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Author Topic: File Delivery - 8bit or 16bit? Sharpened or not?  (Read 19059 times)
Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2008, 05:23:45 PM »
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Would those parameters work with any offset printing outfit or just the ones in your situation?

Or are you emphasizing the necessity for a clear line of communication with all parties involved through the entire workflow process?
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teddillard
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2008, 07:15:38 PM »
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Would those parameters work with any offset printing outfit or just the ones in your situation?

Or are you emphasizing the necessity for a clear line of communication with all parties involved through the entire workflow process?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220448\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you are delivering files in RGB, then, yes...  those parameters are what I would consider as close to a workable industry standard, with the exception of the fact that I apply about half USM, as I said above.  "Good product" as I've said above.  

And yes...  the key is communication, ironically, what our industry is all about, right?  I see this constantly, and Chris demonstrates it in his practices too.  Photographers are constantly asking "what should I give the client?".   Well, ask the client...  ask the prepress guys.  Chris has done an incredible amount of background work to assure he is delivering what his client needs, by communicating with them...

Here I do take issue with what Jeff said, that if you know what you're doing then you're likely the only one who does.  

That certainly was true even up to a few years ago, my experience is it's changing rapidly.  The pre-press guys I've worked with are the some of the best color management professionals I can imagine, and necessarily so.  They are responsible for a press that chews up a photographer's day-rate in dollars by the minute.  They have to be able to take almost anything they get, and make the client happy.  600 hours of post time doesn't make anybody happy, really.  

There was a very tough period, starting in the mid '90s, where the prepress guys were getting crap "product" from digital capture, and losing huge amounts of money by loss of scanning income, when the scanners were $50K investments.  This set up an adversarial relationship between digital photographers and prepress, where a lot of prepress houses just said, we're not responsible for what comes out if we don't do the prep.  

My experience is that today, if a prepress house is good, they welcome the communication because it's going to make everyone look good.  Chris' experience demonstrates that...  the presses he was working with invited him in to work out a process.  If they don't, they're not good, and no amount of "cya" will protect anyone in the production line from their screw-ups.  (see my story above about the guys that couldn't even match their own proofs.)  The people with the least influence will suffer the most blame.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 06:24:40 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2008, 09:28:09 PM »
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If you are delivering files in RGB, then, yes...  those parameters are what I would consider as close to a workable industry standard, with the exception of the fact that I apply about half USM, as I said above.  "Good product" as I've said above. 

And yes...  the key is communication, ironically, what our industry is all about, right?  I see this constantly, and Chris demonstrates it in his practices too.  Photographers are constantly asking "what should I give the client?".   Well, ask the client...  ask the prepress guys.  Chris has done an incredible amount of background work to assure he is delivering what his client needs, by communicating with them...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220461\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have taken a slightly different approach with excellent resutls.  I shoot marine and rv interiors which contain lots of wood and fabrics.  Color is always an issue.  I have found the best solution FOR MY SITUATION was to start calibrating and profiling my monitor at D50 and to work in colormatch colorspace.  

Since moving to this system a few years ago my delivery problems have just about dissapeared.

When I can deliver to a specfic flavor of cmyk the pre-press and press guys are very happy.  When I am required to deliver in rgb again prepress is happy because the conversions happen with limited color shifts.

I know colormatch rgb goes against the current grain but it is working very well in my application.  

YMMV
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2008, 09:56:25 PM »
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I have taken a slightly different approach with excellent resutls.  I shoot marine and rv interiors which contain lots of wood and fabrics.  Color is always an issue.  I have found the best solution FOR MY SITUATION was to start calibrating and profiling my monitor at D50 and to work in colormatch colorspace. 

Since moving to this system a few years ago my delivery problems have just about dissapeared.

When I can deliver to a specfic flavor of cmyk the pre-press and press guys are very happy.  When I am required to deliver in rgb again prepress is happy because the conversions happen with limited color shifts.

I know colormatch rgb goes against the current grain but it is working very well in my application. 

YMMV
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220473\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've heard this approach somewhere before but can't recollect where. For the life of me I can't understand how an RGB working space could make a difference when converting to CMYK since color management prevents this from occurring.

I wish someone could show me sample CMYK comparison prints showing two copies of the same image each with different RGB source working spaces causing a difference in the final prints.
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teddillard
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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2008, 05:46:19 AM »
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I've heard this approach somewhere before but can't recollect where. For the life of me I can't understand how an RGB working space could make a difference when converting to CMYK since color management prevents this from occurring.

I wish someone could show me sample CMYK comparison prints showing two copies of the same image each with different RGB source working spaces causing a difference in the final prints.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220475\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is probably better addressed, if it hasn't been already, in the Color Management forum, but here's a quick answer.  It's about efficiency, first, and second, some of it is just letting the system make the edit for you.  

The process is about taking colors and mapping them into the smaller gamut of the device making the print.  If you start with a huge amount of colors, as Jeff does in ProPhotoRGB, you have a lot of control, but have a lot of work mapping down to a tiny space like CMYK.  (Jeff's Whitepaper, linked above, gives a great walk-through on the process from ProPhotoRGB, but can be used from any RGB space too...)

If you start with a smaller space like ColorMatchRGB (around the same "size" as sRGB, a little smaller than AdobeRGB) you've let the system, using the "Rendering Intent" you've set, map the colors using whatever logic the intent uses.  You're giving some of the control to the system, and limiting your gamut in the interest of ease of editing.  

Honestly the end result, if you do it correctly, should be identical, so the prints you're asking for should be the same.  It's how you get there...  the "handles" you're using.  (Unless you do a bad job...  in which case you've cut the necessary colors out too early, in your RGB phase.)

This actually is the core idea of the Color Pipeline book I have coming out in January...  using gamut mapping in ColorThink, I'm actually watching the "path" of your colors from capture to print, and looking at what you can do, where, and the ultimate effect.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 05:50:03 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2008, 06:52:52 AM »
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crap.  I have another story...  I know, I  know.  It's a short one though.

I assisted for a short time for Nick Wheeler, noted architecture photographer.  I got more out of it than he did, asking constant questions about "the business".  At one point I had a client ask for the color negatives, I always delivered chromes.  I asked Nick what to do.  

Nick said "Clients don't get negatives.  They don't know what to do with negatives.  Negatives to them are funny orange things that photographers use magically to make pretty colors.  It's your job, as a photographer, to work with the negative and give the client the colors they need."

Substitute "ProPhotoRGB" and "RAW files" for "negatives" and I think that's where we are today.  There is just too much information to interpret, and too much room for error in those file formats, which Chris has mentioned above.  My feeling is that Adobe RGB on a color managed system is a happy medium...  enough color for the prepress guys, but not so much that it's unmanageable, and dangerous in the wrong hands.

See?  It wasn't that long at all...
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 06:53:15 AM by teddillard » Logged

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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2008, 07:31:19 AM »
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I've heard this approach somewhere before but can't recollect where. For the life of me I can't understand how an RGB working space could make a difference when converting to CMYK since color management prevents this from occurring.

I wish someone could show me sample CMYK comparison prints showing two copies of the same image each with different RGB source working spaces causing a difference in the final prints.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220475\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I doubt you would see much of a difference between the two cmyk prints, but thats not the real reason behind my use of colormatch.

I don't see a lot of difference between the cmyk and colormatch verisons of the same image and neither do the agency people and the prepress guys.  If you give them an Adobe98 image and they convert to cmyk they DO see a difference between the two.  Thats the problem I'm trying to eliminate.  Sure the good agency people know the color changes from Adobe to cmyk and know how to deal with it.  But not everyone is "good".

So I make my edits and deilver my final file in colormatch, mostly to eliminate that call that says, "Why does my blue fabric look so different in your file than it does in my catalog"?  I can get to this place by other methods but this one is easy and quick, which is a good thing when you produce lots of images going to press.

If is similar to Jeff making a cmyk converson and then converting BACK to Adobe and saving that as his rgb file.  

Now granted I started doing this about 6 years ago when I was the only guy doing digital in my area and the pre-press guys were not that keen on digital...and the thought of their drum scanners sitting idle.  To say there was pushback is putting it mildly.

The agencies were no better and were a very hard sell to digital.  The switch to colormatch really changed the game for me.

Now things are different. Everyone is digital and there are no drum scanners left here.  Prepress undertstand digital and A98.  So do most of the agencies. I think I could send A98 now without fear or problem.

But I still hear that my files are the easiest to convert and require the least amount of pre-press intervention.  So it saves the client money in the end, and today thats a really big deal....
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Schewe
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2008, 10:37:33 AM »
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That certainly was true even up to a few years ago, my experience is it's changing rapidly.  The pre-press guys I've worked with are the some of the best color management professionals I can imagine, and necessarily so.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220461\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I certainly wouldn't go into a project presuming that the prepress people knew what they were doing. I would go into a project presuming they DIDN'T and then be pleasantly surprised if they did.

I should really state here that there are three different types of printing industries here...there are magazine printers whose goal it is to match the SWOP standard on web presses and sheetfed printers that are doing lower run printing for higher amounts of money with better more talented people then there are the bottom feeders who will do ANYTHING to keep their presses running and all they care about is "will the client accept the job".

Doing seps for magazine work is really pretty simple. Photoshop's SWOP Coated ICC profile is based on the SWOP TR001 spec and pretty much any web press running up to SWOP can match it. The big problem here is that you still have only a small subset of colors that CMYK can reproduce and if you are working in Adobe RGB (or PP RGB) and NOT soft proofing, the client will be seeing something that will never be able to be achieved on press.

In the case of a really good short-run sheedfed printer, I agree that many of them are very, very good and capable of far better repro than SWOP. If you are on a 6 color press, they can throw in special colors and substantially extend the limited gamut of SWOP CMYK. But, these guys are not usually the guys that get the job if it is a client that is looking for the lowest bid.

It's really the low bid, do anything to get the job sort of printer (and unfortunately, these are the most common types) that will screw up a job and blame it on anybody or everybody upstream from them–primarily the photographer or designer...

But I will stand by my approach of presuming that I'm the one person in the whole chain that does know what they are doing right up to the point where somebody proves to me that I'm not. So far, that has rarely, if ever happened.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »
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Once I converted to CMYK I then reconverted the CMYK to RGB in either sRGB or Adobe RGB. Then I delivered both the CMYK and the RGB files made from them. Why? Because if I gave them RGB that was made from the CMYK then nobody down the line could screw up the conversion.
I think this is brilliant. Thanks, Jeff.
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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2008, 05:31:38 PM »
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I think this is brilliant. Thanks, Jeff.
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Yeah, it's pretty sneaky :~)

But it means that the RGB _WILL_ match the CMYK (which is why I first started doing it this way) and then discovered that as long as the colors in the RGB file are already gamut limited to what will print in CMYK, the question of the seps looking like what the client and i saw when CMYK soft proofing becomes moot.

But this really only works when you are supplying final selected and sized art...
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dkeyes
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« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2008, 10:54:05 PM »
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Give the designer 8 bit 1/2 sharpened RGB, unless they plan on doing some serious curve adjustments (which you should know about in advance) they don't need 16 bit.

Most (99%) of the designers out there don't know how to properly adjust a file for output. I've been doing design for over 20 years and taking photos just as long, and know only a couple designers that can deliver a proper image to print. These designers just happen to do photography as well. Of course, I always ask for 16bit unsharpened RBG, because I assume most photographers don't know what they are doing.

Let the press/prepress folks do the CMYK conversions since they will have their workflow calibrated to the press/output device. (OK, so I work with mostly hi-end printers that know what they are doing as well)

If you want to do it all, as others in this thread have, you must build in meeting time with photographer/designer/prepress/printer. I do this for all my large jobs like annual reports and packaging projects. Know who will deliver what before you even shoot the job if possible. Tell the designer that this will save money in the long run (because it will), just the thought of saving money will get them listening.

Ultimately, it's the designers responsibility for the final product to their client. If the designer doesn't tell you what they need, ask them to ask their prepress/printer contact. I would love it, as a designer, if a photographer gave me a sheet to fill out with specs to be delivered and defined what those specs mean. That would show to me that they know what they are doing and want me as a long term client.
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andybuk99
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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2008, 04:02:50 AM »
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I have found that UPDIG has been quite useful in the past for reference.

If there was ever a need for an industry standard for certain situations this is it.

On all my quotations I state that I deliver the file in 16bit tiff in adobeRGB unless otherwise advised, what the client/designer chooses to do after that is out of my control.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2008, 09:24:55 PM »
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Of course, I always ask for 16bit unsharpened RBG, because I assume most photographers don't know what they are doing.
Are you actually hiring these kinds of photographers?
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2008, 06:21:49 AM »
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I have found that UPDIG has been quite useful in the past for reference.

If there was ever a need for an industry standard for certain situations this is it.

On all my quotations I state that I deliver the file in 16bit tiff in adobeRGB unless otherwise advised, what the client/designer chooses to do after that is out of my control.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220782\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is this what you deliver even if a bit part of the project includes  25 2" square feature shots?

The people I work with would scream at the file size if I delivered 16 bits....
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andybuk99
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« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2008, 06:35:37 AM »
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Is this what you deliver even if a bit part of the project includes  25 2" square feature shots?

The people I work with would scream at the file size if I delivered 16 bits....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220986\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


On all my quotations I state that I deliver the file in 16bit tiff in adobeRGB unless otherwise advised, what the client/designer chooses to do after that is out of my control.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2008, 07:18:48 AM »
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On all my quotations I state that I deliver the file in 16bit tiff in adobeRGB unless otherwise advised, what the client/designer chooses to do after that is out of my control.
So you are not concerned if the images print poorly? Are you concerned, as Ted & I discussed, about the liabilities of images that cannot print accurately?

How about this question: Would you like to earn a several hundred or several thousand dollars each job by delivering files that can print accurately?
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andybuk99
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« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2008, 07:42:26 AM »
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So you are not concerned if the images print poorly? Are you concerned, as Ted & I discussed, about the liabilities of images that cannot print accurately?

How about this question: Would you like to earn a several hundred or several thousand dollars each job by delivering files that can print accurately?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220997\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Of course I am concerned about my images being reproduced correctly, when have I said anything about not being?

I simply have stated the way I work, you seem to be indicating that you dont think that is correct, well thats up to you.

When I used to shoot film I never made the scans and never got into organising them, that is something my clients always done, so in my opinion nothing really has changed. The images leave me in the best possible state.

Have a good day!

Oh and with regards to the extra money, money isnt everything, to me time is more important.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 07:44:13 AM by andybuk99 » Logged
teddillard
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« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2008, 08:11:55 AM »
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Oh and with regards to the extra money, money isnt everything, to me time is more important.
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Yeah, let's talk about the money.  

From a business standpoint, it's about focus, (forgive the pun), and the various segments of your business.  To simply say (or imply) that this is money you're turning your back on I think is a bit misleading...  it's more about what you put your resources into and what you feel will give the best return.  None of us have unlimited resources, do we?

Is it a more profitable model to do the prepress work, with all the associated overhead, or to focus on more and better volume of shooting? I don't think there is a right answer of course, and so much of it depends on your personal goals...  and this business in particular is not completely about dollars and cents, is it...  

This goes back to my basic point of doing your homework, and understanding the implications.  If it was merely a case of quickly and easily generating another product and billing thousands more, that would certainly be a different story, but this a different business model built on a different set of assumptions and overhead.  

For me, personally, I prefer to shoot.  This involves handing off the process after the RGB is delivered, which I have found to be more successful.  The time I'd be spending on the CMYK overhead I prefer to shooting more, and getting more to shoot.  It's a simple as that.  

Well, I like to write books too...  
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Ted Dillard
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2008, 08:53:35 AM »
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On all my quotations I state that I deliver the file in 16bit tiff in adobeRGB unless otherwise advised, what the client/designer chooses to do after that is out of my control.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220988\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No one complains when you give then gigs and gigs of data and they only need 12mb or less files?  Do you deliver via ftp? or 500gb hds via fedex?
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JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2008, 11:22:03 AM »
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I always deliver what I consider to be a finished photo, unless clearly instructed otherwise. Usually, but not always, 16Bit TIFF full resolution files, even when the image ends up printed in a 1"x2" space in a magazine page. I used to send on the Adobe RGB profile, but now I'm starting to send as Pro Photo, and no complaints this far. I'm warning them about the change in the profiling ( the DVD cover usually tells which specific settings were used ). I don't send them as CYMK, because I don't have, and don't want to, have this kind of control over the final printed output. They'll have specialized people with good knowhow, handle it on the other hand ( or they should ), and they'll be more than capable of converting better than I would right now.

But again, it depends on the client. If the client wants the RAW unprocessed files, I deliver DNG photos. I do my selection, and my basic Camera Raw adjustments, and sent the DNG files. Usually, the reason being "I have people here specialized on processing the way I need". Ok then, I won't give my camera output format, nor embed it, but it's a raw file.

Some clients complained that 16Bit TIFF files are too heavy and too big for them to work with, so, I just send 8Bit JPEG files.

All I all, I try to come to a middle ground between what the client needs, and what I consider to be a good quality for that. If not negotiated, I go for what I consider a standard format for me, 16Bit TIFF, with sharpening, a finished product, the image I had in mind when I pressed the shutter.  
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 11:29:16 AM by JessicaLuchesi » Logged
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