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In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the art and the craft of creating beautiful, archival-quality inkjet prints. The course looks at the anatomy of a print job: how a printer works, how to adjust and prepare your image to get the best results, and what happens to your photo in its journey from pixels to paper.
After a discussion of how to choose a printer, the course covers the process of preparing both black and white and color images using Adobe Photoshop. Ben describes how to take images from looking good onscreen to being properly adjusted for best results on paper, covering details such as sizing, sharpening, and color management.
With photographer and master framer Konrad Eek, Ben explores the creative decisions that photographers should address before printing. What size print? How does print size relate to the message of the photo and to the space where the photo will be displayed? What kinds of paper choices do you have, and how does your photo's content relate to the paper you choose?
The course also describes how to properly evaluate a print and how to handle common challenges that crop up during the printing process.
I'd like to look at one more image here because I think it's a good example of some color space theory. It's also a good example of something I think may help you understand a little bit more about what's going on in Camera Raw, as regards color and color spaces. I have this image here, and take a look at the Histogram as it should be your first impulse when you open an image, and you can see that I've got some highlight clipping in the red channel. I've over-exposed some of the reds a little bit in the brightest highlights, I also have some Shadow clipping in the blue channel. Now if you look down here you'll see that the image is currently being mapped into sRGB.
I did not have my camera set properly so this is come in as an sRGB image. So I'm just going to change that. Now I want you to keep an eye on the Histogram here as I make the change from sRGB to Adobe RGB. You notice this, this Highlights Spike went lower. There's not as much red clipping when I'm in Adobe RGB as there is in sRGB because Adobe RGB can hold more red. I am going to change this back here, keep an eye on the Histogram again, and you'll see what I'm talking about, boom, the Spike went back up.
You also see some shifting down here, some tones shifted back down towards black because Adobe RGB also has room for more blues. So I'm back in sRGB, now I want to do the change to Adobe RGB again, this time I want you to watch right in here. Watch these top three petals here on the flower, as I make the change to Adobe RGB. Notice right now, they're very yellow so just watch that area right there, I'm going to change that Adobe RGB and hit OK, boom. Did you see that they just brightened up? And they didn't just brighten up, they turned more orange, and if you think about your color wheel this should make sense.
Adobe RGB has space for some more red in it, that's why we have got less red clipping over here, some of the red tones that we are in here got pulled into the image. So as I added more red to those bright yellow tones, I got more than orange hue. So this is, again, another example of why Adobe RGB is a better choice here, it's giving me more natural looking color, it's taken that kind of over-exposed yellow look and made it little warmer and little more red. Let's take a at something else, I'm going to now switch from Adobe RGB to ProPhoto RGB, keep an eye on the Histogram as I hit the OK button. Wow, looky there. All my shadow and highlight clipping is gone.
And in general, the tones have moved more towards the middle that's going to give me the latitude to stretch them out more and possibly end up with more contrast. Why then don't I stand ProPhoto all the time? Well, this is a fine example of ProPhoto working well on this image to recover some highlights and shadow detail, that won't fit into Adobe RGB. But in general, taking your colors and mapping them across that big a color space can sometimes produce problems. It can cause a color shift, your yellows might go more in one direction or another.
It can also cause banding and skies or gradients places where it is having to stretch color across a broader space. So you don't really want stand ProPhoto all the time, but it is going to turn out to be good for this image. So again, our rule still holds, we want to stay in Adobe RGB as you have seen it's bigger than sRGB and so I get some more color but there might be times, where I switch to Pro Photo RGB can solve some over-exposure problems. But I hope from this you're also taking away something about Raw itself, Raw files are really, really raw.
They are open to great levels of interpretation. And it's interesting to me that what Adobe has done is taken my raw data, and rather than mapping it into this color space so there's no clipping at all, which they could do, they could say these brightest tones don't go any brighter than that, they have chosen to allow some red clipping and some blue clipping because really it's not going to result in bright overexposed highlight or anything where. It's just going to result in a little color shifts so they've decided that's basically an acceptable loss.
So if I take the same image and open it up in a different Raw converter, I may not see this highlight clipping. There is no inherent correspondence between a particular bit of Raw Data and where it goes into a particular Color Space, that's up to the engineers who write the Raw Converter. An in this case Adobe has chosen to map the image so that there's a little bit of clipping. Here's something interesting. If I go into my Camera Calibration tab, I can actually change which version of Camera Raw is being used.
Camera Raw includes all of its previous versions within it. So here you can see the original 2003 version, the 2010 version, the 2012 version. Watch this highlight area as I switch back to 2003, boom, did you see that? I have now actually got a little bit of full three channel clipping in there. Let me switch that back again to 2012. And now watch this area in here as I switch back to 2003, it went from that nice reddish orange color to a really overly bright yellow color.
So in the intervening years, Photoshop has refined their idea of how to convert images from this particular camera, and I think they're doing a better job. They are preserving more detail, they are holding more color. It doesn't look so overly saturated yellow now as compared to how it did with the 2003 converter. And again take a look at the Histogram as I switch from 2003 back to 2012, I've also got less clipping. So yes a Color Space is an area that colors are mapped into a but your Raw Converter may not choose to map them so that they fit perfectly within a Color Space, here Adobe has chosen not to, and I can either live with it or try to make edits to solve these problems.
If I think there are problem. For example, I can lower the highlights to pulls some of those red tones back in, if I deem them a problem. So RAW files truly are raw you can map them into Color Spaces however you want and depending on which version of Photoshop you're using or which Raw Editor using you may see very different results. This is very subjective, it's up to you whether a little bit of red clipping is a problem or not, and as you'll see when you go to print you're be going to be going into a much smaller Color Space, so that a little bit of red clipping really may not even matter.
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