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RGB or CMYK?

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John Gunselman
RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 2, 2008 at 4:46:27 pm

I am working on a book idea which will be a number of quite old B&W photos that I am colorizing. The original photos are B&W TIFF files about 20 megs per image and the end result will be a professionally printed coffee table book. I am using Photoshop CS2 running on a PC with Windows XP. When I change modes from greyscale to colorize the pictures would I be better off using RGB or CMYK mode? I know I can save RGB files to CMYK after I am finished colorizing the images with the possibility of slight color shift or would I be better off to stay CMYK all the way through because professional printing uses CMYK? These are colorized images to look like real color but certainly nowhere as detailed as an original color photo. What complicates this, I think, is that computer monitors are RGB. Also, CMYK files are somewhat larger. I suppose this is a question for printer people moreso than Photoshop people, however I'm hoping someone who is a bit of both can guide me on this. Also, I must mention that while I am quite fluid at Photoshop, I am most definitely NOT a computer geek so I'm hoping for a simple response. Thanks in advance for any info you can supply.


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Richard Harrington
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 2, 2008 at 9:43:33 pm

Work in RGB as long as possible...

More support, easier, faster, more options.

COnvert to CMYK at very end of process

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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John Gunselman
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 2, 2008 at 11:22:24 pm

Thank you, Richard. How worried should I be though about color shift when going from RGB to CMYK? Again, these are original B&W shots that I'm colorizing, but I certainly don't want the end result to become muddy or quite different from the colors I assign them in the colorizing process.

John



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Richard Harrington
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 3, 2008 at 1:06:29 am

You can see this previewed before converting using the Gamut feature in the view menu

Then use the sponge tool to clean up before converting

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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John Gunselman
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 3, 2008 at 3:23:07 pm

Thanks again, Richard,I also would like guidance on one other question. As I mentioned, the original B&W photos are TIFF files. Once I bring them into Photoshop and change them to a color mode for colorizing, should I save them as TIFF files or as Photoshop PSD files?



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Richard Harrington
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 3, 2008 at 4:08:46 pm

Doesn't matter... both support layers

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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John Gunselman
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 4, 2008 at 1:10:18 am

A friend of mine has a Spyder2 express colorimeter and he let me use it to calibrate my monitor. Apparently this entry-level unit sets up a monitor to conform to the industry standard sRGB. In Photoshop when I go to color settings under the “edit” menu should I select in “working spaces” the monitor profile Spyder2 created or should I select Adobe RGB (1998)? I was under the impression that sRGB was primarily for web based work not pre-press and my monitor now apparently matches sRGB. Again, the end result here is colorized B&W photos…am I being too concerned about all this?



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John Gunselman
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 3, 2008 at 4:11:32 pm

Also, can you suggest a program or item I can get to achieve better monitor calibration than Adobe Gamma which I now have in Windows control panels?



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Jason Milligan
Re: RGB or CMYK?
on Feb 6, 2008 at 10:36:20 pm

I'm surprised more people haven't posted in this thread.
This question is one of those "hot-button" issues like "Mac vs. PC."
I'm generally part of the work in CMYK camp. I've never heard a convincing argument why one should work RGB if their intent is print (unless that person intends to use a variety of RGB-only filters).

I find color-correcting and color-mixing much more intuitive in CMYK.
You have more control over your ink specifications and your plates if you work CMYK.
You needn't worry about color shifts from a conversion.
You'll be in the color space you intend to deliver.

That being said, I think the only real answer is the same as "Mac vs. PC."
In which do you feel more comfortable working?






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