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872 Views 6 Replies Last post: Apr 23, 2018 11:11 AM by walton RSS
Level 0 9 posts since
Sep 26, 2016
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Jan 10, 2018 2:13 PM

Photo color and format

I work in  Adobe Photoshop in the Adobe RGB color space. There is a Convert to  Profile menu option. Should I convert my images from Adobe RGB to sRGB  IEC61966-2.1 before saving them  out to include in my book?

 

Are high  quality (less compressed) JPEG files a good option for CreateSpace or is  another file format preferred. My book will be 32 pages, 8.5” x 8.5”  which I plan at this time to submit  as a PDF.

 

In terms of  dynamic range for the images, should white areas with detail be held to  the value of 250 in order to preserve detail, or some other value? (For  printing on my inkjet printer  that’s about where I try to hold them.) What about on the dark end? At  what values will image detail start to become muddied or lost?
Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. Jan 10, 2018 8:33 PM in response to: giraffey
Re: Photo color and format

giraffey wrote:

Should I convert my images from Adobe RGB to sRGB  IEC61966-2.1 before saving them  out to include in my book?

I wouldn't. If I'm working in RGB, I use the AdobeRGB1998 profile in my workflow beginning-to-end.

Are high  quality (less compressed) JPEG files a good option for CreateSpace...?

That's what I use -- JPG saved at highest quality (lowest compression) for insertion into page layout, unless I'm working with a project that has hundreds of color images where file size would be an issue -- then I might apply compression as needed to reduce the file size. With a 32-page book like yours, however, file size should not be an issue.

giraffey wrote:

In terms of  dynamic range for the images, should white areas with detail be held to  the value of 250...? What about on the dark end? At  what values will image detail start to become muddied or lost?

There are a number of variables (including some beyond our  control, like moisture content in the paper) that may affect this. Consequently, I'm not sure any absolute guidelines can be offered. In my experience, highlights render fairly accurately (a 1% or 2% difference in ink level at the white end is distinguishable in print), but we have to be more aggressive with shadows (it may take as much as a 7% to 12% difference in ink level to distinguish shadow detail in an area with heavy coverage).

 

That said, every image is different. I would definitely order a printed proof with the expectation of possibly having to make a few adjustments.

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3. Jan 11, 2018 1:45 PM in response to: giraffey
Re: Photo color and format

Photoshop does include tools for monitoring and managing ink coverage, which are helpful in (a) identifying where super-saturated dark colors exist (which will call for high levels of C, M, Y, and K inks) and then (b) transferring some of the excess C, M, and Y to the black channel.

 

In terms of a histogram, if an image is showing a lot of pixels in the shadows (values below 7-12% depending on the type of image, or below 18-30 on the 0-255 scale), there's a good chance that some shadow detail will be lost in print. That's what I thought you were asking about, but if not, feel free to clarify (and provide some additional info about your workflow and the type of images involved).

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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4. Jan 11, 2018 3:30 PM in response to: giraffey
Re: Photo color and format

CS/Indigo presses, uses 9-12% dot gain, whereas Photoshop uses a 20% default. Although you'd think this might protect you from having shadow detail plug up, it doesn't . . . you should adjust shadow detail and highlight detail.  The first step is the set the white and black points.

 

Shadow detail on interiors takes 1-2 weeks to develop.

 

As for profiles . . . yikes . . . for a variety of reasons (art from a myriad of sources with knowledge/expertise running from nothing to expert; dot gain; CS uses non-traditional process colors when compared to Pantone Process Color; UCR; etc.) CS removes/replaces some to all color management information.  This is not my idea.  Indigo told me this, as did several experts in digital printing.  And . . .

 

Color.Profile/ICC.Profile – Color management added to an image or file, which KDP will automatically remove prior to publication.  <pg 5 KDP Print Publishing Guidelines>

 

Color.Profiles

We do not recommend including color profiles in your file. Color profiles are automatically removed prior to publishing, which can produce unexpected results.  <pg 16 KDP Print Publishing Guidelines>

 

(Emphasis added)  I presume that KDP Print uses the same presses and probably the same staff that CS does.

 

As a practical matter, CS is set up to print RGB "better" as well as or better than CMYK, inasmuch as it gets mostly RGB from non-professional customers.  Both RGB and CMYK have to be adjusted to print with CS's process colors.

 

I have had good results using sRGB and CMYK.  But, I prepare and check my work.  I favor sRGB.  Generally, I use PDF/X-3 or HighQuality presets.  For tricky work or work with short deadlines, I lean towards PDF/X-1a: but I convert the work to CMYK before saving as a PDF (the X-1a preset converts RGB to CMYK).

 

Adobe RGB has a much bigger gamut than sRGB.  RGB has a larger gamut than CMYK. However, just because the gamut is large, does not mean an images occupies the entire gamut.  If I work in CMYK (small gamut) and save in Adobe RGB, I shouldn't have a problem with out-of-gamut color.  My own images often are in Lab, largest of all and have never had a problem with out-of-gamut color: it depends on what an image's actual gamut is.

 

Best advice: do a test book.  This will answer many of your questions.  Take a handful of images, prepare them differently, label each image carefully so you know what you did.  (Sure you know today but in a few weeks?)

 

sRGB and JPG are the universal color space and format.

 

There is an output range from 0 to 255.  While there is a common urban legend that we should set the output to 5-250 . . . why?  We are battling tremendous compression, so we need all we can get.  I think it has to do with trying to preserve highlight detail, but it sacrifices having a real white point, which most images have. From memory: a desert scene at noon might have a 10,000 lumen range, film has 200, paper 100.  My numbers could be off, but you get the idea . . . we battle compression.

 

Lighthouse and I disagree on some of this.  But that is to be expected: CS is a blackbox.  We put work in here and books come out there.  What happens in the middle?  We do not know!  We guess based on our experiences. And every image is different.  Quality control with p-o-d printers exists before the act of printing.  Traditional commercial printers, check sheets throughout a press run: for p-o-d a "press run" is often one sheet.

 

Walton

 

Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.

 

 

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
6. Apr 23, 2018 11:11 AM in response to: giraffey
Re: Photo color and format

Although some people use Adobe RGB, knowing that no matter what you do, it's gamut is bigger than both sRGB and CMYK, I would argue that sRGB is better.  It is also the universal consumer color space. I use sRGB.

 

Yes, use Gamut Warning.  Also, print out images.  Your desktop color printer is CMYK.

 

In an ideal world, according to Adobe, you would use PDF/X-4.  CS won't use it.  PDF/X-1a is the most conservative of the presets for printing.  PDF/X-3 will let you use sRGB color space.  But to answer your question, PDF/A works well with CS.  (Spark only accepts PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3).  I have done quite a few books from OO, as have many people here, and I have not read any problems posted here.

 

Word will downsize if "image compression" isn't disabled.  And Word's Save as PDF, which claims to be PDF/A, does not appear to be truly PDF/A compliant. You can use Word and you can create a good PDF using a PDF conversion program (Acrobat ($$$) or free: primoPDF, doPDF, cutePDF, PDF995 . . . and, as noted, OO).

 

Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.

 

Walton

 

Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.

 

 

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