Most people who shoot digital photos are used to working in an entirely digital realm. That is, their photos are captured, processed and shared entirely on computers. This means, for the most part, that they are working in RGB colorspace as opposed to CMYK, which is used in the print world. Photographers and graphic artists who want to make prints, be they postcards or fine art images for a gallery showing, are almost certainly going to have to become familiar with the differences.
For those who don't know, RGB stands for Red Green Blue and CMYK stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow Key (key just means black). Although volumes of books have been written on the subject, it is still very poorly understood and no matter what I say on this blog, somebody out there will stand up and tell me I'm wrong. For that reason, I won't say much. I'll just show you the two images I processed from the same photo for a poster I'm working on. The first is RGB and the second CMYK.
If you can't see a difference, it's because I worked so hard in Photoshop to hide it. I'm sure you'll see that the green in the foreground is a lot more vibrant in the top image. The difference was more pronounced when I first converted the image. The green was flat, boring and ugly and I had to do a lot to it in Photoshop to bring the "pop" back into it. Mostly, I just selected a colour from the picker on the green channel and played with the hue, saturation and lightness sliders until I got the look I wanted. I had to do this on a few layers, each with it's own layer mask so that I could target various areas of the image.
I'm happy with the digital result. These are processed for printing, which means they are brighter and a bit more contrasty than they would be if they were meant to be viewed on a screen. I can't wait to see what the final image looks like when it's printed.
Thanks for reading.
My simple blog about the art and science of photography.