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6,716 Views 5 Replies Last post: Sep 25, 2015 12:01 PM by Zinman RSS
Level 0 3 posts since
Jan 13, 2013
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Sep 24, 2015 3:21 PM

Black and white vs Color

In the proffing of my book, the two color photos of the interior are in black and white in the viewable proofer, but in color in the downlaodable proofer. Which will be in the printed edition?

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. Sep 24, 2015 4:24 PM in response to: Zinman
Re: Black and white vs Color

If you're choosing a black-and-white interior, then they will be black-and-white in print. CreateSpace will convert the color to grayscale. This doesn't always produce a good result, so if the book is being printed as a black-and-white interior and you're not happy with how it looks in the printed proof, it may be better to convert the color photos to grayscale yourself before you insert them into page layout.

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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2. Sep 25, 2015 7:25 AM in response to: Zinman
Re: Black and white vs Color

To follow up on Lighthouse's answer . . .


CS can easily convert color to grayscales.  It costs you nothing in time or money.  It is a reasonably good conversion . . . but like all automatic color to grayscale conversion methods it can be way way off.  Simply put: it is unavoidable that in converting Red Green and Blue values to grayscale, the must be some colors that have identical grayscale values:



As you can see of the these four conversion methods, if your company logo were Red, Green, and Blue, the top two conversion methods fail, whereas you might like them for specific images.


If you only have two images, not a book of images, you might convert your image using an automatic grayscale conversion feature in whatever graphics program you use, print it out, and see what you think.


Here's an other example, which I did for a client:



If I remember, I spent about 15-20 minutes on this conversion.  I used selections, layer masks, multiple layers, various adjustment layers (curves, levels, hue and saturation, sharpening) to enhance the image. You might disagree with my choices, but my intent was to merely improve the grayscale version, to see if it was worth the extra time to do enhance a dozen images in the book. Had we gone this direction, I would then have tested various conversion methods along with manual enhancements.


Paper color: you should also consider that where most of us choose cream paper over white, you image will be printed on what you choose.   Side by side, I think most of us would pick white paper for the best image reproduction, but if you only saw the cream version, I'd say it's fine.  But you should be aware of this, so that when you see your proof you aren't caught off guard. (These are scans of the exact same PDF print on white, top, and cream, bottom, by CS, with no image enhancement.)



Bottom line . . . while it looks like I'm suggesting you do the conversion yourself . . . I done quite a few books where we left the conversion to CS, and things were great!  You need to balance time and cost with the effect you are after. Cost aside, you can also print grayscale in color.  B&W prints with a 106 lps screen, whereas color prints at 170 lps, and, obviously in color you have four colors contributing to the image information with a finer screen.  For two images in a book, I doubt the difference in image quality justifies the increase in cost.



Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
3. Sep 25, 2015 9:43 AM in response to: Zinman
Re: Black and white vs Color

I should have added that if these images are important, aside from printing them yourself, you could do a test book.  Use the free ISBN, throwaway title . . . you need 24 pages, with no more than 2 consecutive blank pages.  Whatever you do to the images, label them on the pages, so you'll remember a week or two from now.  And for under $10, a couple hours of work, and a week or two of waiting, you'll get an answer to your question.


Note, however, that shadow detail can take 1-2 weeks to develop. So if you seem to have lost it, wait and see if you really have or not.




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