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Author Topic: What you see isn't what you get... PANIC!  (Read 3240 times)
Brent Madison
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« on: August 15, 2007, 05:59:27 AM »
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Hi All,

Hoping for advice/feedback from those with experience with the View-> Color Proofing command in Photoshop.

I've been a professional photographer for about 10 years now but am getting more and more concerned with how images are being treated by clients - especially as clients cut out color separation labs, etc.. to save cost and go directly to print.

I've got three color-balanced monitors in our office but notice about 50% of the images I've had printed recently (in the past few years - since going digital) - from Billboards to magazine features, have a washed-out look that does not look like the files we sent out. This is over a large gamut of clients.

Over that time, I've also had the occassional client ask for files to have more saturation, contrast and the like.

I've begun using the "Proofing preview" while color-balancing files - baseing the preview on the client's platform - Mac for Mac-based users and Windows for PC users. BUT - I have no idea if this is an accurate way to balance images.

I've always read - "balance on a corrected monitor - use Adobe RGB - and a client opening the file on another balanced monitor in Adobe RGB will get the same image". This does NOT seem to be the case though as if it were, we'd have more consistent results and the "proofing" tool wouldn't be in PS, would it?

I'll get a file to look beautiful on-screen - only to have it wash out completely when I select the "Proof" option. Balancing to the "proofed" look makes colors look absolutely too saturated, etc... when the file is reopened and "proof" is off. What to do!?

Any wisdom/links/training out there on how to get accurate files to clients - based on the thousands of files we're sending out - what we see and what gets printed seems to be a total crap shoot.

Thanks,

Brent

www.madisonimages.com
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 07:33:56 AM »
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I don't mean to sound harsh, but your question indicates that there are at least a half dozen things about colour management, profiling, gamut and monitor calibration that you may not be familiar with.

There's no way to answer your question meaningfully in a short reply.

My suggestion would be that you buy one of the excellent books available on digital photography, colour management and printing, or (if it isn't too self serving) consider our new 6.5 hours video tutorial called From Camera to Print. It will answer all of these questions, and many you havn't yet thought of asking.

Michael
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rdonson
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2007, 07:57:40 AM »
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Brent,

Michael is being somewhat modest.  I highly recommend Camera to Print as a way to get started in understanding what you need to know.  The video is over 6 hours long but its the fastest way to ingest this kind of material I've seen.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
Chris_T
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 07:48:07 AM »
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I feel your pain. This link should at least comfort you that you are not alone, and perhaps lead you to realign your expectations.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....81&#entry122381

Even with the perfect color management setup and expertise, a maestro still has to make adjustments on Soft Proofs. Look for the Bracket Proofing pdf under Techniques - Proofing on this page:

http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/lib/downloads/#

For someone with a heavy dose of traditional darkroom experience transitioning to the digital darkroom, I highly recommend "The photographer's guide to the digital darkroom" by Bill Kennedy. It starts out by stating that the film photo technology took 175 years to mature, and the digital photo technology is only a couple of decades old. I expect there is a long way to go before all the digital kinks are worked out, and many current "established" techniques will be dramatically different (for the better). At this stage, we are all guinea pigs. This guy tells his story in his aptly titled article "The Hamster Wheel of Progress":

http://www.huntingtonwitherill.com/

Quote
Hi All,

Hoping for advice/feedback from those with experience with the View-> Color Proofing command in Photoshop.

I've been a professional photographer for about 10 years now but am getting more and more concerned with how images are being treated by clients - especially as clients cut out color separation labs, etc.. to save cost and go directly to print.

I've got three color-balanced monitors in our office but notice about 50% of the images I've had printed recently (in the past few years - since going digital) - from Billboards to magazine features, have a washed-out look that does not look like the files we sent out. This is over a large gamut of clients.

Over that time, I've also had the occassional client ask for files to have more saturation, contrast and the like.

I've begun using the "Proofing preview" while color-balancing files - baseing the preview on the client's platform - Mac for Mac-based users and Windows for PC users. BUT - I have no idea if this is an accurate way to balance images.

I've always read - "balance on a corrected monitor - use Adobe RGB - and a client opening the file on another balanced monitor in Adobe RGB will get the same image". This does NOT seem to be the case though as if it were, we'd have more consistent results and the "proofing" tool wouldn't be in PS, would it?

I'll get a file to look beautiful on-screen - only to have it wash out completely when I select the "Proof" option. Balancing to the "proofed" look makes colors look absolutely too saturated, etc... when the file is reopened and "proof" is off. What to do!?

Any wisdom/links/training out there on how to get accurate files to clients - based on the thousands of files we're sending out - what we see and what gets printed seems to be a total crap shoot.

Thanks,

Brent

www.madisonimages.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133389\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Brent Madison
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 11:39:08 PM »
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Quote
I don't mean to sound harsh, but your question indicates that there are at least a half dozen things about colour management, profiling, gamut and monitor calibration that you may not be familiar with.

There's no way to answer your question meaningfully in a short reply.

My suggestion would be that you buy one of the excellent books available on digital photography, colour management and printing, or (if it isn't too self serving) consider our new 6.5 hours video tutorial called From Camera to Print. It will answer all of these questions, and many you havn't yet thought of asking.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133394\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Michael,

Appreciate the link and advice for the video. To the layman, I would consider myself quite knowledgeable about print as I've had hundreds of features, several books, etc... published over the years - 90% of which we've provided the files for. HOWEVER, it seems the more I think I know, the less I know, so always happy to figure out the wrench in the works.
Thanks again,

Brent

www.madisonimages.com
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Brent Madison
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 11:40:27 PM »
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Quote
Brent,

Michael is being somewhat modest.  I highly recommend Camera to Print as a way to get started in understanding what you need to know.  The video is over 6 hours long but its the fastest way to ingest this kind of material I've seen.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133397\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the reply and endorsement of the video Ron.
I'll check it out when time allows.
Best,

Brent Madison

www.madisonimages.com
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Brent Madison
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 11:48:35 PM »
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Quote
I feel your pain. This link should at least comfort you that you are not alone, and perhaps lead you to realign your expectations.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....81&#entry122381

Even with the perfect color management setup and expertise, a maestro still has to make adjustments on Soft Proofs. Look for the Bracket Proofing pdf under Techniques - Proofing on this page:

http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/lib/downloads/#

For someone with a heavy dose of traditional darkroom experience transitioning to the digital darkroom, I highly recommend "The photographer's guide to the digital darkroom" by Bill Kennedy. It starts out by stating that the film photo technology took 175 years to mature, and the digital photo technology is only a couple of decades old. I expect there is a long way to go before all the digital kinks are worked out, and many current "established" techniques will be dramatically different (for the better). At this stage, we are all guinea pigs. This guy tells his story in his aptly titled article "The Hamster Wheel of Progress":

http://www.huntingtonwitherill.com/
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133612\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hi Chris,

Thanks for the helpful and detailed reply.

Even today, I'm in the same dilemma, delivering files to clients on unbalanced monitors via FTP, so all help is appreciated.

I realize that half of the problem is on the client-end (without any knowledge/balanced monitors, etc...) but bad prints reflect more on us, not on them...

I've got another pro photog friend who provides proof prints with each submission. This is helpful but adds yet another step for us to provide...

Thanks again,

Brent Madison
www.madisonimages.com
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Caracalla
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 01:58:01 AM »
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Another [span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']vote [/span]for 6.5 hours video tutorial From Camera to Print.

[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']!!!Worth every cent!!![/span]

I made a mistake and purchased only the tutorial, better option would be to buy combo for a little extra but you'll get some more info with regards to related topics.

I am not sure if I could pay extra $$$ at this point to get the following videos:

File 1
* Introduction & Gallery

Michael introduces LLVJ-16. A 20 minute video follows on the new Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto. Michael looks at the material choices made to set up the gallery: lighting, hanging system etc. He also talks about the economics of running a photography gallery.

File 2
* Atkinson & Cramer


- Bill Atkinson: The second part of an interview with Bill Atkinson whose colour management and matting techniques were featured in LLVJ-15. Here we look at Bill's landscape photography and the mineral photography for his book 'Within the Stone'. A discussion surrounding the colour management of offset printing gives insight into the challenges of photographic book production.

- Charles Cramer: Michael interviews well-known landscape photographer and educator Charles Cramer, with a look at some of Charles' landscapes. A slideshow follows.


File 3
* Brooks Jensen


The second part of an interview with Brooks Jensen, publisher of LensWork. Here is a half hour look at Brooks' photography and his intriguing printing & presentation methods. A slideshow follows.

File 4
* California.


A photographic trip through the California Redwoods. After two days of shooting in the forest, the journey continues down the coast, then inland for a winter visit to Yosemite and onward to the central California coastline at Carmel and Big Sur. The segment features a close-up look at 'medium format' landscape photography with the Phase 1 P45 digital back paired with a Linhof technical field camera.


Regards
Caracalla
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