18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2013 6:27 PM by station_two

    Photo Coversion for Indesign ?


      I am a photographer using LR and photoshop and wanting to know the best workflow when preparing photos for a Indesign brouchure - I am using a new  external designer to produce these but use my own printer so have been able to correct some of the minor colour issues. I know Indesign allows use of both CMKY and RGB - designer is requesting me to convert Photos to CMYK JPEG which i can do but in the past never done it this way - have always provided resized PSD file and final conversion done by designer. Are there issues doing it this way or is this ok.

        • 1. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
          John Danek Level 4

          Sounds a little perplexing...I would think the "designer" would want your files either as RAW or in an RGB profile that will convert well to their InDesign color settings.  What is your original RGB profile and what CMYK profile are are they saved with going to the "designer"?  I realy do not understand the advatage to supplying the designer with converted photos unless they are trimming the time necessary to do the conversions out of their estimates.  Has the designer told you which CMYK profile to apply to the pics?

          • 2. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
            belstar Level 1

            Thanks John , yes I agree i would normally supply a raw -psd file PROPHOTO- She advised the CMYK PROFILE and yes maybe it is about time.

            I am wanting to know the disadvantages or issues that may arise from this ? It's likely i will look to use someone else in future but wanting to know possible or potential issuses that may occur this way. ? 

            • 3. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
              John Danek Level 4

              It appears the designer does not want to be responsible for color misrepresentations, should they occur.  This gets he/she off the hook and they can focus on production of the brochure without having to deal with the pic files.  The only issue I see is the fact that now you are responsible for the pic conversions...which take a little time ( depending on how many there are ) and requires you to go the extra step in getting a proof ( hard copy recommended ).  Once you are satisfied with the picture quality, you sign-off on the proof and hand them over to the designer ( proofs and disk ).  Because you went the extra mile and did all of the pic conversions and proofing, the designer still has to produce the quality you expect in your proof sign-offs which were/are converted per her profile. So, even though the designer thinks they are off the hook on picture quality, if she has given you a weak CMYK profile to convert to, then there may be an issue when the brochures are printed.  In any case, make sure you see a proof before the brochure goes to press.  Don't sign-off on it until it is what you approve and it matches your proofs.  ProPHOTO is a little wider a gamut and may get clipped when converted to CMYK.  Just a little heads-up on that.  ProPHOTO is an excellent RGB space for photographic reproduction via most decent inkjet photographic printers.  Most print related files typically get saved in AdobeRGB > then converted to CMYK ( SWOP Coated ).  Since you are doing the conversions, try one with AdobeRGB and one with ProPHOTO ( same pic ofcourse ) > convert each to what CMYK she recommended > print a proof on a good proofer.  Take a close look at flesh tones, blues, and grays between the two.  Whichever version proofs better, go with that RGB-to-CMYK conversion.

              • 4. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                Level 5



                John Danek has hit the nail on the head.  The issues and disadvantages are the time and effort you'll put into this and the responsibility the designer wants to shed. 

                • 5. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                  John Danek Level 4

                  In defense of the designer, having the photographer do the conversions is smart thinking.  Only the photographer, who is the file(s) originator and creator, can fully understand the pic and how the color is supposed to work.  So, hypothetically speaking, should there be any color correction and/or adjustments necessary, the photographer would be the best person to make those judgements.  I cannot understate the importance of the proofing process and  how a good proof can communicate the file the best.  As long as similar paper is used for the proof and the final print, the pics should match.  The designer, in this case, may not be familiar with conversions and would perhaps need to send the pics out to someone who does.  In theory, this would save the client some dough.  So, when looking at the advantages and disadvantages, it may actually be to the client's advantage to do the conversions, but a disadvantage in that they indeed need to do the work themselves.  If the photographer is looking for accuracy and total control, then doing the work is a good idea.  It's a toss-up, either workflow has its advantages and disadvantages.

                  • 6. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                    belstar Level 1

                    John , thanks for info - appreciate you taking time to explain process . I think the designer definitly wants to shed this and from my experiences todate doesnt want any ownership in the process. Because i am  driving the layout the designer has only her work charge for the indesign stuff and can see she is just wanting to maximise her profit. After your feedback i can see it makes sense for me to do the conversion particularly if i am the one with the printer relationship. I have a large format printer and printer has suggested some stock similar to paper used for print so this should  make proofinga little easy.  I can  also save in the CMYK format he needs. I converted from both rgb and prophoto and yes i can see some differences paricularly with black  and white - thanks for this great tip. Adobe rgb may be better option i am going to print both across a series of photos before i decide.Given i continue to work exclusivly with the current printer i think i will switch to use in house art person at printer who has no real design expertize but knows indesign well . My current " designer " is only doing one thing charging me too much for what she does. Once i do the conversion can i save the files as jpegs or do they need to remain as psd files. If i take the same photo in Lightroom and print using same paper and profile using lightroom should this photo match or be very close to the CMYK print from Photoshop ? I will do this and find out but wanting your feedback

                    • 7. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                      SasquatchPatch Level 2

                      Unfortunately most photographers, you included know nothing about CMYK conversions or how to do it properly. Too many designers dont' either. It appears that you both fall into this category. And printers, forget about it.


                      If you don't know what you're doing, it's all too easy to screw up your file and have it print like crap. It's not enough to just convert to profile. You need to have the correct press profile and know for a fact that it's a good profile for the press you're printing on. Converting to a "standard" profile like SWOPv2 may or may not be right for your press conditions. What are those conditions? Paper. Press. Linescreen. etc.


                      If you insist on doing the conversions yourself and you feel you have the right profile, convert to profile in Ps (LR does not do CMYK) and use Relative Colorimetric. You'll then need to check the blacks and whites for correct CMYK values and adjust as necessary. Then, if you're doing it right, you'll want to save as a TIFF file (no jpegs for various reasons), import that file into InDesign, note the percentage at which the file is placed, then go back to Photoshop and size the file exactly to that percentage and then sharpen (you really want to sharpen you file when it's at final size and res). Then you re-import that file into InDesign at 100 percent.


                      You CAN use your inkjet printer to proof but not from LR and only if you've got great quality profiles for your printer papers and press. If you don't, you may get great looking proofs that mean nothing by the time you get to press. To do this, you take a copy of the CMYK file and convert it to your RGB inkjet profile. If the inkjet paper is very close to the press paper in brightness and whiteness, then you can use Relative Colorimetric for that conversion. If your inkjet paper is a lot brighter and whiter, which is often the case, then sometimes it's better to use Absolute Colorimetric for the proofing conversion, but I say sometimes, because too many profiles do not have accurate enough white point information to do a good while point simulation on the proof paper. If this confuses you, don't feel bad. If confuses a lot of people. For most purposes, Relative is just fine.


                      Good luck.

                      • 8. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                        belstar Level 1

                        Thanks , yes correct a week ago i new nothing about CMYK and can now see the value in having a designer who knows what they are doing and has a working relationship with their printer. I got the process now and have the correct CMyk profile from printer .Designer is asking for Jpegs not tiff - do i asume she doesnt know what she is doing ? and if i am just providing final images final size and sharpended what effect does this have on image by not going through the process you described . I am print cmyk using photoshop on my epson printer with similar stock and correct profiles should solid proof.

                        • 9. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                          Level 5

                          belstar wrote:


                          …I am print cmyk using photoshop on my epson printer with similar stock and correct profiles should solid proof.


                          Be aware that all injet printers expect RGB files, not CMYK.  If you send a CMYK image to your Epson, the Epson driver will first convert your image to RGB, and then to its own Epson flavor of  CcMmYK or  even CcMmYKk. 


                          Just something to keep in mind when proof printing.

                          • 10. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                            belstar Level 1

                            Is this the case even when disabling printers colour management and letting photoshop manage colours ? ?

                            • 11. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                              SasquatchPatch Level 2

                              Unless you have a true CMYK RIP (raster image processor) for your Epson, then it only takes RGB, no matter what. Yes, you *can* send CMYK, but it will get converted back to RGB blindly and then back to Epson CcMmYOGK (or whatever inks your Epson has) in the driver.


                              CMYK jpegs are usually okay, but can sometimes have problems with things like gradated cyans, which can band horribly during the jpeg compression process, so it's a qualified yes for jpegs. You have to know what to look for to avoid getting burned. That's why tiffs are always preferred, and unless it's severe bandwidth issue transmitting tiffs, I would stick with a zip compressed tiffs for your designer, no matter what her preference is.

                              • 12. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                John Danek Level 4

                                To sasquatch15...


                                "Unfortunately most photographers, you included know nothing about CMYK conversions or how to do it properly. Too many designers dont' either. It appears that you both fall into this category. And printers, forget about it."


                                What was it I posted that made you think I do not know conversions?  And, what are you talking about sizing photos out of InDesign?  And, what are you talking about sharpening?  Even the post ( a photographer by trade ) knows that sizing happens going into the layout, not coming out of it.  But, everyone has their own workflow.  So, listen, I have told Belstar some basic workflow solutions.  Nobody knows what printer, what paper, or what RIP ( if any ) is being used in the process.  The important message I wanted to get through to Belstar is that, if he were doing the conversions, a proof would be part of the process.  In a print workflow, CMYK files are used in the InDesign file.  So, he would be converting from an RGB colorspace to a CMYK colorspace using unspecified RGB profiles and unspecified ( to us ) CMYK profiles.  As I understand it, Belstar is still in the process of deciding which RGB profile works the best.


                                To Belstar,


                                I'm not familiar with Lightroom, so I cannot and would not recommend anything pertaining to that application.  I agree with others who say JPEGs could be problematic.  I see no advantage in using JPEGs in print.  PSDs or TIFFs are preferred.  I always use "Let Printer Manage Color" because I believe the print driver on a good system will be able to produce the file.  If you are concerned about your print setup, you could send the files out to be proofed.  But, I do not think that is necessary.  From what you've told me so far, you should be able to produce your own once you've decided which RGB profile to use.  Let me know howw the AdobeRGB photographs work vs. the ProPHOTO version(s).


                                Message was edited by: John Danek

                                • 13. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                  SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                  John - I was not referring to you. I was talking to the original poster.


                                  As far as RGB spaces go, it won't make much difference at all when it comes to the final conversion, but people that don't know what they're doing are always much better off with sRGB than anything else. There was a reference to a black and white image earlier on, so not only would sRGB work better for that, but a version of the press profile using a heavy black plate would be preferable as well, but try getting THAT from a printer.


                                  As far as printing to your Epson through the Epson driver is concerned, the only time printing using "Let Printer Manage Color" is acceptable is when you're using Epson media with Epson canned profiles. Well, you can only used canned profiles with that. As soon as you move away from Epson media - and most people do sooner than later - you have to use "Let Photoshop Manage Color" or you'll get the wrong conversion. In general, the printer managing color is not a great idea, although, because how screwed up the print path is these days, you do need to use that option for printing using the ABW option, which has no bearing here.

                                  • 14. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                    belstar Level 1

                                    John , thanks for comments and communication i have thick skin so not easily offended and its always difficult to communciate everything in this manner. For your info I have a Epson 4900 ( no rip considering buying ) I print using Epson paper only usually luster , semi gloss some tradional all using correct epson driver , I use some other brand canvas and testured papaer but not often. I have a good workflow , everything calibrated and use lightroom for printing primarily- I know you dont use it but it has a great print module and providing you use the correct colpur profiles , paper , ink etc has a excellent result with the ability to add sharpening , brightness and sharpening at the end . I am pretty much able to get a greast result first print. All my files are raw 16bit so exporting to Photoshop as AdobeRGB or whatever is easy so far your suggestion of using AdobeRGB rather tahn PROphoto is proving to be better option.


                                    I understand now the print proof process and know i can use external source for this but also believe given above i can get a reasonable proof from my system using above and the 300gsm tradional paper which is similar to what external printer is using. I printed a DL flyer over weekend last and it looks great so realworld test. I now have correct  CMYK profile from my printer.


                                    Now my designer has prepared in indesign a new DL flyer in fact there are 6 ( printing option ) of them all slightly different ( they are gift promotional vouchures or similar?   A couple have identical backs and all have 4 photos on  front  around 3.5 x 1.75 inches some more some less. I might add the photos are complexe and resizing bleed etc all critical . It is at this point after some colour errors in a previous job my designer says , hey I want CMYK files as jpegs please . Not knowing  the Indesign process this is where i started out communciating in my first post. Now i know she is using the wrong CMYK profile ( she told me swop 2 always works ok for her ) and isnt open to learning like me

                                    and i think she feels i am too fussy. I had hoped to resize photos give to her and get artwork and wanted to communciate all i have learned .I think she has no ownership in job just wants to make sure she is not responcible for any errors.

                                    I figure now its easy for me to get the Indesign file from her what is the file type i need to get ? is it a EPS  LAYERED  ? and do my self or have someelse do under my instruction. In any case this job has been on hold for a week so need to action something.


                                    One final thing - should i consider learning indesign myself - I dont do a lot of printing other than photos and photo books which are all done via Lightroom ) it has a book module ) so never felf it was worth while investing time in this - which i have less of ?

                                    • 15. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                      John Danek Level 4

                                      That Epson 4800 is a good photographic printer and you can send it RGB files all day long with no problems.  But, when it comes to proofing for print, you need the third party RIP solutions out there ( Colorburst, Efi, etc. ).  Use whatever CMYK profile your print service provider asks for.  Print color management is on a totally different level than you are used to in your photographic color management.  I agree with you that Epson drivers and paper can deliver excellent results.  However, for print proofing, as I've already said, you will need a RIP.  A good RIP is well worth its cost.  InDesign has a fairly steep learning curve.  You do not save an EPS file out of InDesign.  Usually files are saved as .indd files.  Layered EPS files come out of Illustrator or Photoshop.  Most people save final .indd files as PDFs.  If you want to learn InDesign, do yourself a favor and take a class ( check your local area community college ).  Where are you located?  If you have the time, try learning the basics...enough to get started.  Print graphics is a very complex trade that takes years to learn and understand.  If I were you, I'd focus on my primary trade of photography and leave the print graphics to [ good ] production people.

                                      • 16. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                        SasquatchPatch Level 2

                                        First of all, you do NOT need a RIP to make accurate proofs to an Epson 4900. You just need Photoshop and the right profiles. I've already described exactly how to do it in a previous post. Your just doing manually what a RIP is going to do for you automatically. It is not rocket science and it works very well and costs nothing extra. The new Colorburst RIP is now an RGB black box just like ImagePrint or the Epson driver. No need to spend any money there either. As far as I know, EPS has never supported layers, so I have no idea where that information is coming from. In any case, almost no one uses EPS for anything printwise anymore and certainly not for your little project.


                                        You have the choice to proof just the photos or to proof the entire printed brochure. To proof the brochure with type and design, simply output it from InDesign as a press ready CMYK pdf, then rasterize that into Photoshop (drag the pdf onto your Ps icon and follow the prompts, choosing CMYK color space) That will open it into your default CMYK color space. If that is not the same profile as your press profile, you can use the Assign Profile command to assign the correct profile. Then you send this to the printer, choosing your RGB Epson profile. Bam. Done.


                                        Unfortunately, you seem to be saddled with a graphic designer who doesn't know crap about print production. At some point you either learn to live with mediocrity or find a good designer. Oh well.

                                        • 17. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                          Be aware that all injet printers expect RGB files, not CMYK.  If you send a CMYK image to your Epson, the Epson driver will first convert your image to RGB, and then to its own Epson flavor of  CcMmYK or  even CcMmYKk. 


                                          Just something to keep in mind when proof printing.

                                          That's a driver issue. Epson's and similar ship with Quickdraw (or GDI) drivers which don't undernstand CMYK and when feed that data, convert (poorly) to RGB. You can substitute a different driver without that limitation and feed the printer CMYK. Some call this a RIP (incorrectly), it's quite possible there's no Raster Image Processing going on, rather a pipeline in the driver that's setup to deal with CMYK data.

                                          • 18. Re: Photo Coversion for Indesign ?
                                            Level 5

                                            Andrew Rodney wrote:


                                            Be aware that all injet printers expect RGB files, not CMYK.  If you send a CMYK image to your Epson, the Epson driver will first convert your image to RGB, and then to its own Epson flavor of  CcMmYK or  even CcMmYKk. 


                                            Just something to keep in mind when proof printing.

                                            That's a driver issue…


                                            That's what I meant when I typed "If you send a CMYK image to your Epson, the Epson driver will first convert your image to RGB". 


                                            Thank you for the insight into the RIP issue.  As someone rarely involved with CMYK, I'll be eager to read up on that.