, I have to know the paper color: a scan will give me a way to check this colour with the eyedropper.

Now, I presume that lighter tones of my images cannot cover and hide the substrate, while middle to dark tones are pretty much unaffected. To mimic the effect, I add a solid color fill adjustment layer with the calculated color values. I'll have to use this adjustment layer mask to hide progressively the effect from light to dark tones. To create this mask, I activate the image layer, select all and copy, then activate the solid color layer, show the mask (Alt Click in the mask icon) and copy inside the mask. This mask is not perfect, assuming middle to dark tones are already covered by my printer's ink, I do a levels enhancement on the mask to pull the midtones to black (upper slider 128 - 255 instead of 0 - 255). Of course, the result is an approximation of the resulting colors and tones on your print.

Now, to correct the image to compensate the color cast, you may add adjustments layers to the image, under the solid color 'filter'. You might try enhancing hue/sat selectively by colors. Adding the same mask is recommended not to change midtones and shadows which are not affected by the 'filter'.

Bottom line: if you can choose a white paper, that's the best solution; you can always tint and add texture for the parts not covered by the picture!
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+

Mes Galeries
I never thought of how the paper color would affect the material printed on it. It makes such good sense to take into consideration what filters or adjustments that need to be made before printing. I usually just use white for cards but using soft pastel colors would really be nice sometimes. I will print these suggestions and place them in my PSE notebook.
Thank you for pointing out how color will change the look of our photos .
Tina B
I have not had an occasion to print on colored paper. If and when i do, I sure will remember this post and the lessons learned.

Thanks much for this.

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa
Great point, though you would think some of the professional printers out there would know this rule. Our High School yearbook had to be recalled weeks from distribution because they printed everything on grayscale...I'll never use Taylor again. :( Trace Communications is one company that comes to mind when it comes to someone in our area I have considered. But you have to SHOP AROUND!
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