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Converting to CMYK color profile (for print) in raw format

Mar 29, 2013 11:38 AM

Tags: #cmyk #rgb #print

I am looking to self publish a cookbook in lightningsource. They need the photos in cmyk format. When is it best to convert to this color profile from rgb?

 

I have bridge CS5

 

What I'm doing currently:

 

I click on my .arw image file and select "open in camera raw" which brings me to an editing screen. At the very bottom is says rgb, and 240 ppi

 

I need 300 ppi at least and cmyk color.

 

Now I know how to change these things in Photoshop, but I was taught that editing it in camera raw in bridge is better to preserve quality for print.

 

Should I just edit it in raw and then convert to 300 dpi and cmyk color in photoshop? Or is there a way to do this in bridge? Whats the difference? Any advice will help, trying to make my pictures look amazing in print

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2013 12:01 PM   in reply to sovietchef

    From comments in photoshop forum it is best to do all the editing in rgb first (as many processes don't work in cmyk) and then the last step is to convert.  If you are color precise be aware this is not a perfect transition as colors may differ.

     

    You can not save an image in RAW so best to work as a TIFF. 

     

    Also, ppi is pixels per inch for monitors.  DPI is dots per inch for printer spec.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2013 12:16 PM   in reply to sovietchef

    Should add that editing in ACR is a different step than editing in PS.  The former is best for bring out the best in the image for colors, highlights, shadows, etc., but you need PS if you are going to tweek the image.

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2013 3:13 PM   in reply to sovietchef

    Should I just edit it in raw and then convert to 300 dpi and cmyk color in photoshop? Or is there a way to do this in bridge? Whats the difference? Any advice will help, trying to make my pictures look amazing in print

     

     

    If you have a raw file and open it in ACR you can click on the blue line that shows 240 ppi and in the window you can change the number to 300 ppi.

     

    Make your edits in Raw and then open the file in PS (and if you wish so give the finishing touch in PS, which I prefer) and when finished save your file as an RGB original in PSD or Tiff to have the highest possible quality for your archive.

     

    Then select the file in PS, go to menu edit/ convert to profile and chose CMYK. Use save as for creating a new filename or different location to preserve your originals.

     

    However I have to remark that it is not easy to find the right CMYK profile and your book provider should give you the wished CMYK Profile for best results. The book printing used to be a professional industry with people needed a lot of study before getting their masters or being able to get high quality. The digital world may have changed some tasks to being a bit easier but it still is by far not 'push one button and you are OK', and the same can be said for making a good photograph, and as for the technical part of this, just using Raw instead of jpeg is not enough for a good result…

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 4:42 AM   in reply to sovietchef

    Correct me if I misunderstood anything!

     

     

    You are on the right track except for the ppi story. The ppi settings just are a figure expressing the amount of pixels stored in 1 inch, without the width and height figures of the image itself you can't do much with it and just changing this figure is not changing the total amount of available pixels.

     

    For instance create a new document at 300 ppi and use the international paper size A4 (21 x 29,7 cm). The amount of pixels is 2480 x 3508 (roughly the result of an 8 MP dSLR.

     

    Use the image size option in PS and be sure to not resample (meaning creating new pixels or deleting pixels to alter the original file size that is 24,9 MB). Now change the amount of pixels to whatever you like. If you increase the number the width and height decrease, and vice versa. Yet the amount of pixels and file size stay at 2480 x 3508 and 24,9 MB.

     

    But with the specs of wanted width and height for the end result of 300 ppi starts making sense.

     

    For instance you have a image at the size of a post stamp and an image at international paper size (A4) and both are 300 ppi. The small post stamp size would be in cm about 2 x 3,5 while the A4 size has about 21 x 30 cm width and height.

     

    So you can imagine having both needed to be printed at the A4 size in 300 dpi (printers work with dots, hence they use dpi - dots per inch- and while not the same they both often use the 300 figure and stand for pretty high quality result) the A4 sized original will meet the wanted standards without problems   while the post stamp would have to be resampled to the new A4 size and when having still 300 ppi needed there would be a lot of interpolation (creating new pixels to match the new size) and this would often result in pixelated or worse quality print result, because PS has to use guess (albeit quit educated guessing) work to add more pixels that are needed to reach the new dimensions.

     

    ACR has the advantage to set the ppi by default at 300 but as said, as long as you don't alter width and height of the original it is just a figure without any significant importance until you know the complete specs for the output source.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2013 6:09 PM   in reply to sovietchef

    I agree with Omke, if you are serious about photography you need to talk in image size as that determines the quality of the image.  So think in terms of xxxx pixels high x yyyyy pixels wide, and other photographers will know exactly what you have.   If you say the image is 100 or 600 ppi it means nothing.   PPI is really just a byproduct you can set anywhere you want, but it affects the image size, if you do not resample the image.

     
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