Are you experiencing dark images among your pages?

by Dean Cook, May 12, 2016
Category: Blog,   Tags: Adobe CC, Adobe Lightroom, altering colour, altering images, colour correction, enhancing images, image correction, image placement, image retouching, Lightroom, photo correction, photo retouch, photo retouching, Photoshop, plonk and place images,

We’ve noticed in recent years images are becoming increasingly darker within the pages of magazines — more so with smaller specialist independent magazines. So why is this? Dean Cook takes a deeper look.

Regardless of the price, you are paying for quality production and reproduction. We are aware that some designers are out to save time to ensure the job is turned round as quickly as possible. One of the time-saving methods used is simply plonking and positioning untouched imagery; getting content on the page then moving on to the next. This isn’t good practice; any time-saving measures will undoubtedly affect the final printed result.

We check, assess and optimise every single image that passes through our hands. It isn’t an automated process as we need to apply our skill and ability with specialist software to adjust images captured from an extensive array of sources whether it be smartphones or ‘happy snap’ digital cameras to professional SLRs and scanners. In many cases, we receive images from those who are far from being professional photographers where white balance hasn’t been set leading to under- or over-exposure therefore unable to accommodate unrestricted light levels. To add, a lot of digital imagery carries a lot of colour depth giving the appearance of being dark. These images need to be adjusted to get the best out of the detail and neutralise the tones.

Among our armoury, we use Adobe’s Lightroom. This pro-tool allows us to adjust images including temperature, tint, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, white, blacks, clarity, vibrancy, saturations, tone, specific colours (even in particular regions), split toning, lens correction, frame vignettes, de-hazing distant detail, and more.

We then export all the enhanced images to Photoshop to apply additional filters, resize, crop and, of course, adjusting the resolution to the correct output intent.

Naturally, this isn’t a five-minute job but the results are most definitely worth it, and we don’t charge a premium for the privilege either.

Above is a classic example of what can actually be achieved in a reasonable amount of time (we’ll let you work out which is which).

To simply plonk and place an untouched image to save time is something many designers and publishers are happy to do but we believe you and your readers deserve more.

Image courtesy of Trial Magazine © 2016.

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