New Highlight Step Wedge

Getting highlights right is a critical part of making fine quality prints. To help me in that, I created a step wedge that lets me see how specific highlight and shadow tones are printed. These values are so important that every ICC printer profile at West Coast Imaging had to pass this test to be approved for production. I’ve got a new version of this step wedge that you should be using. Why a new version? My original was created using Joe Holmes’ Ekataspace PS5 color profile in the days of drum scanning. That version works great in Photoshop, but using Ektaspace causes some differences from the PROPhoto workflow of Lightroom. The new version in PROPhoto RGB allows the brightness percentages to match up with how Lightroom is used. If you’d like a copy of this file, you can get it from this link:

How do you use it? Well that is a much longer story, but a good starting point is to print it out on the paper(s) you regularly print on so you can see how much highlight detail they are printing. On a really good printer profile, you should just barely be able to see the 254 RGB patch. Tell me in the comments how you’ve found to use this tool!