Does anyone know the optimum workflow "From Camera RAW to Web JPEG?"
I pose this question for all photographers seeking to optimize their RAW images in 16 bit-CS3 for specific use on web-based personal portfolio sites. It seems there's plenty of camera-to-print workflow information available but almost no camera-to-web info (for professional photographers). Plus, every time I turn around it seems there's one more photographer doing something different (without explaining why).In this thread
, MarkDS was kind enough to provide his 16 bit, Pro Photo workflow from PS Image Size to web. Here's what he wrote:
Image Size with resamplingto 96 ppi and 600~800 pixels on the large dimension; interpolation bi-cubic sharper;
PK Output Sharpen for the web; (set opacity to taste);
Convert to sRGB with RelCol Intent and BPC on;
Convert Mode to 8 bit;
Save for Web in JPEG format, 60% quality, Optimized, with embedded sRGB profile.
I guess if one can read shorthand, all this sounds reasonable. But there's a lot of missing information. Such as:
1. 96 ppi? Since when? Has the web standard of 72 ppi changed? Or, with larger monitor screen sizes, does 96 ppi provide better quality for larger sized (800+ pixels wide) images?
2. What if PK Output Sharpen is not an option? At what point in the workflow should one use Photoshop's final sharpening options?
3. What if you forget to Edit > Convert to Profile before converting to 8 bit? Is it OK to then convert the profile in the new File > Save for Web & Devices?
4. Isn't the Quality percentage an image-to-image consideration? Is 60% a good starting point? What do you look for?
5. If you converted your image to sRGB before the Save for Web & Devices, isn't the sRBG profile already embedded? Or must someone click on another confirmation?
6. What about Flatten Image? Where does this fall into the workflow and what if you need to tweak with Curves after the image has already been flattened? Can you continually Flatten with no harm to the file? Do you Flatten before or after converting to 8 bit?
7. Martin Evening used to recommend down-sampling in small-ish increments to have more control over the data being discarded. Does this recommendation apply to CS3? Given the huge size of a RAW file, will the human eye see any difference if you chop out a big chunk of data in a single decrease?
I don't mean to criticize MarkDS's offering from the other thread. It merely gave me food for thought on the difficulty of finding trusted information on this very important workflow. Many professional photographers are building their own websites or are required to supply designers with web-ready images. Maybe it's time for Reichmann/Schewe and Company to address this need in a video tutorial and cover the various RAW-to-Web options.
At least Lynda.com offers Photoshop CS3 for Photographers but Chris Orwig begins his Resizing for the Web tutorial with an 8 bit image. Where does one go for comprehensive information you can trust?