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Thread: big scans / small scans

  1. #1

    big scans / small scans

    i am about to produce a set of scan to make large prints, some up to 1x1.25m, the prints will also appear in a book.

    should i reduce the large scans, or is it better to make seperate smaller ones for the book?

    thanks

    adrian

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: big scans / small scans

    I have done this many times in recent years for exhibit/book projects. I use one scan. Most of the adjustments are the same except for final sharpening and for books/magazines CMYK conversion and sharpening. I do my own CMYK conversions for most book projects and magazine articles, because I like the control. But there is a big learning curve. I got allot of practice because I do so much magazine work which gave me rapid feedback. So it is one large file until before final sharpening where it gets both down sized to maximum print size and gets final sharpening for prints and also gets copied then CMYK converted, downsized and sharpened for book size printing. Does that make sense?
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3

    Re: big scans / small scans

    yes that makes sense all right, and it simplifies things just working with one file. when you convert to cmyk i take it that you convert to the working profile of the magazine who are going to print, right?

    aye, i've had hit and miss with magazines giving them sharpened rgb files with my profile, seems to depend on the amount of effort they put in, still, i'll be on press for this one, thanks!

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: big scans / small scans

    Yes, I get the printers profiles if at all possible.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5

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    Re: big scans / small scans

    This whole CMYK conversion thing is interesting. I know a lot of photographers who will not under any circumstances convert to CMYK and I am of that mind myself. I am the photographer and isn't the printing the job of the printer? (A $50 inkjet printer can convert to CMYK with no problem so why can't a twenty million digital press with a half a dozen guys crawling all it over and a complete IT staff do the same?)

    There are photographers who do the conversions but also take our insurance policies against the cost of the printing in case things go wrong and the lawsuits start to fly because the printers always blame their screw ups on the photographers.

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: big scans / small scans

    Kirk, do you use the printer's profile to make the conversion? That always seemed to me like most sensible approach.

  7. #7

    Re: big scans / small scans

    To answer Steve Barall's question, most publications and printing shops either do not have the time, or they have some temp worker doing the conversion. What usually will happen is the person opens up the file, then selects convert to cmyk, and whatever default cmyk profile is on their version of PhotoShop, that is what the file gets (often generic cmyk, sometimes SWOP v2).

    Adrian, I thought you got an EverSmart scanner. You should be able to scan directly to cmyk with oXYgen. It does help to know the profile, though it is not always easy to find that out from the publications. Sometimes what I have done is call the printer, and they are usually quite good at telling you what they use, or e-mailing a profile. Hint: it can help a little to tell them that you are a designer, and not a photographer; printing places generally think photographers are clueless about cmyk.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  8. #8

    Re: big scans / small scans

    gordon, i'll be controlling the print process right down the line and the printers are long tern colleagues. yes the iq scanner can scan in cmyk but as this will be an exhibition too my priority are the exhibition prints which'll be rgb, so i'd rather work on one master file as kirk suggests.

    you know, and this has been suggested by steve, but this whole digital "revolution" has dumped pre-press onto the photographer and effectively removed a whole professional trade from the print process. thankfully i know the trade and trust the people i'll be working with, so i really only need 2 things 1 a good scan 2 know what i want them to do with it.

    on a positive note i was with an artist yesterday (http://www.calapez.com/) and he just printed an exquisite catalogue with the most ridiculous out of gaumt colours (see his website) working with profiled files from his d3, it would have been imposible using slides and traditional repro. i was really knocked out.

    adrian

  9. #9

    Re: big scans / small scans

    Adrian mentions an interesting point in this, and that relates directly to a conversion within the printing industry. Very quickly, pre-press and service bureaux disappeared to be replaced by photo labs that scanned, printing places that did pre-press, and then again another conversion of even fewer places doing any of this, and more temp workers handling files for printing. So in essence things did get dumped into the laps of photographers. The worst part is that if someone down the line screws up a file, the printed results turning out bad will still reflect upon the photographer, who will often get the blame.

    After I graduated in 1998, I went into doing illustration, and then quickly fell into commercial printing and pre-press. I lived in cmyk long before so many were rgb only, and I despise the current dumbing down of rgb only workflows. It is okay when it is closed loop to your own printing device, but rarely workable for publications.

    Thanks for the link on Calapez. Interesting stuff. In commercial printing, I have numerous samples beyond cmyk that remind me of the colour usage. It was not always easy to convince clients to substitute inks, or even to use flourescant inks, or other oddities, but the range of possibilities are truly amazing. I am surprised that there is not more of those, though cost might be one issue against seeing more.

    There are some interesting workflows involving what are called imaginary colours. You can access these in PhotoShop by working in LaB mode. If you want to experiment a bit, you might try tweaking the a or B channel, and see what results.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  10. #10

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    Re: big scans / small scans

    I didn't know printers could print in rgb since rgb is an additive process while cmyk is a subtractive process. Since paper starts out white it needs a subtractive process to produce correct results. It seems that a conversion is therefore necessarily.

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