12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2009 8:18 AM by rasworth

    jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem

    rasworth Level 1

      I'm a color management consultant in the Austin,Texas area - a client of mine runs a local print shop, so after our recent postings about ACR edits not showing up in jpeg images I sent him an email asking if he had seen the problem.  His reply follows:

       

      "Oh yes!  We have seen this and I was completely confused when it  first
      occurred, and the customer wasn't very helpful about what he had done  while
      'saving' the image files.  We used Lightroom to run a batch conversion  and
      properly resave the files.  Is there more information on how to coach  the
      users to use a proper workflow for this?  Hopefully Adobe will soon  make
      this more foolproof, like the 'Save As' dialogue boxes.

       

      Steve"

       

      I believe Adobe needs to address this problem, probably with some combination of explanation/interface change.

       

      Richard Southworth

        • 1. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
          RLAII

          I must be spoiled by Lightroom because using three programs to get jpegs from raws seems crazy.

           

          But after having looked into this, I would totally agree.  With these powerful programs it seems like there are a bunch of ways to do the same thing.  And some seem to end with files that have information that can't be read by other software.

           

          I was under the impression that a jpeg has all the info there that it needs, 8-bit, no layers, color tag, yada, yada.

           

          Now, I don't know what to think.  I look at a jpeg extension and wonder "Did they make this in ACR and it has some .xmp sidecar thingy that I don't see or they forgot to include?"  And even if it was there, would my other software recognize it and will it even print properly?  Do I have to open every file and see if it open in ACR or Ps?

           

          I am 100% in favor of Adobe giving "power" to the people, but this seems to be causing more harm than good.

          • 2. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
            JimHess-8IPblY Level 3

            There is no XMP sidecar file for JPEG and TIFF images.  All of the changes are stored in the header of the file, and will only be read by Lightroom or ACR.  I think the best thing to do if prints are to be made at a commercial printer would be to "Export" them from Lightroom, or create an action that would process the JPEGs through ACR and save new copies to be submitted to the printer.  If the files that are edited in ACR are then submitted to the printer those changes will not be read.  A new copy of the files needs to be created.

            • 3. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
              rasworth Level 1

              Jim,

               

              I agree, and those of us who understand the mechanics of ACR and Lightroom know to save out a separate file.  But the issue is with those who are not completely clear on "non destructive" editing and don't realize they haven't modified the image data in their jpeg even though it appears so within ACR or Lightroom.  IMO Adobe needs to make this clearer/cleaner, they are not making any friends in the print for pay community.

               

              Richard Southworth

              • 4. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                JimHess-8IPblY Level 3

                Richard,

                 

                In my opinion, this whole raw processing thing is nothing but a can of worms.  It isn't any company's fault in particular.  But we, the consumers, have to worry about what is/isn't part of the image file, what color space we convert to, 16-bit/8-bit conversions, is our favorite photo viewer color managed, etc., etc..  I read comments on other forums about how some people will only shoot raw, like it is the holy grail of photography.  And they talk as though they know everything about it, when in reality many of them don't even understand what is going on.  And when they get in trouble it becomes Adobe's problem to fix rather than user really learning how to use what is available.  People need to be forewarned that some effort needs to be put into learning a good raw workflow.  Occasionally I will see a new raw shooter come on to a forum and say something like, "I just started shooting raw.  Can someone please tell me a quick and very basic way to process them?"  When it is suggested to them that they should get a book and do some reading they reply that they really don't have that kind of time to devote to it.  They just want a quick "how to".  Anyone who dives into shooting raw without taking the time to learn what they are doing deserves the results they get.  And after all the work they put into the raw processing, I would guess that many of them would get just as good if not better results if they just shot JPEG in the first place.

                • 5. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                  rasworth Level 1

                  Jim,

                   

                  I am in general agreement with your post, but this is not a raw workflow issue.  Rather, people have discovered that ACR (and of course Lightroom) is a reasonably complete environment to edit jpeg's, without jumping into the complexity of Photoshop.  For example, one can easily white balance a jpeg within ACR, not as easy to do in Photoshop.  Therefore more and more images go in and out of ACR directly, unfortunately many go to print shops and other destinations with the non-destructive edits buried in the exif data.

                   

                  I'm not suggesting Adobe do anything drastic with ACR, just make it more obvious that the edits are "buried" unless the user makes an explicit decision to save to a new file.

                   

                  Richard Southworth

                  • 6. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                    JimHess-8IPblY Level 3

                    This might not be a workflow issue, but it is an issue of becoming familiar with what you are using and how you are using it.  If someone is too lazy to take the time to understand what they're doing, then they deserve the results they get.

                    • 7. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                      Ramón G Castañeda Level 4

                      rasworth wrote:

                       

                      …reply follows:

                       

                      "Oh yes!  We have seen this and I was completely confused when it  first
                      occurred, and the customer wasn't very helpful about what he had done  while
                      'saving' the image files
                      .

                       

                      The emphasized text sounds very familiar, of course, and it summarizes the issue:  human error, before and after.

                       

                      There's not much help anyone can offer when the user suffering the issue is repeatedly asked to provide details and he fails to do so.

                       

                      In a different thread, we went around and around without being able to determine what platform the user is on, what version of OS, Photoshop and ACR he's using or exactly how he's saving his file.  I'm not inclined to think he's withholding information on purpose but I strongly suspect that he's unable to provide the details because he does not have an understanding of the concepts, regardless of how many books he may have sitting on the shelf.

                       

                      Documentation is always open to improvement, but I seriously doubt that anyone who has read all the material provided by Adobe in the way of white papers, tutorials, user guides and, especially, Jeff Schewe's book on ACR would fail to understand the concepts involved here.

                       

                      You have my sympathy, as I can't begin to fathom what it must be like to run into these issues as a paid consultant.  As volunteer helpers and contributors to these forums we can just give up and walk away from the recalcitrant user, but as a paid professional you don't have that luxury.

                      • 8. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                        Ramón G Castañeda Level 4

                        Jim,

                         

                        Your three posts in this thread are right on the money.  I second everything you wrote in them.

                        • 9. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                          rasworth wrote:

                           

                          I believe Adobe needs to address this problem, probably with some combination of explanation/interface change.

                           

                          Uh huh. . .well, Photoshop (and Camera Raw by extension) is designed to a pro-level application. To a certain extent, Adobe's only responsibility is to provide an application that is suitable for the purposes in which it was written and designed. Which I think Camera Raw, Photoshop and Bridge falls.

                           

                          I would argue that Photoshop CS3, ACR 4.x and Bridge CS3 was totally and completely screwed up in the handling of non-raw files because a user had to have the application preferences in three separate apps correctly set in order to have behavior which was predictable and consistent.

                           

                          As far as CS4 is concerned, the fact that one can embed .xmp metadata edits in JPEGs and TIFFs and not have them properly displayed in anything other than current Adobe software (who's to say what version of what app a 3rd party print processor may have) may be an issue for other users but current CS4 users should not have too much problem if they have half a clue about what they are doing...which I agree may be giving users a tad too much credit...

                           

                          If a lab is doing printing for 3rd party users, I would expect it would be in the lab''s best interest in giving users planning on using their service, EXPLICIT step by step instructions on the proper hand;ing and prepping of files for output. Course, that might be expecting too much out of the service providers...

                          • 10. Re: jpeg's and tiff's in ACR causing print shop problem
                            rasworth Level 1

                            Yes, we can blame the problem on ignorant users and print shops, but the fact remains that several are falling into this "trap".  As I remember, the ability to embed edits in jpegs and tiffs has been present in ACR for quite a while, it's only with the advent of all the additional editing power within ACR that the problem has become more frequent. All I'm suggesting is Adobe make the consequences of editing within ACR more apparent, something other than a paragraph or two buried in the help files.

                             

                            And as print shops go, the one I'm referring to is fairly far up the curve, i.e. they understand icc profiles, instruct users on the necessity of embedding profiles in their images, and are diligent about keeping their Chromira up to snuff calibration/profile wise.  They do print thru a dedicated (color managed) application, normally only use Photoshop or Lightroom for additional image editing.  I believe most print shops do use other than Adobe products to run their printers; Workstream, various RIP's, etc.  So it's not too surprising or damning that they were blindsided by embedded jpeg edits.

                             

                            They are now aware of "non destructive" editing in jpegs and tiffs, and are working to counsel their customers.  Just a matter of communication.

                             

                            Richard Southworth