Note: If using versions of PhotoShop earlier than Ver 6 it is recommended to upgrade to be able to benefit from the improved colour management system in later versions.
It is important to note that different labs have different preferences for setting up customers systems for preparing files for submission to the lab for printing.
Not all labs use the same
devices and even within the lab different devices may be used depending
on the size and service required for your output. Consequently, there
may be some confusion as to what is the best method to adopt.
Street's accept files in sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998 or other profiles?
I need the printer profile from the lab?
For expert users only, contact Street's for a proofing profile for the paper type you are using. These profiles are solely for use in Photoshop/view/proof setup to give you an idea of any out of gamut colours that may occur in your image. They are for evaluaton of an image only and are not to be used as a working space profile or unpredictable results will occur. This is not recommended for inexperienced users.
RGB. Street's Imaging embraces RGB colour management for all output devices for all digital printing. This is because Street's output, in the main, is to photographic paper which has yellow, magenta and cyan dyes which make up all of the colours visible in the photograph. This system is commonly referred to RGB since RedGreenBlue light sources are used to expose the paper regardless whether the sources are lamps, LEDs or lasers. For an interesting article on colour space try www.shootsmarter.com
Monitors. For optimum results, it is recommended to use a high quality LED or LCD monitor. (A Trinitron style monitor with ability to control individual colours will give better results). Iit is important to purchase a high quality screen that has individual colour controls for calibration and profiling (please take care when selecting the screen as some models do not have the ability to select custom RGB controls meaning that calibration using a calibration device can be difficult). We use Eizo LCD screens which can be calibrated and profiled to match our output closely. Laptop screens are not recommended for critical colour judgment because of the differences observed in the image at different viewing angles (in some cases, using a separate monitor, calibration of the separate monitor can be performed, contact the lab for details). It is important to set up your monitor correctly. Street's recommend that if you are doing professional digital work that you invest in a monitor calibration device and calibrate your monitor regularly. ( Oonce per month for LCD screens.) If you don't have a monitor calibration device, seriously consider purchasing one. If you are recieving most of your income from photography, consider a calibration device as one of your "tools of trade".
Note: Street's offer a monitor calibration service for clients using the Gretag Macbeth Eye One. A fee is charged which can be reclaimed as a discount off work sent to the lab. Please contact Service for further information.
Please remember that a computer screen will not exactly match a photograph because of the different methods of generating the colours that are viewed. Computer screens emit light whereas the dyes in photographs absorb light and the paper base reflects light which is not absorbed. Consequently, it is important to view photographs under standard lighting conditions when trying to assess whether the colours match what was expected from the screen image.
Monitor Calibration. When setting up your monitor for calibration, Street's recommend the following settings.
There are two ISO standards for setting up monitors and viewing conditions for evaluating images. For commercial photographers and graphic designers who are preparing images for printing on a variety of materials which may not be known at the time of image preparation, ISO 3664 usually applies. For general photographers who are outputting onto photographic paper and wish to get their results to closely match what they see on the screen, we recommend using ISO 12646. The monitor may look very warm, however, if the correct viewing conditions are observed the prints will closely match the calibrated monitor.
Street's recommend viewing photographs with a standard colour viewing light source available at professional graphic arts suppliers or professional photographic retailers. At the very least Street's recommend viewing with a compact flourescent Natural White such as the Nelson BCNS-9W Natural White. Situations where there is a window that allows daylight to enter the room will cause problems as the colour of the daylight will change depending on the time of day and the weather. Incandescent (tungsten) bulbs are too yellow for critical viewing and standard fluorescent tubes have a gap in the red end of the spectrum giving a characteristic green cast to objects lit by them.
Another low voltage lamp for non-critical viewing is the Pro-Lite EXN-P 12V 50W 38deg 4000deg K. 2 or more of these may be required to get sufficient illumination at the print for comparing with the screen. For a great article and explanation of the ISO 12646 for matching output to monitor click here.
For those who want consistent, accurate colour matching to a screen, there are numerous light boxes available. A compact unit which takes little room on your desk is the Just Normlicht Just Image Pro 5000 available from DES . GTI units are available from Kayell in Australia.
For an interesting look at how we perceive colour and images click here (you may not believe your eyes!)
Cameras. Although the latest digital cameras are becoming very sophisticated with regards to handling difficult exposure situations and can seem to adjust to different subject lighting conditions, for optimal results it is best to set the white balance and exposure correctly. This will produce a much higher yield of "first run" prints and save considerable time in front of a computer screen trying to correct images. It must be remembered that detail that is not captured correctly is very difficult if not impossible to restore.
Photoshop 6, 7, CS and CS2 settings PhotoShop 6, 7 and CS have a more sophisticated colour management set up than previous versions of PhotoShop. Unless you have a detailed understanding of colour management, it may be best to set your system as follows. Important! Check what profile is embedded in your file first. If you have no profile emedded and select the wrong profile, you may not be happy with the results.