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Tips For An Agile Workflow: Stay In RGB

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As more photographers and photo departments venture into the world of multimedia adding video, Web and interactive to their print-based workflow, many find themselves creating multiple versions of the same file, re-correcting images and struggling under the new workload.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, there are several steps you can tale to simplify your workflow. This is the second in a multi-part series on developing an agile workflow. Each Monday, I’ll highlight a time saving workflow tip to give you more time to concentrate on the creative aspects of post production and in the end, deliver a better-looking file with less effort.

Stay in RGB as long as possible: Performing the bulk of your corrections in RGB gives you more versatility when delivering files to the web or video.

Begin by correcting your file for to create a high-quality image on screen. At this stage, is is advisable not to push the saturation too far, lest you create problems in the printing stage. Your goal at this stage is to create a master file that can be reused for several different types of output.

Next, duplicate the master file, resize, sharpen and convert to the appropriate ICC profile for screen-based output.

Return to the master file and enable the Soft Proofing feature for your anticipated press conditions. Using this soft proof, perform any additional corrections that may be necessary to recover lost shadow contrast or correct any colors that may shift during the RGB to CMYK conversion.

Lastly, flatten, convert to CMYK and sharpen based on your intended output. At this stage, you can perform additional CMYK-specific corrections, such as adjusting the Black curve or sharpening the weak channel, for cleaner reproduction on print.

Using this method will give you greater consistency across output mediums while at the same time minimizing the number of corrections necessary to meet your production deadlines.

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