6 Tips for Taking Photos from Camera to Press
Printing lessons learned in UCDA’s May workshop
The digital revolution has given today’s photographers thousands of new ways to make photography more rich and compelling. It’s also turned every marketer with a smartphone into a photographer. But not all tools are compatible with all processes. If you need to translate gorgeous photography into beautiful printed literature, it’s important to know how to format your files, and which tools ensure the best end result with a variety of printing services and providers. The University & College Designers Association (UCDA) helps designers working for educational institutions by providing instruction and advice in a variety of ways, including workshops dedicated to teaching them how to take better photographs and prepare those images for press.
A few weeks ago UCDA sponsored one of these workshops in Lancaster, PA. Intelligencer co-sponsored the event that attracted designers and photographers from six states.
Todd Miller, one of Intelligencer’s Color Specialists, gave a presentation about converting photographs from raw formats to CMYK and optimizing them for printing.Whether your photos are going to be seen in catalogs, brochures, POP, posters, packages or boxes, it’s important to understand the parameters of commercial printing.
Here’s a few tips from that presentation that you may want to keep in mind next time you’re prepping photos for a commercial print job:
- Capture the image in RAW format. Preferably 300 DPI.
- Color settings in Photoshop should be set to North American Prepress 2. Intelligencer recommends making the following two changes to the North American Prepress 2:
- Change the CMYK setting to Coated GRACoL 2006
- Change the Intent setting to Perceptual
- Adjust color in RGB mode as much as possible before converting to CMYK.
- Turn on the GAMUT WARNING when the image is in RGB. This Photoshop feature, located under the VIEW menu header, will indicate colors that may be a potential issue when converting to CMYK.
- After converting your image to CMYK adjust the highlights, neutrals and shadows as necessary.
Highlight- 4C 2M 2Y
Neutral- 50C 40M 40Y (Black value will vary with your image)
Shadow- 85C 75M 75Y 80K
- Don’t forget Max Density
- Also known as TAC (Tonal Area Coverage). This is the value of all the individual colors added together in the dark areas (Blacks) of your image.
- For best results an average Max Density should add up to 300-320. (85C 75M 75Y 80K = 315)
Your exact techniques and settings will vary based on the type of digital or offset printing you choose.
Want to learn more about converting photography for print? Look for our soon-to-be-released Optimizing Images Guidelines and Color Commandments tip sheet. Intelligencer is an expert resource for color-critical jobs and offers some of the most advanced color printing technology available in North America. Contact us to find out how we can ensure the best results on your next print project.
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Intelligencer became one of the oldest printing companies in North America by constantly improving and innovating printing, direct mail, and distribution services. We don’t rest on our 200 years of experience. Intelligencer continually pushes the boundaries of technology to provide the latest advances in the art and science of printing. It’s no wonder we’re the preferred print supplier for so many Fortune 500 companies throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. If you’d like to find out how Intelligencer can help your business, contact us for a free consultation today.