How to Get Great Color, Save Your Profits, and Never Have to Work Color or Density in Photoshop. Part 3
My last two blog posts discussed the critical need for spot-on metering and absolute correct white balance to avoid working your files in photoshop. Thus saving money and time which should result in better prints and a more profitable business.
Rule #3 – correct working space + Printer space = Great Print!
Digital cameras work extremely well in the sRGB space, and coincidentally, the Fuji Frontier/Noritsu printers of the world are designed to work within that space. Hmmmm, wonder why that would be….
Straight up – an sRGB work flow is your direct channel to go from camera to print. Shooting in Adobe1998 will not gain you any tonal range in the file. Both color spaces have the same levels per channel limit. And this is based on your camera’s bit depth, not your choice of working color space. Neither will any get whiter than 255, 255, 255 and neither will get any darker than 0,0,0.
You have black to white and the same number of levels in both. The gains are in the number of available colors. The larger the space the more colors. Typically these relate to high saturation colors that don’t often show up in most scenes.
These benefits of specific color spaces come into play on the output. Shooting in a color space that does not approximate that of your output device can lead to unpredictable color unless you are willing to spend the time converting to the output profile via a color managed workflow. That step can be sped up using batch processing, Remember, the goal here is to reduce your work load and still get a great print - right? Supplying a file to your printer in a mis-matched color space can result in saturation, contrast and color issues that will require intervention to get a good print. Again; Intervention = additional cost.
If you are shooting portraits and weddings, the largest percentage of your work prints 12×18 or smaller right? This means they go to our Fuji Frontier for printing on professional paper.
When your work is more along the lines of fine-art, we strongly recommend a properly color managed work-flow that includes the use of output profiles. Your takeaway: Shoot in sRGB when printing to sRGB type devices. When printing to higher gamut devices, or when in doubt, shoot Adobe 1998 and convert to the output profiles.
Using the steps described in this series so far, you are well on your way to a slimmer, faster and more profitable work-flow. Barring any need for retouching, you should be able to go straight from camera to output and get a fantastic print. Give it a try and let us know how it worked out for you.
Next week: Part 4. Picking the file format.