ah, okay, I've confused that. Sorry.
Problem here is what I've mentioned above.
Paper white in paper profiles is often blueish/grayish - at least if the profiles are measured by devices without UV cut filter.
This is due to optical brighteners in papers (not all papers of course, but most photographic papers contain optical brighteners).
But blueish white is not white. It is not only bluer than white it's at the time darker than white.
But your Paper is visually … white.
What happens with your softproof if use paper simulation?
I've taken the profile a FUJI paper (RGB printer / C-print) because these papers contain a lot of optical brighteners so the problem is quite obvious.
This is crop from a sky with clouds - screenshot of the original file:
This is the file with softproof relative colormetric + BPC / simulation of black ink:
This is the file with softproof relative colormetric + BPC / paper simulation.
Due to the relative colorimetric RI you can see quite well the blueish white of the paper - and it's darker.
This is the file with softproof absolute colorimetric / simulation of black ink.
Color management spins the blueish paper white to the warmer white point of the display.
(too, the contrast range is compressed to the level of the paper contrast but is displayed at the luminance level of the monitor - so no compenstion).
This is the file with softproof absolute colorimetric / paper simulation:
In the last screenshot the white point compensation works fine so far but where are the transitions of the clouds?
They are suppressed on the monitor preview - but they are visible in the print (as in screenshot #2).
The blueish (and therefore darker) white (which is nothing else than a measurement device error) compresses the transitions in bright tonal values.
You'll find the same effects of compression all over the tonal range of the image… just less obvious in less bright tones.
This effect is clearly visible with papers containing a high amount of optical brighteners and less visible in papers with a small amount of optical brighteners - but still there.
This is why it is not a bad idea to calibrate the monitor to paper white (both luminance and white point) and set the softproof to relative colorimetric RI + BPC (or perceptual RI) and simulation of black ink only - the monitor white already matches paper white so there's no reason to adapt white points for the preview.
Interesting comparisons! Correct me if I'm wrong, but your suggestion of calibrating the monitor to the paper white would cause images edited on such a monitor to be inappropriate for other purposes, such as viewing web images or converting images to sRGB for viewing on one's plasma TV, would it not?
I've opened your original
clouds' image using 'simulate paper color', and the result I get on my monitor is quite different to your version of paper simulation. Quite different! I've placed the 3 images side by side in a new document so you can compare easily. The first one, top left, is is my
rendition of your original image in my
proof setup. I do not see the bluish white of the paper that's clearly evident in your 'paper color simulation'.
When I try the 'advanced option' when calibrating with Eye-One, I find that extracting the paper-white values from the Bill Atkinson profiles is not possible. I get the impression I would have to buy an X-rite spectrophotometer to create my own profiles in order to do this.
If I select D65 as a white point in 'advanced mode', the monitor calibration simply does not match the print when softproofing, so what's the point of the advanced option in my situation? The easy (automatic) option produces a near-perfect match.
I mentioned that the dark grays visible on both print and monitor preview, match exactly. The same cannot quite be said for the lightest grays. In that respect, my matte paper slightly exceeds the performance of the monitor, but so slightly it's not an issue. On Jack's test image, the brightest gray, 254, is completely lost on my monitor preview, in soft-proof mode (whether simulate paper color or black ink). 253 is so faint it's effectively lost, but 252 is definitely noticeable, although faint.
However, on the print, if one holds the print at the right angle against the light, there's a slight hint of both 254 and 253. The implication here is, if I were to print out some cloud images like your examples above, the print should reveal a very small increase in subtle shading in such clouds, compared with my monitor preview.
The bottom line here, surely, is that all that counts is the match between print and monitor preview. If the print is very slightly better in some regard than the monitor preview, that's fine by me. If the print is worse than the monitor preview, that's not good. The fact that subtle shading in the sky is lost with Absolute Colorimetric rendering is not necessarily a problem. One just selects the sky, in soft-proof mode, and darkens it.
I use whatever rendering intent produces the best result to my taste. Sometimes I use Saturation Intent for photographic images, even though such rendering intent is usually recommended only for pie charts. I'm often confronted with out-of-gamut colors and I take some trouble to select such areas that are out-of-gamut and bring them back into gamut by reducing saturation or lightening or darkening the specific areas.
Incidentally, the temperature of my calibrated monitor seems unusually high at 7600K, although the luminance seems okay at 94.3 nits. The minimum luminance is 0.0 cd/m2, presumably because CRTs have no backlight.
Our monitors would clearly seem to be calibrated differently, but I repeat, what counts in the final analysis is the match between print and monitor preview.
By the way, the profile I sent you for analysis was probably a bit old, July 2009. Eye-One's reminder is every month at a minimum (edit: at a maximum. I too can get things things the wrong way round ). I considered this too tedious and unnecessary. There should be an option for 'every 2 months', but perhaps 3 months is too much. With a re-calibration, the following image shows a more noticeable difference between the two greens in the lower half of the image.
Red, yellow and green are quite different in the upper half, on monitor and print, but bear in mind that all out-of-gamut colors in this image were brought back into gamut before printing. Beware! ProPhoto RGB profile embedded.