Whats Your Right Photo Shade

By: Maricon Williams

In the article When Good Color Goes Bad by Mike Davis, it enumerated some tips on how to seize the full potential of your digital images. Davis advised to work with digital photographers who can supply the following:

1. FPO images for you to place in your layout plus the original raw files. These contain the virgin pixel captures straight from high-end digital cameras, prior to any conversion to RGB or any subsequent processing/encoding. You will need someone skilled to handle them, though.

2. Properly tagged RGB tiff images -- again, a skilled operator will be needed for best results.

3. CMYK tiffs prepared by a knowledgeable photographer. When feasible, separations should be prepared from the raw camera files, using the commercial printer's own printing profile settings if available, or at very least using Photoshop's "U.S. Prepress Defaults" with appropriate print environment settings (i.e.

coated, uncoated, Web, sheetfed, newsprint, ink density, etc.).

Mike Davis, the author of the said article, is the founder of Colorprep. He specializes in making digital camera color separations look their best, serving printers, graphic designers and photographers. He is fully experienced with color preparation on any sort of printed work, be it adwork for publication, sheetfed commercial work, newsprint publications, as well as for backlit displays, outdoor boards, and the likes. In 1982, he underwent training at E. I. DuPont for direct screen color separations. In 1992 he joined Baltimore service bureau Graphic Detail, Inc. in order to get in on the upcoming digital revolution and say goodbye to rubylith, paste-ups and opaqueing. Lately Mike recognized the coming demise of film in commercial photography and the lack of qualified prepress operators able to bring out the full potential of the new digital camera images. After studying color management from a prepress operator's viewpoint, Mike went solo in 2003. If you want help to achieve excellent colors in you prints, contact Colorprep. He can also be reached by calling (410) 549-5564 or by visiting www.rgbcmyk.net.

Preferably, images should be scaled to your layout and sharpened for the specific print conditions. You may even ask for the full size CMYK or RGB tiffs without the final press sharpening or any significant press gain compensation for later use at other sizes.

To avoid discrepancies, deal only with prepress who understands the basics in color managementFind Article, hardware calibrated displays and proper working environments. Skilled personnel secure the quality of your photos so you’ll be assured of your precious memories.

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