All devices in digital workflow chain as digital camera, scanner, monitor or printer produce colors diffrerently. Color Management is a technology that primarily controls and sets these devices up to deliver consistent, predictable color from one device to the next.
Color Management In Practice
All of us, even the professional editor, has likely experienced a following situation in his/her early professional career: you transfer photos from your digital camera or a memory card to a computer where you process the images so that they end up shining with bright and beautiful colors.
But when you have them printed, those wonderful colors are no longer so beautiful or, especially, so rich and vibrant. Even a same photo reproduction can have completely different results on two similar output devices.
It's because monitors and printers use completely different color spaces with different descriptions of colors. To avoid color mismatch, we need to introduce Color Management into our work process. This term refers to a set of procedures and rules designed to ensure the most faithful reproduction of the original image in various media.
All images in our photo stock library are processed in accordance with the principles of Color Management. This is a prerequisite to obtain a rights-managed photograph ready straight for publishing, whether in print or electronic media. All this preparation has already been carried out for you so that your time saved can be devoted to other work. Since all the photos are edited in the Adobe RGB profile (which serves as both the input and the output profile), your only remaining task is to assign the appropriate CMYK profile for the purpose of printing, or sRGB profile in case of using the image in the electronic media.
Drag & Publish Process
During the entire phase of rights-managed image processing the work is carried out on devices which are calibrated for high accuracy using spectrophotometric measuring devices. Already during the initial scanning gets the photograph assigned a color profile, which then remains unchanged during the entire editing process in the graphics editor. It is for this reason, that the losses resulting from the conversion of profiles are completely minimized.
Any color adjustments are processed on specialized and hardware-calibrated monitors with minimal chromatic aberration, which results in the photographs achieving faithful color and tonal reproduction.
Each photo is scanned into the native 16-bit depth at 300 dpi resolution. This value was chosen as the maximum to be used in the press, in the electronic media the most common resolution is only 72 dpi. Native 16-bit depth and high-resolution of photos enable a much greater range of adjustments without compromising the color gradient because it contains more tone levels than its 8-bit equivalent.
Besides running it at 16-bit depth the scanning is processed in the 16-multiple scan mode, which means the scanner runs up 16 passes on a slide and the individual results are automatically interpolated. This process allows a remarkable decrease in image noise and pulls out more highlights and shadow details. When editing the photos no sharpening is used, because it is a fairly destructive type of adjustment, which, moreover, is not feasible in the universal format. Each client needs to set individual values of this filter according to his/her preferences, depending on how and where the photo is intended to be used.
Although multiple scanning causes "softening" of the edges, it allows at the same time the sharpening of the image at a much higher rate when compared to the original artwork. So even if you use a higher rate of sharpening, you still get a very sharp image with smooth tonal gradations, and a minimum degree of posterization.
The resulting effect is multiplied by the fact that the photos are captured on professional reversal films with extra fine granularity and great color saturation.
In terms of professional preparation for printing, each of the image includes:
- Assigned specific color profile unchanged throughout the whole process of printing preparation;
- Color optimization and saturation configured in a way that any posterization is avoided;
- Contrast adjusted in a way that any loss of detail in dark and bright tones is prevented;
- Optimized configuration of the tonal range, i.e. minimum and maximum printer dot;
- Without resampling: images are scanned at the same resolution equivalent to their output;
- Without any sharpening, or any other destructive filter being applied;
- 16-multiple scanning to remove noise and get better detail.
After purchasing and downloading of the RM image each client will receive the product ready for further use without any further cost-demanding graphics work. We are able to provide this service because of the 16-bit depth and especially due to the fact that the ownership of the films enables us to maintain full control over the whole process of preparation for publishing.