<%@ Language=VBScript %> <%option explicit%> <% %> <%showheader "November 2006 e-Gram", "November 2006 e-Gram", "November 2006 e-Gram"%>

November 2006 e-Gram

Things to Consider When Shooting Digitally

Digital photography puts the power of photography in all of our hands. With digital photography, you can literally point, shoot and download the image to your computer. This latest digital revolution is forcing the design and print industries to change and adapt, spurred by new technology. With this greater power comes greater responsibility for all of us.

What you need to learn

Digital cameras are complex, and they require a fair amount of knowledge on the userís part. You need to know how to take pictures, how to use the camera and how to download images. Without knowing all three, your results will never be as good as buying stock photography or hiring a professional photographer. In addition, you will either need to know how to edit and retouch digital images, or have us do it for you.

You get what you pay for

Furthermore, digital point-and-shoot cameras, which often take great snapshots, do not necessarily work well for professional designs. Inexpensive digital cameras often have one fixed lens and hesitate after you push the shutter button. They also use simple autofocus mechanisms that do not always produce sharp images.

Professional photographers use high-end digital cameras that cost thousands of dollars, and they invest many more thousands in lenses and lights. Professional photographers who shoot with digital cameras usually retouch their images and prepare them for printing as part of their services. This is why professional digital photography often costs as much as film-based photography. If you want professional results, you must be willing to do what they do.

What we need to learn

Digital photography has also forced us to change our workflows and our ways of doing business. We have to know how to convert large-gamut RGB images, without a transparency for comparison, into the smaller gamut of CMYK. Because we do not have an image to compare to, proofing becomes especially important. In order to get accurate color, you will need some form of color proof from us.

What we can do to ensure good results

If you plan on using digital photography, talk to us. We will work with you to come up with the best plan. Our prepress people will tell you which Photoshop color settings will give the best results. Also, plan on doing several proofs, which might extend your turnaround time. Shooting digital is fun. However, it does not decrease the need for technical skills required to create professional images.