Tips for the consumer
In today’s world of digital imaging we have discovered that photographers are split into two camps. There are those of you who like it the old way. You brought us your negatives for processing and allowed The Lab Works to make beautiful prints for you. A premium print. We can optimize your digital files as well. Simply submit the files you would like printed and let us do the work. All file adjustments including sizing, cropping, sharpening, colour and saturation will be done.
For those of you who prefer to do your own file management, here are a few simple guidelines for setting up your files for printing by The Lab Works at print ready, square footage pricing.
To supply print ready files, it is important that each file has a valid ICC profile embedded. Without this profile we do not know what colourspace your files are in. Most photographers use either sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998) as a working colour space. Provide us with colour managed files, changed to 8 bit, cropped and sized to the print size you desire, saved as a RGB jpeg or tiff with no layers or channels or LZW compression. The name of the file should be fairly short and should not have any odd characters. Files that are print ready means no intervention by us and less cost for you.
We recommend working on a calibrated monitor for making exposure and colour decisions.
We encourage soft proofing using our printer ICC profile which can be found on our FTP site or can be emailed to you. Soft proofing gives you the ability to view on-screen what your photograph’s colours will look like when printed on our printers using Kodak Professional Endura ultra paper. To soft proof effectively, your monitor has to be calibrated. Call for details.
We encourage you to test with us. You can then be confident that your files printed at The Lab Works will be as you see them on your computer screen. There will be no charge to you for this test print and we will help you make any adjustments to ensure all the right file qualities for your future orders.
So which is better: RAW or JPEG? There is no single answer, as this depends on the type of photography you are doing. In most cases, RAW files will provide the best solution due to their technical advantages. RAW files give the photographer far more control, but with this comes the trade-off of speed, storage space and ease of use. The RAW trade-off is sometimes not worth it for sports and press photographers, although portrait, landscape, commercial and most fine art photographers choose RAW in order to maximize the image quality potential of their digital camera. When you shoot JPEG, your files are only as good as your camera’s ability to make decisions on processing. One key advantage of RAW is that it allows the photographer to postpone applying adjustments– giving more flexibility to the photographer to later apply adjustments themselves, in a way which best suits each image.
A RAW file needs to be developed (processed) into a final JPEG or TIFF image before it can be printed.