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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Carolyn Withem
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/6/2004
 

Formatting Digital File for Pro Lab to Print?


Hi,
I want to have a professional lab print my digital images. I own a Canon 5D and have it set to Raw, and Adobe RGB. I have Photoshop CS3 set to Adobe RGB 1998, and use 16Bit to bring them in to touch up. I save everything in TIFF. Should I just crop to the size I want and then save to a CD and take it in?

2/15/2008 5:05:15 AM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/24/2005
  Carolyn, ask the lab. Most likely, you should save as a large jpeg after all corrections are done in CS3. Also, check with the lab on color space. You should start with a calibrated monitor and not have the lab do any correction.

Yes, you do the crop - don't rely on someone else to decide how to crop your photo. You'll not like the results if you do.

John

2/15/2008 6:05:25 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  As John said, the lab should be best with their procedures, but I don't know that relying on them alone is the best method: knowing what to expect from color modes and such will end up empowering you to make good decisions. For example, generally you won't want to submit 16-bit information as it can't be printed. Depending on the printer type, it may be best to submit sRGB rather than AdobeRGB - the latter can be a detriment just as easily as an asset. I've a whole course about it (From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Color Workflow).
Making the best corrections to your images is always the best positioning for good results - as much or more than the color space you use (as long as you are using a proper workflow). Again, I've a few classes on correction: (Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool and Correct and Enhance Your Images). Saving to a non-lossy format (flattened, tidied TIFF) may be slightly better than JPEG, which uses a lossy compression. Some services will allow FTP and other quick edits, like cropping, or fitting to a paper size which may save a few bucks when printing odd sizes. Depends on the service.
I always outsource, and consider it a better idea ... fewer headaches, better equipment, no maintenance.

2/15/2008 9:22:09 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  I agree that you Must call the lab or read their websites FAQ section. I send photos to 5 labs depending on my printing needs and all 5 request JPEGs now. I don't think JPEGs can be saved in 16bit. All my labs print SrGB not Adobe so I've changed my monitors and camera. The TIFFs would take far too long to upload anyways (50mg). TIFFs should always be made to prevent compression (I do this only with my final best images). On most of the sites I use I'll upload a 8x12 since it makes it easier for people to purchase 4x6s, 5x7s or the 8x12.

2/15/2008 9:55:07 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  Oliver,
You can use compression with TIFF that is lossless...generally LZW is suggested. TIFF will also have more heft if you leave some things in there that a JPEG would discard -- like extra channels (saved selections), paths, layers, 8-bit (not 16), etc.

Saved with these precautions, an 8x12 TIF @ 305 ppi (3660x2440) is just about 7.5MB.

Hope that helps.

Richard Lynch

2/15/2008 10:46:50 AM

 
Carolyn Withem
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/6/2004
  John, Richard, and Oliver
Thank you so much for the advice and all the wonderful information. With that information I was better able to ask the right questions and in turn get the answers I needed.
Thomson Photo in Knoxville TN. was very helpful. They do accept Jpeg or Tif depending on the size of the picture, and they use Adobe RGB, and 8bit.
So thank you again for your help:)

2/15/2008 11:28:26 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Good to know...
FYI Richard & Carolyn...less and less printhouses are accepting TIFF's I've noticed. I do admit with my Canvas and larger posters TIFFs are better than the JPEGs...the posters were accepted at 400ppi

2/15/2008 12:03:43 PM

 
Carolyn Withem
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/6/2004
  I called again and asked about ppi. They said 300dpi. I know there is a difference between dpi and ppi. I was talking about ppi. This time I wasn't talking with the person in charge of the printers so I didn't pursue it. I will next time I go in.
Glad you said something.

2/15/2008 12:27:30 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  Carolyn,
It is common for ppi and dpi to be exchanged, so I wouldn't worry about it. Better that you know the right way even if the lab people are sloppy in terminology.

Richard Lynch

2/17/2008 7:08:53 AM

 

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