While softproofing, there's a small option to the top right of the histogram that shows what colors are out of the gamut that the printer can print.

So, what if a chunk of the image is shown under this warning but I still send it to print? What would come out on those areas instead - would the printer intelligently manage? Is it a necessity to reduce saturations so as to minimize the gamut warning? In short, what is the whole point of this thing?

I assumed that the whole point of soft proofing was that we could edit while getting a preview of what we would finally see in print. So my doubt is - are the highlighted areas those adjusted by LR to make them look as they'd turn out on print - Like is it the same way the printer would manage? Or is it that something needs to be done about these areas.

The perceptual intent rendering is actually done on the image or is it just for the preview?

My question is more of a practical one, because my budget allows only a single print review.

Is it better to leave an image with a lot of gamut warnings as it is, rather than desaturating to almost making it B&W?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't fully answer the question, but be aware that your screen also has gamut limitations (different ones than the printer). So it is not 'what you see is what you get' \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, don't have time to write out the long answer this question requires. But here's a good starting point for understanding gamut mismatches and what goes on "under the hood." cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/color-space-conversion.htm \$\endgroup\$
    – digijim
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 17:47

2 Answers 2


A gamut warning is showing you where its out of range for a particular setting. On its own its somewhat meaningless. A CMYK print for example has limits to its ... gamut!

enter image description here

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMYK_color_model

The SWOP CMYK is a much smaller gamut than sRGB (typical displays) and significantly smaller than AdobeRGB which is what most Photographers look for if they really want color accuracy.

If you send it to print that way it'll print to the best of its ability pushing those warning colors to what it thinks is the closest printable equivalent. Some print shops may see the Gamut Warnings and first check with you to make sure you're aware.

However, its hardly "desaturating to almost black and white." It's going to look like a color print. Every color print you've ever seen was done with this method so I'm not sure why the gross exaggeration here or if you're not understanding and think those other prints are doing something different.

For your "I'm worried it won't print and I can only afford one" issue the best option would be to Print Preview as best you can either in Lightroom or Photoshop.

enter image description here

However, this won't be perfect because it sounds like you're probably not calibrating your monitor but it should get you pretty close.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! The doubt is because, most online tutorials stress on desaturating until the gamut warnings disappear. I'm asking why not leave it for the computer to do some rendering.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Polisetty
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Polisetty ideally you want control of your images not to let a computer decide. So I would also say its best to minimize or completely get rid of any gamut warnings. But it won't break anything if you don't. You're just letting the computer make decisions about your print. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:50

I have since learned to not ignore the gamut warning & have my workflow much better organised, however below is the [expensive] result of not properly managing your colour workflow, not soft-proofing properly & not heeding gamut warnings.

Detail crops of much larger photo...

  1. Original

enter image description here

  1. Expensive waste of money - this was on Hahnemuhler Monet canvas. The print quality itself was absolutely gorgeous, but where I hit gamut [actually smashed, it wasn't a gentle tap] it just posterised.

enter image description here

Part of my learning curve is documented in this question - Colour Workflow A - Z


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