Digital Photography Copy of Art for Reproduction

Copy work for reproduction takes critical attention to color calibration. One must have calibrated monitor, calibrated lights, and calibrated color and gray color bars. When the original capture is made it must be “on color” and have a full gambit of color. I use only a gray patch photographed with each images. A perfect "on color” gray, black, or white contains equal parts of RGB.

I capture in 16-bit color (65,336 shades of gray) and take it to Photoshop in the full 16 bit. In other words, Photoshop's Adobe ACE CMS is converting the Adobe RGB Source File into Monitor RGB, (monitor see only 8 bit color) with the calibrated custom monitor ICC profile, Color Space.

You can adjust a 16 bit images in Photoshop to reach your full color gambit if necessary but a 8 bit (256 shades of gray) file should not be adjusted in Photoshop more that two or three pints for color or density, or you will loose valuable color definition. The point being: PRESERVE as much color information as possible by editing and archiving the file in 16 bit. Sixteen-bit files can take many edits and still have lots of color information to spare for 8-bit mode, whereas, the same edits in 8 bit will leave big holes in the color information.

 

That original capture, a RGB file, should be large enough to reproduce to the desired size at the print dpi. Off set printing is generally at 304 dpi. This file must never increase more than ten percent to achieve final print size.

The Original capture RGB, (16 bit) must be converted to (8 bit per channel) CYMK to the profile of the printing press. This process needs to be done by an accomplished color specialist.

Digital imaging has afforded us with a more accurate color, greater control over contrast that we could ever accomplish with film capture.

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