Infrared Black and White photo of Half Dome
Infrared Black and White photo of Half Dome

When printing black and white images, it can be challenging to get the prints to match the brightness and contrast of your screen. This video and guide will help you to configure Lightroom, so that prints made from your printer or from a third-party print service will match what you see on your screen.

Calibrate Your Monitor

This is the most important step! macOS and Windows both have built in monitor calibration tools. Search for a guide on how to run these tools for your operating system.

You can also purchase hardware calibration tools. Hardware calibration tools can be essential for some types of professional work, but software calibration will be good enough for many cases.

Develop for the screen

Develop your image normally in the Develop module.

Setup Soft Proofing

  • Display the Develop Toolbar under your image by pressing T or under the View menu select Show Toolbar.
  • Using the arrow on the right side of the Develop Toolbar, check the Display Soft Proofing option.
  • Enable Soft Proofing by pressing S or checking the Soft Proofing option on the toolbar. The resulting image may not look much different, but upcoming steps will fix that.
  • Using the Navigator in the upper-left hand corner, re-size image to show a border around the image, such as by selecting 1:3 or 1:4 for landscape orientation or 1:8 for portrait orientation.
  • Right-click border around your image and select the color of your matte. Even if you are not using a matte with your print, I still recommend displaying a matte here to adjust your eyes.
  • Near the top of the right column, under Profile, select the ICC profile to match your printer and paper or that of the third-party print service that you are using. Printer profiles are typically installed with print drivers. ICC Profiles for third-party print services can typically be downloaded from their web site.
  • Click the Create Proof Copy button or press CTRL + '. You will be making changes to the image in soft proofing. By making a virtual proof copy, the develop settings that look best for the screen are separate from the tweaks required for printing.

Edit Proof Virtual Copy

  • Confirm that your crop matches the aspect ratio that you will be printing. Press R to access the Crop Overlay tool.
  • In the Basic and Tone Curve panels, tweak settings to match the look you would like for printing. For me, this typically involves increasing brightness and contrast.
  • In Layout Style, select Single Image.
  • In Image Settings, select Rotate to Fit or manually feed paper to match the image orientation.
  • In Layout, set Margins to 0, Page Grid to 1 and 1, and Cell Size to the desired print size. Cell size is the image size, not the paper size, unless you a printing edge-to-edge.
  • No changes in Guides or Page.
  • In Print Job, set to Printer for your printer or JPEG Image for sending the image to a third-party printer.
  • Set Media Type to match your paper.
  • Set Profile to match the ICC profile you selected in Soft Proofing, to match your printer or print service.

Printer Properties

  • Click Printer button and then Properties to view the printer properties.
  • Check Preview before printing.
  • Check Black and White Photo Print to save on color ink and avoid color cast in prints.
  • Validate Media Type, Printer Paper Size, and Paper Source match your setup.


Select Print button. Use the print preview to validate your settings.

Print of Infrared Black and White photo of Half Dome


If you have comments, questions or feedback, use the comment section for this video.

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